Friday, 26 October 2012

Promarkers v Spectrum Noir

As you'll see from my previous blog entry, I won a set of Spectrum Noir pens. I'm usually a Promarker user but being fairly new to crafting I only have two sets of Promarkers (stamp colouring sets) and before receiving these Spectrum Noir pens I had out two sets of Promarkers on my Amazon wish list for Christmas...I'll let you know if that changed at the end of this post.

The reason I brought Promarkers originally was because they were always on TV and in craft magazines, I thought they were the only pens around for crafting having not heard of Spectrum Noir pens. When I started crafting I brought pens, stamps and an in pad....a Stazon ink pad, little dd I know you should use a water based one if your colouring in using Promarkers as if not the two permanent inks fight with each other.

My colouring style is mostly block colouring, I've not really tried shading but when I have I've just gone over with the same Promarker again and darkened the colour.

Things I like about the Promarkers:
Ease of getting the right nib without looking (thin nib lid is a bullet shape and the chisel nib lid is flat at the end)
Easy of finding the colour when in a case of box as the colour is down the side.
The lids having a bit jutting out so your pens don't roll off the table.

I saw the Spectrum Noir pens on one of the Crafters Companion shows as though they look expensive and complicated. It was only after winning as try out the cool greys I've figured them out and demos now make more sense. I also love colouring and want to get the accreditation from Spectrum Noir when I get more pens and better at shading and graduation.

Spectrum Noir pens are numbered in their groups and the higher the number the darker the shade. Mine are IG1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10. IG standing for Icey Grey I believe. This makes it easier or shading and graduation. Using the rule of thirds you colour the whole area in a light colour, two thirds in a darker shade and one third in an even darker shade then you blend the really dark shade into the medium shade with the medium colour you used, then use the light colour to shade the medium colour into the light colour. Sara Davies explained it much better on TV but hopefully you get my point.

One thing I didn't like about the Spectrum Noir pens, which has now been resolved, was that I kept opening the wrong end since both the fine and broad end have the same lids and I have having to look on the pen each time for the images showing each end.... However I just realised that the casing on the fine nib is grey and the broad nib casing is black so you can see a fine grey line round pen where it meets the cap on the fine end! This makes it far easier now I've realised!

Another great thing about Spectrum Noir (which I don't know if you can with Promarkers) is that you can but ink to refill your spectrum noirs with and each bottle of refill will last for 10 refills which is handy if there is a colour you always use!

Having now used both pens a few times, although I only have grey tones in the Spectrum Noirs, I think I prefer the Spectrum Noirs and quickly popped onto Amazon and changed my Christmas list, removing the Promarkers and adding Spectrum Noirs! I will still use my Promarkers but as a system Spectrum Noir seem much better in my opinion.

What do you think? What's your favourite?

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