Best pens for watercolor: Ink before or after Watercolor? : Watercolor

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The Best Waterproof Pens for Watercolor

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Learn more about the best waterproof pens for watercolor. I tested 10 different pens and inks to see which pens perform the best when used with watercolor paint.

You might also like this post on watercolor versus gouache.

This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing an item through an affiliate link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Inking FAQs

Should I ink before or after using watercolors?

It’s really a personal preference. Inking before using paint makes it easier to start over if you mess up the inking. It also make painting easier because you’re just filling in the areas.

However, there are also reasons to ink after painting with watercolors. Some of the colors can dull the ink if painted over the black. It’s also easier if you don’t have a waterproof pen handy.

For more information, check out this post all about when to ink with watercolor.

What’s the difference between waterproof and water-resistant ink?

Waterproof ink will not smudge under water or paint. Water-resistant ink may need time to dry before it does not react to water or paint.

Are Micron pens waterproof?

Yes. Sakura Micron Pens work very well under paint and water. They also dry fast, which results in less smudging when inking.

Testing Waterproof Pens for Watercolor

I tested 9 different pens (and 1 ink) to see how well they work under watercolor. The pens tested were an accumulation from this list, pens I already owned, and a few extras that looked promising on Blick.

Waterproof Ink Testing Process

Each pen was tested for smudging right after writing with it. Then each pen was tested by applying paint over the ink after 15 seconds and then 30 seconds.

If the results were bad, the ink was also tested after 1 minute to see if the ink needed more drying time.

The pens were also tested over watercolor paint. (All of the inks performed well in this test.)

The weight of the pen varies depending on what I already had but also depending on the brand of pen.

The Testing Results

(I’ve provided links for both Blick and Amazon where possible. I like to order from Blick because it’s so much cheaper than other places.)

  1. Copic Multiliner. (Amazon Link) This pen passed the smudge test. It may have been because it was a thinner weight of pen. This pen passed both tests for painting over the dry ink with watercolor. It also worked well over the paint.

    This pen performed well, but it was the most expensive pen that I tested. This pen comes in a variety of colors and weights.

  2. Sakura Micron. (Amazon Link) These pens are known to perform well with watercolor paint and this test showed that. It only smudged a little, but it passed the rest of the tests.

    The micron pen comes in a variety of colors and weights.

  3. Pilot G2. (Amazon Link) This is my favorite pen to write with, so I knew that it wouldn’t pass the smudge test and sure enough, it did NOT. It also failed the other tests. (This pen was tested because I found it on a list of waterproof pens.)

    It does work pretty well on top of watercolor paint, though.

  4. Pentel Brush Pen. (Amazon Link) This pen also failed all of the tests. I plan to further experiment with this pen to see if letting it dry even longer would work since the description says that it has permanent ink.

    This pen works nicely over watercolor paint, but the tip is very thick.

  5. Tombow Fudenosuke. (Amazon Link) This pen failed the smudge test but passed the other tests. I like the brush tip of this pen a lot.
  6. Uniball Vision. (Amazon Link) This is another pen that I already owned and use for writing. I was pleasantly surprised by the results. It failed the smudge test but worked great under watercolor paint. It also works nicely over the paint.
  7. Winsor and Newton Fineliner. (Amazon Link) This pen passed all of the tests. It comes in a variety of sizes and colors.
  8. Zig Mangaka. (Amazon Link) This pen smudged a little but worked well under watercolor paint. This pen is incredibly affordable compared to Copics and Microns!
  9. Sharpie Pen. (Amazon Link) This is my usual pen for using with watercolor paint, so I knew that it would perform well. It didn’t pass the smudge test though.

    These pens are very affordable, so they will probably remain my favorite.

  10. Higgins Ink with Dip Pen. (Amazon Link) Inking with a dip pen can take some getting used to, but I love the quality of lines that you can get with a dip pen. The ink failed the smudge test and the 15-second test, but it passed the 30-second test.

    The 1-minute test had a thicker application of ink, and it failed. So keep in mind that ink takes a while to dry before adding watercolor paint.

I also tested white pens over watercolor, so be sure to check that post out!

Overall Thoughts on Ink for Watercolor Paint

Of all the pens I tested for watercolor compatibility, I still love my Sharpie pen the most. It’s affordable and easy to find in stores. Plus it performed really well under watercolor paint.

The Copic, Micron and Winsor and Newton Fineliners all performed well too. They can be found in most art stores, but cost more that a pack of sharpie pens.

This test also showed me how fun it is to play with different weights of pens. I love how the Tombow pen creates different weights depending on the pressure. I also really loved playing with my dip pen.

What is your favorite pen to use with watercolor paint?

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For Professionals, Travel, Beginners [2020]

A quality watercolor marker can strike the right balance by marrying both the best properties of a water brush and traditional watercolor paint.

Their unique characteristics allow the watercolorist to have complete control over the piece of work they are creating.

Not only can you achieve similar light-wash effects as you would with a traditional watercolor paint, but you can also get extraordinarily deep and vibrant colors as well.

When reviewing the best watercolor markers available for watercolorists, we found that the Tombow Dual Brush Pen Art Markers were simply the best.

Not only did they exhibit all the key qualities that a watercolorist will look for when selecting a marker (line control, dissolvability when mixed with water, color vibrancy, etc.), but Tombow also had the widest color selection and were incredibly reliable.

Here’s a comparison of the watercolor markers that we reviewed:

Comparing The Best Watercolor Markers

Summary Of The Best Watercolor Markers

Reviews of The Best Watercolor Markers

1. Tombow Dual Brush Pen Art Markers

The gold standard when it comes to watercolor markers will be this set by Tombow.

The Tombow marker is amazing in every single way.

First off, color selection:

Unlike many of the watercolor markers featured in this list with a limited color selection (typically coming in packs of 12 to 24), this Tombow set comes with a staggering 95 colors (+1 for the blender marker).

Why does a vast color selection matter?

Accurate color representation.

One of the inherit drawbacks to watercolor markers will be color mixing.

