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Copic markers on a budget + Memento .vs. VersaFine !

on April 2, 2016

Hi, Everyone ! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend. Today I wanna share with you the Spectrum Noir Aqua markers and also share a ink pad comparison between the Memento ink pad and the VersaFine which are both made by Tsukineko but equally different. So let’s start with the ink pad comparison first.

Below is a comparison example I made. Memento ink is on the left and VersaFine is on the right. It says that VersaFine is best for Fine Detail stamping. The stamped impression definitely is darker and more crisp than the Memento ink but my Memento ink pad is pretty worn but I keep it inked. I think VersaFine does give you a better impression with better clarity in detail.


Even when my Memento ink pad was *new* I remember some clear stamps the impression was a bit hazy looking like in the picture sample above. The clear stamps I used  are fairly *new* and only been used once before this. I think I’ll be using the VersaFine more often when I want clearer stamped images or using a stamp that has lots of detail in them.

Now on to the Copic markers on a budget. I just purchased these markers called Spectrum Noir Aqua markers which are water-based. I didn’t seem to get them to work with a water brush too well although I have seen tutorials on YouTube where they have watercolored with these markers. I prefer to use them straight as markers.

I had purchased one copic marker using a coupon from Michaels. It’s RV11 which is a very soft cotton candy pink color which I use for coloring cheeks on characters. I was in Love with the copic marker and wished … No wait dream to own all the Copic marker colors. But unless I won the lotto that’s not gonna be an easy dream to achieve.

I know I’ve been told I can just buy them one by one using coupons but I don’t have the patience to buy one by one. 😛 Now I came across these Spectrum Noir Aqua markers at my local JoAnn’s store. The idea of watercolors + markers intrigued me and since I had a 50% off coupon they were only $15 compared to $29.99 regular price.


I had originally only purchased one(1) pack which is the Floral set which includes a pretty nice variety of colors but it was missing Blues. Blue is my favorite color and it’s a color I tend to reach for most often. So I went back and bought the Primary set which has Four(4) shade of Blue. Unlike the Copics these markers do not have a Chisel nib. It has a Brush nib like the Copics and a fine point nib which I like better than the Chisel tip.

Below I made a color swatch chart for you guys to see the colors as they really are. The colored caps on the markers aren’t accurate to what the real colors are. One that kinda bugs me but no too much is the fact that the colors are really close to each other that it kinda seems like you’re getting doubles of some colors. Like the Rose Pink and Blossom are real similar. You can actually get the Rose Pink color by layering Blossom on top of each other.


The same goes for the Primary set. Scarlet and Crimson are too similar in color along with Magenta and Red Violet, Orchid and Heather, Jasmine and Gold, Sunflower and Yellow, etc. If you look at the two(2) sets … Floral and Primary you’d think you got doubles of the color just under different names.

I like the fact that I know have a pretty decent ROYGBIV Spectrum of colors to work with. I honestly can say these perform just as well as Copic markers and to me they make great Copic beginners markers to practice Copic techniques until you can graduate and afford the actual Copic markers. But if you’re on a impossibly tight and limited budget like myself where having a large stash of Copics doesn’t seem possible then these are really the budget friendly replacements. Plus you don’t really need a Copic Blender marker or any blender marker since these are Spectrum Noir Aqua Water-based markers. All you need is water and a paintbrush or a water brush.

I’ll give the watercoloring attempt another try. But when I last tried it didn’t seem to pull any color and I was using the Pentel Aquash waterbrush. I’ll try using a regular paintbrush and see if that works better. Overall I really like these Spectrum Noir Aqua markers. I think with my next coupon I’ll try getting a set of the regular Spectrum Noir markers. JoAnn’s carries the six(6) pack but they’re only in single color sets. So Six(6) shades of Reds or Blues or Purples or Greens or Greys. I’m interested in the Blues, Pinks, and Turquoise set since they are colors I use most often.



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