Friday, January 22, 2016

New Markers! (A Spectrum Noir Review)

I've been enjoying working with markers so much that I was ready to try a professional grade set with a bigger range of colors that would hopefully be longer lasting. Copic seems to be the brand of choice (about $4 each), with Spectrum Noir being the less expensive option (about $1.80 each). I did a lot of research - both are refillable and have nibs that can be replaced. Both seemed to come in a wide range of colors, though Copic has more. (Copic also has two less expensive options - Sketch and Ciao - which both have brush tips instead of bullet like the Classic.)

My Bic MarkIts finally started to poop out, so I had to make a decision. In the end, I went with the Spectrum Noir, partly because of the price and partly because they were easier to find. Right away, I love the range of colors and that the many neutral and muted options compared to office store markers.

The cap color is not very accurate, making the color chart a must! The grey band on each marker makes it quick to find which end is the fine point. There's also a nice light grip strip around each marker.

Organizing trays are also a must ... how gorgeous is this set up? I ended up purchasing all twelve of the six-marker sets, plus Lights, Brights, and Pastels (144 in all ... enough to fill two sets of trays). The range of colors is good, but not perfect. I still feel like it's missing a few shades of green, yellow, and orange while including too many similar colors of Turquoise, Dark Red, Coral and Bright Pink. Still, this range will likely suit my purposes very well!

Blending ... just okay, I need more practice with that. Happily, they do work great with my favorite PaperMate black flair pens ... no bleeding at all!

Layering ... works better with some colors than others. I like that it's very subtle and also like the option of using a light grey on top of color for shading. 

Final verdict: I'd still love to try out the Copic, and would pick up a small set if I ever find them available. But the Spectrum Noir brand is perfect for my skill level - reasonably priced and very good quality. and I'm having a great time with all the new colors! 


  1. Your illustrations are amazing and fun!I hope you do kids books! I love them. Great work!! God bless.

  2. Thanks for the info on markers. I have a few copic but am going to try spectrum.

  3. Thanks for the info on markers. I have a few copic but am going to try spectrum.