Sure, the pigment will dissolve effortlessly when exposed to water, but when mixing colors from markers, it is terribly difficult, even for professional watercolorists to manage color selection.

Therefore, having a wide array of colors from the start will not only make for pleasing and expected results, but will also ensure less mistakes or general frustrations while painting.

While the color selection of the Tombow kit are second to none, the markers themselves are downright terrific.

Featuring a dual tip design (brush tip + fine tip), you have a wide range of brush strokes that you can employ within your artwork.

The brush tip features synthetic fibers that can paint either very fine or very broad strokes, ultimately giving you even greater control of your piece as you are painting.

The pigment within the brush has an exceptional light fastness rating and is also acid-free.

But it gets better…

The pigment within the barrel is great for reworking as well. So, if you are a watercolorist that finds themselves working on a piece over several days, just simply adding water back to your piece will allow the pigment to lift from the paper and get reworked.

Now there is one aspect about these pens that we absolutely loved, and that’s the smart cap design.

You may notice when looking at these that they have a small notch on the cap.

But why?

This prevents the markers from rolling around when placed on your desk!

Not only will this help you stay organized, but it ensures that no markers roll off and you lose one (especially if you bring these to your local coffee shop).

While this set does come with a desk stand, the little notch on the cap is a wholly underrated feature that you will come to appreciate with time.

Secondly, the Tombow set does include a blender marker which give you additional control and options over your piece.

Lastly, and perhaps the most important aspect of this set is the markers self-cleaning feature found within the tips. Unlike other cheaper/poor performing watercolor markers where the tip may ‘muddy’ when mixed with different colors, the Tombow’s are self-cleaning.

This ensures accurate color representation throughout the entirety of your artwork.

Overall, if you are looking for uncompromising performance, then you must go with this set by Tombow.

Note: The Tombow markers can be purchased individually. Therefore, if the pigment runs dry in one marker, you can head over to a large art retailer like Blick and restock for an affordable price.

Pros
  • Extensive color selection
  • Unparalleled performance
  • Perfect for beginners to professionals
  • Includes desk stand
  • Blender marker also included
  • Smart cap design
  • Markers can be purchased individually
Cons
  • Expensive (but worth every penny)

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2.

Winsor & Newton Water Color Markers

A close runner up to the amazing Tombow markers was this set from Winsor & Newton.

The name recognition that Winsor & Newton carries in the art community is second to none.

Primarily known for their oil or acrylic based paints, Winsor & Newton makes an amazing set of watercolor markers (Note: they also recently purchased Letraset – also featured on this list).

So, what makes the Winsor & Newton watercolor markers so special?

Like any quality watercolor marker, they feature a dual tip design with one end being a fine nib while the other end has a synthetic bristle brush design.

This not only makes them perfect for calligraphy or other lettering styles, but also for craft work as well as watercolors.

The dual tip design will give you a range of strokes (both small and broad), along with terrific control over the final results.

As nice as the dual tip design may be, the most important aspect will be dissolvability/blending when exposed to water along with the vibrancy of the pigment.

These markers by Winsor & Newton deliver on both fronts.

First and foremost, the dissolvability is downright terrific.

When making a stroke with these markers, when you take the included blending marker or simply a wet brush to the stroke, it will unlatch from the paper effortlessly allowing you to pull out a wide range of hues.

This not only guarantees uncompromising performance but equally amazing results.

The vibrancy of the pigment also matches the Tombow markers. Some respected watercolorists have stated that “[The Winsor & Newton markers] are absolutely beautiful and stunning watercolor markers”.

The storage of these markers is great for artists who want to watercolor en plein air.

Housed in a metal tin, you can slide these markers into your purse, backpack, or any other means and travel with ease.

However, there is a major drawback to these markers:

Color selection.

The largest pack size for these markers is 12.

This will require you to do quite a bit of mixing in order to get accurate color representation for your piece.

Now, we were able to find that Winsor & Newton does sell these markers individually.

When visiting Blick Art Materials, we found an additional 24 colors available. This not only makes it a terrific option for refill purposes, but you can easily expand your color selection by purchasing only the colors you may need.

Pros
  • Amazing color vibrancy
  • Excellent light fastness rating
  • Professional level watercolor markers
  • Perfect for travel/class use
Cons
  • Doesn’t include blending marker
  • Limited color selection for pack
  • Slightly expensive

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3. Letraset Aqua Marker

These wide barreled markers by Letraset are a terrific option for beginners (and even kids).

Not only do they feature a dual tip for both fine and broader stroke sets, but the tips will be firm to ensure their structure over time.

Therefore, if you share art supplies with little ones, the firm heads on these can withstand a bit of abuse.

However, for those watercolorists reading this looking for a quality watercolor marker, fret not.

The Letraset’s do blend effortlessly when exposed to water – ultimately giving you that dynamic range of hues that you are seeking out.

The fine tip nib on the one end of the marker will be perfect for smaller scale pieces or detailed work.

One such case of where this fine tip nib could really shine is with botanical paintings. If you are painting the skeletal structure of the leaf, the fine tip nib will create absolutely stunning results.

The light fastness (i.e. no prone to color dilution when exposed to light) of the Letraset markers are equally amazing.

You can expect to see the same stunning results an hour or month after you finished the piece.

Lastly, the blending marker that comes with the kit will be perfect for watercolorists not necessarily looking to use a watercolor brush to create a dynamic appearance to their work.

Overall, this is a quality set for a pretty affordable price tag.

Pros
  • Firm broad and fine tip nibs perfect for all ages
  • Excellent lightfastness
  • Dissolves easily with water
  • Affordable price tag
  • Includes 12 colors + blending marker
Cons
  • May be a bit rudimentary for some watercolorists
  • Nibs are more akin to a traditional marker than a brush

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4. Bienfang Watercolor Brush Pens

Bienfang, a brand under the umbrella corporation Speedball, has been a respected art supply company for over 100 years.

Their dedication to the arts rivals some of the ancient European brands.

So how do the Bienfang watercolor markers carry the legacy?

Quite well!

Coming in either sets of 9 or 12, the Bienfang markers exhibit qualities that rival some of the nicer brands on the market.

