|Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers|
Who can resist the eye candy and creative potential of a huge palette of colors, like that of Pitt Artist Pens (48 colors), Tombow Dual-Brush Pens (96) or Copic markers (a whopping 214!)? (Actually, I have no problem resisting Copic markers, for a couple of reasons.) It’s like being a kid with a brand new box of Crayola crayons (64 was the biggest box in my day, but now it’s up to 133), but better, because markers don’t break or melt.
|12/16/12 Platinum Carbon ink, Zigs, S & B Gamma|
Unlike paints, markers are harder to blend, so I end up wanting more colors than I can realistically carry in my bag, which I’m always trying to lighten. So as difficult as it is, I do try to resist collecting the entire available set of any marker I’m in love with, including the Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush marker (60 colors), my current favorite.
|2/26/13 Zigs, S & B Gamma|
My bag now contains a careful selection of Zigs, which I think of as an urban palette that will take care of grass, trees, cars, buildings and people. The colors are (shown left to right in photo): Geranium Red, Bright Yellow, Yellow, Olive Green, Deep Green, Blue Gray, Gray, Mid-Gray, Oatmeal, Light Gray. (Ten markers – not bad for a girl who usually picks out purple, pink and lime green first from any retail marker display!)
|12/28/12 Eclipse ink, Zigs, Pitt Artist Pen, Hand Book|
I get a decent range of values from the shades of gray (the pickup truck and the interior value study are examples), which I consider essential, especially when paired with fountain pen inks. The Light Gray alone, which seems too light to be useful, is surprisingly versatile for shading and ghosting in background objects (the musicians and mom and kid scene). Oatmeal gives me a warmer shading color with brown inks, and Blue Gray pairs well with blue-black inks.
|11/30/12 Black Velvet ink, Zig, S & B Epsilon|
The five optional colors are mostly for convenience: Sometimes I don’t want to get out my watercolors just to put two small spots of red and amber on a car’s tail lights or to indicate a tuft of grass or a few flowers. I’ll probably pare these down over time and replace them with more essential tools.
Edited 4/26/14: See the results of a longevity test I did on these markers and some philosophical comments about lightfastness and sketching.