Colourful Alcohol not for drinking?!

We like alcohol, we won’t lie, but it’s not only for beer and wine, Ash has a hobby that requires expensive alcohol and he doesn’t consume it.

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Alcohol Markers are a traditional way to colour artwork and I have found some viable alternatives to the standard and rather expensive ones. 

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Copic Markers are one of those Industry Standards, Like Xerox for Photocopiers and Tipp”-ex for correction fluid, Copic is synonymous in the art world as the best Alcohol Ink Markers and because of that they tend to be little bit expensive. Just 12 Original Coloured Markers will set you back about £65, that’s over £5 per pen and they don’t last that long, so you can end up re-ordering new sets every month and with other 350 colours in total you could spend (quick maths here) £5.14 x 358 = £1840 on a full set. That is not an option for most of us, unless you are using them in a professional context there is no real justification for spending two thousand pound of colouring pens.  

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The beauty of these pens is they mix together well, if the ink is laid on Blending Card you are able to mix a red and blue and get a gradient purple, the nibs are brush like and flow well, but at £5 a pen they want to draw for themselves.

So what is the alternative? 

Well there are a lot of them out there, some better than others as you might imagine and having spent too much on a collection of Copic Caio’s (the baby of the Copic range) I was on the look out for a cheaper alternative. I have seen the Spectrum Noir and Windsor & Newton’s Pro-Markers and they seem good, some have even been reviewed by YouTubers with mixed results. But while searching on Amazon recently I found these Touchnew Artist Pens, they don’t seem to have their own website, selling exclusively through Amazon and at a fraction of the cost of their Copic Rivals, I contemplated wether their cost weighed up against the quality of the brand leader and eventually clicked ‘Buy Now’ and ordered a set.

£28 for 80 Markers. A full set of 380 pens would cost £130 (0.30 per pen). A bit of a difference to the £1800.

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They are delivered from China and the expected delivery time is something like months, so when the postman knocked less than a week later I was surprised to find my new pens. 

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They were extremely well packaged, inside a Puffalope, inside a mail bag, inside bubble wrap, inside another mail bag, nothing was going to damage these babies. 

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Inside I found a black canvas bag, zip top and a mass of bright coloured lids, double ended with a brush nib and a chisel tip, plus an extra 0.5mm Fine Liner, a white liner and an outliner marker.

First impressions were good, far better than I dared to hope, the pens are a wider, flatter shape but they didn’t dry, or too soft like some cheaper brush nibs, both ends flow freely and they mix well, the alcohol keeping the ink wet longer and on a piece of blender paper you can blend colours well enough to fade or ombre as well as to create new shades if you are missing a deep purple or want a richer skin tone. 

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I have used these now for about two months and so far they have held up to a nearly daily use without any dying. 

In a straight side by side test the TouchNew hold their ground.

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The real problem is the brush tip of the Touchnew doesn’t match up to the Copic version, the Copic Brush is a lot longer and thicker allowing for a more brushlike action. The Touchnew is only a small tip that though good for small areas doesn’t allow for the painting like quality of the other pen,

The Chisel Tips do however match up and may even be slightly better, because they lay down ink more fluidly than the hard chisel tip of the Copic

My only real qualm about the set has to be the greys,

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There are twenty-eight shades of grey in eighty pens, that’s over a quarter and that doesn’t include the black. 

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Additionally there isn’t a colourless blender like the Copic’s, so I have a Copic Blender but that would mean having to buy more of the £5 a go blenders.

But all in all:

Would I go back to Copic Markers? 

No

Will I stick with Touchnew for good?  

I would order them again if they were on offer, but I would like to try the Spectrum Noir Markers too if I found them just as cheap as this, but I will recommend these and say if you are an artist, professional or a hobbyist then you could do far worse than go to Amazon and order a pack of these.


Well there you go, Have you tried these Markers? Tell us what you think. 

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