Not only will you see great color vibrancy within their lineup, but you also see a pretty good light fastness as well.

The non-toxic and affordable nature of these watercolor markers make them not only great for beginners, but also kids!

But given that they are geared towards a more novice audience, there are inevitably going to be some major drawbacks.

First off, the Bienfang markers don’t feature a dual tip design – which severely limits your capabilities as an artist.

Under the cap you will find a synthetic bristle brush, giving you the option of three strokes – fine, medium, and broad.

However, unlike other markers we reviewed, the absence of a fine tip nib will prevent you from making detailed markings within your piece.

The reliance on an additional watercolor brush will definitely be needed if you go with this set.

Another drawback to this set is the ‘rollability’ of the markers themselves. Unlike the Tombow’s that we loved, the markers are susceptible to rolling off the edge of your desk if accidentally nudged.

While definitely not a deal breaker for many, it’s worth mentioning for the more seasoned artists reading this.

But as we eluded to earlier, if you are purchasing these as a complete beginner or for the little ones, then they will be acceptable.

Their lower price tag coupled with fair performance still make them a compelling offering and ultimately the reason why we included Bienfang on this list.

Pros
  • Beginner friendly
  • Affordable
  • Includes blending marker
  • Comes with a case
Cons
  • Simply better options at higher price points
  • Only one tip available

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5. MozArt Supplies Brush Pen Set

Not to be confused with the classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, these markers by MozArt are still considered to be a classic (and beautiful) watercolor marker.

Packaged in either 12 or 20 packs, these markers are extremely beginner friendly, and one that you should definitely consider if it’s your first foray into the world of watercolor markers.

Unlike the high price tag of the Tombow’s reviewed, these watercolor markers by MozArt are more in line with that of the Bienfang (although delivering nearly twice as many markers for the same price).

They feature a slender barrel with only one tip (also like the Bienfang’s).

While this limits your stroke variety to either fine, medium or broad, this should be more than enough for the watercolorists out there just looking to get comfortable in the medium.

If you are looking for additional versatility with these brushes, then you will definitely want to invest in a few additional watercolor brushes to use in tandem with this set.

The single brush tip does feature synthetic fibers that should spring back to a fine tip with each stroke that you make.

For beginning options available within the market, these are definitely worth of a consideration.

The wide color selection for the relatively low price point will be just enough for you to get comfortable in the medium before you decide to upgrade to some of the more professional options on this list.

Pros
  • Beginner friendly design
  • Affordable
  • Wide array of colors
Cons
  • Single tip design
  • Cannot purchase individually

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6. Tanmit Dual Tip Art Markers

Nearly matching the Tombow 95-piece set offering, this set by Tanmit is quite extraordinary with 60 different colors included.

As terrific as the color selection may be, equally amazing will be the price point.

With a price equal to that of both the MozArt and Bienfang markers, you get an unparalleled selection of markers at your fingertips.

But it gets better…

Not only does this set feature more markers at a comparable price tag to some of the others, it also features a dual tip design!

The Micron pen like fine nip on one end coupled with brush tip on the other, you allow you to have incredible control over your artwork.

It’s important to remember that the Tanmit markers are geared towards beginners. Therefore, you won’t see nearly the same vibrancy as either the Tombow or Winsor & Newton markers.

Secondly you won’t see the same level of dissolvability when the pigment is exposed to water.

What does this mean?

When examining your artwork up close, expect to see some remnants of the original stroke you placed on the paper to remain.

While likely not a big deal for beginners or those using these markers for craft use, when performing at a professional level, it may limit the amount of control you have over the painting itself.

Overall though, these markers by Tanmit are an amazing buy considering their dual tip design along with the affordable price point.

Pros
  • 60-piece color selection
  • Dual tip design
  • Affordable
  • Beginner friendly
Cons
  • Better options exist for professionals
  • Dissolvability may limit control

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7.

US Art Factory Watercolor Markers Set

By and far the most comprehensive beginners kit on this list will be this one by US Art Factory.

Not only does it include 20 watercolor markers, but you will also find a refillable water brush (which will be amazing for blending purposes), but also a pad of watercolor paper (12 sheets at 250 gsm), along with an eBook walking you through the basics (again, extremely beginner friendly).

The watercolor markers themselves feature a single synthetic brush end that will give you a few options for stroke width (fine, medium, and broad) ultimately giving you some control over your piece.

As many astute readers may notice, this is a single tip design, therefore the absence of a fine nib like that found in the Tanmint’s will be a bit of a drawback.

However, the performance of these markers will be on par with some of the nicer brands reviewed and should still produce stunning results.

The organized case that comes with the watercolor markers will make color selection a bit easier than a cylindrical case.

Overall, these markers are great for complete beginners, kids, and those looking for an inexpensive solution when using on various crafts.

Pros
  • Great beginners set
  • Perfect for gift giving
  • Inexpensive
  • Kid friendly
  • Great color selection
Cons
  • Unable to purchase refills individually

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8. Tropic Desire Watercolor Markers

There is a lot to love in this 20-piece watercolor marker set by Tropic Desire.

First, the color selection.

With over 20 colors to choose from, you won’t have to rely on blending nearly as much as you may when using the Bienfang’s.

This not only makes it great for beginners, but also to create much cleaner and crisp colors.

The single tip design does limit you to only brush strokes, however, if you are looking for additional versatility, you may want to consider picking up a few watercolor brushes.

While the Tropic Desire markers produce vibrant results and a great light fastness, what we really liked about this set was the included travel case.

Truly embracing the nature of painting outside the four walls of your studio, these markers will be great for those watercolorists always on the go.

The canvas body coupled with the Velcro closure will ensure that your watercolor markers remain secure when being transported.

The additional loops within the travel case can be used for other key art supplies including brushes, pens, pencils, etc.

Lastly this set by Tropic Desire comes with a satisfaction guarantee. They will refund your purchase should you be less than pleased with the performance of these markers (which we don’t think you will be).

