Featured Artist: Loveleigh Loops

For the rest of July, we are focusing a little more on our brush pens and brush style lettering here at Marker Supply. (For more info on the types of brush markers we carry, see our previous blog post, Overview of Brush Markers.)

We LOVE featuring talented folks here on the Marker Supply Blog, and for this month we are happy to introduce you to some fantastic brush lettering artists- Jordan and Jillian of Loveleigh Loops!

LoveleighLoops-225*Photo by Knack Creative

Creative crafters and calligraphers since childhood, these twin sisters love designing various lettering projects themselves, as well as teaching others how to develop their own talent.

Something that helped get you started was a calligraphy class when you were kids. Was there any advice from that class that stood out so well you can still remember it today now that you are teaching lettering yourselves?

“We took our very first calligraphy class when we were 11 years old and absolutely loved it! The style we learned then is different from what we do today but we still remember the most important thing from the class: to have patience and go slowly. That is one of the biggest things that we stress today when we teach our students. It is tempting to skip ahead to the fancy stuff or to compare your work to the work of someone who has been doing calligraphy for years, but it is even more important to start with the basics. Calligraphy is a beautiful art, but it is incredibly difficult to master.”

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*Photo/Lettering by Loveleigh Loops
Made using the Sakura Micron Pens and the Zig Fudebiyori Brush Markers

What makes you different from other calligraphers and letterers?

“There are so many talented lettering artists out there, but we think that our business is truly unique because there are two of us. We are able to bounce ideas off of each other. The best way to continue learning is by teaching, and we are always showing each other new techniques and skills. We have also each mastered our own style, so we can do anything from playful to formal. We also use a lot of different tools, such as embossing and gold foil, to provide our clients with a greater variety. Our students appreciate that there are two of us during our workshops because it allows for more robust learning experience since they receive individual attention, even while one of us is at the front of the room instructing.”

LoveleighLoops-211*Photo by Knack Creative

What are some places or things you commonly find inspiration from for your lettering quotes and designs?

“Lettering challenges on Instagram have always been close to our hearts, because that is how we really got started on Instagram. It is a great way to gain confidence in sharing your work, and you immediately become part of an amazing community that inspires and supports you. Many challenges have a daily quote or some other theme. We love these challenges because you spend less time deciding what to write, and more time creating! It is also neat to see others’ interpretations of the same quote.”

Loveloops-FudeMetquote loveloops-AGquote
*Photos/Lettering by Loveleigh Loops
Made using the Zig Fudebiyori Metallic Markers and Zig Art & Graphic Twin Markers

Are there any memorable jobs or projects you’ve done in the lettering world that were particularly fun? Any extra challenging ones?

“Both of us did all of the calligraphy for our own weddings, which gave our special days an even more special touch. One of the most memorable projects that we did was an obituary. The client was so appreciative of our work and treasured the piece, and her gratitude reminded us why we do what we do. The most challenging projects have been those on non-traditional surfaces, such as wine glasses and t-shirts. We love learning new techniques, so it’s always fun to try something new!”

 To see more of Loveleigh Loops’ work, check out their gallery HERE, or visit them on Instagram and Facebook!

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TOOLS OF THE TRADE

Out of all the lettering tools out there, which types do you prefer using and why? Have your tastes in tools changed as your skills have grown?

“Our tastes in tools have changed significantly since we first started. The class we originally took was with a chisel tipped pen, and since then we have learned how to use pointed pen, brush pen, and related tools like waterbrushes. These days, Jillian prefers watercolor brush lettering with a paint brush because it forces her to be patient and enjoy the art, and the color blends are exquisite. Jordan is drawn to the mathematics behind copperplate calligraphy and tends to spend her time with the pointed pen and ink, especially gold ink.”

LoveLoops-goldinkquote*Photos by Loveleigh Loops

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This color chart was made using the Kuretake Gansai Tambi Starry Colors paints. Enjoy these beautiful gold pigment ink colors with paintbrushes, waterbrushes, or calligraphy nibs!
Find them HERE in the Marker Supply store!

Any specific tools you would recommend a beginner to start with? What features make them beginner-friendly?

“We recommend that beginners interested in learning calligraphy start with brush pens, and eventually progress to pointed pen.  The Zig Art & Graphic Twin pens are great for those starting out (and we still use them!) because they have the perfect amount of flexibility. Our favorite small-tip brush pen for beginners is the Pentel Sign Brush Pen because of the “juiciness” and color selection. Once a beginner understands the basic strokes, shade placement, and other fundamental concepts of the script, they can move on to more advanced supplies. We also advocate starting with brush pens because they are more affordable and much less messy than dip-pens. You can easily throw a brush pen in your bag and practice on the go!”

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Try these recommended tools for yourself!
Find both the Zig Art & Graphic Twin and the Pentel Sign Pen w/Brush Tip here at Marker Supply.

