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[Process] Current Favorites! Part 2: Coloring Tools + contest! [CLOSED]

2 Ish Good!

Note 2012.04.14: Contest is closed and winner has been contacted but feel free to keep posting your suggestions! I'm all ears!

--Sorry if you read this intro from Tuesday's post, just recapping some of the important info for new readers! -- Audra


This week, I'll be doing a series of nemu*blog posts, (sponsored by one of my absolute favorite online stationery stores, JetPens) covering just one facet of my love of all things stationery -- writing and drawing instruments!

Now, while I may be giving some of my own recommendations, I encourage you to participate and let me know some of your own recommendations per each category! Participate by replying to my four (4) blog posts this week with your own recommendations and/or product wish list according to each pen type and I'll enter you in a drawing to win a $25 e-gift card from JetPens! (Which means you will get automatic free shipping within the US!) Respond to all four (4) blog posts and get a total of 4 entries in your name!

Without further ado! Part 2: Coloring Tools! (read on!)

#1 Copic Markers

My collection of Copics, Copic Sketches, Copic Ciao, Copic Comic Markers and refill inks, circa 2009.

Like my brush pens, I've waxed on about these pens in previous blog posts, so I won't bore you with the back-history.

In short, I absolutely love these markers for the following reasons:

1) They are alcohol-based and have no odor.
2) They come in a huge range of colors ranging from super light to useable darks.
3) The Copic and Sketch styles are refillable and parts are replaceable.
4) They blend nicely and dry quickly.
5) The brush point on the Sketch markers are super easy to use.


They are kinda pricy per marker - usually ranging about $6-8 a pen. If you want to give them a go without breaking the bank, I usually suggest the lighter Earth (E) tones for base skin colors and some light greys - usually W1 - W3 - W5 (warm) or C1 - C3 - C5 (cool), then layer over them with colored pencils, watercolors. When you feel more comfortable using them, then invest in more colors that suit your needs.


Also a tip when shopping for colors -- the letter corresponds to the color family, so BV = Blue Violet, E = Earth, etc. The first number relates to the tone family, while the second number refers to the lightness/darkness. So E11 is a light orangey brown while E17 is a much deeper orangey brown. You don't have to buy all the colors in-between, but blending within the color tone family gives a smoother gradation.

Copics come in a variety of styles -- the most common are the standard, Sketch, and Ciao. The block pen is the standard fine/broad-tipped marker. The Sketch and Ciao are med. broad/brush tipped - the only difference is the Ciaos are disposable, thusly a little cheaper.

* * *

#2 Prismacolor Verithin Color Pencils


For many of my watercolory drawings (which are often-times Copics on watercolor papers), I don't ink my lines. Mostly because I don't like the dark black lines, especially when my colors are so soft and light. Partially because there's nothing more irritating than making a mistake with a pen. D:

So instead, I started using the Prismacolor Verithin line of colored pencils.

Now the funny thing is, Prismacolor is known for their soft, pigment-rich leads which allow for really rich color coverage without grinding your pencil into the paper. The Verithins are almost the opposite. By comparison, the leads are hard and thin, but still draw lasting lines.

In fact, what I do is sketch on my watercolor paper/bristol board with blue pencil, then quickly and lightly "ink" with one of the brown or black or indigo blue verithins, erase the lines until I can see a hint of the outline (I should also note that because the lead is harder, you will likely leave uneraseable impressions in the paper anyway~), color, and "re-ink" the lines after the colors have dried.

This is the finished effect:
(This was actually colored with watercolors first, then I went in with Copics for the deeper saturation and details.)

Another tip: If you color over a pencil line with markers or watercolors, you will effectively be "sealing" that line and have a very difficult time erasing it -- so be sure you clean up your linework before you start coloring!

Pretty simple to use! Just keep a good pencil sharpener nearby to keep that point sharp! :D

* * *

So, there you have it: my go-to, must-have coloring tools! Have you given Copics a try? If so, what are your favorite colors to use? Are there other brands of markers you may prefer more? If so, let me know! :D

Post anytime from today until Friday at 5pm Hawaii Standard Time (FYI, we're 3 hours AFTER the U.S. west coast) to my [Process] blog posts and be entered to win a $25 gift card from JetPens!

