FACT: I suck at colors in general. Even though I see myself as a creative, I rarely work with colors if I can help it. But just when I thought I’d already give up on coloring tools, I received two sets of Finecolour markers last Christmas from an artist friend. So okay, I thought, let’s give color one final chance. 😀
Finecolours are alcohol-based markers from China hailed as a cheaper alternative to Copics. I have never used a Copic marker in my life, and prior to receiving the Finecolours, I didn’t have the slightest idea about Copics at all.
Apparently, Copic markers are like the king of alcohol-based markers, both in quality and price. As of this writing, a 12-piece Copic Original set in Amazon will run you almost $79. That’s 3,869.04 pesos in local currency. It’s a pricey decision, which is why Copics are generally recommended for professionals and serious amateurs, and less so for beginners or those who are just, let’s say, testing the waters. I can see why: a pen that costs almost $8 a piece is not for testing, unless you’re filthy rich. (lol)
The set I received have dual tips similar to the Copic Original: one fine tip and one broad tip. I’m not sure if Finecolour makes felt brush tips like Copic Sketch. Anyhoo, it’s handy to be able to toggle between covering wide and thin areas, although I recently find myself using the broad tip more, even when coloring details.
I used the Finecolour for the first time on a sketch of Bukchon Hanok (북촌한옥), Seoul. I decided to use two basic shades first, i.e., green and brown, just to get the feel of it. And lo, I actually liked how the two colors seemed to give a bit of life on what would have otherwise been a flat black-and-white drawing.
SinceI have zero experience with color markers, I don’t know how to do those blending/shading techniques — yet. I intend to learn them soon, but right now, I use the markers like how any beginner would.
Because it’s alcohol-based, there’s a lot of bleeding on the back page. Bleeding on the next page is present, but I don’t find it excessive unless you will do multiple layers.
I admittedly am not a markers expert (yet), hence, I cannot judge Finecolour as a Copics alternative. But my experience so far is very favorable: it made me appreciate color that no other coloring tools ever did. The more I use it, the more I get amazed by how it works.
So go get a set if you are one of these two:
- a beginner who wants to learn the ropes of alcohol-based markers, but isn’t quite pocket-ready for Copics, or
- a casual creative looking to have a good and affordable marker for side projects. Trust me, it’s a worthy contender. 😉
And if you are from Manila, Lazada currently has Finecolour markers in the 24, 36, 48, 72, and 112 -piece set. It is not available in major bookstores yet, but specialty arts and craft stores like Craft Carrot sells them. (Note that only the 72 and 112-piece set have the colorless blender.)
Okay, that’s it — I am never going to draw without color again! 😀