Pros
  • Great for gift giving
  • Beginner friendly color selection
  • Added travel case is a nice touch
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Single brush tip limits control

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9. Spectrum Noir Aqua Markers

Known primarily for their alcohol-based markers, Spectrum Noir provides a comprehensive watercolor marker aimed squarely at the artist who are somewhere between both the beginner and intermediate levels.

Coming in a variety of color profiles including Primary, Essentials, Floral, and Earth, you can get the right set that suits your subject preference.

This not only reduces waste of purchasing markers that will likely never get used, but also allows you to save a few extra bucks as well (truly a win-win scenario).

So, what makes these markers stand out among so many others that we reviewed so far?

Their dual nib design.

With a fine nib on one side for detail work coupled with a brush tip on the other, you will total control over the creation of your piece.

But while this might not seem much from the onset (after all many of the watercolor markers we reviewed had this feature), this feature is typically reserved for those with a much higher price point.

The Spectrum Noir’s are not only incredibly affordable, but feature very similar characteristics found in the high-end offerings like Tombow and Winsor & Newton.

Most notably you will find that the Spectrum Noir’s have an excellent light fastness rating, hexagon designed barrel for roll-prevention and comfort, pigment dissolvability.

Overall, if you have tried some of the entry level options on this list and are looking to bring your watercolor marker set to the next level, then the Spectrum Noir markers are a fine consideration

Pros
  • Smart design (roll prevention)
  • Affordable
  • Vibrant colors
  • Great for intermediates
Cons
  • Color selection may be limited for some
  • Unable to purchase individually

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Brushes To Use With Watercolor Markers

To have greater control over your artwork along with the ability to create stunning gradients, you will want to make sure that you have a few watercolor brushes on hand.

Unfortunately, with watercolor markers, one of the drawbacks is their limited control over line weight and pigment flow – so expect some constraint when using only the watercolor marker.

Now, when you use a top-rated kolinsky sable watercolor brush, not only will you get the quality ‘spring’ that snaps back to fine point, but you also have a variety of brush types (i. e. round, flat, rigger, spotter, wash, etc.) that you can use in your artwork.

So, if you plan on painting either a larger or smaller scale piece and want a bit more control over the artwork you are making, be sure you have a few watercolor brushes on hand.

Lastly, and this is perhaps the most important, is type of brush:

While we eluded to the quality found in kolinsky sable hair brushes, you will want to make sure that you get a brush made specifically for watercolors.

While most watercolor markers have well-performing tips made from synthetic fibers, there is just no way of matching the performance of a natural animal fiber.

Why?

Well natural animal fibers carry water a bit better along with a better bristle structure to compliment the much wetter environment when compared to other mediums (i.e. oil, acrylic, etc.).

Watercolor Markers Vs Watercolor Pencils

Both watercolor markers and pencils have very similar application methods.

Instead of having a liquid based pigment coming out of the barrel of the marker, with pencils you will have a hardened substance.

But unlike your traditional colored pencils that feature typically a waxed core, watercolor pencils will have a water-soluble core (meaning it will dissolve in water – creating the same effects as watercolors).

So how does all this apply to your next painting?

The most important difference between these two very similar mediums is their vibrancy.

Watercolor markers are much more vibrant that a watercolor pencil.

From the onset, watercolor pencils look no different than a standard colored pencil.  Whereas watercolor markers allow the pigment to flow more freely onto your paper and produce stunning results.

So why would anyone get watercolor pencils?

In short, watercolor pencils can help a watercolorist achieve much more subtle effects with their painting.  Secondly, their ability to go plein air (i.e. travel friendly) is unmatched.

Watercolor pencils are definitely worth looking at, however, we find that more watercolorists tend to gravitate towards markers over pencils simply due to their already liquid nature along with the intensely vibrant colors.

Lastly, the watercolor marker is a preferred option for those who want to get creative with either calligraphy or various crafts.

Best Paper For Watercolor Markers

When it comes to using watercolor markers, it’s important that you select the right type of paper.

While markers can traditionally be used on fine tooth drawing paper, using your new watercolor markers on them will ultimately yield poor results, here’s why:

Watercolor paper is manufactured in a much different manner than your traditional paper.

In the world of watercolor papers, you will see hot pressed, cold pressed, and rough.

Hot pressed paper is very similar to traditional paper that you might be accustomed to.

The surface is much smoother, but will exhibit some key absorbency issues.

Now when it comes to watercolor markers, you will largely want to either use cold pressed (often referred to as NOT – as in NOT hot pressed) or rough papers.

These papers not only have a great texture for the pigment and water to latch on to along the surface, but their absorbency is exponentially better than a hot pressed watercolor paper.

What does this all mean?

Well, you have much better control over your medium as an artist and it will reflect in the final results.

Secondly, the thicker paper will ensure there is no wrinkling or warping of the surface along with better long-term preservation (assuming you go with an acid-free paper).

If you don’t have any watercolor paper presently on-hand, then we would recommend checking out our guide to the best watercolor papers, there we review a variety of sheets and blocks.

These will give you the uncompromising performance you are looking for and will ultimately give you better results with your new watercolor markers.

10 Best Watercolor Brush Pens Reviewed and Rated in 2021

Art comes in all sizes and shapes, among which watercolor markers art seems a popular choice amongst artists, amateur or otherwise. There’s always a challenge, however, in picking the best watercolor brush pens that allow you to create art, but also save time and money. No matter if you’re just starting out or have been at it for however long, finding the right equipment is never that easy.

To that end, I have personally handpicked 10 sets of watercolor pens to experiment with. The reviews of these sets, alongside a product buying guide, should help you narrow down your choices and make the journey of finding your next favorite toolset much less painful.

I am what you might say a semi-professional artist, who has taken up painting as a hobby but somehow decided to turn it into a side hustle. While I can experiment with a lot of different options since I’m under no pressure to produce, having the right gear on hand is still important to me and my work, especially when the orders come rolling in.

Watercolor brush markers have become increasingly popular among the art communities, not only for their affordability but also for their convenience and mess-free applications, unlike most traditional painting kits.

