Monday, February 07, 2011

Splotchy/Speckled Copic Markers: Reply from Copic Product Consultant

I got a response from a product consultant for Copic:

"The splotchiness you see is because paper is made out of fibers from trees, which, depending on the milling, absorbs ink differently.

Each marker brand reacts differently with the fibers of each paper brand. It also depends on the density of the dye particles for specific colors - so darker colors may not absorb in the same manner as light colors.

When magnified, yes, it is easy to see the grain from the markers/paper. This is a known issue, but it also a matter of the nature of the medium.

Colored pencils look a certain way, watercolors look a certain way, waterbased markers look one way and Copics look another. Whatever medium you choose to work with is up to you. If the results are not acceptable with one medium, then it is a personal choice."

So the way I read this is that the splotchiness, blotchiness, speckled inks are caused because the density of the dye particles in some of the Copic colors are different then the dye partical density in other Copic colors. These to me means the inks are not the same so they react differently to the same piece of paper. Which is shown in my test swatches in the previous posts. So the quality of the ink isn't consistant between markers..but if a person is lucky, they might happen to find a paper where the inconsistancy is minimized...that's a lot of work and expense just to find a paper where all Copics are happy.

While I appreciate the information that it is a known issue, that last paragraph seems a if I don't like the "know issue", it's a personal choice.

I disagree. I think any artist or hobbyist who cares about their work and pays premium price for a proclaimed premium marker has the right to expect premium and consistent quality and not have to make a personal "choice" to accept less.

But she did bring up a point I did not address so I will here:
It doesn't take ANY magnification to see any of this speckling/mottling. I can see it on the 2x3 inch test swatch standing 5 ft away. The problem is obvious enough on it's own that it does not need any enhancement in any way.

None of the test swatches below were magnified - 2 of them are at real size and the rest of the scans are SMALLER than the actual size and the speckling is obvious.

So now we know. Copic's dark inks can absorb differently than their light inks and papers definitely enhance or minimize this known issue.

So lets get down to personal choices

Copic: expensive, hit and miss quality depending on the color, fussy with paper. If that is for you, then this marker is for you. In good conscience, cannot recommend them, especially when Copic knows about the issues and still charge the prices they charge.

Touch: affordable, loves almost all flavors of paper, consistent, premium inks in every color. I can give an honest, favorable opinion of these markers and recommend them for people who care about quality over a brand name.

I work too hard for my $ and I work to hard on my art and hobbies to pay extra money for speckled/mottled inks.


DogE.Dazzle said...

Hey, thank you for your honest assessment of touch vs. copic; I can't afford the range of colors w/copics that I can with touch, AND one of our local artists (Indiana) loves touch also.

Mine arrived yesterday....and I'm anxious to report back. Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow....I don't have time to mow! I'm gonna be playin' with my

P.S. My son is a paramedic with MatSu Fire Department; lives in Wasilla! Small world isn't it?

Michelle said...

Thank you so much for leaving me a comment! Yes, it is a very small world sometimes, Wasilla is right next door to me :)

If you are new to markers, check out the Copic, Promarker or any Touch tutorials that you can find on the internet, all these markers work the same way.

I can't wait to hear what you think! Have fun!