Starbucks has come out with four “completely natural” markers. They are colored with materials such as turmeric (a yellow-orange spice) and minerals. The good news is that they don’t smell bad and they are, I guess, eco-friendly. The bad news is that the colors aren’t saturated or true to the lid colors.
On the left is a chart. I matched Copic alcohol markers and Faber-Castell Pitt Pens to the lid colors of the Starbucks markers, then added a selection of Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils in colors that matched the marker lids.
The top half of the Derwent Inktense is blended with water, the bottom is just the pencil. And yes, I noticed that I flopped the yellow and orange on the pencils. No other intent, just a mistake.
As you can see, the Starbucks markers are grayed out and not vibrant. They do not soak through the page, which the Copic markers do. Pitt and Derwent Inktense do not soak through or bleed.
Copic markers lay down color more smoothly and deeply; Pitt Pens (Faber-Castell) are intense and true to color, Inktense create a transparent wash that is color-rich.
If you are not interested in the colors, the Starbucks markers work well, go down smoothly and have a chisel tip that writes both flat and on edge.
On a totally different note: The black squares on the bottom are a decoration only. I’m working on an art journaling class that doesn’t use painted backgrounds. That’s where the black squares came from. Stay tuned for more information on the class.
—Quinn McDonald is a writer, artist and life- and creativity coach. She reviews art materials when she uses them.