Is it worth it to refill your markers?

Hi friends! About 10 years after originally getting my Copics, I finally need to refill a few favorite colors. Let me be totally honest with you, I am not a marker snob and I love trying out different brands. People with fewer markers will likely need to refill them sooner than I did. Since my Copic Sketch markers were such an investment, I decided to order refills when they started to feel dry. You want to refill them before they go totally dry to prevent wear on the tip, especially the brush nib that is costly to replace. I shopped around and found the best prices on Copic Refills at Scrapbook Pal. I ordered some and they shipped the next day and I had my refills in a couple of days. Shipping is free if your order is over $25. I paid $5.29 per refill and I am glad I ordered them there, because they were $10 each at the stamp show! I was so pleased with the service that I became an affiliate, so if you do order after clicking on one of my affiliate links I will make a small commission without costing you more. Thanks!

62513381_10214340963023369_7035133341103816704_o.jpg

I also wanted to mention that Simon Says Stamp is having a 25% off sale on Copics with coupon code MARKERSALE until 6/26 but they are still $2 more than Scrapbook Pal’s normal price. I thought I’d mention it if you were going to place an order there and just needed one or two inks.  Both are great stores!

Here are the refill colors I bought at Scrapbook Pal: Barley Beige – E11, Blush – R20, Buttercup Yellow – Y21, Chartreuse – YG13, Cotton Pearl (Formerly Skin White) – E00, Honey – Y38, Mignonette – YG11, Mint Blue – B01, Pale Yellow – Y11, Robin’s Egg Blue – B02, Sugared Almond Pink – RV02

These colors are all very light. I could tell these were all getting ready to need refilling when I could feel a drag on the paper. You want to refill it before it goes dry so you don’t damage the nibs. I use my markers to color stamped imaged in cardstock usually. The super light colors are my most used, because I use them to achieve the color blends. If a color is hard to blend I prime the area with the lightest color, then add my shadows, then my middle color (by coloring over the dark and into the medium tone area) then I go over about half of the middle value out to the highlight with that pale color. You can see how I use 4 to 6 times more of the lightest colors vs the dark and medium tones. Also, I find if you invest in refillable lighter colors, you can use a cheaper set of basic colors and have a fabulous set at an affordable price. I was going to make a video on how to refill them, but Copic already has a wonderful one so I’ll just post that:)

One of the questions I get all the time is “can you refill these?” anytime I review a new brand of markers. Since I have had the opportunity to review dozens of markers, I have determined that you can refill just about anything without messing them up as long as you can find the appropriate ink or something that matches really closely.

There have been a lot of fabulous markers that have come out in sets at a very low price point recently. The following brands use the ShinHan touch equivalent inks so if a color goes dry you can look at the last 2 digits on the marker and order the refill in the ShinHan Touch range. There are other generic markers on Amazon using this system, but I am only listing ones I have personally tried. Having a refill is awesome because you don’t want to have to rebuy a whole set because you need to replace one or two colors.

  • Ohuhu *I really like these!
  • TouchNew
  • Concept (Jerry’s Artarama)
  • Arteza (these are a bit tricky because they have a 4-5 digit code so look at a Shinhan swatch to be sure you have the right color/number code. I think they plan on offering refills as well as brush tips in the future so you might want to wait and see. I love the case these come in!
  • Arrtix (now with a 168 set!) I love how the bullet and chisel nib’s caps are different and easy to identify.

Do you need a “brush tip”?

I am going to be honest, it is easier to blend with a brush tip, and Copic is the gold standard. I don’t think you need every color in a brush tip if budget is a factor. If you can swing your lighter colors (see my most used color list above) in brush tip markers (in either the Sketch or cheaper Ciao version-ciao – it has the same nibs, it is just a skinnier marker so it holds less in but if you have refills it is not a big deal) then you can totally get by with the affordable chiel/bullet tip markers and have great blending.

Here are some brush marker recommendations:

  • Copic (I’d pick and choose rather and buying a full set)
  • Bianyo (these have very flexible high-quality nibs at 1/4 price of Copic) No refills but you could try matching up to a Copic chart. *If you don’t need a refill this is the best deal!
  • Blick Studio Brush marker (not the seasonal illustrator line) they now sell refills for these. Best budget brush marker if you DO want refills.
  • Prismacolor Brushmarker
  • Windsor & Newton Brush Marker (formally Promarker by Letraset) *These used to have refills when owned by Letraset not sure if they still do tho.
  • ShinHan Touch (the line of refill inks I mentioned above) also has a high rated line of brush tipped markers but I have not tried them personally)

These brush markers are less expensive generally but the tip is less flexible. They blend well but will fray over time especially if they go dry. They aren’t bad but they are more of a disposable option. If you only use markers occasionally they might be the best choice for you.