The products I present below will tend to offer enough versatility and the right level of quality that any type of artists, professional or amateur, can count on.

Best Watercolor Brush Pen Reviews

1. Benicci Watercolor Brush Pens

Including a set of 25 colors, you really can’t go wrong with the Benicci watercolor brush pens. The colors are vibrant, suitable for a variety of arts, including calligraphy and other traditional forms of art.

I chose this set because of the number of colors I could get for so low a price. But more importantly, it was the bonus add-ons that caught my attention. This kit comes with a refillable brush pen, a watercolor paper pad and a carry case, which is extremely convenient for when I want to take my work with me just about anywhere.

Another thing I like about this set is the superbly flexible brush tips, which are perfect for drawing both broad and thin lines, and smooth transitioning in-between. They also hold their shapes rather well, even after a lot of uses.

100% toxic-free, these watercolor paint pens are also a great ingredient for my bonding time with my niece and nephew. While they’re not exactly artistic, the colors never fail to put a smile on their faces.

The one drawback of this kit is that the sharpness of the pigments can lessen as more water is added. This means that multiple applications are a must before my artwork is rich enough for public display (and by public, I mean my family).

To summarise, below are the pros and cons of these watercolor brush pens.

Pros

  • Non-toxic and safe for children
  • Comes with add-ons including watercolor paper pad and carry case
  • Suitable for various types of art including calligraphy
  • Flexible tips for ease of painting and writing
  • Fine tips for detailed work

Cons

  • Colors fade if too much water is added

Overall, if you’re after reasonably priced watercolor markers for beginners with lots of extras to kickstart your artistic pastime, give these a go and you won’t be disappointed.

2. DecoSpark Calligraphy Watercolor Brush Pens

This is the kit I started out with as they are basic but the quality is still top-notch. The brush tips are real and offer a degree of flexibility and softness that allows me to adjust the thickness of my strokes quite easily. This is particularly important for calligraphy. It has also helped create a great many paintings that are in no way different from what I would have created with real brushes dipped in paints squeezed out of a tube.

The brush tips are highly durable, not showing any signs of damage and consistently holding their shapes thus far.

The set comes with 20 colors, which is more than I would ever need, though there’s a lack of pastel colors that would have come in handy for more complex pieces of artwork. That said, if you’re only going to use them for calligraphy, what you get with this kit should suffice.

Warm colors that come with it are brilliant and easy to blend, with just a single water brush pen. This water brush pen is included and can be used to blend and mix various colors to create interesting effects. Cool colors are more challenging to blend, however. A little more time and patience is required to get the desired effect.

DecoSpark prides itself on its top-grade materials that create products of outstanding quality. Effectively sealing is also in place to prevent ink from leaking. Paints also take a shorter time to dry, allowing for time-efficient painting. Not that I don’t want to spend much time on my hobbies, but when producing to order, I do need time on my side.

Pros

  • Great for multiple purposes, including coloring, doodling, illustrating and calligraphy
  • Comes in 20 vibrant colors
  • Real and flexible brush tips for greater painting effects and executions
  • Includes a water brush pen used for blending colors
  • Easy to wash and clean up with plain water
  • Effective sealing to prevent leaks
  • Water-based, non-toxic and odorless, suitable for children

Cons

  • Cool colors can be hard to blend

All in all, the DecoSpark watercolor brush pens are versatile and useful for artists, no matter the skill level. If you’re in need of a no-frills watercolor paint set, you can’t go wrong investing in one of these sets.

3. Ohuhu Watercolor Calligraphy Brush Pens

The devil is in the details. It’s the fine lines and tiny shapes that make some of my paintings more interesting than others. And I could not have done that without the versatility offered by this painting kit.

The fine tips really do pack a punch when it comes to intricate artwork filled with laborious details. They are flexible and have not failed to impress me with their ease of use, be it for painting, coloring, lettering or calligraphy.

Coming in 20 colors, and a water coloring brush on top of that, this set offers me enough tools to carry out my art project, no matter what it is. The water brush pen allows me to mix and blend various colors to create new and exciting ones. So even if you can’t find your favorite color in the set, don’t sweat, just make it yourself. Then it would be your own true creation.

The water brush pen can also deliver watercolor effects that are out-of-this-world and truly amazing. Odorless and free from toxic, these watercolour markers can also be enjoyed by the children in my family.

To sum it up, the main pros and cons of the Ohuhu Watercolor brush pens amount to the points below.

Pros

  • Fine and flexible tips, perfect for calligraphy
  • Comes with a water brush for mixing paints
  • Odorless and free from chemicals

Cons

  • Some colors harder to blend than others

All in all, if you’re after a simple watercolor brush pen set for calligraphy and a small budget, these Ohuhu watercolor markers are worth a try.

4. Artezia Watercolor Brush Pens

If you’re looking for something a bit more lenient on your hip pocket, these Arteza watercolor brush pens have got to be the way to go. It is so affordable I only need to raid my piggy bank for a handful of gold coins to finally get my hands on one.

The water-based paints in these pens help add some brilliant and popping colors to my artwork. They are extremely easy to use and when used right, are highly effective. The pens are also amazingly comfortable to hold, allowing me to go for hours on end without even a little bit of fatigue.

The tips of these pens are real brushes, offering the same effect as the conventional paint brushes. The fine and supple tips allow me to get cranking on the details of the art pieces. The paints flow smoothly, with no disruptions or inconsistencies in the brush strokes. This is particularly important as I go about producing more hand lettering projects for my clients.

The best thing about this kit is the number of colors it includes. There are very few options out there where you can get the same amount of colors for the price it’s currently going for.

Altogether, below is a summary of the main pros and cons outlined in the Arteza brush pens review above.

Pros

  • Comes in 48 colors, a real value for money pack
  • Vibrant colors that can be mixed
  • Fine and supple tips for great detailed work
  • Free from odors and harmful chemicals

Cons

  • Basic plastic packaging, unsuitable for transporting

Overall, if you’re searching for the most bang for your buck, this value pack by Arteza is worth the extra you need to pay, especially given the number of colors you will get without the need for separate buys.

