The other day I was walking through Michaels and these cute marker sets caught my eye. I have been in the market for alcohol markers for awhile, but the cost has kept me from investing in a medium I had never really used. Well, these little marker 5 packs were on sale for $5.99. I honestly bought them not expecting much, but figured for the price it was worth a shot… They are called #coloring by Art Alternatives
And I couldn't find a link on the Michaels website, so I would suggest checking in store if you want to try them out.
I decided to start off my doing some color swatches, comparing them to the few markers I do have, and seeing how some of the colors interacted with each other. I tested them on standard printer cardstock, and have also used them a little bit on Strathmore Smooth Bristol Board – they worked great on both. Afterwards, I did some thumbnail colorings before moving onto my main piece… which I am going to offer as a free download to anyone that is interested.
My initial impression? Pleasantly surprised. They seem to be highly pigmented and very bright, the color lays down well pretty even. The only thing I wasn’t thrilled with was the stiffness of the brush nib. Part of the benefits of a brush nib, and what I especially liked about the few copics I do have, is how much it bends, allowing for easy feathering techniques to be used to blend.
-Affordable, at regular retail price of 9.99 per 5 pack, that brings it to about $2 per marker. If you can catch them on sale like I did then that is about $1.20 a marker
-Duel ended, they have a fine nib and a brush on either end
-Notches on the caps to help prevent rolling
-Names/#’s are on the caps for easy identifying
-Colors are similar to cap ends
-Appealing barrel design, I like the smooth feel of the marker
-They work fine with other brands
-There are only 26 markers altogether, 20 colors, 5 greys, and a blender
-Only 2 skin tones, a pale tan and a darker brown
-Brush tip is not bendable, so it can be harder to blend
-The marker name/# is not on the marker barrel, so you have to identify by cap
And just as an extra note, I have only tried the 15 colors (so 4 packs). My Michaels store did not appear to carry the greytone set or the colorless blender, so I haven’t tried those.
So my takeaway… I am happy with my purchase, and while it is not like I can buy more of this brand since I already have all the colors, I think they will be a good base as I grow my alcohol marker collection. It is much easier to tackle this medium when you have some starter colors to learn with and this works perfectly for that. The only question I have not yet tested is their lightfast quality, which is not something that alcohol marker artists think about (even some of the good brands are not rated highly). So I recommend these to anyone on a budget who is learning the medium, I am looking forward to creating some fun things with them.