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LEARN WITH LOVELEIGH LOOPS

LoveleighLoops-282*Photo by Knack Creative

Interested in learning more about calligraphy and brush lettering styles?

There are several useful guides available to purchase and instantly download HERE at Loveleigh Loops’ online store so you can get started right away at your own pace!

Prefer some in-person instruction? Loveleigh Loops will be hosting several brush lettering workshops this summer, including one here in Nashville on July 25th at our sister company store, Paper & Ink Arts! Come on by for some “loveleigh” lettering lessons!

Click here for more information about their Brush Lettering Workshop at Paper & Ink Arts!

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Thank you Jordan and Jillian for sharing your time and talents with us! We look forward to seeing what amazing things you do in the future! 🙂

Overview of Brush Markers

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Markers and pens that feature brush tips are very popular right now in everything from hand lettering styles, to sign painting, coloring books, cardmaking, stamping, sketching, and much more!

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The flexibility of using a brush pen, sometimes called a fude pen, allows you to make super fine hairlines AND wider strokes just by applying more or less pressure to the tip- which can create some beautiful hand lettering . They work great for coloring as you can reach super tiny, detailed spaces as well as larger areas with the same pen. You also get more control over the flow of ink and color, unlike having to remix and reapply paints separately when using a traditional paintbrush.

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This quick overview compares the brush tip tools we have at Marker Supply and hopefully will help give you a better idea of which ones might be the best for you!

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BRUSH TIP TYPES

“FIBER BRUSH” TIPS

Brush pens that feature a fiber tip, or in some cases a rubber brush, have a tip made of durable but flexible fibers that resembles a tightly woven sponge. Fiber tips will bend as you use them and then quickly return back to their original shape. They are made of one solid tip, instead of individual strands- giving you more control over where your marks are made. Some are larger/longer than others, and some offer more “spring” (Sharpie Brush, Prismacolor Premier) as opposed to being more stiff (Zig Mangaka Flexible Medium), but all share the general quality of being able to use a decent amount of pressure on the tip as you write and draw without damaging it.

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Some examples of fiber brush style markers:
(Click for a link to their page in the Marker Supply store!)
Chameleon Color Tone Pens
Marvy Color In Brush Tip
Marvy Fabric 722
Prismacolor Premier Brush & Fine
Sakura KOI
Sakura Pigma Brush
Sakura Pigma Professional Brush– Medium & Bold
Sharpie Brush
Zig Art & Graphic (Rubber Brush)
-Zig Bimoji (coming soon!)
Zig Blender Marker
Zig Brushables
Zig Eraser Pen Brush
Zig Fabricolor Twin
Zig Fudebiyori
Zig Fudebiyori Metallic
Zig Kurecolor (Optional Replacement Tip)
Zig Mangaka Flexible Medium
Zig Scroll & Brush

“BRISTLE BRUSH” TIPS

Bristle brushes are more like traditional paint brushes and have individual strands of nylon fibers that separate. (You can find natural hair fiber brush markers as well, but those listed below are synthetic.) They can give more of a “dry stroke” appearance depending on how quickly and heavily you color with them.

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Some examples of bristle brush style markers:
(Click for a link to their page in the Marker Supply store!)
Posca 350-F
Zig BrusH20 Water Pens
Zig Brush Writer II
Zig Clean Color Real Brush
Zig Cocoiro Brush
Zig Wink of Stella Brush

“EXTRA FINE” TIPS

Markers with the tiniest fiber brush style tips can be known as “fine”, “extra fine” or “super fine”. These are a combination of the firmness of a fine tip and the flexibility of a brush tip. Best used with slower, smaller strokes, these tips are common with traditional Chinese lettering and certain sketching techniques. They are also often recommended for beginners as the stiffer tip gives nice control when learning to write in a new style. Be careful not to use too much pressure on these tips, as the fibers can begin to fray.

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Some examples of extra fine brush style markers:
(Click for a link to their page in the Marker Supply store!)
Pentel Sign Pen w/Brush Tip
Sakura Pigma Professional Brush- Fine
-Zig Bimoji (coming soon!)
Zig Cocoiro Extra Fine
Zig Fudegokochi
Zig Mangaka Flexible Fine

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INK TYPES

DYE-BASED

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When a marker uses “dye ink”, it means that the ink is soluble and can be more easily blended around. Lighter colors can also be used to mix with and blend out darker colors. These qualities are very useful when you want to create special effects like multiple tones and shadows in your artwork. Dye-based colors also tend to be a lot more vibrant. The 2 main types of dye inks are water-based and alcohol-based.

Water-based dye inks can be moved with plain water. They are commonly used to make custom color washes and gradations, as well as watercolor-style art.

Some examples of water-based dye/watercolor markers:
(Click for a link to their page in the Marker Supply store!)
Marvy Color In Brush Tip
Sakura KOI
Zig Art & Graphic
Zig Clean Color Real Brush
Zig Fudebiyori
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Alcohol-based dye inks are a little more permanent and typically water-resistant, so they need to be blended with an alcohol-based solution. (Most varieties have a “colorless blender” available within the color range.)

