Thursday, 26 April 2012

Review: Professional With Promarkers?

Sooooo, I thought I would try out my Promarkers today.  I got them free when I subscribed to Cardmaking and Papercraft (CP), but haven't had much opportunity to use them, as I've spent the last few weeks sewing.

Promarkers are supposed to be some of the best marker pens on the market and all the craft magazines recommend using them over their main competitors.  They are a Letraset product ( and are alcohol based, permanent ink.  They are also blendable to get good shading effects. 

They are twin-tipped, with a broad chisel tip at one end and and a find bullet tip at the other end.  The only problem is they are not cheap - usually about £2.50 per pen.  According to the back of my packs, there are 148 different colours available, so it would certainly not be cheap to get the whole set.  Luckily for me CP have started me off quite nicely with 25 Promarkers, which arrived in 5 sets of 5 pens. 
The sets I have are Skin Tones, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.  It is a good starter set for those that haven't used them before, as each set of 5 contains coordinating colours that will look good together, and in the whole set of 25 are various shades of each colour to practice shading.  As a starter set, the only thing really missing is the blender pen, which really does make the shading look better, but I will probably go buy this myself. 

 My first attempt at using these was to colour in an embossed horse for my horse-mad auntie's 50th birthday next month.  I thought this might be a good opportunity to try out the shading idea. 

I coloured the horse using 'tan' from the Autumn set, and then shaded using 'cinnamon' from the skin tones set.  Shading was done on the middle of the horse's ears and on the backs of the legs.  I think that a blender pen would have helped with the shading on the legs, because at the moment, it does just look like a line of darker colouring, whereas a blender pen would have merged the two colours a bit.

The horse was embossed on card, and I think that this is the best medium to use these pens on, as having used them on thinner paper, I have found that the ink does run a little.  The thicker the paper/card though, the less the ink runs.  Also, embossing helps as this provides a physical border to stop the ink running any further.

Being more careful and getting used to how the ink runs does help when you need to colour on paper though.  This picture of a wedding couple was printed on normal printer paper, and then I coloured in with Promarkers, shading the hair on each character.  I also used a pinker skin tone pen to create a little blush on the bride's cheeks, and the ability of the ink to run a little gives a better effect than just two pinks spots would.

Overall, I like the Promarkers, and I want some more colours and a blender pen now. I like the fact that they can be blended and that they leave a smooth, even colour, without the lines you get with other marker pens.  I even like the packs that they come in as they stack together neatly so make them easy to store  Although the cost had initially put me off, trying them out has made me realise that they are worth the extra cost.

Now I just need to keep practicing my shading and decide what else to do with the horse for my auntie's birthday card . . .

Happy Crafting


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