Monday, May 13, 2013

Prismacolor Premier Double Ended Art Markers Set of 24 Case Spotlight

One of the earliest mysteries that puzzled me about the color illustrations adorning concept art books and comicbook covers was how smooth and uniform their areas of color looked compared to the streaky appearance of my own clumsily colored marker drawings. I did not realize that was due in part to the actual printing process, and that illustrators often rely on solvent-based professional tools rather than washable watersoluble kids’ markers. Alcohol-based dye ink markers feel quite juicy with a smooth laydown and nice blendability that allows for pretty fast sketching strokes and smooth color gradients without the strong smell of xylene-based markers (still good ventilation is always a good idea). While alcohol-based Copic markers (that usually retail for $5-$8 each) might now reign supreme as the top choice among manga artists and creative types, you can still get pretty good performance from the Prismacolor Premier Double Ended Art Markers for a fraction of the cost. Found this set of 24 markers with hard carrying case that converts to an easel with a 75% off msrp discount at Office Depot during their ongoing semi-annual sale (as a rule of thumb, getting a professional double ended marker for under $1.50 each is an awesome deal). 
The broad chisel nib can cover large areas quickly and yields 3 different line widths by simply turning the marker. The fine nib is well suited for working in details in tight areas. The Prismacolor label on the barrel features a triangular design to help identify each end of the marker and speed up your work flow.  The broad base of the acute triangle is on the broad nib side and the vertex angle indicates which end has the fine point nib. Both caps feature a colored sticker for quick identification. Yet sometimes the color from the sticker labels might significantly differ from the actual color ink inside, so making your own color chart on the intended support paper can help avoid accidental aggravation when the colors do not match what we expected. The set of 24 markers would make for a nice travel sketching/coloring set or perhaps even serve as a nice extra accessory for a caricature drawing event. They could certainly handle the large flat areas of color on a letter to ledger size cartoon portrait (8.5” X 11” – 11” X 17”). While it contains a nice balance of primary and secondary colors, it might be a good idea to complement it with a few grey scale markers (available in Cool Gray, Warm Gray, and French Gray sets) and some skin tone markers. Recommended as a good value coloring tool and as a nice introductory choice for intermediate to advanced users.  Might also be a good idea to pick up the 12 markers Manga set that is also on sale to expand your color selection by nine colors (the sets have 3 colors in common, so you would end up with an spare Apple Green PM-167, Sienna Brown PM-65, and True Blue PM-35).  For all their convenience and speed, do remember that in order to have subtler color gradients and richer color textures you will need an ever increasing number of different tone markers within each color family.  Look out for sales and promotions to build up your marker collection and research sources for open stock markers to refill your sets.

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