Some examples of alcohol-based dye markers:
(Click for a link to their page in the Marker Supply store!)
Chameleon Color Tone Pens
Prismacolor Premier Brush & Fine
Sharpie Brush
Zig Kurecolor (Optional Replacement Tip)

The type of paper does affect the results of dye-based markers, so make sure to play around with different kinds until you find the look you like! (Watch out for alcohol-based markers bleeding through papers..) Also, keep in mind that dye-based inks are not as permanent as pigment inks. They will be more prone to fading over time.

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PIGMENT-BASED

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Pigment inks are much more stable and resistant to things like water and light. Some terms commonly used along with many pigment-based inks are “archival-quality” and “lightfast”. If you are using markers for anything that has a chance of coming in contact with water/rain/lots of sunlight, or if it’s artwork you want to last a long time, a pigment ink is the safest choice to prevent your marks from washing off or fading/becoming discolored.

Some examples of pigment ink brush markers:
(Click for a link to their page in the Marker Supply store!)
Marvy Fabric 722
Sakura Pigma Brush
Sakura Pigma Professional Brush- Fine
Sakura Pigma Professional Brush– Medium & Bold
Zig Brushables
Zig Fudebiyori Metallic
Zig Fudegokochi
Zig Mangaka Flexible Fine
Zig Mangaka Flexible Medium

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ACRYLIC PAINT

Brush markers that use paint are harder to find as the acrylic is a thicker liquid and is harder to get flowing through a brush tip. There are a few choices however, and they will work great on a variety of surfaces- especially chalkboards and other non-paper objects. Try the Posca 350-F markers, OR you can try using water-based acrylic paint like the Zig Posterman Bottled Ink or the Montana ACRYLIC paint refills inside a Zig BrusH20 water pen! These tools are technically used with plain water for watercolor and other blending effects, but when we tried the paint inside, the results worked pretty well!

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COLORS

Some brush pens are only available with black ink, but many varieties at Marker Supply have a full range of colors to choose from as well!

brushablesline-webTry the Zig Brushables– they each feature 2 tips, with a solid color at one end, and a 50% lighter shade of that color on the other end. Great for creating shadows and other fun effects!

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Among the types of brush pens that have the widest color ranges are the Prismacolor Premier with 195 colors, Zig Kurecolors (can be converted into a brush with the interchangeable tips) have 134, the Zig Art & Graphic and Zig Clean Color Real Brush each with 80, Zig Fudebiyori with 57 (including metallics!), and the Sakura KOI Watercolor Brush Pens with 48.

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Check out the full selection in the BRUSH TIP MARKER SECTION of our webstore!

Use this handy chart to help you quickly compare the types of brush pens found at MarkerSupply.com:

BRUSH-MARKER-FEATURE-CHART

Which brush tip pens are your favorite and why? Let us know and feel free to post photos of your brush marker artwork on our social media pages!
www.facebook.com/markersupply
Instagram #MarkerSupply @MarkerSupply
www.twitter.com/markersupply

 

 

A Closer Look At.. Montana ACRYLIC

Everybody here at Marker Supply has been excited about adding several new brands to our store this summer. Our most recent addition, Montana Cans, is definitely worth checking out- especially by urban artists, sign painters, muralists, mixed media composers, and designers of all kinds!

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Take a closer look at the Montana ACRYLIC paint line…

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MONTANA ACRYLIC PAINT MARKERS

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The newest line of water-based paint markers in the Marker Supply store- Montana ACRYLICS. Featuring a selection of vibrant colors modeled after the Montana GOLD spray paint line, including bold “Shock” colors, shining metallics, glowing fluorescents, earthy tones, and various grays. Empty markers and refill inks also make it possible to mix your own custom colors too!

Available in 5 tip sizes (with alternate tip styles available separately). Find super tiny tips for the finest of details, wide tips for calligraphic lettering, fine tips for outlines, jumbo tips for quick coverage of surface areas, even split tips that give a multiline effect.

See the different markers and the nibs that fit each one:
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The high-quality paints in Montana ACRYLIC markers are waterproof, lightfast, highly-pigmented, and quick-drying. They are suitable for a variety of projects and surfaces including walls, windows, wood, canvas, metal, shoes, and more! Replaceable valve-action tips give a smooth, well-controlled flow of paint so you can apply like a pro. Marker barrels are transparent so you can easily view the levels of paint left inside. When you run out of paint, just fill them back up!
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MONTANA ACRYLIC PAINT REFILLS

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Another great feature of Montana ACRYLIC that lots of other paint markers lack is that they are refillable! Use the 25ml or 180ml refills to always keep a fresh supply of paint in your markers.

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The 25ml refill bottle can also be turned into a special “dauber” tip marker with the 10mm round cloth applicator tips! See the tip pack, which includes lids, HERE.

