Prismacolor Markers and How to Use Them for Art

prismacolor premier markers reviewAlmost any artist owns a few colored markers to help with illustrations, drawing, and design.

They provide a happy intermediate between colored pencils and paint.

But with the big amount of different markers out there, it is difficult to find the right marker for you.

Today we will review the Prismacolor premier double-ended marker sets that have recently gained a lot of popularity amongst beginning artists.

Benefits Of Using Art Markers As Your Medium Of Choice

In general, art markers are very easy to use and need little to no preparations before use. Working with an art marker is very similar to using colored pencils. And unlike most paints, you don’t need to prepare brushes, water, etc. before you start.

Additionally, art markers require almost no maintenance or elaborate cleaning procedures after use. You just need to make sure you store them in a cool and dry area without exposing them to too much heat or sunlight.

Finally, the ink of most art markers dries much faster than your regular paint. Many people so this as an advantage since you can work faster without having to wait frequently. However, this also means you have to work pretty fast when you are blending colors together.

Prismacolor Art Marker Features

With all the different kind of markers available, let’s take a closer look at what makes Prismacolor art markers special compared to other markers.

  • Wide Color Range: the Prismacolor markers are available in 200 different colors. This means you will probably be able to find every color you want, or easily find two markers that can be blend together to obtain the right color
  • Easily Blended: the ability to blend two different colors together is crucial for any art marker. Since Prismacolor premier markers are alcohol based, it is easy to combine colors and rewet them later using rubbing alcohol or a colorless blender marker.
  • Recognizable: if you are working with a lot of different pencils, you might have several markers that look very similar and get confused. Fortunately, you can quickly check which color you are working with by checking the color family on the cap of the marker.
  • Availability: Prismacolor markers are one of the most popular art markers nowadays. So it’s easy to find them in art supply stores or online through Amazon. Additionally, markers are sold either in a set or individually. So if you run out of ink, it won’t be too difficult to find the exact replacement you need.
  • Not Refillable: this is a big issue with many art markers for serious artists. If you are using your markers a lot, it will eventually run out of ink. Since Prismacolor markers can’t be refilled, this means you will have to buy new markers each time you run out of ink.

How Long Do Prismacolor Markers Last

Many people wonder how long a Prismacolor marker will last since they can’t be refilled and aren’t super cheap either.

Of course, it will depend on how much you will use them. Some users reported that even with average use they might last you more than a year. If you don’t use them as much, they can easily last for several years since they don’t have an inherent expiration date.

Best Paper for Prismacolor Markers

For the best results and decent blending, you want to use special marker paper. If you use regular printer paper, most art markers have the tendency to bleed through them and not blend as well.

There are many different types of marker paper to choose from; ranging from very thin to very thick. But to make your markers last longer, you want to use paper that isn’t too thick. Thick paper normally absorbs a lot of ink and will just suck the ink out of your marker.

For more detailed information about marker paper, you can read our article on the best paper for working with Copic markers.

Since both Prismacolor and Copic markers use alcohol-based inks, they can generally use the same paper for both of them.

Prismacolor Brush Tip vs Chisel Tip

Prismacolor sells two different types of double-ended art markers. On the one hand, you have the Prismacolor premier double-ended brush tip marker, while on the other hand you have the Prismacolor premier double-ended chisel tip marker.

Both of them have a fine tip on one side of the marker, use the same ink, and have the same overall design. So the only main difference is the tip on the other side of the marker.

So when choosing between the two, you should ask yourself the question if you rather have a second Prismacolor brush tip marker of a bigger size or a chisel tip marker.

There is definitely something to be said for both.

In general, a brush tip is more versatile than a chisel tip. But since the double-ended markers already have a fine tip, which is basically a small brush tip, having a bigger brush tip on the other side doesn’t add that much that you couldn’t do with a fine tip.

Whereas, having a chisel tip makes it easy to fill in big spaces and lets you draw straight lines much easier.

In the end, it comes down to personal preference and what you will use the markers for. If you are looking for art markers for coloring books, then either will type of marker will do. But if you are looking for a marker for calligraphy, we strongly recommend the Prismacolor chisel tip markers.

