Do you remember when you were young when you used Crayola crayons, colored pencils and markers for coloring and drawing? This may give the impression that the mark is associated with children's art. However, as adults, we often use them to color and sketch for ourselves. Professional artists also use markers in their illustrations, sketches, and calligraphy. Drawing marks have also been found in the hands of architects and fashion designers. We'll discuss all types of markers, the best art markers available, and some tips and tricks along the way.


What Are Art Markers?

Art markers are alcohol-based sketching or drawing tools used to create works of art. Many markers often have dual nibs for ease of use and more options in a single pen. Most products are also available in Art Marker Sets. But why would you even consider using art markers?

Art or alcohol based markers are recognized for their excellent coverage and the variety of colors they offer. The markers also dry instantly, leaving behind beautiful, smudge-free sketches or drawings that are durable.

Regular or water-based markers don't blend well, give you a streaky look, and don't give your sketches or artwork a professional and smooth finish. These types of markers are great for kids and families and are ideal for everyday drawing and sketching. The markers are also harmless and kids can easily use them. Unfortunately, they take longer to dry and the colors are not as vibrant and clear as artist markers.

Artist markers, on the other hand, give you excellent blending capabilities, allowing you to create flawless artwork with a smooth and professional look. Artist markers come with special features such as interchangeable nibs, dual nibs and a refillable ink system, allowing you to create artwork that everyone will appreciate.

A Brief History of Art Markers

Ancient Egyptians have been writing and drawing with ink since 3200 BC. However, once the pen was invented, which made ink application easier, and markers were created soon after. The process began in 1910, when Lee Newman's first felt-tip marker was patented. Then in 1926, Benjamin Paskach invented the first fountain brush. It wasn't until the 1950s, when Sidney Rosenthal created the magic marker, that art markers became popular. Magic markers are used for just about everything from posters to labels, lettering and a variety of other uses.

Today, drawing markers are used by most professional artists, architects, and everyone else, including children.

How Do Art Markers Work​​​

No special tools are required to make your art markers work. All you need to do is remove the cap and you can start sketching or drawing. Unlike oil-based markers, art markers do not have to be activated before use. Oil-based markers require you to press them onto paper before you can start drawing or sketching with them.

Most art marker sets come with the Blend Tool, which is a colorless marker that helps apply ink, giving you a high-quality blend.

The main difference between the marking types is the type of colorant used. Different types of colorants are used in marking, including inks, dyes, and paints. These colorants are usually suspended in water, alcohol or solvent based mixtures.

Art Markers can be used by art lovers, design professionals, students, architects, and of course children or anyone who loves to color or sketch. This means that if you are a professional or you enjoy art and coloring as a hobby, you should have a set of art markers.


Different Types of Artist Markers

There are three main categories of art markers, namely water, alcohol or solvent based markers. This indicates the type of solution used with the dye or ink. The best artistic markers are also divided into two groups:

      1. High-quality marks used by professionals;

      2. Lower grade markers, usually water-based, for kids, school, or family use.

Art markers usually have different options available. Some art markers have brush-like nibs that are very similar to those used in watercolor pens, and are often used by professionals who want to create a watercolor-like effect with their artwork.

Then you can get art markers that have double ends, with a bullet tip on one end of the pen and a fine tip on the other. These markers can be used for any number of projects, such as sketching, calligraphy, and adult coloring. There are also art markers with chisel tips for drawing finer, thicker or sharper lines, mainly for calligraphy.

Alcohol-Based Art Markers

Inside this marker, the ink is mixed with alcohol, which dries instantly and leaves a permanent mark. 

Alcohol-based markers are waterproof, and since they're soluble in alcohol, you can use blender markers, rubbing alcohol, or even other similarly colored markers to mix the ink.

Care must be taken when blending as it may leave streaks. To avoid this, you can saturate the entire surface of the paper with color, or fill the entire surface of the paper with a blender before starting to apply the color marks. You can easily layer colors without damaging the paper, which is one of the best features of these markers. This is not the case with water-based markers, which have the opposite effect.

Water-based Art Markers

Within this marking, ink is mixed with water, or water and glycerin. Water-based markers do not contain chemicals, so they are great for calligraphy and all types of art projects.

Water-based markers are water-resistant, cloudy, or milky, and they take longer to dry than alcohol-based markers. You need to be careful when using these markers as it is easy to saturate and damage your paper if you use too many layers.

In addition to the water-based markers on the market, there are also water-based pens suitable for use on heavy watercolor paper. Both water-based markers and water-based pens can produce amazing results when applying some water to your work. You can also choose to use water-based markers with alcohol-based markers.

However, you will need to use alcohol-based markers first and then water-based markers, as alcohol can dissolve water-based inks if used last.

Solvent Art Markers

Solvent-based, also known as oil-based art markers, incorporate chemicals such as xylene, butyl, isobutyl ketone, and methyl in the ink. These chemicals in tags can produce a very strong odor that can irritate your lungs and eyes, so you need to be careful and use them in a well-ventilated area. However, you can now also get a non-toxic and xylene-free option.

