I can't believe I'm saying this but I've finally found alcohol markers I love more than Spectrum Noir, and waterbased blendable pens that I find better than Tombow! Those two brands were always my go-to pens to get amazing results, but Harmony trumps them both! These pens were developed especially for and sold exclusively on Hochanda, a relatively new TV channel in the UK for crafters and makers. I saw these pens being demonstrated one morning when I was getting my kids ready for school, and thought they looked really good. A quick email and a few days later, two sets arrived at my door to test out for all you lovely followers!
First I'll start with the alcohol markers :) I was sent the 'Brights' pack, and there are three other sets available to buy: Basics, Neutrals and Tints.
Each pen has a cylindrical barrel with slightly tapered caps, and is twin tipped: one a soft bullet and the other a wide chisel.
As I say, the blends these pens deliver are second to none. There are lots of similar tones to match together, allowing you to create vivid and consistent shading & toning. Look at the beautiful depth I was able to create on these flower petals using just two pens per flower. Some matches go better together than others, but as with all alcohol inks it's all about practicing and trial & error.
And now for the aqua pens! These are split into two packs: Basics and Brights.
Aside from their white barrel, these pens are physically identical to the alcohol markers at first glance.
One end still has that soft bullet, but thankfully (I don't like chisel tips) the other side is a lovely dense brush nib.
The watercolour 'aqua' ink is what makes these pens really interesting. Like with Tombows, there are so many ways you can use them! Colour normally, add water, use a blending pen or solution, put a water wash down first then add colour... the fun you can have with these is endless. And the results? Instead of that seamless colour you get with alcohol, these create the look of watercolour painting, all with one pen and the addition of plain old water.
Check out this short video I made using one of the techniques I just mentioned- the blending pen. You can get these under lots of brand names but I had a Tombow one to hand so that's the one I've used in this tutorial. The clear blending solution 'picks up' the Harmony ink and lays it down in a gradient from dark to light.
Here's my finished picture, just in case you can't view the video.
You can buy them all in individual packs or as one huge lot of 144 pens, the latter costing just £119. I know that is a lot of money to most people, but if you're serious about colouring and crafting it really does pay to invest in a quality system. Plus, one massive bonus to Hochanda products is that you can purchase them with Flexibuy in 3 installments of £39.98- a much more affordable option. With a delivery time of 3-5 working days, they *might* even come for Christmas if you order them now-- but no guarantees so don't shoot the messenger!
If you're not quite ready to buy yet and want to see more of them in action, tune into the Hochanda channel on 1st January 2016 at 11am or 2pm to watch an in-depth demonstration of the pens.
SKY 663 (24/7) --- FREEVIEW 39 (6AM-9PM) --- FREESAT 817 (24/7)
Full set of 144 alcohol and aqua pens
(flexibuy available through phone only)
Aqua Basics / Brights
I hope you've enjoyed my review as much as I've enjoyed bringing them to you! I'd love to work with Hochanda again so hopefully you'll be seeing more fab products from them in the future.