These bottled paints don’t have to be destined for just markers either, they work well with paintbrushes and airbrushes too!

The refill paints are also where the fun of color mixing comes in. Grab a few different shades and combine them to create your own custom colors unique to your project! There are empty refill bottles, empty markers, and widemouth jars available to help with the blending process.

**TIP**
How to refill a Montana ACRYLIC marker:
1- Unscrew, to the left, the top section that holds the nib.
2- Use your fingernail to help remove the next section, with the valve system springs.
3- Add the refill paint to the open marker. Only fill the barrel 3/4 of the way full, to leave room for the valve system part.
4- Press the valve system section back in and make sure it is tight.
5- Screw the nib section back on, to the right, and make sure it is securely tightened.
6- Prime the nib by pressing up and down on a test surface.

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MONTANA ACRYLIC VARNISH GLOSS

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Montana ACRYLIC Varnish Gloss is used to further protect and seal your painted artworks by keeping them extra water-and-abrasion proof.

Varnish Gloss also enhances the visual effect of the Montana ACRYLIC paint colors, and helps to color match them with the Montana GOLD spray paint color line. It can also be used to create depth and intensify how light interacts with your designs.

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MONTANA ACRYLIC EMPTY MARKERS

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An exciting feature of the Montana ACRYLIC line- and an often-requested item that finally made its way to the Marker Supply store- empty barrel markers! Now you can create the exact color you need, diluted to the exact consistency you like, with whichever marker tip size you want.

The transparent plastic of the barrel allows you to easily see inside your markers to check paint levels and colors. They are available in 5 marker sizes, as well as empty 25ml and 180ml bottles.

**To get the best performance out of these markers, we recommend using them only with water-based acrylic paints.
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MONTANA ACRYLIC REPLACEMENT TIPS

replacementtipgroupblogIf ever you run across the issue of a dried out, worn down, or otherwise damaged marker tip- you can simply pull out the old one, and pop a new one right in its place!

The selection of replacement tips also includes some that don’t come on the regular markers, such as the extra fine .5mm, the 6mm slanted chisel, and split “multiline” tips, so you can further customize your marker by changing the tip to suit your writing and drawing style.

You can also convert the 25ml paint bottles into markers by adding the 10mm rounded cloth tip.

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MONTANA BLACKBOOK A5 LANDSCAPE SKETCHBOOK

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A helpful tool for artists of all kinds, this hardcover sketchbook features 144 pages of 120G coated white paper that works with pencils and markers. Measuring only 6 x 8.5 inches, it fits easily in your workspace, and is perfect to take on-the-go for drawing out your designs wherever inspiration hits.

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We hope you enjoy the many possibilities of the Montana ACRYLIC paints and artist tools. If you have any artwork done with these markers, feel free to post your projects on our social media or tag us with #markersupply!

Keep an eye out for more brands and products being adding soon to the Marker Supply store! 🙂

 

 

$1.00 Marker Clearance Sale!

Did you know that Marker Supply has a nice variety of markers for $1.00 or less?!?

The best place to find these deals is the Marker Supply Clearance Section. Lots of pens and markers find their way here for one reason or another- whether they’ve been discontinued by the manufacturer, they’ve become overstocked, the set they’ve come from has been broken apart, or they are just being taken out of our inventory to make room for new things. Nonetheless, these are still awesome items that you can now score for an awesome price.

Some of our best dollar deals right now:

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ZIG MILLENNIUM PENS

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This colorful part of the Zig Memory System range comes in 6 fine tip sizes. Millennium pens work well for everyday writing, journaling, planners, and more!

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ZIG PAINTY OIL-BASED MARKERS

The Zig Painty markers have been known for their unique colors. Some of them have now been discontinued and we are giving you one last chance to grab these colors for just a buck each! These are oil-based markers that can be used to permanently mark on numerous surfaces.

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PRISMACOLOR ART STIX

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Art Stix are colored pencils, only they are square-shaped and have no outer wood shell! These fun tools are great for artists of all types and all ages. Use them at any angle, or trim them to mark however you like!

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ZIG WRITER

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Certain colors of the Zig Writer can be found on sale for only $0.98 each! The Writer markers have a fine tip on one end, and a medium bullet tip on the other. Nice for writing and coloring! Water-based ink won’t bleed through most papers and is safe for kids!
(Note: These colors MUST be ordered from their special sale page to get this pricing.)

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WINK OF STELLA GLITTER MARKERS
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These special pens from Zig lay down some shimmery glitter along with their colors. The fine plastic tip gives you great control over where you mark. Try them with cardmaking, or use them to add a fun look to your coloring book pages!

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KOH-I-NOOR MULTICOLORED PENCILS

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A unique pencil with a blend of 3 colors in 1 tip! These mosaic leads give your coloring a whole new look!

