Marker Pens Review

Updated: 14 Oct 2018

Marker pens review


Below is a review for artist-grade maker pens types & brands. They can be used for drawing comics, cartoon characters, anime & manga. They are also great for painting coloring pages.

Most markers are designed for drawing on non-absorbent paper.


Many marker pens have a high level of transparency, so they are quite light. Adding more layers of the same color will make it more opaque and therefore darker.

Keep in mind:

It is recommended to store marker pens in a horizontal position. If placed in a vertical position, the nib of the marker may dry and harden without contact with the ink source.

Disclosure: some links in this article are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you choose to make a purchase.

Alcohol-Based Markers Review

Alcohol-based markers are usually of higher quality.

Winsor & Newton Brushmarker

Winsor & Newton Brushmarker are alcohol-based markers. They come in 72 shades.

They are marker pens for painting, with one flexible brush nib and one flat and stiff nib.


Carefully close the cap in order to avoid damaging the brush nib.

Winsor & Newton Brushmarker, marker pen for painting Brushmarker
Hello Kitty painted with marker pens Hello Kitty with Brushmarker



Winsor & Newton Promarker

Winsor & Newton Promarker are alcohol-based markers that come in 148 shades.

Marker pens for drawing and painting with one sharp pointed nib and one flat and hard nib.

Winsor & Newton Promarker, alcohol-based markers Winsor & Newton Promarker
A comics drawing and painting of Lisa Simpson Lisa Simpson with Promarker



TOUCH Brush Marker

TOUCH brush markers are alcohol-based markers and come in 204 shades.

Marker pens for painting which have one flexible brush nib and one flat hard nib.

Touch brush marker, alcohol-based markers TOUCH brush marker
A cartoon drawing and painting of a smurf Smurf with TOUCH marker


Copic Marker

Copic markers are alcohol-based markers and come in 358 shades.

They have one high quality replaceable brush nib, which is great for coloring, and one flat hard nib.

All types of Copic markers can be refilled.

Keep in mind:

Opening of the cap should be gentle. Otherwise, the paint may squirt.

Copic Sketch marker, alcohol-based markers Copic Sketch
Copic Ciao marker, alcohol-based markers Copic Ciao

A third model, Copic Classic has a hard pointed nib.

Copic Classic comes in 214 shades.

It has a massive square structure that prevents it from rolling on the work surface, but is less comfortable to use.

Copic Classic marker, alcohol-based markers Copic Classic
Copic marker ink refill bottles Copic ink refill bottles



My favorite alcohol-based marker pens:

Copic Sketch See on Amazon

Winsor & Newton Pigment Marker

Winsor & Newton Pigment Marker are alcohol-based (ethanol) markers. They come in 100 shades.

They are marker pens for drawing and painting with one sharp, pointed nib and one flat, hard nib.

The Pigment Marker ink is made of quality pigments.

There are two types of blender: a transparent blender, as in other brands, and a unique white blender.

Winsor & Newton Pigment Marker alcohol-based pens Pigment Marker
Winsor and Newton Pigment marker blender Transparent & white blenders



Water-Based Markers Review


Water-based markers are less suitable for painting on a regular sketching and drawing paper sheet.

They work best on non-absorbent paper.

Zig Clean Color Real Brush

Zig Clean Color Real Brush are water-based markers. They come in 80 shades.

They come with one nib, which is a real brush from synthetic bristles.

Zig Clean Color Real Brush synthetic brislte marker Zig markers
Zig Clean Color Real Brush water-based markers Synthetic bristle brush



My favorite water-based marker pens:

Zig Real Brush See on Amazon

Koi Coloring Brush Pen

Koi Coloring Brush Pen are water-based markers, they come in 48 shades.

Koi markers have one nib, which is a brush made for painting.

Koi Coloring Brush Pen water-based markers Koi markers
Castle painted with Koi markers My daughter's castle with Koi



Winsor & Newton Water Colour Marker

Winsor & Newton Water Colour Marker are water-based markers that come in 36 shades.

Marker for drawing and painting with two nibs, one side is a soft brush and one pointed, hard nib.

