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Coloring Medium Comparison

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Recently I came across a feed in my Facebook for those Chameleon color changing markers, and though I have been fighting the urge for over a year I finally caved in.  Let me explain. 


When I was at CHA in January 2015, I was NOT into planners, stamping and coloring.  I was NOT into or had even ever tried a Copic marker.  I was a "stamp with black ink and call it good" kind of a card stamper. (yeah yeah... lazy I know) Since then that has all changed... so after many reviews and questions about products and "what do I REALLY need?"  I decided to put together this comparison for you.


**NOTE:  I am in no way affiliated or paid by or even given free product by any company I am discussing today, this is purely personal experience and sharing.  Also, I am NOT a professional colorer nor do I say my examples below are perfect! **


Ok so on to the nitty gritty!  I used three sets of markers:  Chameleon "magic color blending" markers, Copic sketch markers, and Bic markers.  These are ALL alcohol based markers that allow for shading and layering of colors.   I also compared using markers to colored pencils and even added a colored pencil "blending" technique using Mineral Spirits.


Here are all 5 images together:



First let's talk about the Chameleon markers:

Being as how I have some experience with Copics, and watched like 12 YouTube Videos it didn't take very long for me to dive in with these.  Actually to be honest this was my fourth colored item! HA  


This took only 4 markers to complete and about 4 minutes.  


Pros:  Once you get the hang of the blending and the times you need to hold the markers to blend, it really is quite simple.  I loved how for this small image I was able to quickly color and not have to think much more than "one Mississippi, two Mississippi...


These markers ARE refillable and never dry out.  They come with extra nibs, and instructions on how to to color, plus tips and tricks.  


Cons:  Some of the colors are quite "bright" for my taste, this is the only pink in the set and it is exactly as it is called "bubblegum".. and for a gal who like pink I am not a fan.  Although there are more colors coming out this month... the basic box of 22 leaves more to be desired.  


I am not in love with the blending process it is a little tedious but if you put on some Netflix and get to coloring it isn't even noticeable.  


You really can only color "one way" meaning it is back and forth strokes, if your color begins to change too soon, you have to quickly stop and reblend and start all over... this "glitch" fades after time and if you print the "blending charts" from their sites here


All in all I do like these pens and as long as you don't tell my husband I will more than likely buy the 30 additional colors when they release!  These are PERFECT for cards and planner images! 



Ahhh, Copics!  The beloved Copics! 


This is a learning process.. I have taken classes, I have watched videos, and I am still far from a "pro."  But I do LOOOOVVEEE these markers! 


This same image took me TWELVE markers to the 4 Chameleon ones, and about 7 minutes between capping recapping, checking the numbers to make sure I didn't color the dark in the light, and the chart to verify the colors I wanted etc.. it was / is a lot more work, but....


PROS:  There are 358 colors to choose from and they are beautiful!  These are also alcohol based markers so they will be bright and resistant to fade and mixed media mediums.  These are refillable markers, so once you buy it you have it for life.  They never dry out, and often times you can go to a LSS or post online and share refills. 


CONS:  They are expensive sometime ranging around $7.99 per marker, and even with a coupon not cheap or guaranteed to be in stock.   



They are a bit difficult to learn to blend with and if you don't have the coordinated colors the desired look may be difficult to achieve.  As you can see from my picture above, it took me 3 of most colors to get a blended look and you can see the gradient change because I am missing a color just above the threshold of the two softer ones I did have. 


Bic Markers

Also alcohol based. 


PROS: The cost is quite affordable and you can easily find these at literally any store.  From Sharpies at the dollar store to huge packs of 36 colors at Walmart for $14.98, these are easily obtained!  


CONS: They don't have quite the same qualities as the Copics with the many many color / shade variations. Making the blending a little chunky sometimes.  These are not refillable and often dry out, but easy to replace as singles at about 1.99 each. 


As you can see from my example, I used only the 36 pack of Bic (I could have added in several sharpies to fill the gaps but wanted to keep the example pure to the challenge)  and in that pack, the pinks and purples were just too far apart to smoothly blend.  But it is still the same technique and if you practice it enough you can achieve a beautifully colored image.  


Colored Pencils: 

I used Prismacolor pencils for this example... although I happen to use just about every brand from Crayola to Stadtler.  I just happened to choose this one because these carry a premier status and I just saw a set of 24 colors at Walmart for $14.95, which is a rockin deal! 


PROS:  NO BLEED, you can use these in planners, and on card without having them bleed through.  They are soft and sweet, and easy to use. I still used 10 pencils to achieve my look. 


CONS:  I really have no cons for pencils.  Pencils rock, you have to keep a moderately sharp point or the coloring can look sloppy and you will either miss the edges or go outside of the lines but other than that simple, no guess work.  Just flawless.  


I was introduced to the technique of using mineral spirits over your colored pencils to get a more "smooth" and even look and I love it.  I like how it takes the pencil lines and strokes out of the image and makes it look more similar to the marker look without having to use markers.   You can get this at any hardware store or on the bottom shelf of the paint supply section at the craft store.  


I hope that you have something to compare too when deciding what you want to use to color your images in.   If you have any questions please contact me or leave  comment below!  Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY COLORING!  

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