I love my Copic markers.
They come in every color you can think of, blend very well, and are easy to work with.
The only thing I don’t like about them is the price.
That’s why I’m always looking for other markers that are cheaper but still give good results.
In this article I’ll give you my review of the Prismacolor markers and compare them with Copics.
Let’s take a closer look at what makes Prismacolor markers special compared to other art markers:
- Wide Color Range: the Prismacolor markers are available in 200 different colors. This means you will probably be able to find every color you want, or easily find two markers that can be blend together to obtain the right color
- Blends Easily: the ability to blend two different colors together is crucial for any art marker. Since Prismacolor premier markers are alcohol based, it is easy to combine colors and rewet them later using rubbing alcohol or a colorless blender marker.
- Recognizable: if you are working with a lot of different pencils, you might have several markers that look very similar and get confused. Fortunately, you can quickly check which color you are working with by checking the color family on the cap of the marker.
- Availability: Prismacolor markers are one of the most popular art markers nowadays. So it’s easy to find them in art supply stores or online through Amazon. Additionally, markers are sold either in a set or individually. So if you run out of ink, it won’t be too difficult to find the exact replacement you need.
- Not Refillable: this is a big issue with many art markers for serious artists. If you are using your markers a lot, it will eventually run out of ink. Since Prismacolor markers can’t be refilled, this means you will have to buy new markers each time you run out of ink.
Prismacolor marker set: brush tip or chisel tip?
The first thing that you will notice is that the Prismacolor Premier markers are come in 2 different varieties.
On one side they will always have a fine tip, whereas on the other side they either have a brush tip or a chisel tip.
Everything else like the ink, quality or size is the same.
So choosing between the two is in most cases a matter of taste.
The brush tip is better for coloring big areas, while the chisel tip is better for making straight lines.
I personally prefer the chisel version because it gives more versatility.
To me the brush tip just feels like a bigger version of the fine tip. Whereas a chisel tip allows you to do calligraphy as well.
How to use Prismacolor markers?
Learning how to use any art markers can take a lot of time and practice.
But there are two basic things you need to know before you start: which paper to use and basic blending techniques.
Without understanding these two your results are doomed from the start.
Best paper for Prismacolor markers
To prevent bleeding and to allow for easy blending it’s important to use special marker paper.
Regular printer paper just won’t do the job.
The main thing to keep in mind is the thickness of the paper. Too thin and the markers will bleed through. Too thick and your markers will run out of ink quickly.
Since both Prismacolor and Copic markers use alcohol-based inks they can normally be used on the same type of paper.
For more information, read our article on the best paper for Copic markers.
How to blend Prismacolor markers?
There are different ways to blend markers together. But I use the “feathering technique” in most cases.
To do this, simply make strokes of one color and flick the marker at the end of each stroke. Then take your second color and do the same thing from the other direction.
It’s not very difficult. But it does take a few tries.
Keep the following tips in mind when blending Prismacolor markers:
- The ink blends best when wet. Since the ink dries pretty fast, try to work quickly and in small areas.
- It’s easiest to blend two markers that are in the same color family. So blending red and terra cotta is much easier than blending red and green.
- Frequently clean the markers to remove any residual ink.
- Using the colorless marker can rewet the ink and make blending easier.
How long do Prismacolor markers last
The main disadvantage of the Prismacolor markers is that they can’t be refilled.
If you frequently have to buy new markers that will drastically increase the cost.
So how long do Prismacolor markers last?
Of course, it will depend on how much you will use them. I have been using them for a while but didn’t run out of any of them.
Some users reported that with regular use they will last you at least a full year.
If you don’t use them as much, they can easily last for several years because the ink doesn’t deteriorate over time.
— gameofthronesart (@Gmeofthronesart) 16 January 2018
Prismacolor markers Vs Copic
So how do Prismacolor markers compare to Copic markers?
Copic markers have a reputation of being to best art markers. So beating them in terms of performance is definitely a tall order.
The main thing that Prismacolor markers have going for them is the price.
If you buy a set of 72 markers, you can save almost 30% by choosing Prismacolor markers.
And to be honest, I was quite impressed by the colors of the Prismacolors markers. They looked vibrant and blended pretty well.
However, I did have a problem with the fact that they aren’t refillable like Copic markers. If you use art markers a lot this is a big deal. Refilling is much cheaper than buying new.
Also the tips of the Prismacolor markers can’t be changed. So if you have a tendency to press on your markers than you might ruin the tip before you run out of ink and you will have to buy new ones.
Also, you won’t be able to change the tip according to the project you are working on. So choosing between the brush tip and the chisel tip marker is quite important.
For more information about Copic markers, read our article on the best Copic markers to start with.
Overall, the Prismacolor premier double-ended markers are still a great option for beginners due to their lower price point.
But since you can’t refill them or change the tips, I would recommend Copic markers for the more serious artist.
But don’t forget that both Prismacolor and Copic markers are alcohol-based. This means you can use and blend both markers together.
A great budget option is to start with Prismacolor markers and upgrade them to Copic markers as they run out of ink.