How To Use Prismacolor Markers?

If this is your first time using art markers or if you only used low-quality markers before, you might need a little refresher with some tips and techniques for working with Prismacolor markers.

The first thing to keep in mind is that you need to use special marker paper to obtain the best result. If you use inferior paper, the ink won’t blend as smoothly and has a tendency to bleed through the page.

The first thing you need to know is how to apply a layer of even color. On your first attempt, you might be left with a few ugly stripes throughout. To get rid of these you can simply go over the same area a second time but in a different direction.

Learning how to use the colorless blender marker is another useful skill that is worth putting some time into. The colorless marker can be used in many ways such as:

  • Eraser: with the blender marker you can correct small mistakes. For example, slightly coloring outside the lines of your coloring book. But it doesn’t perfectly erase everything, so try not to be too reliant on it.
  • Stripes: you can load the chisel tip of the colorless blender marker using two colored markers. This will result in striped lines, which is ideal for designers or writing calligraphy.
  • Blending: as the name implies, the colorless blender can be used to blend other colors together on a pallet or sometimes directly on paper.

Finally, if you can’t realize the perfect finish that you imagined using the markers, don’t be afraid to use some colored pencils to fill in the details.

Which Prismacolor Markers Should I Get?

If you have decided on either a brush tip or chisel tip, they only thing left to at is which are the best Prismacolor marker colors to start with. Afterall, there are over 150 different colors to choose from.

However, the best Prismacolor marker set to begin with depends from person to person. If you are doing a lot of portraitures, you will need a lot of skin tones. In that case, a special portrait set full with the best Prismacolor markers for skin would be the best choice.

But most people will probably want to buy a well-rounded collection of markers that will allow them to do many different types of projects. That is why we recommend beginners to buy a Prismacolor marker set.

This way you know for sure you have all the colors you need, and you normally save quite a bit of money as well.

The Prismacolor premier double-ended brush tip marker can be bought in sets of 6, 12, 24, 48, 72, 156 or 200 different colors, whereas the Prismacolor premier double-ended chisel tip marker sets contain either 6, 12, 24, 48, 72 or 156 colors.

To be honest, owning all 200 colors might be an aspirational goal, but is definitely not needed to get started since you can blend markers to get new colors as well.

Depending on your budget, we recommend beginners to either buy a set of 48 or 72 markers.

prismacolor premier double-ended brush tip marker sets

Click Here to buy the fine and brush tip set

prismacolor premier double-ended chisel tip marker sets

Click Here to buy the fine and chisel tip set

Should I Buy Prismacolor Or Copic Markers?

Copic has long been considered to be the best markers for drawing and the first choice for anyone that is serious about pursuing art. But how do Prismacolor markers compare now that there is a two-sided marker version that is alcohol based, similar to Copic markers?

You don’t need to read a lot of Prismacolor marker review to realize that they have one major advantage over Copic markers. And that is their price.

Copic markers are known not only for being the best markers, but also for being the most expensive ones. So Prismacolor markers can be a good option for people looking for a cheaper but still relatively high-quality art marker.

One of the main downsides of using Prismacolor markers is that they can’t be refilled like Copic markers. This means that serious artists will probably have to frequently buy completely new markers. So if you plan on using your markers a lot, it might be cheaper in the long run to just buy Copic markers.

Secondly, the Prismacolor marker tips are fixed and not replaceable. This means that you have to make a careful decision if you want a chisel tip or brush tip. In contrast, the Classic Copic marker can be used with 9 different tips depending on what your project needs.

For more information on Copic markers, read our article on Copic marker sets for beginners.


Overall, the Prismacolor premier double-ended markers are still a great option for beginners due to their lower price point. But since you can’t refill them or change the tips, we would recommend Copic markers for anyone that is looking for markers that will last a long time.

One little fact to keep in mind is that both Prismacolor and Copic markers are alcohol-based. This means that, to a certain extent, you can use and blend both markers together.

A good budget solution might be to get refillable Copic markers for the colors you are planning to use most and buy the cheaper Prismacolor markers for colors you use less frequently.