Sakura Solid Markers

You know I’m an artist wannabe?  During my working career art was my stress relief mechanism.  It amazed me at how much art would disconnect me from the rather aberrant business mind-set into which I would become enveloped. In those days, a single afternoon spent with art was heavenly.  My sketching tools were critical components of my travel wardrobe.  I like being retired, if for no other reason than that ‘art’ has become a daily experience even if it is no more than 5 minutes daily with a pencil and a zentangle.  I also like having the funds (kids even 1, are an extremely costly hobby) to experiment with new supplies as they become available. Understandably I was piqued when Julie FeiFan Balzer introduced Sakura Solid Markers in this Video.  I love her presentation style. She’s both upbeat and informative and organized.  She has an extensive vocabulary and uses it. I first saw Julie on Quilting Arts, a weekly PBS broadcast. I think at the time she was doing this stuff all on her own.  She’s obviously receiving support now and frankly reveals that she receives many items with a request to review the catch being that she must be able to be honest. While her attitude and verbal skills remain at about the same level maybe a little better, I see her personal appearance improving. I’m not sure, but I think she’s being coached to make the best possible professional appearance without losing her girl-next-door appeal.  Well so much about Julie, because the point of this blog is that this lovely young lady introduced me to Sakura Solid Markers and I had to get a few.

Although the link is to a full set, I bought individual markers from Amazon in white and blue. I’m a prime member so my cost was limited to around $4 each. (BTW, I’m not being paid for my review. I do my reviews so I personally have a record of what I’ve tried and how it worked for me.  Understand that Your Mileage May Vary in fact probably will).  I figured if I liked these markers white + blue would give me enough variety for a project and then I would find the $48 for a full set.

Being my projects are clothing embellishments, I chose to experiment on a scrap of rayon challis.  I made a control swatch:

I colored spots with the blue marker and  used  sequin waste as a stencil.  The ‘marker’ is very similar to Cedar Canyon Painstiks. I’ve only used the mini Paintstiks and can tell you immediately that having this nice large marker size was comfortable to hold and use.  When it’s used down to the top edge, the bottom twists bringing more of the marker up for continued use. Rather like a lipstick which is also what the texture reminded me of i.e. a nice fat, smooth, creamy lipstick.  I did not like how it worked with my stencil.  Globs of paint tended to accumulate on the edges. Now maybe that’s because sequin waste has small openings close together or maybe it’s just me. I also got out my a cheap  paint pouncers (the kind you buy a dozen for $4.98 at Hobbylobby). I rubbed my marker on wax paper until I had a small puddle and picked it up with the pouncer before applying through the sequin waste. That worked i.e. no globs of paint; even application etc… but I didn’t see it as an improvement over using the liquid acrylic paints I normally would choose. Except for spillage. No liquid paint running everywhere when it’s in a solid stick.

For the second sample, I colored in some of the white spaces and let that dry for 48 hours before heat setting.  I didn’t really mean to leave it that long, but life happens and I figured more drying time didn’t hurt.

I did like the creamy feel when filling these large areas and some smaller spaces but realized the marker by itself was not the tool for very detailed work. (For me that is. Again YMMV.)

One really good thing is that I didn’t notice any smell.  That could be the result of the limited area painted in the tests. But I don’t buy or use Cedar Canyon’s Paintstiks because my working area is not well ventilated. Even a small stenciled area produces headache causing fumes. For me. Again, YMMV and probably will. So I liked that I did not experience any aromas or headaches.

My 3rd sample was a repeat of the 2nd except after 24 hours, I painted Fabric Medium  over it which caused the color to blend a little.  I liked how it blended. It’s the kind of thing to take note of and say when I want a better blend use the Fabric Medium. Then I waited another 24 hours before my next step which was…

I put samples 2 and 3 into a small lingerie bag and  washed  and dried with the towels. I sample with the intention of using on clothing. Whatever I use must survive the laundry and not just typical laundry but the laundry DH will probably do which is hot water and bake on high until dry.  It’s a given that DH will try to help me at some point by doing the laundry.  My clothing must survive his laundry method. (No ssss. No plural. He has only the one laundry method.)

The colors dried slightly lighter than the original application. Not a deal breaker in its own, but they also lightened during the single laundry cycle. Which is the deal breaker. I won’t buy more Sakura Solid Markers which is too bad. Overall, I liked these really well. I can see using these markers when I want to change or add larger areas of color. Initially, I’d be very selective about any stencils used because I don’t think the Solid Markers worked the best in the small detailed stencil. I like the full range of colors and believe they are mixable which would allow the creation of other colors. I love the colors selected for the full set. I can clearly see a cool and a warm of each color.  It goes back to my water-color training where I was taught to choose a warm and cool of each color for the greatest possible color range when mixing.

These solid markers are a good tool. I’m partial to the Fabric Medium because it has the least effect on fabric hand. Perhaps if I were a little more open to a different color fixative…