Marker Info

OK, marker fans. You've been asking for this info....

I use three different brands of markers, Touch, Prismacolor and Copic, and have been successful in refilling them all. At first I didn't see the value in refilling, but after I counted up the number of markers hanging around the studio it made economic sense.....and especially after I ran out of marker juice during a demonstration.
All you need is the ink and refilling needles. Both Copic and Letraset sell the ink. I went to MarkerPop for my supplies and was able to refill every make of marker. For about $5, a bottle will refill a marker 5 t0 10 times, which is both cheaper and more convenient. They recommend getting a bottle of clear blender to clean up the needle, but since it's only ethyl alcohol (enthanol) I would think most any alcohol would work.  ( I've also used Carpe Diem and they are good...maybe the site is a little easier to navigate.)



It's very easy. Connect the needle to the bottle of refill ink, gently thread it down the side of the marker tip and gently squeeze a few times. Let it rest a bit to distribute the ink and you've got a new marker. Disconnect the tip, rinse with alcohol, seal everything up and go draw.

Prismacolor markers can also be refilled either by slowly dripping the toner onto the tip or by drilling a small hole down next to the tip (there is a groove) and using the needle on the refill container.  Dripping seems easier.

In my opinion these are the ups and downs of the different brands: Prismacolor: easy to find, the tip has three edges for differing lines, but they have a tendency to roll and the caps are hard to get off. Touch: seem to hold a lot of ink, not as easy to find. Copic: replaceable tips, different size markers with larger tips, easy to pop tips in and out, seem to be less 'toxic' smelling, harder to find, expensive.  Copics refill easily and have differing sizes.  I've been using their extra wide 1" for some of my block-in.  The more I use Copic Markers the more I like them.

There are many good sources for markers.  Dick Blick has a nice assortmentMarker Pop, however, has become my current online source as they have very reasonable shipping and a good inventory.  Locally I get them at Daniel Smith, Seattle store or the Artist's Edge in Poulsbo.