Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Prismacolor Markers

So...they sucked me in. Who you ask?? All those fine stampers with skill using Prismacolor or other high end art markers. The Anna Wights and Ellen Hutsons of the stamping world. My husband asked me the other day if I was artistic in high school. Well, no honey, I am today as I was then, a wannabe. If I buy just the right tools of the trade maybe I can be like them. (I know I am not alone in those thoughts) Deep sigh...fluff my pillow...I am dreamin'!! Now, hear me, this is not me throwing myself a pity party!! I am pleased with my stamping abilities and get better as time goes on, but I am reminded of my limitations. There are those who are naturally gifted and then those of us who have to work hard at it. Good thing that the "working" is so much fun. I actually love stamping because I am not naturally artistic, the art is in the stamp. I can just hone my skill of coloring and composition. I bought the Prismacolor markers in hopes of furthering my coloring skills. I had a review of sorts written about my experience with these markers and decided to delete it. I will give you the short of it for now because I did a search to find a real tutorial on them and realized I am in over my head. Fine art markers are for fine art and I couldn't even wrap my brain around some of the terminology they assume you must know if you are reading their stuff.
So here is my amateur analysis. They are bright, beautiful, double ended markers. In the set of 48 I bought there are no really soft/subtle colors. Once you put marker to paper the color is powerful. I thought that these would be more blendable then they are. I even bought a Prismacolor blending marker thinking that it must mean they are blendable. If you look at the close up you will see that the leaves have some darker areas and that was done by using the same marker to go over an area 2-3 times. The blender does not effect much of a change to the colored areas. I think I wrongly assumed I would be able to drag color. Once the ink is down, it is down. You can go over it again, even with a different color but you can't lighten/blend the ink like you can the SU markers or ink. Take into consideration that I could be the problem, not the markers, LOL!! In my on line search today I didn't find anything to suggest they could be blended in the way I thought. I tried them on two different papers to get a feel for them. The square card is done using shimmer paper and the tall card uses watercolor paper. I put the two samples side by side in a close up for you to see. They aren't that much different in color but the watercolor paper obviously has more texture to it. I don't think these markers are designed for watercolor paper but I needed to see for myself. I will try more papers in the days to come. So, I have mixed feelings. On one hand I like the bold colors and the quality of the markers. They indeed don't leave marks or steaks, they give a nice coverage. I like the images I colored with them. On the other hand I am disappointed in the lack of blending I can do. It may be I don't have enough of the shades of each color. They have something like 20-30 different greys for example. Do I want to invest in even more at this point? I did read about using glass as a palette for blending colors before putting them to paper and I will try that sometime. Silly me should have done my homework before buying them. Maybe that is the lesson here. Owning fine art markers no more makes me a fine artist than driving through McDonalds makes me a Big Mac!! I will enjoy using them now that I have them but for a stamper like me they probably weren't necessary. How was that for a brutally honest look at things, no way you can call me an enabler this time ;)?!!
If you want to know the rest of the story on the cards, the card stock used is bashful blue, black and green galore. The square card uses the CB Spots and Dots embossing folder and the tall card uses French Script and the spiral punch. Both cards have black Stickles on the flowers for accents.

11 comments:

Lynn said...

I think your cards are beautifully done with the Prismacolor markers. I have thought about buying them, but wondered if it would be worth it. I'm leaning towards not buying them now, even though they make your flowers look great.

Bettina said...

I actually think the cards look amazing. I thought you had used stickers - not colored it yourself. I'm thinking about buying a smaller set, like 24, to play with them. Hopefully it will give me color range by going over the colors more than once for shading. Thanks for sharing your experience with them.

kthaman (scs) said...

I love how you explained your 'talent' - it is exactly how I feel...I have to work at it. But since I enjoy the working, I don't mind. And no, you are not alone, I have many tools that the 'real guys' use in hopes that the tool will help me be like them. Thank you also for the review of the markers. I had been considering them, even with their price tag...but maybe, at least for a little while longer, I'll resist temptation.

Jessica (jessrose21) said...

I think you did a beautiful job with them. I bought one Prismacolor marker years ago and was disappointed in it for the exact reasons you stated. I thought it was just me, so I'm glad to see it wasn't! I think people who use these markers use special marker paper (rag translucent) that comes on a (somewhat pricey) pad and probably use hundreds of colors to shade. For now, I'll be sticking with watercolor markers. I bet you could find someone to buy your Prismacolor markers from you. Or maybe Ellen will have a tutorial that will help you.

Julie K said...

Beautiful cards - I wish I had read your review before I bought the markers myself. I got them home, colored a few things and decided they were not for me. Luckily the store took them back! I ended up with the Prismacolor pencils and OMS instead and love them. The way I can blend the pencils is what I was expecting in the markers.

Anonymous said...

I visit your blog everyday and I love it. I cannot believe that you think that you are an artist wannabe. I find your creations inspiring and fabulous. Thanks for the info on the markers. I too was wondering about them. I love the look on your cards. I look forward to your daily updates.
Dawn B.

Soozie4Him said...

Tracy, I LOVE your blog and your honesty here is just another reason why I LOVE it! The cards ARE very pretty, but I understand why you're disappointed (they don't do what you want), and it's good to get this point of view. You might prevent someone else from making a "mistake".

Hugs,
Susan

Jackie said...

Thank you for posting your experience with them. I thought about them a long time and the things I had seen done with them are so pretty - as are yours! - but I wondered how well they would work and you answered my question and saved me some $$! Your cards are very pretty :-)

thescpells said...

I just bought the small pack of 6 markers last week, & I agree with you - I don't need any more. I'm keeping this set just to play with or to color a large area if needed, though. I love your cards - they're beautiful!

stampnthyme said...

Hi Tracy,
I agree with your analysis of these markers...I got mine a couple of weeks ago, and like you thought they would make me an 'instant bonafide artist'! HA! The joke was on me. I also thought the blender marker would help to 'blend' the colors, but found it does not...at least not the way I think it should. So, I have 72 of these things sitting here, and I will keep practicing with them, but for now, I would much rather use the prismacolor pencils! I'm so glad to know that others have the same opinion as I do about these markers. Gee, I wonder if in time, we will wonder, "What in the world was I thinking when I wrote that!" and instead will say, "I could never be without my prismacolor markers!"...I guess only time will tell. Hugs, Barb g

Michael Spencer said...

Thank you for sharing it...
I am a painter and used to work with alot of colors. So please suggest me any brand of prismacolor colored pencils which have capability of erasing the content as well.