|My "urban palette" of Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers.|
|Original sketch scanned on 11/30/12 (Platinum Carbon|
ink, Zig markers, Stillman & Birn Epsilon)
Since she asked the question and it had never occurred to me to check, I decided to do a test of my own. I started using Zig Clean Color Real Brush markers around the end of 2012, so I pulled out a sketchbook from back then and found a sketch dated Nov. 30, 2012: Santa and his helper at the mall, with their red clothing colored with a Zig marker (at left). That Stillman & Birn Epsilon sketchbook has been closed and stored on a bookshelf since I filled it.
|Zig marker swatches at lower left made on 4/24/14.|
I still can’t see a difference. Perhaps in five or 10 or 100 years, the color would change even without being exposed to light. But for my purposes, I’m OK with that. Other sketchers need to make their own decision based on their purposes.
So that’s my answer to her question as far as material longevity of Zig markers goes. But there’s a philosophical side to this issue that I think is more important. When she mentioned that she hasn’t been sketching as much lately due to her concerns about the Zig markers fading, I felt alarmed. “When your kids are adults and are showing their own kids the sketches that grandma made, none of them will care that the ink has faded,” I wrote to her. “They will only marvel at the wonderful scenes and objects and feelings you captured in your sketchbook.”
If concern about an art material prevents sketching, then that is the single-most important reason to stop using it and find a replacement. Because the only thing that really matters is to keep on sketching.