Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Differences Between Alcohol based Markers and Water- Based

Know the differences between alcohol-based markers (Copic and Prisma) and water-based markers (SU Markers, etc.). They are completely different animals.
Copic and Prismacolor Markers are alcohol based markers. They are not "water-based" like the SU markers or any other water-based markers. You cannot blend them with water or the regular SU blender pen.

With the alcohol based markers, the results when coloring on coated cardstock such as the SU Whisper White or any glossy cardstock is horrible. The alcohol interacting with the coating for some reason results in a patchy appearance of the colors. When coloring with alcohol-based markers, regular white 110 lb cardstock works just fine. You don't need to buy any "fancy" type of cardstock. You can find 110 lb white cardstock at Walmart or even Target at a really cheap price.

Using regular cardstock has its disadvantages. The alcohol-based markers tend to dry quickly on regular cardstock; therefore blending may be less effective but a colorless blender can be applied to "re-activate" or wet the area to be colored so blending can be achieved. I heard that the color may be a little lighter with regular cardstock and there are specialty papers that work with alcohol based markers with more vibrant results but my DH already spent big $$$ for the markers, he is not about to cough up the money to buy me specialty paper.

The advantage of alcohol based markers compared to water-based markers (SU markers) is that the alcohol dries quickly; therefore, you retain the color of the marker regardless of how many times you color over it, making blending the edges of two similar shades possible. The colors are not compounded meaning when you color over it with the same color it won't get darker unlike water-based markers like SU markers, streaking occurs because the colors are compounded with each layer causing it to become darker each time you go over it with the same color.

With alcohol-based markers, each layer of color is retained meaning if you color over another color, it retains the last layer and the color do not blend together allowing you to shade and highlight without changing the tone or color completely into a different color. With water-based markers, it's like watercoloring, if you add a different color, it will mix together resulting in a completely different color, e.g., yellow over red will change the color to orange. This does not happen with alcohol based markers: red remains red, yellow remains yellow.

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