Winsor & Newton Water Colour Marker pens Water Colour Marker
Winsor & Newton Water-based Colour Markers Two kinds of nibs



Faber-Castell PITT

Faber-Castell PITT artist pen are water-based markers, which come in 60 shades.

There are 11 more shades of gray markers, equipped with a very soft brush.

Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pen markers Faber-Castell PITT artist pen
Woodstock painted with water-based markers Woodstock painted with PITT

In addition, PITT artist pen are available with a big brush for quick coloring of large areas.

These marker pens come as individuals or as part of a set.

Faber-Castell PITT artist pen big brush PITT artist pen big brush

The large areas are painted with PITT artist pen big brush.

The small details are drawn with Copic Multiliner SP technical pen:

A painting of a tree with black marker Painting with PITT



Acrylic Paint Markers

Operating Instructions:

Liquitex Paint Marker

Liquitex Paint Marker are made from acrylic, water-based ink, which is lightfast due to the pigments it is made from.

Liquitex paint markers come in a spectrum of 50 shades and have a flat, stiff nib.

The Liquitex markers come in two sizes: 2mm by 4mm and 8mm by 15mm.

Liquitex Paint Marker, acrylic water-based Liquitex Paint Marker
Daffy Duck painting with water-based markers Daffy Duck painted with Liquitex




Uni POSCA paint markers come in 55 colors including 8 metallic, 6 fluorescent and 8 glitter.

These opaque markers are water-based.

Uni POSCA paint markers POSCA paint markers



My favorite covering marker pens:

Uni POSCA See on Amazon

Blender Marker

Most marker brands provide a blender marker that is actually a marker with colorless liquid for mixing colors.

A liquid layer for blending can be applied before or after coloring with markers.

In addition:

Copic alcohol-based blender Paint outside of the outline
Copic blender marker for mixing colors Partially erasing with blender

Pens for Outlines

When drawing comics, the outlines are made using a technical pen (also called fineliner).

To find out which are the best pens to use with markers, check out my review on drawing pens for artists.

Paper Sheets for Marker Pens

As noted above, painting with markers is done on suitable paper that is smooth, does not absorb the paint and allows for smooth mixing between the shades.

Most of the marker brands provide paper sheets that are suitable for the same brand, but can be used with other brands of marker pens.

Thin sheets of paper are convenient for training and testing different combinations of colors and their price is low.

For paintings intended for sale or display, it is recommended to use thick sheets of paper that do not bend easily.

Paper sheets for pencil drawing and sketching can also be used, especially with alcohol-based markers.

Paper sheets for Pigment Marker pens Paper sheets for Pigment Marker
Paper sheets for painting with markers Paper sheets for marker pens

Marker Pens Storage

Marker pens can be stored in plastic bags or plastic boxes that can be left slightly open for ventilation.

There are designated cases for markers, but they are less effective for a large amount of marker pens.

Markers can be stored as color groups in order to quickly find the desired marker.

As mentioned above, the markers should be stored in a horizontal position so that the marker nibs will not dry.

Markers stored in plastic bag Markers stored in a plastic bag
Markers stored in a designated case Case for storing markers


Alcohol-based markers:

Different brands of alcohol-based markers can be used together.

Alcohol-based markers are usually higher in quality and price and are better for drawing comic books and manga.

Copic Sketch markers offer the widest range of shades, superior replaceable nibs, and they are refillable. They are expensive, but, in the long run, when using the refills, it pays off.

TOUCH markers are a cheaper, yet high quality substitute.

Water-based markers:

Water-based markers are less suitable for regular paper sheets.

Most water-based markers can be used together with a paintbrush and water.

Compared to alcohol-based markers, Water-based markers are relatively cheap.

Zig marker pens offer a nice variety of colors.


There are simple markers at lower prices and non-toxic markers for children.

Marker pens for marking text are called highlighters.

Additional resources you might like:

My 3 steps tutorial on how to draw comics.

Easy, DIY with/for kids homemade coloring pages.

If you like comics, you might want to read my guide on how to collect comic books.

*The marker pens review is based upon my personal experience.