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ZIG FINE & CHISEL MARKERS

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These double-ended markers are perfect for colorful lettering, various papercrafting projects, and even as highlighting/underlining tools. Also available in fun season-themed sets! Another great discontinued marker, so get them before they are gone!!

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POSTERMAN CALLIGRAPHY

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A smaller, square-style chisel tip version of the popular Zig Posterman markers. Not only nice for calligraphy style writing, but works for other lettering and coloring in small spaces on chalkboards, windows, posters, and more!

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ZIG DRAWING PENS

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At just $0.75 each, these handy Drawing Pens from Zig are great tools with a range of 6 fine line tip sizes. Black pigment ink works well for sketching and writing! (Also find the Zig Artist Sketching Pens for under a dollar too!!)

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ZIG CALLIGRAPHY PENS

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Whether you are a fan of slanted chisel tips (oblique) or flat chisel tips (square), the Zig Calligraphy pens are great for multiple lettering styles and work well for beginner or advanced calligraphers!

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Find all of the above markers, and more, at markersupply.com for $1.00 or less!

Keep in mind with these discontinued items that availability of certain colors will become limited. And once we run out, they’ll be gone! So hurry and grab your favorites while ya can!

Keep your eye on the super sale section to find more great deals as they come!

Sparkle Sparkle! A closer look at.. Glitter Pens

As we wrap up our Pen Pal contest, (thanks again to everyone who has written to us!!) we’ve noticed a TON of folks that love to use glitter pens and markers on their envelopes, cards, and letters… as well as mentioning to us that these shimmering tools are their favorite to use in journals, coloring books, scrapbooks, and other paper & fabric crafts.

So we decided to do a little highlight blog that gives you a closer look at different types of glitter pens we have here at Marker Supply!

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SAKURA GELLY ROLL STARDUST

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Gelly Roll pens.. Everyone’s favorite, right? These roller ball tip pens use a smooth-flowing pigment gel ink. The Gelly Roll Stardust is a special line of these popular pens that packs an incredible punch in the glitter department. And just like other types of Gelly Rolls, they are able to add fun effects to both light AND dark papers:

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ZIG WINK OF STELLA

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The Wink of Stella markers have become very well known for their ability to add a fun glittery look along with their color. Water-based ink is safe for kids to use too!
They are available in a variety of colors both in a sleek marker with a fine plastic tip– great for writing and outlining, and also in a bigger marker with a squeezable body and bristle brush tip– for brush lettering styles and coloring larger areas and backgrounds quickly.

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POSCA PC-3ML

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The same great Posca paint you love- only these pens have glitter particles mixed in too! Posca markers use an acrylic type water-based paint (different from the other pens that use an INK) that works on a million surfaces- from paper, to chalkboards, to plastic, to glass. Plus, it washes off non-porous surfaces with standard household cleaner- so it’s great for temporarily decorating things like mirrors and windows!

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MARVY DECO JUST GLITTER

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The Marvy Deco Just Glitter pens are exactly that.. just glitter! For when you want to add some sparkle to paper OR fabric crafts! Find these markers with gold, silver, or multicolor glitter- a mix of red, green, and silver.

MARVY DECO JUST GLITTER PREMIUM

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The Marvy Deco Just Glitter Premium markers have the same properties (no color in the paint, just colored glitter) but are available in 6 sparkling colors! The rounded bullet tips give you nice control over the amazing laydown of glittery color. Works great on light and dark surfaces.

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MARVY DECOFABRIC

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The Marvy Decofabric Glitter Markers have a 3mm fine valve-action tip so you can always access fresh paint to add some special shine to your clothes, backpacks and purses, shoes, hats, doilies and placemats- anything fabric, whether it’s light or dark!

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OTHER PENS TO USE FOR ADDING GLITTER..

ZIG EMBOSSING PENS

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If you like to use glittery embossing powders, check out the various embossing markers we carry- all featuring different tips that work great for lettering, adding details and borders, and more!

Embossing markers write with an almost invisible ink that is slightly adhesive. Embossing powder is sprinkled on top, sticking to the ink marks. When heated with a heat tool, the powder melts and fuses to the paper- leaving a slightly raised design that looks amazing!

Read more about these markers and how to emboss in our blog post:
SPECIAL MARKERS TO USE WITH A HEAT TOOL

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SAKURA QUICKIE GLUE

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Sakura Quickie Glue comes in a roller ball style pen. It lets you add glue in the form of letters as you write, designs as you draw, or in teeny tiny spaces. The super fine point makes sure that the glitter sticks only in the places you want it to! These pens also work well for adding other kinds of small papercraft embellishments like jewels or sequins.

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What’s your favorite type of glitter pen?