  • Studio 71  *Most affordable and equivalent to the following brands listed in this section.
  • Ohuhu Brush Markers (available in a couple of weeks)
  • Premiere (AC Moore) *Open stock available in store (I prefer the chisel nib in their original design markers tho)
  • Blick Illustrator
  • Stampin Blends ($4.50 each from a Stampin Up demonstrator)

Spectrum Noir also offers chisel, bullet and brush tip markers in their spectrum noir marker coloring system as well as refill inks. These markers offer all of the options of nib choices and refill inks at a lower price point, and money-saving packs of markers if you are just getting started and want to buy a lot at once. They are not as cheap as the chisel/bullet combos I mentioned above, but you do get more training and support online, such as free downloads on their website. I like this line of markers and I will be posting a review of their innovative TriBlend markers on Saturday.

8c795bd223762af4c01e9b41be5bd4b88709f6c9.jpg

Wow, I did not intend to make such a long post! I guess for me it’s worth it to get refills for these markers I am using a lot and depend on (my philosophy with ink pads as well) but there are colors I will never run dry at my level of use. I suggest waiting until you need a few colors and order them at once to minimize shipping costs or get free shipping. Ordering refills is not as exciting as trying a new set of markers but in the long run, it is more cost effective, especially if the markers you are considering trying are duplicate colors to what you already own. What do you think- have you refilled any of your markers before? What is your favorite brand? Let me know in the comments below and til next time happy crafting!

 

 

 

NEW Ohuhu Markers: Do I Still Recommend Them?

Hi Friends! Today I am comparing the new Ohuhu 100 alcohol marker set vs. the old 80 Ohuhu set I reviewed last year. You can see that review here. They recently came out with a 100 marker set and changed the style of the pens. We will look at what has changed and what is the same in today’s video review.

By the way the cute swatch and color wheel stamps can be purchased at Waffle Flower  or Simon Says Stamp.

I was impressed with both Ohuhu marker sets as they colored smoothly, blended well and came in at about 50 cents a marker. They both also came in a reusable fabric storage case. Both sets blend well with the other alcohol markers I have. Neither sets contain a clear blending marker but you can use any alcohol based colorless blender with them.

What’s improved:

  • More Colors
  • Caps are easier to remove
  • Color index included in case so you can see what you should have (no random or duplicate colors as I have had others complain about in the past. If you get a duplicate or dried marker or if one is missing they will send you a free replacement) and this index is better than cap color but you should still swatch them.
  • The fluorescent colors that were water based (?!?) in the old sets are now alcohol mashed so they will blend with the other colors.

What’s the same:

  • Price: 50 cents a marker or less depending on the size set you buy, the bigger the set the cheaper the marker.
  • Chisel and bullet tips
  • Smooth blending ink for streak free coloring.
  • Reusable cloth case.
  • Bullet tip has grey index band
  • Plastic color chip on each end
  • Same color numbering system, most colors are an exact match for the previous Ohuhu markers.
  • Colors match the numbers (minus the letter code, just look at the numbers) on the Concept markers from Jerry’s Artarama so you can get replacement or additional markers open stock and avoid duplicates.

What is worse with the new markers:

  • The colors on the marker caps all seem a couple of shades lighter than the ink color, the old caps were more accurate.
  • The removed some of the ultra pastel shades (the colors in the 130s and 140s in the original set) in the new coloring system.
  • No name is printed on the caps, only the color number so it can be hard to see what color you have if there are numbers that can read differently upside down (ie 6 and 9s) but usually you can work it out looking at the cap and swatch.

Bottom line: Yes, I still think the Ohuhu markers are a great buy.  You really can’t beat 50 cents a marker! Having such a comprehensive set of 100 in a carrying case for under $50 is a blessing to people who want to use alcohol pens but don’t want to spend the $300+ that Copic original or Copic sketch markers would cost. I always get asked if they can be refilled, they don’t market that feature but you can pull out the chisel nib and drip in refill ink or paling denatured alcohol from the home improvement store to revive them (use alcohol if you left a cap off and the marker died out but has lots of ink or if you have used up the marker and want to make a lighter shade, use ink in a matching shade to reink it.) You can find a matching in by Copic, Blick Studio or Spectrum Noir to reink it or play mad scientist and use a basic set of alcohol inks and denatured alcohol to custom mix inks as needed. A 50 cent marker isn’t too precious to experiment with!

I know the fact that these markers don’t have a brush tip is a deal breaker for most. I get it, brush tip markers are so much easier to blend with. So I have been asked if I think the Copic or Spectrum Noir brush tips will fit these markers. I would give a cautious “probably” to that question however because good brush nibs cost $2 each you will be wiping away the savings of this set, I’d recommend Blick Studio Markers which run $2-$3 each (Plus they now have refill inks) or the set of 48 studio 71 markers which are around $50 or $2 each open stock. The tips on the Blick are foam like Copics and the tips on the Studio 71 are felt and I wouldn’t refill these because I think the brush tip will only last as long as the marker but still a good buy.  You can see a review of the Studio 71 markers here and the Blick Studio Markers here.

