Fish done in yellow, orange and dark pink Sharpie watercolor pens on Arches Velin. Background in Twinkling H20s. © Quinn McDonald, 2012
The Glitter Sharpies are a must-have for hand lettering. How I got mine is a story I hope you’ll enjoy–it involves a large-chain store (called XYZ here), a stubborn shopper (yep, me) and a camera. The pen review comes after the story. Part of the marker review is in the photo captions, so you can read just those and skip the store story if you prefer.
XYZ is a store I avoid. The one I’m familiar with is older and has a messy display out front that’s tired and picked over, even in the morning. The store don’t have enough help, and the help they do have isn’t well-trained so everyone is cranky (including me.)
On my trip to find the markers, I have to go down narrow, tall aisles jammed with Easter products and the omnipresent, overwhelming smell of what must be mountains of potpourri. The Sharpie glitter markers are way in the back. Pretty spendy at $12.99 for 3. But they put down color that looks like heat-set foil, so I splurged.
Back at the front of the store, there is one elderly man with faulty glasses, peering at prices and slowly checking out customers. The line snakes through the store. I stand and wait.
Eventually, it’s my turn. I put down the 3-pack of glitter markers, and $15.
He starts to give me a spiel to get a store marketing card, which may or may not cost money. “No, thanks,” I say, still cheery.
He scans the markers, and it comes up $14.99.
Glitter Sharpies hanging on the display. I've distorted the part of the tag that identifies the store name.
My eyebrows shoot up to my hairline. I say, “They are marked $12.99 at the display.”
“You’re wrong,” he says, “It’s scanning at $14.99.”
“That may scan at $14.99, but they are marked $12.99 in the back,” I insist.
He sighs. “I don’t have anyone to go back and check, so you’ll have to pay $14.99.” he says.
I think about the line I’ve just spent 20 minutes waiting in. “That’s OK,” I say, “I don’t want them at that price.” And I leave. Unhappiness chews at me.
Back home, I print out a coupon, run errands, and return to XYZ.
The guy who couldn’t help me is hanging my purchase back on the rack. “I’ll take those,” I smile, and photograph the $12.99 price tag. Markers and coupon in hand, I trek to the counter, and the checker scans them at $14.99. “They are marked $12.99 in the display,” I say. She looks at me doubtfully and says, “They scan at $14.99.” Déja cranky.
I whip out my cell phone and show her the photo–she can read both the price and the writing on the package of glitter markers. The lady is astonished. “What a great idea!” she says. “But don’t you go telling anyone about this, or everyone will be saving money.” I do not want to think about what she means–just how many other products are over-priced here? She calls the store manager. “The price signs were wrong,” she says, “you’ll have to pay the scanned price.”
“I have a photograph of the price marked,” I say, still polite, but firmly. “I expect you to charge me the marked price, and I want the coupon discount, too.”
The lady looks at me dubiously. I hold up my phone-proof, making eye contact. “Ahhh, you deserve it,” she says, and then says, “So say ‘thank you’ or I won’t give it to you.” Small price to pay. “Thank you,” I say, and mean it.
And that is how I bought a packages of glitter markers at a bargain price.
Markers on index card, tilted to show glitter effect. Smooth and rich, these Sharpie markers are worth the money.
And they are worth it. The Sharpie Glitter markers are water-based. You have to shake them and push the nib down to start the color. Once the color starts, it puts down a smooth line of glittery color. The color is so even and smooth that, once dry, you can go over it with a Pitt or Micron pen and the black outline pen won’t jump. There are six colors: green, blue, light pink, dark pink, yellow and orange. The colors are rich, the smooth glitter is bright. Small details and hand lettering look great.
Roofs are done in light and dark pink Sharpie Glitter markers. The rest of the color is Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils. Left half is pencil, right half outlined in Pitt pen. Notice that there is no smearing.
You can erase over them without dulling the color or picking up the glitter.
Despite the drama of the purchase, I love these colors. I’m not much of a glitter girl, but the color is saturated, well- defined and crisp.
The yellow is bright and clear, and perfect for crowns, halos, light effects and well, koi scales (in the top illustration). I’ll be using these often.
—Quinn McDonald is the author of Raw Art Journaling, Making Meaning, Making Art. She wrote it to help people who can’t draw become art journalers.