Art: Prismacolor Clear Blender Blunder...
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  1. #1
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    Prismacolor Clear Blender Blunder...

    This has probably already been posted in the past, but I wasn't able to find it... so..

    I am a new person to Prismacolor markers, but I have enjoyed for a while.

    however, I am starting an important project concerning them and am having problems, mainly with the clear blender marker.

    I think I may be applying too much, but it won't blend colors. All it seems to do is just fade the colors right out and leave a greasy spot on the paper.
    Is it the paper that keeps it from blending?

    If you don't mind, I would like advise on how to use it to get it to blend it the way I need it to. Everything is appreciated.

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    I've never gotten the Colorless Blender to work correctly. As you said, it just kind of fades the colors and leaves a greasy mark. I much prefer burnishing, using white or another light color to blend. Boy, it's been a while since I've done much with Prismacolors...

    Does anyone have a secret trick to using the blender pencil?

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    ugh...

    At least I can see that I'm not alone in that situation...

    Well, my last project that I used the clear blender marker on, it did blend colors. The thing is that I drew it on posterboard instead. That's why I think that it depends upon the type of paper you use to get it to blend. Perhaps it requires absolutely no bleeding effects in order to work right...

    I dunno, I'm just pulling out guesses..

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    Exclamation Attempt #2

    Just trying to bring this back to the front so people can see it...

    Please guys, this project is important and the deadline is incredibly close! I need your help. *begs*

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    You have to work quickly with markers. Lay down a light color and have the next marker that you are going to use already opened and ready to go. You then can blend them together while they are still wet instead of using that crappy blender. When you get used to that, give that blender marker a proper burial.

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    What kind of paper are you using? It sounds like it's too absorbent. The blender marker really only works on smooth papers that don't suck up the ink. Try something specifically labeled as "marker paper".


    Tristan Elwell
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    According to...

    According to the front page of the sketchbook, I'm using a bright white medium tooth surface suitable for charcoal, pastel, and pen. DOH!!!

    Oh well. I've already spent weeks making the drawing perfect, I'll just have to deal with getting more accurate colors and mixing them without the blender.

    Thanks for the help guys, it was really useful!

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    What kind of paper are you using? It sounds like it's too absorbent. The blender marker really only works on smooth papers that don't suck up the ink. Try something specifically labeled as "marker paper".
    I know it's too late for your project, but I just wanted to emphasize how correct he is. Actual marker paper is very very thin. Your markers last a lot longer and blend much more easily. They're also more vibrant and there isn't as much of a value shift. Unfortunately marker paper is also usually translucent, expensive, and it doesn't mix well other media.

    -Craig

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    Whoops, I misread the initial post and I was talking about Prismacolor colored pencils. But I've worked with Prismacolor markers before, and the colorless blender seems useless for them, too. Like Brad Wagner said, you have to work quickly when you want a smooth effect. I find it very easy and satisfying to lay down shading by building up "washes" of one or two colors very quickly. This works especially well with the gray markers.

    What frustrates me is the inability to blend the lightest markers into the white of the paper. Let's say I have an area of 10% Cool Gray, and I want to fade the edge all the way to white. Very difficult, if not impossible, to pull off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister
    What frustrates me is the inability to blend the lightest markers into the white of the paper. Let's say I have an area of 10% Cool Gray, and I want to fade the edge all the way to white. Very difficult, if not impossible, to pull off.
    That's where the clear blender is really useful, but, as has been mentioned, it only works on the right kinds of paper.


    Tristan Elwell
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    Too Late?

    I hope my response isn't moot at this point, but I thought I'd chirp in with an excerpt from a book I was just reading about 30 minutes ago. It's called Mechanika: Creating The Art Of Science Fiction With Doug Chiang. He was the design director for the first two Star Wars prequels.

    He details his design kit setup and explains how he uses each piece. Here's what he says on Prismacolor Markers [he uses grey 30%, 50%, 60%, 70%]:

    Marker Finishing Techniques - Achieving smooth tonal blends is the toughest challenge of good marker technique. Besides using the right paper (more on that later), the secret is speed. Since the markers are alcohol-based and dry quickly, it's important to work fast while the paper is still moist from the markers to get smooth blends between marker tones. Marking too slowly will result in hard edges and a scraggly look. This is OK if that's the effect you are striving for, but in most cases, you'll want smooth blends between tones. Try to complete the entire marker blending stage in twenty minutes or less. This means individual sections must be finished in a couple of minutes. This may sound intimidating, but practice is key.

    Work in small areas, going from lightest marker value to the darkest. Generally, it's best to work from background to foreground, large to small areas, round to flat shapes.

    Also, keep in mind that markers dry lighter in value. You may need to compensate in order to achieve the right balance of lights and darks so that the forms will read properly. If you need to rework the marker values, make sure you do it before the marker dries.


    Here's the excerpt on the paper he uses:

    For paper, I use premium color copier paper. Color copier paper works well with markers because it has a coating that helps keep marker from soaking into the paper fibers and causing feathery "marker bleeds." Paper brand isn't as important as the quality and finish of the stock. I prefer at least 28-lb. {105gsm} paper with a brilliance rating of 98. There are types of paper made specifically for marker sketching, but I don't find them necessary. Personal preference should determine your choice. Even though I like the feel and texture of premium color copier paper, you may find vellum or other paper products better.



    From what everyone is saying, the blender marker might not be all that useful, but I imagine several factors play into that. Try getting your hand on some color copier paper and follow the 20-minute rule. If it doesn't help, it might be that the marker is just stupid. Haha.


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    Hey it might be too late to help you. But if prismacolors act similar to copic markers. Then the color blender might actually be an eraser. I know the copic colorless blender acts more like an eraser. Thats why your colors might get "faded". Hope that helps.

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    I think the main purpose of the Blender pen in both copic and prismaclor pen sets is to take down the saturation of dryer ink so you can go over it with another color to achieve somewhat of a blend. Not nearly as good as working with "wet" markers. Some people prefer a slightly used, dryer marker that doesn't fill in an area as well, which gives a different look than the wet ones do (think the early 80's fashion sketches versus the late nineties to modern marker story boards, from dry to wet). Personally, I haven't found much use for a blender, except as an "oh shit" tool for when I didn't work fast enough, but even then, it's already too late =/ I hate that seethroughish grease spot that's left behind, but I tend to use markers more quickly on ink traces, so the time spent isn't as huge of a disappointment... pisses me off, but not a major time sink.

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