5. Genuine Crafts Watercolor Brush Pens

The Genuine Crafts watercolor brush pen set offers great value for money, with top-grade quality that should last a long time. I like the real brush tips, made from flexible nylon, which allow for a smooth transition between thick and fine strokes, perfect for calligraphy.

The nylon tips are well worth the money as they last through a large number of uses without spread or smear. They are fantastically durable and easy to care for. The pens are also well designed, with a leakproof and mess-free guarantee for me to easily use it on the go, making my job easier and more timely.

I would recommend though, that if you plan to take this set with you everywhere, do refill your water brush pen as there are certain watercolor effects that can’t be achieved without adding a bit of water to the mix. It’s also important to remember to store these pens correctly. I have seen a lot of complaints with regards to the pens drying out. While that could be a nuisance, the way you store these pens do have an impact on their lifespan. Purchases often come with instructions on how you should keep them, so please follow these instructions and your brush pens will stay as pristine and new as when you first bought them.

If you’re not happy with them whatsoever, make sure you make use of the guarantee programs that often come with your purchase.

To sum it up, below are the pros and cons of the Genuine Crafts watercolor brush pens.

Pros

  • Good quality and great value for money
  • Flexible real nylon tips with softness
  • Smooth transition between broad and thin strokes
  • Durable and easy to care for
  • Leakproof and mess-free, suitable for both adults and children

Cons

  • Can dry out first but avoidable if you follow the care instructions

Overall, the Genuine Crafts watercolor brush pens are a great option if you have a constrained budget but don’t want to compromise on quality and lifespan.

6. Doodle Hog Watercolor Brush Pen Gift Box

With 48 colors in the pack, the Doodle Hog Watercolor brush pens are a budget-friendly kit, but with integrity and quality for both serious or amateur artists. If you’re a professional, investing in one of these kits is a smart decision. From just a few drops of water, the sky’s the limit when it comes to the number of colors I can create yourself, by mixing the vibrant colors that come with the kit. The intensity of the colors is also retained, no matter how much blending I do.

The flexible tips with high-quality brushes also allow me to get down and dirty on business with intricate work of details. They offer a smooth transition between broad and thin lines, without streaking or smearing, helping to add a professional touch to my otherwise amateur artwork. This kit is terrific for coloring or calligraphy, though because of the soft tips, I don’t recommend them for lettering. There’s also a need for care and patient execution of these pens if you want to use them for intricate details.

The kit comes with 2 refillable water brushes, which is one more brush than I would have got from a standard kit. While that doesn’t sound like a big deal, having double the amount of water offers me a lot more opportunities to get my artwork completed on the go, without ever running out of tools.

There’s not a lot of information provided by the seller with regards to the chemical makeup of these brush pens, but because they are water-based and from a lack of odor, I would assume that they aren’t made with harmful chemicals. However, it’s highly recommended that you do some research before letting your children play with them.

To summarise, below are the pros and cons of the Doodle Hog Watercolor brush pens.

Pros

  • Great value for money with lots of colors and a small price
  • Top-quality tips and brushes for smooth strokes
  • No streaking or smearing
  • Works with or without water, convenient on the go
  • Versatile tips for creating both thick and thin lines
  • Comes with 2 refillable water brush pens

Cons

  • Soft tips that aren’t suitable or lettering
  • Lack of information on the chemical makeup, or lack thereof

Overall, the Doodle Hog Watercolor brush pens are a must-have if you’re serious about creating art. With this high-value, budget-friendly and feature-packed kit, you get to focus more on your creativity and leave the hard work to it.

7. Chalkola Watercolor Brush Pens

The Chalkola Watercolor brush pens provide a great solution for my commercial artwork as they are equipped with real brush tips that provide interesting effects with each application. The colors are vivid, allowing for blending and mixing without reducing the effects they offer.

This kit also comes with a painting pad, providing a platform for my creativity to run wild without the need for investing extra money in a separate buy. The sketchbook is of a good size and premium quality that goes well with the brush pens. The paper is thick and acid-free, perfect for both dry and wet applications without bleeding.

These brush pens are also perfect for a great many types of painting and art, including coloring, lettering, sketching, and calligraphy. They also don’t take long to dry, preventing smudges that I often see happening with a gel pen or oil-based paints. This is particularly important when I need to take my work on the go. As inspiration hits, I can instantly transfer my ideas onto my pad and conveniently slip it back into my backpack afterward, without having to wait for the ink to dry.

While this kit is perfect for the child in me, it also works for the children themselves. The paints are water-based, so chemicals and odor are non-existent, rendering it a safe set of watercolor brushes for both adults and kids.

I also like the risk-free guarantee that comes with this kit. The seller is fast to replace my dry pens with new replacements, free of charge. If you’re after something with a bit of assurance, this set is the way to go.

In a nutshell, below is a summary of the pros and cons of the Chalkola Watercolor brush pens.

Pros

  • Comes with a quality painting pad for immediate start
  • Suitable for a variety of art projects including coloring, calligraphy, sketching, etc.
  • Water-based paints, free from chemicals and harmful odor
  • Real nylon brushes with top-notch quality to avoid smearing and streaking
  • Free replacements for damaged brush pens

Cons

  • Some colors require more effort to blend than others

All in all, there’s little to fault this kit for. With its premium quality and a high level of practicality, you can let your creativity run wild without the extra work of cleaning up.

8. Vacnite Watercolor Brush Pens

This is yet another kit that offers me a great deal to satisfy both my hunger for art and my hip pocket. It comes with a great selection of lively colors and two refillable water brush pens, allowing for limitless blending and applications.

The soft and versatile brush tips have accompanied me in an array of art projects, still remaining vibrant after multiple uses. Spreading, smearing and smudges are of no concern to me at this point in time. The water brush pens are particularly useful for taking my artwork on the go. They allow me to add interesting-colorful effects to my work with a simple dab of the water brush pen.

The paint flow is superb, allowing me to move from thick to thin lines, and vice versa, without disruption or inconsistency in the strokes. The paints also take very little time to dry completely, allowing for smudge-free applications. The durable nylon materials used to make these brush tips also mean that they are easy to clean and care for.