Let us know, and feel free to share your sparkling projects too, on our social media pages!

www.facebook.com/MarkerSupply

Instagram #MarkerSupply @MarkerSupply

www.twitter.com/MarkerSupply

 

 

Black Ink on Glossy Papers

With National Letterwriting Month in full swing, we are seeing a lot of black ink markers and pens being used for cards, envelopes, and postcards.
When picking out which marker you are going to use for your mail, it can seem like the only decision you need to make is the size and shape of the tip. Remember to also consider that the type of ink is important too! If your paper/envelope has a glossy finish to it, you may have issues with the ink smudging and smearing off. And what if it rains on your mail during its travels? Will the ink run when it gets wet?

Use these quick comparison charts for help picking the markers that will work best for you, particularly when using glossy papers!

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Meet the Markers

We gathered a group of black pens and markers we often use for writing here at Marker Supply that features a mix of ink types- pigment, dye, water, oil, acrylic, and alcohol-based pens. Then we did several tests with each to see how they held up on different types of envelopes.

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blackinks-normal(Find each of these markers at Marker Supply!)

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Plain White Envelopes

A lot of folks stick to plain white paper envelopes- and most black ink markers work great on them!

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Rain Test

See what happens to each ink when the plain white envelope meets water..

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While some of the inks smeared a little bit when rubbed over, they all stayed pretty intact. Dye-based markers (like the Marvy Le Pen and Pentel Sign Pen) have ink that is made to move with water (for blending effects, watercolor, etc.) Watch out using these types of pens if your paper is ever likely to come in contact with water as the color will bleed.

Bleed-Through Test

Keep in mind that oil-based (Marvy Decocolor, Sharpie Paint) and alcohol-based (Prismacolor, Kurecolor, Copic) markers, along with other permanent markers with a lot of ink (Sharpies), commonly bleed through papers- so write on your envelopes before putting the mail inside if using pens like these.

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Also, if they get hit with water, other types of ink can bleed though as well, potentially damaging the contents inside:
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Specialty Paper/Glossy Envelopes

When addressing some snail mail recently, we ran into problems whenever we used fancier and make-them-yourself envelopes. The paper was smoother and shinier.. and our “go-to addressing markers” didn’t work well on that type of surface.

This example shows how inks worked differently on one of the trickier silver paper envelopes:

envelope-silver

Some of the marker ink repelled right off of the surface, and some barely left any color at all!
The good news is that after just a moment of drying, none of the inks smeared around.

Rain Test

“Rain or shine, the mail must go through!” What if it rains on your glossy envelope?

envelope-silverwet

envelope-smudge-silverwet

If you’ve used a dye-based marker (like the Pentel Sign Pen or Clean Color Real Brushes), your ink can totally disappear! We loved the Posca Paint Markers and the Sakura Permapaque Markers for these envelopes- and both of those marker ranges include a nice variety of colors too!
So keep in mind that some inks may look ok when dry, but won’t hold up well on a glossy surface if they meet rain or snow while on their way to their destination.

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Ink Dry-Times / Smudge Tests

Writing with some pens and markers can be frustrating if they are prone to smearing and smudging- which happens a lot more when working with smooth, glossy papers.

Take a look at how these different inks stand up to smudging after different drying times:

Lightweight Glossy Paper

Ink smudging immediately after writing:

smudge-glossypaper-immediate

Smudging after 10 seconds of lightly blowing on the ink:

smudge-glossypaper-10seconds

This definitely made a big difference with some of the pens! A lot of them still lost the dark black color that sits of top of the writing- common with glossy paper as it’s harder for the ink to soak into. Some others smeared in the areas the pen stopped writing each letter- where there was still a small dot of wet ink that needed a little longer to fully dry.

Ultra-Glossy Photo Paper

From photo-like postcards to regular photographs, this type of slippery surface can be tricky to mark on.

This is what the inks looked like on photo paper after being smeared immediately after writing:

smudge-photopaper-immediate

We were pretty impressed with the results! Most of the markers did much better on this type of glossy surface than the smooth shiny paper! Some of the thicker ink markers rubbed away, leaving only a “ghosting” behind.

Trying photo paper marking again, we smudged each ink after lightly blowing on it for 10 seconds:

smudge-photopaper-10seconds

Again, just those few extra seconds of drying really seemed to help the ink set. A few pens still had trouble fully absorbing into the shiny surface, as the top black color still rubbed away after drying.

Another test with photo paper- we sprayed on a little water and watched how each ink reacted:

smudge-photopaper-water

Some stayed intact but lost their black color on top when rubbed over, while also making a mess of black smear marks.
And others, like the Marvy Le Pen (which was one of the best, super fast-drying fine line pens for photo marking) instantly began to “melt” like the other dye-based inks (which are made to be movable with water), surrounding themselves with blue/purple color. Interesting to see the Zig Photo Signature, another of the best quick-drying pens to use on glossy photos, reacted to the water with an orange color, even though the black markings held up alright.

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So keep in mind as you decorate and address your mail that not all black inks are the same on various surfaces, and not all will hold up to certain conditions. Try some experiments first on a test envelope to see how your markers do!