Although blending with a brush tip is easier they are a relatively new development in alcohol markers, you can get the same results with a chisel and bullet tip, it is more about what you are used to and the time you put in to learning a new media and far as coloring media goes alcohol markers has one of the steepest learning curves. If you already have alcohol pens and you are frustrated with them don’t run out and buy more thinking a more expensive marker will make the difference. You have to put the time in. I am working on a beginner coloring tutorial today to hopefully help you if you can’t seem to get the hang of alcohol markers and you can use any kind you have.

I think the ohuhu markers are a great set for someone wanting to get into alcohol markers at a low price or a great travel set for someone who doesn’t want to drag out their more expensive marker collection. There is a great selection of colors and nothing you don’t need. They get a “thumbs up” from me! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

A cheap Copic Alternative? Studio 71 Dual Tip Brush Marker Review!

Hi friends! When viewers ask me to review a product I try to make it happen. That’s how I happened to find out about the new line of brush tip alcohol pens by Studio 71 from Darice.

blogstudio71

I had seen these markers advertised from Consumer Crafts a couple of days before the request came in and I didn’t look twice at them but when I found out they had a brush tip and a chisel tip for a crazy low price I was intrigued! The set of 48 colors I am reviewing today sells for $49.97 currently and the clear blender is $1.47 and USA orders over $49 ship free so that makes the per marker price in the set $1.04. That’s pretty cheap. What to see the quality? Then watch today’s video review! *Even if you don’t need markers I have some blending tips and tricks that will work with any brand of alcohol pens:)

Video!

In all honesty, the ink that comes in most alcohol pens are about the same quality and all alcohol markers that I have tried work well with other brands. The ink on the paper will practically be the same (in my opinion) no matter what brand you choose. With that said this review will compare the blendability, value and comfort and use of the Studio 71 set of 48 Alcohol pens from Darice. Here is my swatch of the colors in the kit on Neenah Classic Crest paper. Regardless of what brand of markers you have you should swatch them out on the paper you most often use so you can get predictable results in your coloring.

blog_studio_71_swatch

Pros:

  • Price: $1.04-$1.08 per marker depending on the size set you buy, open stock is $1.47 *this is the least expensive I have EVER seen a quality dual tip brush alcohol marker.
  • Color selection in the 48 pack is superb, I feel like there is just enough shades of each color family that I can blend what I would need in most cases.
  • Marker Nibs: The brush tips make coloring and blending fast and easy and the chisel tip is useful for forcing blends if I am making a big jump in color of if I want to highlight, or lift out, a darker color.
  • Non-roll triangular barrel, comfortable to hold
  • Easy to Remove caps (Also easy to replace caps without worry of damaging the marker tip)
  • Product packaging can be used as a storage case allowing you to store the markers flat or upright. (I recommend storing flat)

Cons:

  • Not refillable (at this time)
  • As with most art markers there are some duplicates between sets so if you are buying multiple packs check the colors. Spectrum Noir is the only brand I know that has no duplicates between sets/packs. *Note: The Spectrum Noir Core Essentials set from Hobby Lobby WILL have duplicates but not the packs from online retailers like Consumer Crafts or Hallmark Scrapbook. (I just got that info this morning.)

Here are the blending examples from the video. I noted what colors I used next to each shell. I hope you find it useful! You can look up the colors from the swatch above if you are trying to get these blends with other brands of markers as well, like I said, the ink in any alcohol pen is pretty much the same. The quality of the nibs and the price is where the brands differ.

colorblends_recipe_studio71

Summary: I found the Studio 71 markers to perform as well as any of my other brush tip alcohol pens. The nib flexibility was between a Copic and a Winsor & Newton Brush Marker (The Copic being a slight bit more flexible but that may be because I have been using it longer.) These markers blended very well and the color selection in the 48 pack contained all of the essential colors needed to produce all the shades I’d need for 95% of my projects. (of course it is easier to blend the more colors you have but this set has a great selection.)

Bottom Line, You can’t go wrong with the quality of these markers for the price. I looked at converting my Spectrum Noir alcohol pens to brush pens but the brush nibs are about $2 each and you can get a whole studio 71 marker for around $1. It comes down to what your needs are, if you want hundreds of refillable markers than this is not for you but if you want great results with a smaller selection of quality pens on the cheap give Studio 71 a try!

Resources/supplies:

I hope you enjoyed the tips and tricks in todays videos. Remember the best supplies to use are the ones you already have but I always enjoy finding out what’s new on the market! Thank you for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

 

 

%d bloggers like this: