Although a lot of people associate art markers with childhood, they are very popular among adults today. If you enjoy the process of drawing and sketching or consider yourself a colouring book enthusiast, you are probably familiar with the magic a marker for art can do. In recent times, more and more artists became attracted to the fantastic versatility of markers, and their wide range of brilliant colours. So instead of decorating a wall with modern art prints, you might end up creating some of your own art you can frame and hang for everyone to admire.
The first paint pen was created in the 1940s. Back then, this marker was used mainly for labelling and artistic details. Highlighters and fine-line markers were invented in the 1970s. Around the same period, permanent markers became available too. So today, artist markers are so varied that it might be hard to settle for a single option. If you want to step up your art game with markers, here’s some guidance on how to choose the best from all the options available.
Alcohol-Based vs. Water-Based Markers
Art markers are very popular since they are easy to use and quick to dry. One of the main decision you have to make when choosing a suitable marker for art is whether to go for alcohol-based or water-based. Alcohol-based markers are known to be very efficient. These markers are made of a combination of pigment and alcohol. The main advantage of these markers is that they dry very quickly, so you don’t have to wait long till the drawing or colouring is complete.
These art markers have great transparency, which means that colours can be layered easily. Alcohol markers come in a wide plethora of colours, and you can easily find them in most art supply stores. They are also considered to have better fade resistance. You can also find refillable alcohol markers.
Water-based art markers can be a little more affordable than the alcohol ones. These type of products contain water or a combination of water and glycerin. They are odourless, which makes them an ideal choice for kids. Their only downside is that they often come in fewer colours. Have in mind that this type or art markers are disposable, which means you don’t usually get the chance to refill them.
You can consider water-based markers if you know your way around art and drawing since using too much water-ink can warp the drawing. There’s a whole range of water-based markers out there that are specifically made for professional artists and avid hobbyists, which can make them just as good as alcohol-based markers, depending on your intended purpose.
Another factor you need to consider when choosing art markers is the type of tip shape. What tip shape you choose might greatly impact your experience with using markers for colouring.
Brush tips or brush pens are probably the most versatile type. This point is usually used to create thin strokes, and the brush can also be flattened to fill in large areas. If you want to create variable-width strokes, the brush tip may be a perfect choice for you.
These marker tips are the smallest and can be used to create tiny sharp lines on artwork. It’s just like what you’d find on a technical pen that architects use. These tips are fantastic for fine details and patterning, but not so practical for larger blocks of colour.
Art markers with chisel tips are very practical because you can use different edges for different purposes. The wide, flat side is great for laying down lots of colours, while the pointy side is good for thinner strokes. If you want a marker that you can use for both thicker and thinner strokes when drawing things, like for instance a snowman, this one might be ideal for you.
You can find the trusty bullet on a lot of marker sets. It’s rounded at the top like a bullet, and it’s mostly used for writing and colouring. Generally, it’s a good tip, but isn’t very versatile – creating super-fine details with it can be tricky. Filling in large areas with colour can also be slow and tedious when using this tip.
These art markers are a perfect way to get the best of both worlds. They feature a central ink reservoir with tips on either end. It’s common for high-quality alcohol-based markers to be double-ended, usually having a brush tip and chisel tip at either end. Although some have a bullet tip (instead of a brush tip) with a chisel tip at the other end.
What Are the Best Brands?
One of the most popular marker brands specially designed for artists is the Japanise Copic markers. They are the world’s leading producer of alcohol-based ink markers, well known for their high-quality products and used by artists and illustrators. What makes these markers great is that they are reusable and refillable. Copic markers come in a wide range of colours, are toner-compatible and have replaceable tips. Whether you opt for a single marker for art or a whole set of Copic markers, you can’t go wrong.
Mont Marte Markers also stand out as high-quality markers and pens. These are especially good if their primary use is for adult colouring books. If you want a marker/pen with a very fine tip for small details or and a set of markers that wouldn’t bleed through the thinner paper, look at the wide range of Mont Marte products. You can make your designs stand out with their dual line lettering pens. They feature a unique formula that creates a shimmering silver stroke and self-outlines with colour. These markers are perfect for lettering, school projects, invitations and more.