 

 

Marker Supply’s Pen Pal Contest!

The new Marker Supply contest is here!  This time, EVERYONE who participates will get something in return. 🙂

With April being “National Letterwriting Month”, we’re all about celebrating handwritten letters and notes- so we couldn’t think of any better way to run this month’s contest but to have you send us some snail mail.

Physically putting a pen to paper and writing as a form of communication has almost become a lost art for most people. Since markers, pens, and pencils are our world here at Marker Supply, we want to see them in action.
Plus, the Marker Supply warehouse has recently expanded into a new space. We now will feature the “marker fan art corner”, a special section for showing off cool things our customers have created. This contest can be the perfect opportunity for you to help us start filling it up!

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HOW TO ENTER:

To be a part of our “Pen Pal Contest”, just send us something in the mail during the month of April.

It can be:
A letter or a note, about anything! Tell us about what kind or art you like to do, which supplies you like to use, what you think about our store, or ask us a question if you have one. It doesn’t even have to be about markers, you can talk about the weather or your summer vacation plans if you want to. 😉

Something written in your favorite form of calligraphy/lettering: If you are one of those folks who love to practice calligraphy or hand-lettering of any style- send us a note, one of your favorite quotes, or anything you like to write in your choice of fancy scripts.

A drawing or cartoon: Sometimes, pictures speak louder than words, and hand-drawn pictures can be just as special as a letter. So if drawing is your thing, just send us a doodle! A page from a coloring book works great too!

Send your snail mail to us here:
Marker Supply Pen Pal Contest
240 Great Circle Road, Suite 334
Nashville, TN 37228

Here’s one of the awesome pieces of “marker fan mail” we received last year:
zigmillenniumcartoonPOSt2

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THE PRIZES:

EVERYONE that sends us mail will get something in their mailbox back from Marker Supply that includes a special pack of pens and a coupon code!

There will also be a randomly-selected Grand Prize Winner that will win
a 74-piece boxed set of Sakura Gelly Roll pens!

GellyRollBIGSet-web

The Sakura Gelly Roll pens are one of our favorite pens for writing. With different varieties producing different effects, these unique pens let you letter with multiple colors, on light OR dark papers, and add special touches like glitter and metallic sheen. How do you choose which Gelly Roll you like the most? If you are the grand prize winner of this month’s contest, you won’t have to.. because you’ll get them all!

For every individual piece of mail that you send us, you’ll earn one entry into the grand prize drawing. However, only one participation prize pen pack/coupon code will be sent out per person.

Grand prize winner will be selected from a random drawing of all letters received that were postmarked in April. All prizes will be sent out to the addresses used on the mail that was sent to us.  Feel free to contact us HERE with any questions. 

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Happy writing!! 🙂

National Letterwriting Month

April is here and so is “National Letterwriting Month”!!!

letterpost

The world we live in today has become more and more centered around technology and digital communication. Emails, texting, instant messaging, and social media are a common part of daily life, but can you remember the last time you received a handwritten letter? The instant relay of a message can be convenient for sure, but the personal touch of a physical letter can be a powerful thing.

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The 30 Letters in 30 Days Challenge

There are numerous organizations and blogs that celebrate this holiday by giving you “Letter-a-day” challenges, hosting things like “letterwriting to active military personnel” events, and more. The Postal Service even creates special stamps and sometimes kits for the occasion!

Last year we became aware of the #write_on campaign (sponsored by Sakura, the company that brings you great pens like Gelly Rolls and Microns) that challenges you to write a letter to someone every day of the month. We are so excited to participate and help to spread the idea that you should pick up some pens and markers and CREATE your messages on paper rather than using your phone or computer.

Taking the time to hand write a letter (or even to create a custom card or decorate an envelope) gives the recipient an extra sign that you care about them. And it sure is a good change from the usual mix of bills and junk mail that can often flood mailboxes.

All throughout the month of April, we encourage you to do some letterwriting. Whether it be a multiple page letter or a few sentences in a card, send a special person in your life something handwritten by you. It can brighten their day more than you could imagine! 🙂

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Send us your snail mail!

We LOVE getting “marker fan mail” here at Marker Supply!

See our blog post about this month’s contest HERE and find out how sending us something in the mail can enter you to win a giant set of Gelly Roll pens!

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Stay tuned this month for some writing/cardmaking product spotlights, special sales, and more!!

Check out www.markersupply.com to find some great tools to help you add even more special touches to your snail mail!

WHERE’S THE WHITE??

Here at the Marker Supply warehouse, one of the most common things people come looking for are opaque white ink pens for writing on paper.

Unfortunately, we always have to say that these types of pens are still practically non-existent.

The main reason?
The type of ink required to make a functional white ink pen has been very difficult to produce. It would need to be both thin enough to flow through a pen tip AND thick enough to stay a visible white once it’s marked onto paper.

