Sakura Archives - MarkerSupply.com Blog

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:
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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!

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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!! 🙂

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:

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First, take 2 glasses of water.

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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..

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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.

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(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!

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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

Some Metallic Markers We Love!

 

 

This month’s focus on metallic markers had us rounding up some of our favorites!
Here’s a closer look at some of our go-to metallic picks:

*Pebeo 4Artist Copper Marker*

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An impressive metallic marker that we fell in love with instantly. This oil-based copper paint pen makes smooth and shiny marks that look just like a melted penny! These markers can be used on multiple surfaces and give any craft a real WOW factor.

*Fabricolor Fine Tip Gold & Silver*

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When asked what our recommendation is for autographs or other markings on black/dark fabrics, our best pick is the Zig Fabricolor Fine Tip marker in silver. Its super light ink appears almost white but gives a brighter, slightly shiny appearance that really stands out. The Zig Fabricolor Fine Tip gold marker is a deep, almost bronze-like gold, with bright gold specks blended in that looks beautiful on all types of fabrics!

*Fudebiyori Metallic Brush Markers*
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With their soft and flexible brush tip, the Fudebiyori (Foo-dee-bee-your-ee) markers work very well for lettering as well as making other designs, borders, and more. The ink flows super smoothly from the tip, and brings incredible metallic colors to light or dark papers.

*Wink of Stella Glitter Brush Pens*
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Glitter can be added to SO many things, making them stand out with a sparkle. The amount of glitter that these pens lay down along with their color is pretty amazing! They are available in a variety of different colors, and can be used alone or over the top of other colored areas. Plus, this pen is easily controllable with a squeezable barrel and real bristle-type brush.

*Gelly Roll Shadow*

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A special type of Gelly Roll, the “Shadow” roller ball gel pens have the unique feature of writing with a color that quickly turns into a metallic color (gold or silver) and leaves just a hint of the other color on the edges for a fun effect as you write!

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Have a look at these great markers and more at www.markersupply.com!

Overview of Watercolor Markers

Watercolor is a timeless style of painting and sketching. Using markers instead of tubes of paint, etc. is a quick, simple, and more mess-free way to explore this type of art! This blog takes you through the markers we have at Marker Supply that are dye-based and will easily blend with water (and with other colors) to create smooth color gradations, shadows and fading effects, and of course- watercolor art!

(*All of these markers are water-based and should not bleed through most papers. However, it is recommended that if you are blending them with water to create watercolor style art, you use a thicker paper designed to handle the moisture.)

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Zig Clean Color Real Brush Marker

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Colors Available: 80

Sets Available:
Set of 48 with Case and Bonus Water Brush
Color Tone Sets of 6
Color Scheme Sets of 4
Set of 6
Set of 12
Shade and Shadow Set of 20
Trend Set of 12
Grayscale Set of 20

Tip Style: Single-Ended, bristle brush

Currently a very popular watercolor marker, the Clean Colors have been recently featured on many craft blogs.  Its hair-like brush tip resembles more of an actual paint brush, which makes it easier to thin out the color as the stroke grows larger. Clean colors have awesome blending ability and plenty of light and dark colors to create gradation effects. Their color range also includes fluorescents and a variety of gray tones.

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Sakura KOI Coloring Brush Pen

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Colors Available: 48

Sets Available:
Set of 12 colors
Set of 24 colors

Tip Style: Single-Ended, Rubber Brush

A newer marker from Sakura, the KOI comes with its own fun and unique color palette. The brush tip is more of a sturdy, rubbery feel, but still flexible- allowing you to make thin or thick lines- but will quickly spring back to its original shape. This durable tip also makes these markers great for working with rubber stamps.

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Zig Art & Graphic Twin

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Colors Available: 80

Tip Style: Double-Ended, Fine Tip and Rubber Brush

A dual tip marker (like getting 2 pens in 1!) that has a rubber brush on one end, and a fine point on the other- a handy combo for coloring both larger and tiny spaces. Available in a wide variety of colors, very similar to the Clean Color range. The brush tip on these markers is a little longer and more “bendy” than the KOI. The ink is also very fluid when pressure is applied to the brush tip- making it a breeze to dab some color on a palette surface for blending just like real paints.

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Zig Calligraphy II Dye

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Colors Available: 15

Sets Available:
Set of 6
Set of 12

Tip Style: Double-Ended, 2mm Square and 3.5mm Square

Another double-ended marker that features 2 square (flat-edged chisel) tips in different sizes, common with writing many calligraphy font styles. The dye ink in this marker makes it possible to add some unique shadowing and other effects to your lettering!

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Prismacolor Watercolor Colored Pencils

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Colors Available: 36

Sets Available:
Set of 12 in metal tin
Set of 24 in metal tin
Set of 36 in metal tin

Tip Style: Sharpened pencil point

These special colored pencils from Prismacolor are water soluble and can create incredible blended effects and watercolor works of art. The pencil tip lets you apply pressures and shading techniques while drawing and writing that differ from what is done with markers.

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Sakura KOI Pocket Field Sketch Box

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Outside the world of markers is this handy watercolor tool- featuring 24 half pan watercolor paints, a water brush, dabbing sponges, and a detachable palette tray. It’s small and portable- perfect for painting anywhere you go! The lid forms an easel that holds postcard size paper- helping you capture the perfect little scene at the park, on the beach, or in the city!

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Blenders

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All of the above markers can be used with regular paint brushes and water, or try using them with any of these convenient blending pens!

Zig BrusH20 Water Pens: A refillable pen that holds water-  just squeeze the barrel and it flows out through the brush tip! Available in 4 sizes.
Zig Blender Marker: A dual tip rubber brush marker full of water-based blending solution. Works well for more subtle blending than using water.
Zig Art & Graphic Twin Colorless Blender: A dual tip (fine/rubber brush) marker, just like the other Art & Graphics, only this one has no color, just a clear blending solution.
Sakura KOI Colorless Blender Pen: A rubber brush colorless pen, great for blending and mixing colors. Sold as a pack of 2 pens.

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Techniques

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There are several techniques you can use to paint with dye-based markers:

-Use the markers to sketch out your drawing, then blend with a water pen to give it a watercolor look.
-Add a little water to the paper first, then soak in some color in places over the top of it.
-Briefly soak the color tip in water until the tip lightens. Then as you color, the shade will gradually darken.
-Touch the tip of a lighter color marker into the tip of a darker color until a little soaks in, then draw with the lighter tip for a smooth color-changing blend.
-Color a section with a darker color, then use a lighter color to blend it out.
-Dab the wet tip of a water pen over the colored marker tip, then apply to the paper from the water pen.

There are plenty more ways to create watercolor with markers! Let us know your favorite tips and tricks, and send us some of your painted watercolor works! We love to see what you markers are making!!

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