Last Updated on
You probably remember using markers and coloring books when you were younger. But high quality art markers art used by many professionals such as artists, illustrators, architects, designers, etc.
Although these professional markers might look similar to the ones you drew with as a child, their performance is much higher.
In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know how to distinguish good and bad ones, such that you can find the best art markers for your goals.
Different Types Of Artist Markers
Markers for drawing can roughly be categorized in 3 different groups, based on what kind of ink they are using. Drawing with one type of marker feels completely different from drawing with any of the other types. So when choosing which markers to buy, pay close attention to the ink it’s using.
Alcohol based markers – most professional artist markers use alcohol based inks. They dry relatively fast, are easy to blend together, and won’t smudge when you apply water to them. Also read our article on alcohol based markers.
Water based markers – these markers are normally of lower quality and used by children a lot since they don’t have any odor. They take a bit longer to dry and can start to bleed if water touches it.
Solvent based markers – all the markers with other types of ink fall in this group. They normally have a pretty strong smell and some of the solvents might be slightly toxic, so we don’t recommend using these.
What Else to Look For
Since we are talking about professional artist markers, your choice in markers is pretty much limited to alcohol-based markers. But considering the many models you can choose from, you might want to look for the following items as well.
Tips/Nibs – marker tips can come in different sizes and shapes, some nibs are more durable than others, and some markers let you replace old nibs.
Refill – some markers can be refilled while others can not. Getting a refillable marker can save you money over the long run since buying the ink is cheaper than buying a new marker.
Colors – consider how many different colors you need for you current project and how many you might want in the future. Some brands offer over a 100 different colors, so you can buy the ones you need over time. Whereas other brands offer relatively little colors.
Top 5 Best Drawing Markers
With all the point mentioned above in mind, you can go into your local craft in search for some good art markers. But if you are still not sure which one will suit you the best, here is a list of the best markers for artists and other professionals that you can use as a reference.
1. Copic Markers
Amongst all the different art marker brands, Copic is by far the most popular and is known for their high quality. There are different type of Copic markers, but they are all alcohol-based, non-toxic, and refillable.
These might be some of the most expensive markers available, but if you give they a try you quickly understand why. They have very vibrant colours that are easy to blend and layer without bleeding through the paper.
2. Uni Posca Markers
Uni Posca markers are rapidly becoming more popular and might be the best markers for art project involving mediums other than paper.
Think for example about drawing on your glass windows, porcelain mocks, game devices, or even a surfboard.
Unlike most other markers, the Uni-Posca markers use water-based pigments. However, despite this they are waterproof when dried and maintain their vivid colour.
3. Prismacolor Premier Art Markers
As one of the biggest players amongst the art suppliers, Prismacolor sells a large variety of different pencils, pens, pastels, and also markers.
These alcohol-based markers are getting very favourable reviews online. They might not be the highest quality, but they come at a relatively cheap price point that not just professionals, but also beginners can afford.
4. Artify Markers
These dual tipped alcohol markers by Artify are sold as either a 40-pack or an 80-pack. That sounds like a lot, but the labelling on the cap of each marker makes it easy to find which one you need.
They are alcohol-based, permanent, and highly resistant against fading. Moreover, the white markers that is included in the set makes it easy to blend or dilute colours.
5. Ohuhu Markers
I personally don’t have any experience using the Ohuhu markers, but I have heard they are pretty decent as well.
Compared to the most other markers on the list, these markers take a bit longer to dry because they are water based. This can be either an advantage if you want extra time when blending colours, or a disadvantage if you don’t want to wait constantly.
They do have a tendency to bleed through most types of paper though, so make sure to double check you are using special paper for markers. Also, not every tip seems to be the same size which might make it more difficult to do precise work.