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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Prismacolor Premier Markers

I'm not an illustrator, but I've used Prismacolor's chunky double-tip markers for years, to explore color combinations and to make posters. Recently I've tried Prismacolor's Premier markers, which are similar in size to sketching pens and come in three distinctive tips. The Premiere Fine Tip Illustration marker includes five sizes: 005, 01, 03, 05, and 08 and is an excellent tool for drawing lines and crosshatching. The Premiere Brush Tip Illustration marker (my favorite!) has a flexible tip with a fine point that creates a thin or wide line according to the pressure applied during the stroke. Elegant, graceful lines just flow off the tip of the marker, and no dripping. The Premiere Chisel Tip Illustration marker creates thin or wide strokes for lettering and outlining, as well as for covering larger areas. All three marker styles contain pigmented acid-free, archival ink that is lightfast, permanent, non-toxic, and water resistant. Oh--and no strong odor. The pen-sized markers create crisp, detail work or broader coverage as needed; a colorless blender can be used with them to create color and value gradation. I wish there were more colors; color choices are limited to black, red, blue, green, orange, purple, brown, and sepia, which are available in all tip styles. I tried the markers on a smooth bristol plate surface and medium-tooth drawing paper. All of the tips worked well and didn't bleed, but I had to slow down my strokes slightly on the textured surface. The colors were brighter on the smooth surface and didn't smear when dampened after they dried. I think any artist would enjoy working with these markers, but the limited choice of colors could be a drawback. For travel, they're ideal; all you need is the markers and a sketchbook--no water, no solvents. I'll keep the markers in a plastic bag so they don't dry out.

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