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Introduction to Alcohol Based Markers- Presented at Mechacon 2014


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A panel on alcohol based, professional quality markers (like Copic, Prismacolor, Letraset) that introduces commonly available brands and alternatives, techniques, and accessories. Presented at Mechacon 2014 by Heidi Black and Becca Hillburn. Introduction image courtesy of Heidi Black.

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Introduction to Alcohol Based Markers- Presented at Mechacon 2014

  1. 1. Introduction to Alcohol Based Markers Copics, Prismacolors, and More! Becca Hillburn Heidi Black Mechacon 2014
  2. 2. 7/29/14 Becca Hillburn I'm a childrens comic artist and freelance illustrator originally from New Orleans but currently living in Nashville, TN. I graduated from SCAD with a Masters Degree in Sequential Art in 2013, and from the University of New Orleans with a bachelors degree in Hypermedia (digital art). My main focus is currently watercolor comics, and my hobbies include writing for my blog, Keep on Truckin' Nattosoup and attending conventions as an artist.
  3. 3. 7/29/14 Heidi Black Heidi is a sequential artist and illustrator from dayton, ohio. She likes cats and potatoes and hates writing bios. Her work is at, including her tutorial artbook, Electricabyss, and her newest comic, Sons of Fire.
  4. 4. What are Alcohol Based Markers? • Markers that use an alcohol based solvent to suspend pigments, as opposed to water • Prismacolor, Copic, Letraset • Not Crayola, RoseArt, or other ‘student grade’ markers • Used by comic artists, graphic designers, illustrators • Quick, fairly consistent results • Noted for ability to blend
  5. 5. “Kid Loki” Heidi Black “Pippi in the South Pacific” Becca Hillburn
  6. 6. Alcohol VS Waterbased Markers • Typically tend to be much higher quality than student grade brands • Often feature refillability, ability to replace tips • More expensive than most waterbased brands • More difficult to find- usually have to go to a dedicated art or hobby shop, order online • Able to achieve impressive results with practice
  7. 7. Anatomy of an Alcohol Based Marker Image Via:
  8. 8. Papers for Alcohol Based Markers • Strathmore mixed media sketchbooks • Copic (Too) brand papers, my favorite is the PM pad • Cardstock paper • Strathmore 400 series and above smooth and plate finish Bristol paper • Hot and cold pressed watercolor paper
  9. 9. Selecting an Ink for Lineart Always do a test swatch on separate sheet of paper ahead of time. Try to let your inks dry overnight before applying marker, to prevent smearing. • Solvent based inks (or lacquer based) are NOT alcohol based marker proof. • Waterbased inks tend to be alcohol based marker proof. • Copic Multiliners are always alcohol based marker proof. • Sakura Microns are usually alcohol based marker proof. • Kaimei Sol K ink is alcohol based marker safe (I use it myself with brushes). • Winsor Newton tends to be alcohol based marker safe. • Avoid Prismacolor technical pens as they bleed
  10. 10. Good Alcohol Based Marker Brands • Copic- Original, Sketch, or Ciao • Prismacolor (available in bullet or brush tips) • Shin Han Twin Touch (available in bullet or brush tips) • MEXPY (available in bullet or brush tips) • Letraset Flex Marker • Letraset Pro Marker
  11. 11. Keep a Swatch book All marker brands have different color coding systems, so it’s handy to keep a book of color swatches organized by color families, especially if you mix brands.
  12. 12. Copics: Worth the Expense? • Refillable • Fairly common • HUGE color selection • Often go on sale, if you know where to look • Replaceable nibs • Super brush tip available on Sketch and Ciao • Copic Wides useful for effectively covering large spaces with less streaking • Empty markers are available, so you can mix your own colors • Plays well with a lot of other brands like Prismacolors, Letrasets • Even a ‘wrecked’ Copic marker can be salvaged
  13. 13. Comparison Between Copic Markers Types Image Source: Image Source: http://whoopsiedaisy-jane. /copic-demonstration-information. html
  14. 14. Copic Nibs Copic Original Image Source: Copic Sketch and Ciao pen-nib-set-p-641.html m/mlistCategoriesAndProducts. asp?midCategory=69
  15. 15. Starting a set from scratch (Copic, but applicable to other brands as well) • Start with a selection of Warm Greys (W00- W05) • Colors can be layered for saturation • Start with a couple colors in each family until you know what you need. • Skin and hair colors are most pressing needs if you render figures • Blue violets (BV000-BV01) useful for shading skin and cool shadows
  16. 16. Copic and Watercolor mixed media on Fluid watercolor paper B
  17. 17. Copic Color Chart Image source: copic-color-system
  18. 18. H
  19. 19. Techniques • Blending- – Utilizing Colorless Blender – Utilizing lighter colors in same family – Tip to Tip Blending – Palette to Tip Blending • Applying a wash of marker • Splatters with toothbrIumsaghe Soourrc pe: aintbrush Blend.html
  20. 20. B
  21. 21. Marker Technique- Shading • Same color in layers (E00 on top of E00) • Same color family in layers (E02 on top of E00) • Analogous color (YR on top of Y, R on top of YR) • Complimentary Color (BV on top of YR)
  22. 22. Shading B
  23. 23. Simple shading, layers of like color
  24. 24. Sketching with Markers Strathmore 300 series sketchbook, Pentel Hi Tec C pen
  25. 25. Shading Yellow to Red to Violet to Blue Violet Orange to Brown to Blue Violet to Blue Green to Blue to Blue Violet Red to Red Violet to Blue Violet H
  26. 26. H
  27. 27. Marker Storage Alcohol based markers should be stored horizontally. Image Source: Image Source: 3/04/13/my-copic-markers/
  28. 28. Home Storage Image Source: 03/ink-padre-inkermarker-storage-units-for. html
  29. 29. Travel Options Image Source: cts.php?product=Copic-Marker-36- Pc-Wallet-(Empty) Image Source: marker-storage/products/copic-carrying-case
  30. 30. Photo courtesy of Chris Paulsen
  31. 31. Marker Accessories • Nib removal tweezers • Refill colors • Extra or additional nibs • Plastic palettes for palette to nib blending • Airbrush System
  32. 32. Image Source: ctions/accessories/products/twzr Image Source: ts/medrndn
  33. 33. Image Source:
  34. 34. Image Source: view-airbrush-system
  35. 35. Enjoyed our presentation? Support our work! Becca Hillburn Table 512 in the Artist Alley 7” Kara (children’s watercolor comic) Hana Doki Kira Shoujo anthology Marker Review Handbook Commissions Heidi Black Table 601 in the Artist Alley ElectricAbyss: The Art of Heidi Black GameGo Commissions