For the first set of markers, let’s take a look at a very affordable option: Crayola Washable Super Tips Markers, 100 count. This is a set of 100 differently colored markers.
I purchased these markers at a local Walmart store. They were not prominently displayed. They were on a bottom shelf, below the hanging and flat display for other Crayola products. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the exact price, but it was under $20, which is very reasonable for this many markers.
The markers come in a sturdy, cardboard box. The box measurements are 7″ high by 5-5/8″ wide by 3-1/4″ deep. There is a color chart printed on the top and back of the box. However the color charts are not particularly accurate.
The box has a perforated flip top.
Inside the box, there are four cardboard sections that hold the markers in place.
The cardboard sections are a lighter weight than the box. While they work fairly well, if you pull several markers from a section, the rest will shift around, making it awkward to return the used markers to the section.
The markers are all white, with a colored cap and a colored end button. The colored portion is basically coordinated with the color of the ink in the marker. Every marker is imprinted with the words “Crayola® Super Tips”. There are no color names or numbers on the markers. Because of this, I used a Sharpie and wrote a unique number on each marker so I could identify them.
Each marker is 6-5/8″long when closed and about 3/8″ in diameter. When opened, the marker portion is slightly over 5″ long and the cap is 2-3/8″ long.
The marker tip is fairly large, but comes to a reasonable point. This allows you to make various sized lines.
To test the marker, I first drew lines, from thin to thick. I also used the marker as I would to color, or fill in an area, so the lines barely overlapped.
I used water to fade out a colored area (1). Then I wet an area and drew into it with a marker (2). Finally, I scribbled with the marker on a plastic palette and picked up the color with a damp water brush (3).
Notes: Substrate used for testing examples is Strathmore Vellum finish Bristol board.
Here’s a better look at my test tile.
Each of the 100 markers is a different color. In some cases, the color is basically a lighter tint of another color, but in many cases there are subtle differences.
One of the markers is a metallic silver, which is kind of interesting. But it is generally a grey tone, which dulls out other colors it is mixed with.
Note: I made the color example(s) by printing the outline on computer cover stock which was then scanned into the computer and processed in Photoshop. Therefore, while all care was taken, the colors are probably not exactly as they would appear in real life.
These markers were very juicy right out of the box. That means that they scribble very nicely on a plastic palette, and work well with a water brush. This is the way I use them. I do have a love/hate affair with certain colors, though, because the base colors seperate out. If you take a good look at the blacks in the full-sized color chart, you’ll understand what I mean. I will deliberately use this to my own advantage, now that I am aware of it, as I did around the corners of this tile.
One thing to keep in mind about these inexpensive markers is that the dye in them is fugitive. That means that they aren’t suitable for any kind of artwork that will be exposed to light on a regular basis. The colors will fade and change over time. However, if you’re just using them for watercolor practice or to decorate paper that is mostly kept inside a book or portfolio, they will work fine.
As you use up your markers, and want to replace them, you will have to purchase another full set. In addition, the colors in the new set may have some slight variations from the previous box. Keep this in mind as you use the markers, and you’ll be fine. Just don’t count on being able to match the ink between sets.
I think these markers have a wide enough variation of color that they are great to play and practice with. And you certainly can’t beat the price. I actually have a second set of 50 of the short, Pipsqueek Crayola markers that I take with me when I travel. All I need to play with them is some paper and a water brush while I’m away from home.
Here’s a cool thing about this company: Crayola has a recycling program for markers used in the schools! It’s called the ColorCycle Program. http://www.crayola.com/colorcycle.aspx The school signs up at the website and then the designated person collects all of the used up markers. Once they are counted and packed up, they are picked up by FedEx Ground and Crayola pays all the shipping charges!
Crayola Super Tip Markers, 100-count:
- Suggested retail: $23.99
- Target – not found on website
- Walmart – not found on website
- Amazon – $27.99
- Dick Blick – not found on website
- Jerry’s Artarama – not found on website