Pens and markers

There are two main types of markers, alcohol based and water based. The two work quite differently, so lets have a look firstly at their main characteristics.

Water based markers have washable ink meaning it’s not lightfast and not meant to last a long time. The ink dries a lot slower than alcohol based markers and they’re usually not refillable. However they don’t normally have a strong scent and usually, they’re used by children and beginner colourists. They can be a very affordable option but this comes with some difficulties. These markers will leave streaks when you colour with them, and blending and layering these markers is very difficult. 

Alcohol markers are usually at a higher price point but they’re often the preferred media of professional artists, illustrators and colouring enthusiasts. These pens are highly pigmented which means that they can bleed through certain papers but their inks are much longer lasting or even permanent. The ink from these markers dries quickly and you’re able to blend and layer these markers without any streaking or damage to the paper. Often, these markers are refillable too. 

See our round-up of pen and marker brands >

We use cookies to give you a better experience on By continuing to use our site, you are agreeing to the use of cookies as set in our Cookie Policy.

OK, got it