Water-based markers usually don't get enough attention in the art world. To this day, they are still used in large quantities, but mainly alcohol-based markers-for good reason. Before we start, we must ask a question: What are water-based markers and how are they different from alcohol-based markers?

What are water based markers?

Unlike alcohol marking, which uses alcohol as the dye solution in the ink, water-based marking uses water instead. If it is not just water, it can also be a mixture of water and glycerin, which is used as a solution of pigments and dyes inside.

The water-based marker takes longer to dry than the alcohol version. Direct application layer after layer can cause the paper to pile up and tear because the water soaks it. In addition, they do not produce permanent ink, which makes them more suitable for school use.

However, due to the very limited choice of dyes, the colors are often not as vivid and vivid as alcohol pens.

Water based markers vs. alcohol based markers: what’s the difference?

In the simplest terms, water-based labeling is characterized by an aqueous solution, and another characteristic is an alcohol solution.

alcohol markers vs water based markers

In addition to alcohol, alcohol marks also contain dye inks. This means that you are less likely to have streaks and lines in your illustrations like using water-based markers. This is because alcohol evaporates during use and does not react with paper due to its chemical composition. Therefore, unlike water-based markers, if the paper is of high quality, it will not tear.

The fact is that the alcohol mark can still tear the paper due to the heavier ink. Therefore, instead of using ordinary copy paper, consider using high-quality card paper or paper specifically designed for alcohol marking.

With a water-based marker, you can dip the brush in the water, and then use the brush to apply or smooth more colors with the marker. Basically, water-based marking is just a form of watercolor painting. If water is added, the color is easily diluted or washed off.

The alcohol mark is different because the ink is permanent. However, you can still layer colors to create eye-catching overlays. For example, a gray overlay will darken the colors, while yellow will lighten them.

What’s the difference in quality?

Because the color is mixed with each layer, entry-level water-based marks tend to have streaks. This means that you will usually pass through the area multiple times, which can easily tear the paper unless you dry it between applications.

alcohol markers vs water based markers

What can’t your average water based markers do?

a lot of. Let's put it this way, most water-based markers are cheaper than alcohol markers for a reason. Even though alcohol-based markers are more expensive, in contrast, what they offer makes the investment worthwhile. When it comes to most water-based markers, keep this list in mind:

✏They cannot be refilled
✏The nib is not replaceable and not strong
✏They take longer to dry
✏Ink will bleed into the page (alcohol-based markers are also available, but you don’t need to wait for ✏the ink to dry, you can use professional-quality paper to solve this problem)
✏Not suitable for professional artistic use
✏Need more water-based markers for color range
✏Can't achieve bold, vivid, and realistic effects
✏Streaks are more likely to appear in illustrations
✏Hard to mix

Who uses water based markers?

Again, it’s all about chasing that professional-quality to take your artwork up to that next level. Alcohol based markers were originally designed to help artists get the best out of their markers and achieve some pretty awesome effects. They’re not limited either, as you get a variety of colors, hues and saturation while its ease of blending makes it a popular choice.

alcohol markers vs water based markers

As alcohol based markers can be blended without any streaks showing, you actually need fewer colors than you would with the water equivalent, which can’t be blended as easily. So rather than carrying hundreds of water based markers, you will only need 50 alcohol based markers.

Why it’s best to level up to alcohol based markers

Again, all of this is for the pursuit of professional quality and to take your work to the next level. Alcohol-based markings were originally designed to help artists make the most of their markings and achieve some great effects. They are also not limited because you can get a variety of colors, hues, and saturations, while being easy to mix making them a popular choice.

Since alcohol-based marks can be mixed without any streaks, you actually need less color than the equivalent using water, because water cannot be mixed easily. Therefore, you do not need to carry hundreds of water-based markers, you only need 80 alcohol-based markers.

Compared with water-based markers, alcohol-based markers have so many benefits, it is obvious why more and more artists want to use more advanced options to improve their illustrations.

alcohol markers vs water based markers

Do you have the opportunity to try water-based and alcohol-based markers? Share your thoughts on these two options in the comments section below, and even share some of your illustrations with the rest of the world and the ArtBeek creative community on Facebook or via #artbeek.

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