Welcome to Alcohol Markers Week at PaperCrafter’s Corner!!
Christine Ousley kicks off our Alcohol Markers Week with an “intro to alcohol markers.” Later today we’ll start our alcohol markers complete prize package giveaway! Tuesday will bring a fabulous photo tutorial from Wendy Price on blending with alcohol markers for beginners. Wednesday will bring in-depth research of current alcohol markers available in the marketplace including Copic, Spectrum Noir, Promarker, Marvy and others. Thursday features a fun alcohol markers project round-up, and Friday will bring a few more resource links along with the giveaway winner announcement! So be sure to stay tuned all week!!
Intro to Alcohol Markers
Are alcohol markers an important part of your inky arsenal? Or have you been reluctant to invest in what sounds like it could be “just another marker?”
All this week on PaperCrafter’s Corner we will be sharing with you what we know about alcohol markers to remove the “mystique” for newbies and to fill-in some gaps for those already indoctrinated. We will be talking about what makes alcohol markers different from watercolor markers as well as talking about techniques, color ranges, marker nibs, price differences and more.
So read on and learn everything you ever wanted to know about alcohol markers 🙂
Alcohol markers have been on the market for some time but didn’t really catch the attention of crafters until a couple of years ago. What sparked this trend?
I believe the trend began because of a trend change in rubber stamping. Originally, most stamp designs sold were solid images which you used with ink pads to stamp them on paper. But then we saw more and more stamps being released that just begged to be hand colored in some way.
Card makers & stampers first used colored pencils, watercolor markers and watercolor pencils for the delicate “coloring in” of the stamps. Before long, though, crafters discovered the alcohol markers. Alcohol markers were not “new.” They had long been used by artists, architects and other professionals. But they were new to crafters and all of a sudden a hot, new paper crafting trend was born!
What’s so Special About Alcohol Markers?
Alcohol markers have some very special qualities that appeal to stampers and paper crafters. The most important is how different shades of colors can be blended together. This helps to create a gradient between the shades thus creating shadow and highlighted areas in the image. By applying a darker shade of a color to a lighter shade of the same color and using the tip of the markers to mix the two together, a colorist can achieve a smooth blend between the lightest and darkest colors in the grouping.
Another important quality is related to the ingredients of the alcohol marker. An alcohol marker contains alcohol and dye ink. The alcohol, which evaporates after application, floats the dye ink onto the paper, reducing coloring lines. A blending pen, filled with clear alcohol solution, can also be used to smooth the gradient between colors or “erase” color in order to lighten or subtract it completely. Unlike watercolor markers and watercolor pencils, alcohol markers do not react with paper which reduces or eliminates tears in your work surface.
Alcohol markers are also permanent on most surfaces including paper, metal, wood, and fabric. This allows the crafter to alter and customize the supplies they used. I have seen ribbon colored with alcohol markers as well as clear gems, buttons, chipboard letters, and canvas embellishments.
(Note: Because alcohol markers are dye based, they are not light fast, so projects created with them should be keep behind UV coated glass or out of artificial or direct sunlight if archival qualities are desired.)
Alcohol markers can be used by crafters with wide range of abilities. They look equally good when colored in without blending, as in the case of coloring a simple image using only one color, or colored with many different colors and shades of those colors in a more realistic and complex image with blending techniques and skills that have to be learned and practiced to achieve.
As you can see there are numerous reasons why alcohol markers have been “adopted” by paper crafters. Their ease of use, blending capabilities, wide color ranges, and permanency make them a well loved and must have tool in any crafters tool box.
Stay tuned! The giveaway is up next for Alcohol Markers Week at PaperCrafter’s Corner!