Shoot-out: Illustration Markers

Inking is final stage of analog illustration and it can be done with various tools. You get the artists that do it with fine brushes and Indian ink and others use nibs and nib holders. I’ve tried both and you really need a lot of practice to get perfect smooth lines with either option.

So for me the next option is markers. But you can not just get just any marker. Depending on what you want to do with your final product. For just a quick sketch or doodle you can use just about anything. If you are going to scan or photocopy the sketch then also just about anything will do. But if you want it to last it needs to be archival and if you are going to colour it, it needs to be resistance against whatever you use to colour.

Copic or alcohol markers and watercolour paints are the most common when it comes to adding colour. And with alcohol having a bit of a solvent quality, your ink needs to be quite tough. And we all know what water does to some ink.

So here are a few of the markers I have in my stash. I will add more as I get them.

I used a Copic marker and Schmincke Horadam watercolour paint for the test. The paper that were uses is the Pro-Art blending card which is made for illustration work with alcohol markers. The little not next to the test is to see how much it bleeds if you leave the nib on the paper. This was tested for 5 seconds. The first squiggle is with the marker and the second with watercolour paint.

pentel_pen_testdavThe Pentel Pen has a very fine nib for a permanent marker. The marker smudges it a bit but the watercolour is fine. It does bleed very fast. Quite cheap to purchase.

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copic_multiliner_sp_testdavIt’s Copic and it says right on the barrel it is copic and water proof and it is. Comes is various nib sizes and colours. Nibs can be replaced and refills are available. Initial layout is pretty expensive. Not the most comfortable in hand.

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pigma_micron_testdavThis seem to be the go to pen for all illustrators. They are readily available at good prices. The smallest nib is only 0.2 though but with it weird numbering system it is on par with other pen’s 005. Also available in different colours.

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uni_pin_fineline_testdavI was surprised when I found this one. They are really cheap and comes in many sizes.

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pentel_signpen_testdavThis is a very comfortable pen to use. You can get some line variation from the nib. But it is not water-proof.

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molotow_testdavThis is basically acrylic in a pen. Nibs dries out if not use regularly. The alcohol reacts to it pretty badly. Available in tons of colours and nib sizes.

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no-name.jpg_testdavThis is basically a Pigma Micron knock-off. It came it the “How to draw the Marvel way” drawing set.

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faber-castell_pitt_testdavIt holds up to te alcohol and water fine. Available in various sizes but has a generic sizing method. Extremely comfortable to use.

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pilot_supercolor_testdavAnother permanent marker. It also bleeds pretty badly and reacts to the alcohol.

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schneider_topliner_testdavThis Schneider is just a generic marker. It’s not permanent and meant for office work. I was surprised it held up to the alcohol. It also bleeds a lot.

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lyra_artpen_testdavI actually expected the results to be the other way around. These come in a lot of various colours and will work great for adult colouring and small art projects. Quite cheap.

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kuretake_testdavI’m very disappointed in this pen. The nib is scratchy and it is pretty expensive. I was shocked to see it not being water-proof.

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steadtler_pigmentliner_testdavEver since I saw these I wanted one. I finally got my hand on but boy was it expensive. Atleast where I bought it and it was on sale. The only marker more expensive is the Copic Multiliner. And this one is disposable. This pen is very comfortable to hold and somehow feels super light. Hold up perfectly to alcohol and water. Available in various sizes but not a brush.

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pentel_ultrafine_testdavAnother office pen.Nice fine pint and comfortable to hold. Holds up well to alcohol but absolute no go with water. Surprisingly no bleed but water ruins it.

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pilot_drawing_testdavAnother true illustration pen. Not the most comfortable to hold but for the price you can overlook that. As expected also available in various nib sizes.

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uni_signo_testdavThis is an interesting pen. It is a roller-ball. Super smooth writing/drawing with broad lines. You do get it finer. Alcohol ruins it a bit but water has no affect. It does bleed though.

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stabilo_testdavAn old classic. Available in a ton of colours. I would have said 0.4 is more a medium but that is just me. They do go wider as well. Not waterproof and it bleeds a bit. Quite cheap as well.

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pentel_brush_testdavA classic. If you are a brush and ink user, this one is for you. You can get from super fine to a nice wide stroke in on go. Super black ink resistant to both alcohol and water. A bit expensive but it is refillable.

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derwent_graphik_testdavFirst I got excited when I saw the price (cheaper than the Pigma Micron) but then I saw that water affects it. A big bummer. Very comfortable to use and also feels super light.

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sharpie_testdavOld faithful around the home and office. It’s nice that it has two tip sizes in one marker but not nice that alcohol affects it. Available everywhere but price could be better.

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steadtler_triplus_fineliner_testdavAnother surprise. I really did not think it will hold up to the alcohol. These are reasonably priced and comes in many different sets and colours. Very comfortable to hold due to its triangular shape.

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pilot_vpen_testdavThe cheapest fountain pen you can get. I knew it would not hold up to water but was, again, surprised about the alcohol. Very comfortable to use.

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steadtler_lumocolor_testdavAnother dependable SOHO marker. Available in many sizes but does not hold up to alcohol. Dries out very quickly if left uncapped.

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rotring_testdavRotring pens has a very good reputation. But that is for their ISO- and Rapidograph pens. This pens is not doing the name justice. The nib dries out quickly if left uncapped. It is very comfortable to hold and the ink window is a nice touch.

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talens_indianink_testdavIndian ink is the preferred ink when it comes to final inking and you can see why. Very solid coverage. But this Talens brand was affected a little by both the alcohol and the water. It was applied with a dip pen.

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etac_efx_testdavThis is my preferred paint when I airbrush. It is made so that it is rewettable and you can remove/manipulate it. Surprisingly it did not smudge with either the alcohol or water but the water did lift it and made it lighter. I used a dip pen to apply it.

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createx_illustration_testdavI knew the alcohol would affect this paint. It is used to both clean and create effects. And I knew it would withstand water as Createx make all their products to be very water resistant.

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rohrer_klingner_document_testrohrer_klingner_documentAnother disappointment. but I guess they were aiming more for your documents to get wt in the rain then to get showered in whisky. It holds up perfectly against the water but the alcohol smudges it badly.

CONCLUSION
It’s quite simple. Just because it is permanent or water resistant does not make it alcohol proof. Stick to the brands that has done the research and has a track record in the field. For me taking in consideration price, performance and availability, it is the Pigma Micron and the Pentel Pocket Brush.

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