The ink in this type of marker is durable and waterproof, but not completely permanent. Solvent-based markers are primarily used for arts and crafts projects and can be effective when used on non-porous or porous surfaces, for example.

Comparison Table for Artist Markers

We have just covered the different types of art markers, which include water, alcohol, and solvent-based. However, to understand the different types better, we have compiled a table listing most of the properties of each type of art marker.

  Water-Based Art Markers Alcohol-Based Art Markers Solvent/Oil-Based Art Markers
Cost Cheaper Affordable to expensive, depending on the brand Affordable to expensive, depending on the brand
Colors Available Fewer colors (About 60-96 colors, depending on the brand) Most colors (Copic Markers: 358 separate colors available) Depends on brand (Several to 130 colors)
Color Quality Good Excellent Excellent
Fade-Resistance Poor Good Excellent
Drying Time Dries fairly quickly Dries very quickly Dries fast
Strong Odor Odorless Strong odor Strong odor (non-toxic formulas available)
Bleeding Through No bleeding No bleeding No bleeding
Replaceable Nibs


(some brands are not)

Marker Tips Dual-purpose tips Dual-purpose tips Replaceable tips
Ink Quality Good Excellent Excellent


Things to Consider When Buying Art Markers

When you're considering buying your art marker, it can be difficult to choose the right marker because there are so many options. A lot of times, you won't discover the correct markers until you've used them. That's why we'll help you make your choice so you don't have to buy thousands of markers to get the best marker for your drawing. Here are a few factors you need to consider so you don't spend unnecessarily on markers that don't work for you.


The first thing you need to consider has nothing to do with marking, it takes into account the type of paper you will be using. When drawing or drawing with a marker, the type of paper you use is very important, as adhesive or thicker paper will hold the ink layer better than thinner paper.

You need to make sure that the paper you are using doesn't cause the marker ink to bleed, but keeps the ink layer. Many artists use sketchbooks, and this paper helps maintain layers of ink well. So make sure you have the right type of paper before you start sketching or painting.

Application Type

Each type of art marker brand has its own unique characteristics, and the best choice for a marker lies in the type or kind of artwork you're going to make. You may be a professional designer, architect or artist; therefore, you will have different reasons for the type of markup you use. On the other hand, you might just be a kid or an adult who wants to get involved in art, or you might just enjoy sketching or painting.

No matter what your application is, you will need to purchase the type of marker that suits your specific situation.

Even professional marks vary from person to person, as one person might be a comic or comic book artist while others create architectural blueprints. Let's not forget kids who love to sketch or color. Every artist or individual uses markers in a different way, and there are markers for every need, which is why you need to define your application.

If you're looking for certain effects to add to your work, such as pastels, watercolors, or dark colors, you need to make sure you're using the right type of marker. The perfect marker will give you the effect you're looking for in your artwork.

Ink Quality

Ink quality is very important because no two markers are the same and each has its advantages and disadvantages. The cost per mark also depends on the ingredients. There are three main categories of inks in Art Marks:

      1. waterborne

      2. Alcohol

      3. solvent type

The quality of the ink is critical as low quality inks do not mix easily, and flexibility is important to make your look even. Low quality ink pens do not have a smooth application and once you apply it to the paper you will see overlap. Try to buy a marker that dispenses the correct amount of ink.

Ink Color Selection

If you are a beginner, you need to choose an art marker set with all primary colors, and you can always build your collection. You'll want to choose an artmark brand that offers you a variety of shades that you can use. If you're a professional, choose a professional markup that groups marks by type. For example, only markers for skin tones.

This will save you a lot of money as you won't have to buy a ton of kits just to use the skin tone options.

By choosing an alcohol-based art marker, you'll be able to mix and dilute colors to create new shades, offering even more options. They also offer more color options with vibrant colors that don't bleed. Keep in mind that a marker doesn't have to meet lightfastness testing standards, which means that even though a marker states that it's permanent, it doesn't mean it's there forever and may fade over time.

You can buy multiple color packs at once, but if you do, it's recommended to stick with the same brand. This is evident in some brands that sell many different colored bags, but each brand may have a different theme or style.

Marker Nibs

Art Markers come in a variety of cues, including fine, brush, bullet, and chisel shapes. So, you need to make sure you know what type of drawing you're going to be doing, how you're going to use markers, and what type of medium you're going to use.

Fine Tip

Fine-tipped markers are primarily used for detailed work where space is limited, such as comics or comic book sketches. These types of markings prove impractical when it comes to large color blocking. This type of marker is great for creating detailed designs, writing, and simple doodles.

Chisel Tip

The well-defined tip markers are great for filling in empty areas with certain colors, allowing you to cover a wide area with fewer strokes. Depending on how you hold the marker, you can draw different lines. The different edges of this nib can be used for different purposes, the wide edge is great for covering large areas, while the pointed edge is useful for drawing thinner lines.

Bullet Tip

Bullet markers are the cheapest on the market and painting with them can be slow as it is not a very versatile tip. However, they are great for writing on fabrics, drawings and outline designs. Since the tip of this marker is inflexible, you can use the bullet marker to draw thicker lines more easily and precisely.