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Pigments vs. Dyes

There’s a little illustration we’ve heard that can help explain a big difference between two types of ink- Pigments and Dyes:

water-water
First, take 2 glasses of water.

water-sugardirt
In one glass, pour in some sugar.
In the other glass, pour in some dirt.

Both begin to cloud the water as you stir them up.
But notice what happens after just a minute when they settle..

water-after
The sugar is still there, but has fully dissolved into the water
and everything returns to a totally liquid state.
The glass with the dirt still has solid particles everywhere
and a thick layer of mud has collected on the bottom.

 

Most pen inks are colored with dyes (like the water example with the sugar), which are either liquid, or in a solid form that quickly dissolves, and then can easily flow through the pen. However, this property can also cause the ink to either leak through the pen tip too quickly, and/or soak completely into porous surfaces like paper and become transparent- meaning that this type of white ink won’t be seen because the ink isn’t thick enough to keep its color visible on top of an absorbent surface.

What helps some colors to show up the best when making ink is to use pigment. Pigments (like the water example with the dirt) are dense, finely ground particles that stay solid as they add their color. They don’t dissolve into fluid, but are rather just suspended in it. To get a good, opaque white, you need a LOT of pigment. When you try and put too much into a pen however, it won’t flow through the tip like a normal ink without clogging or drying up.

(Fun Fact: The most common pigment used to create the color white is Titanium Dioxide.)

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Gel Ink

The marking pen world made a big step in the creation of white pens with the invention of Gel Ink. Originally marketed in 1984 by Japanese company Sakura, it finally allows a roller ball pen to use a white ink.

gellyrollwhitetip

(Fun Fact: As researchers worked to develop gel ink, they tried a wide variety of materials to get the consistency just right, including yams and egg whites!
For some more great history on the invention of Sakura’s Gelly Roll pens, read this interesting article:
https://www.gellyroll.com/history)

Gel ink is not quite the same as ordinary pen ink, as it is a lot thicker- causing issues like needing to move the pen more slowly as you write, and the marks taking longer to dry. Also, the roller ball tips still can occasionally clog. (If this happens, rolling the pen tip over a wet paper towel may help.) Despite their issues, we are still very happy to have them as an option for white ink!

whitegelpens-web

Find these white gel pens at Marker Supply:
Uni-ball Signo Gel Impact
Sakura Gelly Roll Classic Medium Tip
Marvy Gel Reminisce

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White ink comparisons on black paper

Other than gel pens, you can also find good white marking tools for paper when you look into pencils, oil-pastels, even correction pens! There are also valve-action markers that use more of a “paint” than an “ink”. Although paint markers tend to show up better on non-porous surfaces, such as glass or metal, some have been known to work adequately for certain paper projects.

Have a look at this comparison chart showing several white marking tools on plain black paper to see the ones that may work best for you! Find them all at MarkerSupply.com.

ALLWhiteInk-BlackPaper-post

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As experiments continue in the pen industry, white ink is getting closer and closer to becoming more common!

But as for now, which white pen/marker have you found works best for you??

Let us know and feel free to share your white marker artwork on our social media pages!
www.facebook.com/markersupply
Instagram #MarkerSupply
Twitter @MarkerSupply

POSCA Art & New Sets!!

Some of our favorite and best-selling markers here at Marker Supply are the Uni Posca Paint Markers.

They are available in a variety of colors and tip styles- so you can always find just the right fit for each project you do!

blog-posca1

Poscas use water-based acrylic paint that marks on just about anything! Metal, wood, glass, plastic, chalkboards, stone, posters, canvas, fabrics, even things like surfboards!  The paint is opaque and can be applied over the top of other colors once dry. Marks will be permanent on porous surfaces like paper and wood. On hard surfaces like glass and chalkboards, the paint will be waterproof, but can be cleaned off with a standard household/glass cleaner. The paint in Posca markers is non-toxic, odorless, and Xylene-free,  so they can be enjoyed by kids too!

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POSCA ART AT PAPERWORLD / CREATIVEWORLD

GERMANY – JANUARY 2017

A few folks from the Marker Supply team attended the Paperworld & Creativeworld fairs in Frankfurt, Germany last month.

The Posca section had some incredible art on display!!

poscaart-artistmuralnovo

We LOVE this giant “Heroes” collage painting done with Posca markers by the talented artist Ernesto Novo.

 

poscaart-girlpainting

A live-action Posca painting being done by French artist Nadège Dauvergne.

 

poscaart-mandalacolors

You can easily get lost looking at this incredible mandala-style painting made with colorful Poscas..

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NEW SETS!

We’ve recently added several new sets featuring the Posca markers- making it quick and easy to start or grow your collection!

POSCASETSmainnew

Find them HERE at MarkerSupply.com!

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We are impressed time and time again by all the different artists we see using the Posca markers.

Are you a fan of these versatile paint pens? What’s your favorite surface to use them on?

Let us know what you think and feel free to share your artwork- we LOVE to see your markers in action!

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