If you shop for acrylic markers you will find sets that include many colors; a set I saw most recently has 156 markers. I have chosen to limit the number of colors in my marker sets. I have found that most 12 ct. sets include the same 12 hues and that is enough for me.
So why do I not choose a set with a wider range of colors? I have three personal reasons.
INTENSITY: To achieve a bright, clear and consistent color, I can use any of these 12 markers opaquely. If I wish to shift an area toward a more muted tone, I use my black, gray or white markers with one of those 12. I can blend or hatch or do a wash with these neutral tones. I achieve a wide range of color with markers without all the color mixing that I wasn't very good at with paints. If I wish to make the color more intense in an area, I simply layer a pure hue hatched color over the muted area. In this way I can go back and forth, blending or hatching, until I achieve the tone I wish. The variations are near endless.
CONSISTENCY: Keeping a consistent palette within a piece is difficult for me with too many color selections. When I took a painting class, one of the first assignments was to use only two colors to complete a work. That assignment was purposeful. It proves that it doesn't take many colors to achieve a wide range of color and value, and with fewer colors the piece retains a unified and consistent appearance. I've found the more color mixing I did with paints, the more likely I was to lose the unified appearance of the piece. The work didn't convey that it had a single light source. Also, I was frustrated having to remix a color, especially with acrylics, because they dry darker. With a limited number of markers, I don't end up with the same frustrations I fought against with paints.
GAINING MASTERY: The fewer colors and tools I use, the more mastery I gain over them. I know what the red marker looks like, because I don't have 15 shades of red markers. I have one or two.
What if I find myself longing for a color I can't seem to achieve? As I mentioned in other posts, I use colored pencil to shade and blend with the markers as well. Shading with the colored pencils never prevents me from going back to my basic set of markers to "reunify" the work as I'd like. And often I'll find a subtle blend that's just right.
To recap, fewer colors mean creating a more unified piece, easier modifications to a work, and quicker mastery of the tools.
Welcome to my blog page about blending colored pencils and acrylic markers. With these two media, you can produce some traditional and quite unexpected effects! First, I'd like to fill you in (was that a pun?) on my favorite acrylic marker brands.
I've tried several brands of markers over the past two years: Posca Acrylic Markers,
Hand Made Modern Permanent Markers, Liquitex Acrylic Markers and Artistro Acrylic Markers. I have tried Sharpie water-based markers which I sometimes use as a base. I cover them with acrylic. I find all these brands easily on Amazon, except for my favorite - of course - Hand Made Modern Permanent Paint Markers, 12ct for 16.99.
Hand Made Modern Markers were my first set of markers. I found them completely by accident at Target. I decided to give markers a try having used acrylic paints and mixed media for many years. Hand Made Modern Markers are distributed by Target and can be purchased at the store.
Why do I like them? The 12 ct box has the colors I prefer, they blend well, they are economically-priced, and they can be applied either transparently or opaquely. They've also lasted an incredibly long time, more than any other brand I've tried, without drying out.
My next choice are Posca Markers. Posca Markers come in many tip sizes and color sets, all available on Amazon. I consider a broad-tipped white Posca marker to be an essential tool. I use the white marker as a blending tool and to opaquely cover any area I don't like. I use the white markers a great deal and found I can purchase Posca white markers in sets on Amazon.
My third favorite brand are the Artistro Markers. Artistro has a spectacular range of colors in the small 12 ct sets. They last quite some time as well.
Finally, Liquitex Markers are the most archival, (the least likely to fade over time) yet they are limited in color. and the most expensive. Like Liquitex paints, their colors are unlikely to fade over many years.
I use colored pencils and black ink along with all these marker brands. With them, I can bump up intensity, and add marks, by layering or coloring over the acrylic. I seal finished work with a UVA protectant spray fixative to keep colors fresh. My choice for colored pencils are Prismacolor. They are excellent, artist grade, highly pigmented colored pencils, with blendable, beautiful colors.
This is by no means an exhaustive report on the brands of acrylic markers out there; these are my acrylic marker "experiences" over the past two years. Keep coming back to my blog for more information on how I've used and continue to use these media.