Thursday, March 11, 2010

Prismacolor Pencils vs. Copics

Prismacolor Pencils versus Copics
There is a lot of debate on the internet regarding coloring with Prismacolor Pencils versus coloring with Copics. You have the two different camps going head to head over which is the better coloring method. Some people say that using the pencils is much easier than the markers.

I have had Prismacolor pencils for a while, but never really got into coloring with them. I have always felt my coloring lacked a professional look no matter what coloring method I used. When I tried out Copics I really liked the smooth results and have become a Copic convert. Along my Copic research travels on the internet, I have read many posts about using Copics with Prismacolor pencils to soften the results, add depth, and texture. There is this great blog called Heavens Created This where Lindah has the smoothest, softest colored images. She uses Prismacolor Pencils with Copics on her images and they are beautiful. I decided to break out my pencils and give them another try.

The picture at the top of this post is a side by side comparison of coloring done using The Greeting Farm's Summer Fairy digi image. They both are printed on Neenah Classic Crest Solar White cardstock. The picture on the left uses Prismacolor Pencils and the one on the right is done using Copic Markers.

You can see that the colored pencil image on the left has a nice soft slightly textured finish while the Copic colored image on the right has a smooth bold/vibrant finish.

To me, I think what you choose to color with is entirely a matter of preference, comfort level with the techniques and tools, and would depend on what type of effect you are looking for. To me, neither method is better or easier, just different. I had fun coloring the same image with different techniques.
This image was colored using Prismacolor Premier Pencils and blended using Odorless Mineral Spirits (OMS) and a blending stump.

Colors used were- Beige Sienna, Chestnut, Canary Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Sky Blue Light, Peach Beige, Muted Turquoise, Aquamarine, Light Aqua, Violet, Lilac, and Process Red
This image was coloring using the Copic Markers below.
Finally I decided to combine the two techniques to see if I could get the best of both worlds.

The base image above was colored using the Copic Markers pictured below. Once the entire image was colored using Copics, I layered on Prismacolor pencils in complementing shades to create shadows and highlights. I like that you can both lighten and darken the image with the pencils. After laying down the pencil, I blended over the image using a blending stump and OMS...this did not disturb the Copic ink. Finally I finished by adding a halo with a Lemon Yellow pencil and then some sparkle to certain areas of the eyes and wings with a clear Spica Glitter Pen. I really like the finished image because you get the smoothness of the Copics along with the shading and soft texture from the pencils. If you have never tried combining your Copics and your Prismacolor Pencils, you should give it a try!


  1. Very Nice Michelle. I use both Copics & Prismacolor Pencils-but seperately. Now I'm gonna try to do them together. Thanks for the comparisons.

  2. thanks so much for sharing this! awesome!

  3. wow..the outcome of the copics is so bright,,, i like it,,,,

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  4. what a nice color tools you have. it extracted the color of a drawing... you have a nice site .. keep it up...


  5. Thanks for the post, I was wondering what brand of professional markers I should buy myself, and now seeing that my Prismacolor Pencils will work well with them I think I should get Copic.

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  7. This is a really good idea! I will definetly try this.

  8. You could try Prismacolor markers with their pencils. They look like they were made for each other :)

  9. Michelle using the orderless color blender removes the pigment and wax from the Prismacolor pencils making them less Vibrant and smooth look I would say and otherwise makes this a unfair test


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