Art · Product Review · Showcase · Video

Copic Alternative? #coloring Markers by Art Alternatives Review

Here we are, a day late but maybe only, like, a nickel short.

I’ve been sick the last couple days, so this was slow in the making (I recorded it about a week or so ago, but hadn’t edited any of the video). But, at least it’s done, and I haven’t broken my weekly updating streak! (Knock on wood!) Which is good, because next week marks six consecutive months of SJM!! I’m going to pat myself on the back a little here, because I feel like that’s a fairly major accomplishment. According to the internets, 95% of blogs are abandoned, and 77% are abandoned in the first six months.

So although this isn’t some deep, rich blog full of life-altering secrets, I feel I can be proud of my little corner of the internet as a positive, creative space. I hope you enjoy it here as much as I do.

Here. Have a video:

And some pictures for comparison!

On the left image the #coloring markers are on top and Copics are on the bottom, and on the right image the Copics are on the top while #coloring markers are on the bottom.

Overall, I think the Art Alternatives #coloring markers are a pretty good marker for a great price. Here’s a run-down of my observations.


  • Nice, thick barrel with good hand-feel. Doesn’t feel cheap.
  • Clear endcap labeling with well-matched colors.
  • Good saturation with even coverage.
  • Clear nib labeling (icon indicates brush vs. bullet, as well as grey band on bullet end).
  • Blends smoothly and easily.
  • Layers well for variation.
  • Being alcohol based means they should blend well with other alcohol-based markers (Copic, Winsor & Newton Pro/Brush Markers, Spectrum Noir, etc.).
  • Anti-roll stops on the cap.
  • Replaceable nibs available.
  • Affordable! 5 for $11.99 = $2.40/ea (But ultimately Copics are the long-term affordable option, see this post for my comments why, and this post for how to get them as cheap as possible).


  • Stiff nib makes it potentially more difficult to achieve certain effects (flicking thin lines, feathering, etc.)
  • No word on them being refillable. 😦
  • Grey band labeling nib is opposite Copic standard (labels bullet, not brush nib; just a little confusing if you’re used to the other way around).
  • Limited color selection (five sets of five = 25 colors, plus a colorless blender, available on the Art Alternatives website)

So, overall, pros out weigh the cons if you’re looking for a cheap “give it a go” option on alcohol-based inks and brush tips. The only disadvantage is that the brush tip, being stiff, is not a good indicator of how Copic brush tips work. So, take this into account to decide if they’re right for you!

As always, thanks for reading!


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