Brush Tip

The nib is the most versatile of all nibs because you can use the nib for fine line or detailed work. When the tip is flattened to form a brush, it can fill large areas of color. These tips also work for shades, but they can be expensive. Some brands have the option to replace worn tips.

The markers we discussed above all have single nibs, but some have dual nibs. This means that you have one type of prompt on one end and a different one on the other.

Most of these types of markers have a chisel tip on one end and a thin tip on the other. Dual-tipped markers can save you money because you only need to buy one marker and have two different types of nibs. They're also useful because you don't have to switch or change markers while you're working. The only downside to double-ended markers is that the ink runs out faster. However, you can also buy markers with larger ink reservoirs.


For professional artists, it is important to choose a marker that can mix colors. This is where alcohol and water-based markers differ greatly. Water-based markers leave streaks on your paper when you mix colors, and you can never be sure how the process will work because water reacts differently with dyes, paper, and many other elements.

Alcohol-based markers are preferred when mixing colors as it dries faster than water-based markers. Since the ink in these types of marks is somewhat transparent, you can overlay different colors to get the effect you want. The mixing process is much smoother with alcohol-based markers than with water-based markers.


In terms of cost, there is a huge difference as the price increases with the quality. So, if you're a hobbyist or just sketching or drawing for fun, cheap art markers, the water-based types, are the answer. However, if you are a professional artist, then you need to consider more expensive and better quality markers for your work.

So, alcohol or solvent-based markers are the ones you need when shopping for art markers. These markers give you a variety of brilliant colors, and you can also choose to refill them when you run out of ink. They also give you more flexibility and are permanent, meaning they will last a long time.


Whether you're buying a cheap art marker or a more expensive one, you need to make sure the marker doesn't run out of ink anytime soon. This can be a major problem, as it means you'll have to go out and buy another complete set of markers, making it more expensive and causing delays.

You need to make sure that the set of markers you buy can hold a decent amount of ink, or better yet, buy a set of refillable markers that don't waste anything.


Best Art Markers

Art markers are a versatile pen because they are portable and you can easily take them with you wherever you go. They also give you a variety of bright colors, and for more expensive brands, you can also mix colors, giving you more color options.

Making art is fun and can be enjoyed by everyone who loves to sketch, paint and color. Art markers are also available for beginners, kids, and professionals, and by purchasing the right marker, you can create amazing works of art. We will now help you choose the best marker for your project by giving you three of the best art marker brand names available.

Best Art Markers for Artists: COPIC Marker Set

The Copic marker set is designed to add to your art marker collection. The Copic Art Marker Set comes in hundreds of colors, but this set of 12 colors can be used to create great sketches. The set is easy to use and you can expand it at any time. However, if you decide to buy more Copic markers, there are 36-packs that give you more shade variations as well as more neutral colors.

3 best markers for coloring: reviews in 2022

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Each marker has a durable and sturdy tube that is also refillable, and the nib is also replaceable, so the nib can be changed without changing color. These markers are alcohol-based and give you permanent ink that won't fade. The color is also vibrant and stays smooth after application and it also allows you to blend the colors. The ink dries quickly, giving you a finish that won't smudge or streak.

Best Cheap Art Markers: ArtBeek Markers Set

ArtBeek offers you alcohol-based markers with dual nibs and great design.

My recommended set is this pack, which comes in 80 shades including skin tones, shades of all primary colors, greys and pastels.

3 best markers for coloring: reviews in 2022

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These markers have a slight smell due to the alcohol base, but it fades quickly and the color dries out quickly.

Vibrant colors are permanent and won't fade. Each tip provides colors that can be painted up to 1000 feet. However, the nib does not provide the constant flow of ink that other nibs do.

If you are drawing long lines, you may find that some small jumps or areas in the line appear more opaque than others.

The set comes with a zippered pocket to store the markers, the color is noted on each cap, and each marker has a name and number to help identify the color.

Best Solvent-Based Art Markers: SHARPIE Oil-Based Paint Markers

Sharpie Oil-Based Paint Sets come in five colors and work on almost any surface, including plastic, glass, wood, metal, rubber, stone, pottery, and more. Oil based paints are permanent and valve release for excellent application control.

3 best markers for coloring: reviews in 2022

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The markers come in four tip sizes, which means you can apply a variety of techniques.

This particular set has fine points and is great for creating thin lines and bold type. The formula is non-toxic and can be used by children. Any application of oil-based inks is waterproof and will not fade over time.


Frequently Asked Questions


What Is the Best Art Marker Brand?

There are many trusted brands, but for the professional markers, ArtBeek and Copic seem to be the most used and favored. 


How to Organize My Art Marker Sets?

It is a good idea to organize your markers by their color family in their carry case, ensuring the caps are visible so you can see all the colors you are looking for.


How Long Do Art Markers Last?

Most of the art markers are very durable and can last a few years, especially those that are refillable, and the nibs can be replaced.


What Markers Should Beginners Choose?

When starting, try to find the brand that fits your artistic style. To do this, select three of the top brands where you can mix and match until you find the right one for you. Once you have selected a brand, then you can buy a small set first, and later you can build your set further.