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!

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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.

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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!

 

 

 

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More Markers? Arteza Everblend Marker Review

Hi friends! Arteza sent me these markers to review about 2 months ago and I have finally used them enough to do a proper review.  As always my reviews are not sponsored but they did send me this product for free.  Arteza has been making quite a splash on the art supply scene over the past 3 years because they have been pumping out the products and their prices are excellent. Usually, the quality is really good for the price and even the supplies I am not 100% thrilled with (watercolors) are well worth what they are priced at.

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The markers come in 60 colors in an attractive and sturdy carrying case. I did confirm that they are going to be offering refill inks and replacement nibs soon and that they will be out with a brush tip alcohol marker in a few months (good to know if you want to wait a bit.) I also heard, but have not got confirmation, that they will be coming out with a grey scale and neutral set soon which would be nice because as you can see from my swatch below that the set is lacking in those areas. *Note, I took a photo of my swatch outside in the shade and tried to correct it in my computer but my purples, blues, and greys look too blue and samey where they are more distinct in real life. Refer to the swatch under this one for more accurate results or refer to my swatch in the video.

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I omitted the letter A from each number due to space. Below are the swatched from the Arteza website, I think their scan is better than my photo and you can clearly see the color numbers. I think the top swatch is one layer and the bottom is 2 layers.

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Here are some coupon codes you can try on these products: MOTHER20 (20% off mothers day promotion, it might only work on bundles, I’m not sure, I just found it in my email but it is worth a try!) OR FRUGAL1 for 10% off if the other doesn’t work on the marker set. Those coupons are only good on the Arteza Website. Here is an affiliate link to the marker set with carrying case I am reviewing today, also there is a 144 empty marker case for these markers here.  The other empty marker cases they sell are for the skinny markers and regular pencils. You can also find this marker set on Amazon where right now there is a 20% off coupon available and the sets is a couple bucks cheaper!

Video Review:

Product details: 60 dual-tipped alcohol markers featuring a broad chisel tip and a bullet tip. The barrels are white glossy triangular plastic and they come in a high-quality carrying case that will hold 72 markers total (12 empty slots) Price typically ranges $63-$70 before coupons.

Pros:

  • Good selection of bright and pastel colors
  • Low Price (compared to brand name art markers, see bottom line)
  • Carrying case
  • Smooth ink
  • Replacement markers available (in a 4 pack on one color)
  • Replacement inks and nibs are coming soon!
  • Colors blend well
  • Color chips in end are pretty accurate but I recommend swatching

Cons:

  • Numbering system makes little sense
  • Poor selection of greys and neutrals

Bottom Line: This is a great set for travel because you have a nice variety of colors to get you by in a pinch and the case has room for other accessories you would want. I think you would want more neutrals (if you like to draw and color people or animals) and greys to round out the set eventually which rumor has it will be released shortly. I found these easy to hold, quiet to color with (non-squeaky) and they blend well. They cost more than other budget markers such as Ohuhu,  Biayno or Arrtx  that run about 50 cents a marker vs $1 per marker for Arteza for about the same quality but the Arteza carrying case is much nicer so I think that is what you are paying extra for. All in all I do recommend these markers, you just need to determine if the case is worth the extra. That said an empty 144 case can be purchased for $37 before coupons (see coupons above) As with any alcohol pens you can mix and match between brands to create the set that meets your needs. The other thing to consider is that Arteza says they are releasing brush alcohol markers soon so you might want to wait for those if you are interested. I don’t know what those will cost as brush tip markers are generally more expensive but it might be worth the wait. I hope the release a skin-tone brush tip pack because that would be a wonderful addition to this range. I hope this helps you make a good decision on whether or not these markers are for you and til next time happy crafting!

Sketching Orange Slices in Marker!

Hi friends! Today I played with markers and it was fun! This was actually supposed to be posted for Sketchbook Sunday but I got busy and didn’t realize I forgot to blog it until 10pm and I was too tired to type.

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I was inspired to sketch these oranges because they looked so cool sitting on the cutting board. I accidentally bought Cara-Cara oranges instead of navel oranges at the store last week and this was the last one. None of us are a fan of this type orange hence it was still on the table after the kids left for school. So before I tossed it out to the birds (the crows like them apparently) I thought I would draw it. It also gave me a chance to try out a new set of markers I will be using for an upcoming tutorial.

Supplies (affiliate links used)

I am excited to work more with these markers. It’s ice to try something different once in a while and see where that takes you. I find when I do this I come back to my other work more energized and refreshed. It’s like cross-training for your crafty muscles LOL! If you have a suggestion as to what flower to draw for the in-depth marker tutorial please let me know in the comments below. thank for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Fancy Coloring with Bics and Sharpies!

Are you frustrated by the price of art markers? Buying a set of Copics can send even the spendiest of crafters into sticker shock so today I am going to show you how you can blend with inexpensive Sharpie and Bic Markits. These markers are about $1 each (less in a multopack or if on sale!) so they are a great way to get your feet wet without breaking the bank. On these tags half were colored with Copic markers, and the rest with Bics and Sharpies, can you tell which is which? Don’t mind the watercolor poppy tag I demoed the other day (oops!)…how’d that get in there? BTW the stunningly gorgeous stamps I used are by About Art Accents-save 10% with coupon Lindsay10% AND the set is on sale too!!!

 

So what are you waiting for, check out this video and see just how to blend with the cheap markers!

The bottom line is that the ink in the expensive art markers and the cheap office supply store variety is basically the same, but the range of colors are limited so I recommend that you buy a multipack of Bic Mark Its or Sharpies and then splurge on a clear blending marker and maybe a few pale shades of markers so you can expand your color range. You can snag my printable cross-reference chart (Bic markers/Prismacolor/Copic) so you don’t buy doubles. Also I recommend you hand color these charts so you really see what the color will be. Here are the images I colored in the video, not bad for cheap markers eh?

 

Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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