Alcohol and Watercolour Marker FAQs

How many colours are available in the full range?

There are 216 blendable colours in total in our Classique and Illustrator ranges - available singly and in various themed sets. Perfect for all kinds of sketching, design, colouring and illustration.

We also offer a range of complementary colors across our artist quality colouring pencils, plus metallic ink, sparkle ink, watercolour markers and acrylic paint based ranges.


Which Spectrum Noir markers are alcohol-based?

Our Classique, Illustrator, Artliner and TriBlend ranges use our high quality alcohol based inks. Our Sparkle Brush and Metallic Marker ranges also use our alcohol based ink.

Our Aqua Marker and TriColor Aqua ranges bring same great Spectrum Noir quality, but in a slower-drying, blendable, water-based format.


How is an Illustrator marker different to the Classique marker?

Classique markers offer two premium Japanese nibs: One bullet tipped and one broad-chisel, for a broad range of applications.

Illustrator markers offer a premium Japanese brush and a premium Japanese super-fine nib, for a wide variety of techniques that cannot be achieved with a standard broad-chisel and bullet-tipped marker: Including flick blending, extra fine detail and the ability to easily vary line weight and shape in one stroke.


Are Illustrator markers just for artists?

An Illustrator marker gives you artist’s quality, in both usability and performance, but at a price that is affordable for everyone, so you’ll get the best of both worlds. Although designed to achieve the highest quality results, everyone should give them a go!


What kind of ink is inside an alcohol marker?

The ink is an alcohol-based dye. The alcohol makes the ink quick-drying and usable on many different surfaces. Whilst the dye gives a fine, smooth coverage that can be layered to create depth and shade.


Are alcohol markers lightfast?

Most alcohol markers use dye-based colour, and whilst it has many benefits, it will fade when directly exposed to light for long periods.


Are alcohol markers acid-free?

Because of the way the dyes inside alcohol markers are made, no alcohol-based marker can claim to be 100% acid-free. However, the acidity (if any) will be very low. 


How should alcohol markers be stored?

Your markers can be stored upright or flat, it doesn’t matter. The dyes in the inks will always disperse evenly inside the pen, they cannot settle at one end.


Can Spectrum Noir alcohol markers be re-filled?

Yes, by removing the nib using tweezers and then carefully refilling using our Spectrum noir reinkers..


Is it possible to replace the nibs?

Yes, replacement nibs are available for the Spectrum Noir Classqiue and Illustrator ranges.


Can different types of Spectrum Noir alcohol markers be used together?

Yes, absolutely. The ink formulations are the same and can be used side by side.


Are Reinkers just for refills or can they be used in other ways?

Using alcohol inks creatively has become hugely popular, there are some stunning yet easy-to-achieve techniques on offer! They can be brushed, dropped, spritzed or used with foam and other media for an amazing range of marbled and patterned effects on all kinds of surfaces. See our tutorials for more.


I’ve noticed there are some warnings on the bottles  of Spectrum Noir reinkers, are Alcohol Inks safe to use?

As with all Spectrum Noir products, we test our Alcohol Inks extensively and ensure they meet all global safety standards. They are certified non-toxic and are completely safe when stored and used correctly. A safety data sheet is available on request.


Are Alcohol Inks environmentally friendly?

Our markers use recyclable parts and can be disposed of safely when empty. By refilling your marker, you will significantly extend its lifespan. Which is kind to the planet as well as your pocket!

Coloured Pencils FAQs

Your pencils are advertised as 'artist's quality', what does this mean?

The term ‘artist’s quality’ can have different meanings, and often is used by art supplies companies to grade their products for more serious use. It should refer to the general quality of materials that went into the product when it was made, in particular (where it’s a marker or pencil) the ink or pigment inside.


What makes ColourBlend and AquaBlend pencils ‘artist’s quality’?

Both ColourBlend and AquaBlend pencils have an extremely pure, highly pigmented core. Meaning there’s no filler inside, just the wax or water-based binder and the actual pigment itself. This means they go further and will perform exceptionally.  


What does ‘light-fastness’ mean?

A color’s light-fastness simply refers to its fade-resistance under direct UV light (i.e. sunlight). Pencil artists are often very concerned with this because they want their work to stand the test of time and not fade away.  


Are ColourBlend and AquaBlend pencils lightfast?

Yes, the high-quality pigments found in both ColourBlend and AquaBlend offer outstanding levels of light-fastness. In recent independent tests by CPSA (The Colored Pencil Society of America) most of our colors received the highest three-star rating for light-fastness.


How should I sharpen my pencil?

You probably think you know the answer to this one. But did you know it’s best to keep your pencil still and turn the sharpener? This gives you a precise point and avoids grinding the pencil into the blades, which can cause the lead to break.


How should I store my pencils?

Carefully! Your pencils are best stored in their original tins. This keeps them safe and prevents the leads from breaking inside.