Though from a professional’s point of view, these brush pens are invaluable since they are most certainly perfect for any skills level or purposes, from adults to children, amateur to commercial artists. Besides, they are also great for a variety of art types, from calligraphy to coloring, sketching, painting and so on. The fact that they are non-toxic and odorless is also great for use among children.

To sum it up, below are the pros and cons of the Vacnite Watercolor brush pens.

Pros

  • Comes with 48 colors, offering great bang for your buck
  • Premium quality brush tips for frequent uses without spread
  • Comes with 2 refillable water brush pens for abundant applications on the go
  • Non-toxic and free from odors
  • Smooth paint flow and brush strokes for consistency
  • Flexible soft tips for easy application with no force

Cons

  • There are disproportionately more dark colors than lighter ones

Overall, if you want a great deal more for a whole lot less, these Vacnite watercolor pens for beginners are worth considering for their durability and versatility in what they allow you to create.

9. Crafty Croc Watercolor Paint Brush Pens

The Crafty Croc Watercolor brush pens come in 24 vibrant colors, and that’s ample for me personally. These colors are easy to blend, with a simple dash of water from the water brush pen.

This kit comes with 2 water brush pens, which means a higher level of convenience and more uses before I have to refill. These two water pens also come in different sizes, allowing me to produce numerous colorful effects with different types of techniques.

Another great thing about these water brush pens is that they work on Watercolor pencils or crayons as well. This is a great level of versatility that few painting kits offer. If you have children who are into their Watercolor crayons, this is the perfect way to introduce them to a new, fun way of creating art.

The pigments are so vibrant no matter how much water is added, still they retain their intensity. The brush tips, made from flexible and soft nylon, are highly durable and perfect for a variety of applications, from painting a large-scale project to intricate work on details and fine lines.

I also like the hard case these pens come in. It provides a great solution for taking my hobby with me wherever I go. It helps me to keep things organized and easy to find the moment I need them. It also comes in handy if you have kids at school age. It is lightweight and fits perfectly in their backpacks, allowing them to participate in art projects at school while still having their own favorite painting kit with them. The water-based non-toxic paints also help to keep your kids out of harm’s way as they go about their art production.

In a nutshell, below are the pros and cons outlined in the Crafty Croc watercolor brush pen review above.

Pros

  • Lively colors blendable for limitless color options
  • Comes with 2 water brush pens of different tip sizes, usable on Watercolor pencils and crayons
  • Flexible nylon tips with durability and long lifespan
  • Comes with a hard case for easy storage and carrying
  • Free from chemicals and odors, perfect for children

Cons

  • Tips can be too soft for intricate details

Overall, the Crafty Croc Watercolor brush pens are a versatile option, made for multiple purposes and artists of all ages. If you’re searching for durability, convenience, and top quality, this kit is definitely worth your while.

10. PaintMark Real Brush Pens

The PaintMark brush pen set is my absolute favorite for its vibrant set of colors. While they are fast to dry, the colors maintain their intensity once they’ve set in. This is particularly important as it doesn’t require me to apply multiple layers to get the desired effect. As a result, it helps save time, effort and ink, allowing for a prolonged lifespan.

If you’re like me and can never avoid getting paints smeared all over your hands no matter how hard you try, these paints can be easily cleaned off with water. This is a lovely surprise as the pigments are oil-based, so I was expecting it to be harder to remove with water, compared to their standard water-based counterparts.

As they are free from toxins and odors, the paints are completely safe for my skin as well. If you have kids who have a knack for art, or just want to have fun, there’s not a cause for concern as they mess with these pens.

The only setback about this kit is that it doesn’t include a water brush pen. If compared to other standard kits that offer the same amount of colors for similar prices, this can be a serious disadvantage. That said, it offers its own uniqueness, with top-notch quality and the range of colors you need. Having to fork out a couple of extra dollars for a water brush pen probably won’t hurt your pocket too much.

To summarise, below are the pros and cons of the PaintMark Watercolor brush pens.

Pros

  • Colors with high intensity for easy blending without fading
  • Suitable for a wide range of uses
  • Including metallic colors for special effects for calligraphy
  • Money-back guarantee for peace of mind as you shop online
  • Fast to dry

Cons

  • Water brush pens not included

All in all, this PaintMark watercolor brush pen set is ideal for calligraphic art, with the vibrant and unique set of colors it offers. If you’re seeking a simple kit for complex art projects, this kit can quickly become your favorite.

What to Look for When Buying Watercolor Pens

If you have decided to pursue Watercolor painting for a hobby, or are an active participant of this craft, knowing what to look for when choosing the best watercolor pens is as important as the artwork itself. To help you find the right watercolor painting kit, below are some factors to consider as you go shopping.

The right number of colors

It’s important to consider the nature of your work and determine the number of colors you really need before paying up for the first kit that comes your way. If you’re in need of a set to help kickstart your calligraphy project, you probably won’t need a whole lot more colors than you would for vibrant realistic portraits. While paying a bit extra for a lot more colors represent great value for money, the colors you hardly use will remain untouched to the point that they would dry out before you decide to give them a go.

Tool toxicity

Tool toxicity refers to the level of chemicals used in producing a watercolor brush pen. This is extremely important if you are buying them for your children, or know that at some point these pens will be used by them.

Most watercolor brush pens are free from chemicals and emit very minimal odors or fumes, given the advanced technologies used to create these pens. However, it’s dangerous nonetheless to assume that every paint kit is non-toxic and odorless. It’s important to check the product details for confirmation from the manufacturers before you purchase. Alternatively, you can carry out your own research to find brands that are best known for their low tool toxicity, then try to find their products and where they are sold.

Product features and what it includes

If you’re after maximum value for the money you’re willing to spend on a kit, it’s worth learning what features or components are included in a product kit.

If you’re a beginner and just want a no-frills way to take up your new hobby, an all-inclusive kit with water brush pens and painting pad can be an ideal option. This way, you can reduce the outlay you have to fork out for a kit as you’re working out what is best for your painting style and projects.

