I need to admit up front that I am an alcohol marker virgin. Â Yes, that’s right. Â While everyone else has been playing with those *other* brands – you know what they are – I’ve been sitting here happily coloring with my watercolor crayons and pencils. Â But I’ve still been wanting to know what the buzz was about, wanting to try these fascinating markers that everyone seems to love so much…and I do love to color! Â So I was pretty excited when I was sent a package of the new Spectrum Noir alcohol based markers – the 24 pack of “Brights” – to try out!
Spectrum Noir markers are made by Crafter’s Companion, and are distributed by Crafter’s Companion in the United Kingdom, and by Crafter’s Companion and Darice here in the United States.
As you can see, the ends of the Spectrum Noir markers are colored and marked with a letter/number combo.
Being completely new to alcohol markers, I figured that had something to do with the colors and values, but since I wasn’t really certain, I went on a hunt to get my answer…which was easy to find. Â On Crafter’s Companion’s website, they have a great chart Â showing all of the color families, what each letter combination stands for, and how the number represents the value of the color – with 1 being the lights and 11 being the darkest (and not every color family has all 11 values). Â There are currently 168 colors available in all.
The marker barrels have a sort of square shape to them, and there are two ends. Â Each end is colored, and each end is labeled, so that you can easily identify the marker. Â One of each marker has a chisel-type tip, for coloring large areas, and the other has a small bullet-type tip, for more detailed areas. Â I noted that the markers have a grey band on the bullet-tipped end, which makes it really easy for grabbing the right end of the marker quickly when coloring.
I tried out just a bit of scribbling t0 see what kinds of lines you can get with the two different nibs, and this is what I got.
One of the big questions everyone seems to have about alcohol markers is how well they can blend with each other. Â So I stamped a large flower (how silly of me…it took forever to color in!), and started coloring with the lightest color I’d chosen. Â I then went back and added medium and then darker tones, and finally, went back in with my original color and blended them out. Â I was pleased with the results…especially being a total beginner.
This is mid-way through Â You can see that I’ve already shaded the lower right part of the flower.
This was the finished image. Â I realize it’s rather bright…that’s because I hadn’t found the color chart yet and didn’t realize that I was using the “fluorescent” colors. Â Sigh…I told you…virgin alcohol marker user!! Â None the less, I did feel like the blending went well!
I did want to mention that I had picked up a pack of the Crafter’s Companion card stock at my local scrapbook store…and that’s what I used for all of my coloring and testing, unless specifically mentioned otherwise.
Of course, the Spectrum Noir markers can also be used in all the ways other alcohol markers can be used. Â Because they are alcohol markers, they work great on non-porous surfaces. Â Here I changed the color of a little adhesive pearl:
Here I stamped on a piece of transparency and used the Spectrum Noir markers to color on the other side of the transparency:
You could also alter the color of metal objects, plastic buttons…pretty much anything you can think of that is non-porous! Â Talk about opening up a world of possibilities!
There are some other special things about the Spectrum Noir markers though. Â The nibs on both ends can be changed out if they become dull or damaged over time, and the markers are very easily refillable…which means these markers are designed to last you a lifetime! Â So not only are these markers less expensive to start with, but they are designed to last! Â (Plus, the refills are in dropper bottles…which has me thinking of ALL KINDS of other possibilities…like using the ink for other purposes!!)
Here’s one last completed tag I did, after I stamped the flower/bottle image onto the card stock and colored it in using the Spectrum Noir markers. Â I love the effect I was able to get on the bottle using the markers!!
So let’s get to the nitty gritty on the price details…because I think you’re going to LOVE this part! Â Spectrum Noir markers are sold in sets…you can buy a set of 6 in a color family, for $11.99 (that’s only $2 a marker – compare to the other brand at about $5-6/marker!!). Â Or you can buy a set of 24 in Brights, Pastels, Lights, or Darks, for $49.95. Â Again, that comes out to $2/marker. (Of note, none of the packs will repeat colors – so you aren’t going to end up with 3 BT3′s if you get the Blues, and the Turquoises, and the Brights.) Â AND, there are places you can even find them for less! Â The refills run $5.95 each if you purchase them individually, or you can purchase them in bundles like the markers, and the price varies a bit. Â You get 6-8 refills though from ONE bottle of refill ink!! Â Wow!
So, I know I’m new to alcohol markers…but I’m impressed. Â What about you? Â I wonder if they’ll be adding to the colors, because I know that’s one area where people will be complaining…but for the price, I don’t know how you can beat it! Â Especially if you are just joining the alcohol marker movement! Â Talk to me…what do YOU think?
Disclosure: Sample Provided for Review from ConsumerCrafts.com