Today, I was at DeSerres to pick up some watercolour paper, mostly hot press for some pencil work, when I got to browsing the marker section. I'll admit, Copic markers hold an interest for me, but I haven't managed to start building a set. In the meanwhile, being a fan of all things Faber-Castell related, I did spot that DeSerres had a box of 48 Pitt markers (or Artist Pens) available and at a very reasonable price of just a hair more than $3/pen.
Now, that's not the whole set, Pitt brush pens come in 60 possible colours and so I bought all of the additional pens except for the Cold Grey IV as they were out of stock. One of the things I like about DeSerres is that it carries Faber-Castell products in open stock as well as pre-packaged, allowing me to make the initial big splash and then maintain what I need afterwards.
In any case, 60 colours is a far, like really far, cry from what Copic offers, but they're also not really the same medium. Copic markers are an alcohol-based dye marker that is not lightfast and will fade over time. Pitt markers are actually india ink with high lightfastness and waterproof when dry. In other words, if you're drawing to scan into a computer for print purposes, Copic is going to have you covered and then some, but don't plan to hang it on the wall without taking steps to prevent fade.
As with pretty much any artist oriented Faber-Castell product, packaging is really well thought out. The 48 set that I bought (would have loved the 60, but they didn't have it) is neatly put together and designed to rest so that the markers lie flat. As with any marker, you should really store them on their sides to keep the tips moist and this packaging is designed for that.
When you pull the string you see above, the various rows of markers come out different distances to help you select the colour you want more easily. When you're done, tilt up to slide back in and close. Thoughtful, and handy, design.
As always, I swatch colours as it helps me visualize what I actually need. So:
As you can see, I have the lonely Cold Grey IV still showing white (for now). Still need to play around with them more and find the best paper choices. Most of my india ink usage has been on watercolour paper because I've used them in conjunction, but the above was done on Canson marker paper and it seems to work fine, no bleed.
This isn't an indepth review or anything, but I like the colour vibrancy and it laid down quite smooth. I'll be curious to see what the usage life looks like, they're not refillable, but I imagine you don't burn them out too quick. I'll have to try them with watercolour at some point, it could be a nice addition to the more traditional black ink line and wash approach.