Monday, October 21, 2013

My Thoughts on Coloring with Alcohol Markers

This is my second post today. Please scroll down for the post with the cards!

Long-time readers of Simplicity know that I'm not that into coloring outline images. Give me a block stamp and a bunch of ink pads, and I'm a happy stamper. Coloring is work, but as yesterday's post proves, it can be worthwhile.

Curious reader Diana asked for my thoughts on Copics, so here are some of my thoughts and advice and links to previous posts.

1. Copics are better than Sharpies and Bics, but only marginally in my admittedly limited experience. Copics blend slightly better and certainly come in a HUGE array of colors. They also come in lighter shades than Bics and Sharpies, which tend toward intense, bright colors. If you're not that into coloring or have limited funds for crafting, I highly recommend you do what I have done....

Buy a large multi-pack of Bics and/or Sharpies on sale at office supply stores, and then if you like coloring with them, purchase individual lighter shades of Copics to coordinate with the Sharpies and Bics for a broader range of shading options. You'll save a lot of money and get to play with coloring without feeling like you need to take out a loan.

2. If you want to see my tutorial post on coloring with Bics and Sharpies, click HERE.

3. If you want to see the color chart I made for my alcohol markers and read about how utterly insane I am, click HERE.

4. You can use your alcohol markers to color rhinestones any color you want. Bics seem to take a few minutes to dry, but Sharpies and Copics dry very, very quickly for me. You can also blend colors on the rhinestones. Too cool and helps justify the investment.

5. My favorite video tutorial on Copics is from Jennifer McGuire and you can watch it HERE. You'll immediately understand why it's my favorite video by the way she keeps pointing out that this isn't the "right" way to use Copics. "Right" ways are over-rated, don't you think? Quick and easy is usually best. At least, in my humble opinion. Plus, Jennifer totally rocks.

6. My favorite paper for using alcohol markers is Gina K Deluxe white in the heavy weight. It will not bleed through for one-layer cards AND it's nice and slick and the ink moves around on top of the paper. Coloring on my standard Papertrey works, but the paper soaks up a lot of ink and definitely bleeds through. If you're going to cut out colored images, though, use a lighter weight of card stock, because that heavy weight is a bear to cut out if there's any fussiness to the cutting at all.

7. I stamp my outline images in Memento Tuxedo Black. It won't bleed no matter how much alcohol ink you put on it.

And that is pretty much all I know about alcohol markers. Hope that helps!


  1. Thanks Susan, I'm still building up my stash of other colouring mediums and like your idea of using cheaper markers and buying some lighter copics to round out my stash. Great idea :) Loved your charts and tutorial too. Cathy x

  2. Thank you, Susan!!
    I have some Sharpies and will check out the Bics. And maybe some lighter Copics now. The links to your earlier posts and JM's video will be very helpful. ;-)

  3. Thank you, Susan ... a great post, full of useful links and helpful information. I use Promarkers ... much more reasonable than Copics ... not refillable but I haven't had one run out yet (and I have used them a lot). Anita :)

  4. Nice information! I can't tell you the number of times I have watched that copic video by Jennifer - it really is my go to for easy coloring with beautiful results~

  5. Yes, the "right" way is often over-rated!
    I do have some copics, but I'm not maniacally trying to collect every color under the sun. I have about 15 of them, and for how often I color (not very), that does the trick. If I need a certian color and don't have a marker, I just use a blender pen and ink pad or refill.


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