Share your thoughts

16 Replies

  • Heather

    I LOOOOOVE Copics! I also use a lot of Prismacolor pens, but those I use more for shading plush bears I make, and copics for coloring. Odd, I know. I prefer Prismacolor when it comes to pencils though, I love their Verithin's, and pretty much all their colored pencils, and their watercolor pencils as well... and to ask me to pick specific colors... well, that's just not gonna happen, I can't. I love them all!

  • mu

    Copic Sketch/Ciao are my favorite coloring pens when it comes to finishing a big picture or just sketching for fun. The blue-greens(BG) are probably my favorite bunch just because they're so pretty ._. xD but I probably use the skin tones the most. I also like the Kuretake Pocket Color Brush Pens... They're so pretty! :D

  • Kayla

    I am a huge Prismacolor fan. Their pencil crayons are THE best for blending! I also love Copic markers but they are WAY out of my price range right now. :(

  • Jonny

    I like the copics, but I've had trouble with them… the tips don't play as nicely with me as Tombow markers (which have their own drawbacks) and they bleed through all but the thickest paper. If I'm going to color non-digitally, I usually go with watercolor pencils, but I haven't found a brand that stands out yet.

  • Bettina Marie

    I swear by Copics! Though I started out with Prismacolour markers and will still use them for large areas of colour that the Copics can't quite handle. I also occasionally use the Deleter Neopiko markers, which, while they're a great size for traveling, they're not refillable like the which case, I can't wait until they're used up and I've optained a better traveling solution for my Copics for convention commission usage! LOL XD

    Another technique I've found quite pleasing as well, is very similar to using the coloured pencil lineart for watercolouring, only instead of watercolours I've used Copics. It's the same idea, colouring the blue or light lineart with Copics and then afterwards going over it with Prismacolour pencils to create the lineart and add textures and details to the work...and of course going further with white acrylic for highlights and, when called for, "SPARKLES"! XD LOL

    I've also recently gotten back into using watercolours over coloured pencil lineart after being inspired by some recent watercoloured work of your' which case, I thank you MUCHLY for the MUCHLY needed inspiration! ^____^<3...and my 5 year old niece thanks you as well since she is now entertained by watching me produce work using said technique while babysitting her! :D<3

  • Haruyo

    I loved using Copic markers when I used to do things in color. I found that the range of colors was wonderful to make up just about anything that I wanted. Though at the time I seemed to be stuck on roses for some reason.

    I have been coveting the Tombow Irojiten Color Dictionary sets that Jetpens has though. If only I had the excuse to buy such pretty shiney things. ^.^

  • Melanie P.

    whoa! This is so cool!!!!! I love all these....color pencils?

  • Aisazia

    I don't use markers but I also use Prismacolor colored pencils. I use watercolor but whatever brand that is cheap. lol

  • kristine

    I am a personal fan of prismacolor water color pencils. But I am also a fan of prismacolor super fine tip and prisma color broad tips marker.

  • Susie Suyama

    I love your picture of your Copic marker collection. I have marker envy, so... I'll add the Copic Ciao Marker Pen - 8 Skin Color Set to my wish list today!! I also love prismacolor water color pencils.

  • Hunter

    I looove prisma colors I never had the luxury to try copics so idk, but prisma colors we used alot in high school art and I loved them I just hated how the others treated them considering how expensive they are compared to crayola, I'm raised on them because growing up poor thats all we can afford. They are good and all and get the job done but Prismas are nicer.

  • Sara A

    I don't have any copic markers yet but I do love layering watercolours and color pencils. The effects can be so varied and lovely.
    I love seeing what tools artists use, this is great!

  • Kathryn T.

    I love markers and colored pencils... I wish I could buy a bunch of Copics and just play around with them. ^-^ Unfortunately, I'm really bad at drawing, so getting expensive markers like that would be a bit of a waste. (I'd still have a lot of fun, though...)

  • Jo

    I only have a few Copic Ciao markers right now, but I absolutely adore the effects you get with the pencil. Something I hope to try someday soon ^^

  • Charles L.

    Prismacolor all the way.
    I'm a professional orchestra conductor and I use Prismacolors exclusively to mark my scores.