Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Review of the Mepxy Brush Markers


Recycled Soda Tab Earrings colored with Mepxy Brush Markers

I really enjoyed crafting with the Mepxy Brush markers (from the U.K.) because of their versatilty, ease of use, quality, and excellent color selection.  Above is a pair of recycled soda tab earrings that I made using the markers to color the metal.

The Mepxy markers are now being sold in the United States in art stores.  The markers bring Anime artists, calligraphy artists, and crafters a new choice in alcohol ink markers.  Mepxy even has a blog dedicated to anime artists with a fun gallery and ideas for using the markers.
The set that I got is the Mepxy 12 colors basic set which includes:


  • B06 Peacock Blue
  • L07 Natural Green
  • 006 Cadmium Orange
  • V06 Iris Purple
  • C05 Cyan
  • M09 Magenta
  • P04 Lavender
  • W07 Light Mahogany
  • G07 Vivid Green
  • N18 Sepia
  • R08 Vermilion
  • Y06 Bright Yellow
and separately, I purchased:
  • 00 Colorless Blending Pen
  • Marker Blending Palette
I had a opportunity to test them out and here are my findings in using this product.  The colors are high pigment that makes for a very rich color.  I made a color chart so you could see how they look on ivory card stock.

The inks are also translucent which makes blending the inks very easy to accomplish.  I did a sample blending using two of the colored ink markers and the colorless blending brush.
They all worked very well together and I was quite pleased. The dots pattern on the dress was done with the colorless blender pen.

 The colorless blender pen is used to remove excess ink from the image or to blend colors.

Like the other quality alcohol ink markers in the market place, these markers come with two tips.  The marker has a fine brush tip on one side

and a wide chisel tip on the other.
Shading with these markers is pretty easy.  You can add color by going over the same area with the marker or use a darker color.  The colorless blender pens are great for lightening up areas to create more dimension in a picture.

I read on the Mepxy website that the ink is toner friendly and won't react to it nor would it remove images from it.  So I did my own test on this.  I used five colors and none of them lifted the image from the paper.

I decided to test the markers on different surfaces to see how they looked.  I started by testing them on metal soda tabs.  I used the markers to color the metal soda tabs.  These have recently become popular in recycling craft projects but are often hard to find in nice colors.  So I colored a few with the markers and as you can see some of the colors are more opaque than others.
INSERT PICTURE
I also tried the Mepxy markers on wire hooks.  I used the markers to color the wire in various colors and it worked perfectly.  This also worked well on plain metal staples.

Then I tried it out on a cut up piece of aluminum soda can that I had run through my Big Shot machine.  This also worked really well.
Note:  When working with metal, allow the ink to dry in between coats of different colors.  Also use a toothpick to hold the metal during the painting process to avoid smearing the ink while it dries.   I decided to heat set the ink to ensure that the ink would remain colorfast and permanent on the metal.

For my First Project, I decided to make some simple Soda Tab Earrings with materials I had on hand.


Next, I decided to try test them on some plain cloth flowers.  I took apart the flowers and used the yellow color to paint the center of the petals.  I let them dry for about a half hour. Then I proceeded to wet the outer surface of the petals (one at a time) with the colorless blender pen which was immediately followed by inking the surface with the orange marker.
The finished flowers looked great.  I liked the vibrancy of the colors and I think the colored flowers are much cuter than the original plain flower.

Then I decided to see how these would work on canvas that has been prepped with gesso.
      For my second project, I used the markers to make a page in my altered art journal.  First, I colored the background with the markers.  Then I stamped several designs onto the page. I  filled in the color on the skull with the Mepxy markers.  I could layer the ink without blocking out my stamped images by doing only one coat.  I quickly finished off the page by adding some simple embellishments.
Mepxy Alcohol Ink Markers used in Altered Art Journal Pages

My third project was to use the markers over various card stock to see how it would hold up.  As you can see in the photo below, it worked great on the canvas, card stock, and the various trims that I combined to make a fun wall hanging for my daughter.


      The Mepxy Alcohol Ink Brush markers worked well together with all the different elements that I tested them.  I certainly got the results that I wanted from them.  This product seems to work on so many surfaces that the possibilities for crafting use are vast.
      The markers also work great on shrink plastic, air dry clay, epoxy clay pieces, lace, assorted papers, various metals, and more.  I enjoyed the versatility of these markers and the intensity of the pigmented alcohol inks.  They are very easy to work with, however, I can not stress enough that once the ink is applied to a surface, it will dry quickly.   Make sure to plan your project with this in mind.  Personally, I love that it dries quickly because it lets me move on to the next project phase.
    The markers are also sold individually at around $5.99 (but I found them online for less) which makes it easy to collect the colors you like.  The sets retail for $71.88 but again, a google search listed them at several retailers for around $49.99 and up.  These markers would be great for the professional artist, art students, journaling, or crafter's.  My kids love them for doing Anime drawings because of the smooth flow of the ink and the double ended tip.



Tips:

  • Immediately place tips back onto markers so they do not dry out.
  • Do not use with Staz On ink, because it can react to it.
  • These are rich colors and will seep through cheaper quality paper, so take that into consideration when planning your projects.
  • If you decide to color soda tabs with alcohol ink pens, you have to clean them and sand them to get alcohol ink to stick.  Then you need to heat set it.  The intensity of color you get depends on the amount of ink you use and the brand of ink you use.  
  • I found the ink adhered differently to different types of metal.  So I recommend you do a test first to make sure the alcohol inks will work on the metal you are planning on using.




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