On the other hand, if you’re a professional artist who knows what they need, shopping around can help you ensure that you get the most bang for your buck. I often look at the specific colors that come in the pack and ask myself how many of those colors I would never touch. The kit I end up purchasing would often be one with a higher number of colors I know I would use. This is a simple buying tip I’m sharing here as we all want to get the best value for our dollars.

Replacement policy

Most sellers or manufacturers will have a policy in place to deal with damaged or unsatisfactory products, such as when the brush pens dry out too fast or the paints don’t flow. Most of these policies allow customers to request for a replacement free of charge. But no two guarantee programs are the same. It is thus important to check what policy is offered before you purchase a kit.

Other Important Factors to Consider

What is a watercolor brush pen?

A watercolor brush pen is a system designed to store watercolor pigments and deliver it at the same time. Imagine a tube of paint and a brush. If you put the two together, you will have a watercolor brush pen.

This invention has given artists such as you and me a very convenient option for producing art, but without the mess of the traditional “paint and brush” system. These watercolor brush pens are easy to store and conveniently put to use with just one simple gesture of pulling off the cap.

They are also designed to work well on the go, accompanied by water brush pens, used to mix colors or to add special effects to your painting.

How does it work?

Watercolor brush pens consist of two main components: a container which is the body, used to store pigments, and the brush tip, which acts like a paintbrush, used to deliver, mix and apply pigments to paper. Watercolor brush pens can be applied directly to paper. The time-efficiency lies in the fact that you don’t have to dip it into a separate container of pigment and water. You may not even need a container of water if your purchase comes with a water brush pen.

Water brush pens are extremely versatile and can be used in more ways than one, though their primary purpose is to add interesting effects to your artwork. You can use it with normal pigments as you would with a brush itself. You can simply dab it in the pigments to pick up the colors, then apply them straight to paper. In the same way, they can also be used to lift colors from watercolor pencils or crayons and apply them to paper. Alternatively, you can use them to blend and lift colors from the paper by applying them directly on top of the pigments that you have already applied to the paper, either with a watercolor pencil or crayon.

Who is this for?

There’s no restrictions to who should or can use these watercolor brush pens. If you’re a professional artist or just someone who is into art for recreational purposes, watercolor brush pens are a great option for you.

They are designed for creators of all ages, from adults to children, for they are easy to use, free from mess and don’t take much more than plain water to clean up. Most watercolor brush kits on the market are also free from chemicals, rendering them perfect for children or individuals sensitive to strong odors. It’s highly recommended that you read the product details carefully, however, as you go about your shopping. While it’s often assumed that water-based pigments are toxic-free, it’s worth checking before presenting your credit card.

What are the different types of watercolor pens?

Watercolor brush pens can be either oil-based or water-based.

Water-based paints are characterized by the binding mediums used to suspend and keep pigments together. In most cases, these paints are more environmentally friendly, emitting less fumes and odors than their oil-based counterparts. They also dry faster and can be washed off easily with plain water. Oil-based pigments, on the other hand, are bound by oil, often Linseed oil. They can take longer to dry but once set in, they are highly durable and resistant to abrasion, water, and sunlight. They are harder to clean up with just water.

Most watercolor brush pens are water-based, thus extremely easy to use and clean. However, you will also find a few options out there that includes oil-based watercolor, which carries a bit of benefits and risks of both oil-based and water-based paints. Their pigments can be more vibrant and intense, though also harder to wash off if they get onto your skin. They can take a tad longer to dry, but once dried, they are harder to lift with just water. Unlike traditional oil paints that come out of a tube, the technologies used to produce these markers also allow for a reduction of chemicals and fume emission. So even if they are oil-based, most watercolor brush pens are safe for children. Oil-based watercolor also means that they can be more versatile and easily applied on various other surfaces other than paper. They are still watercolor, however, so the types of canvas they work can go on are still limited.

In most cases, water-based brush pens are perfectly fine for whatever paper-based projects you have in mind. But if you’re after something a bit more durable and resistant to the elements, it can be worth considering an oil-based watercolor marker set.

Why do you need watercolor markers?

Watercolor markers are designed to aid artists in creating art without the usual mess of a conventional system that requires as much time to prepare and clean up as it does to produce an artwork. They are easy to pack and unpack, convenient for artists to bring their work on the go.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most trusted watercolor marker brands?

We are blessed with a whole host of choices when it comes to watercolor brush pens, but the most reputable brands include Winsor & Newton, Ohuhu, Magicfly, Arteza, and ColorIt watercolor brush pens. With information readily accessible on the internet nowadays, it’s easier than ever to learn more about the science that goes into producing each watercolor brush pen. Do conduct your own research on each brand before trying them out. If you’re lucky enough to find your favorite brand, stocking up on supplies will be much easier.

What pens to use with watercolor?

From time to time, there will be a need for using waterproof pens on watercolor, be it for touching up a piece of artwork with fine details or for making it pop with bold outlines. There is a wide array of such waterproof pens in the marketplace, but not all are made equal. It’s worth trying out a variety of brands and products to find what works.

How do I use watercolor brush pens?

Watercolor markers can be used just like any other markers, though they require a few simple steps below to facilitate paint flow before you can start to produce colorful effects with them.

  1. Shake the pen well before you use it
  2. Pull off the cap and press the nib against a piece of paper until you start to see some ink coming out
  3. Dip the brush pen into the water container
  4. Test the pen to ensure you have achieved the right paint flow and consistency in the strokes
  5. If your product comes with a water brush pen, you can apply it on top of the colors already on the paper to blend and mix them together

Where to buy?

Most manufacturers offer their products through independent retailers, so you may struggle to purchase these products directly from the manufacturers, even if you think that may help save you some dollars.

Don’t despair, however! The market is packed with these Watercolor brush pens and they don’t cost a whole lot. So you can easily grab one for less than $20 on eBay or Amazon. It’s not easy to pick a product straight off the bat, however, as these online platforms are flooded with options. It’s important thus to make use of the reviews provided above, on top of reading the customers’ reviews for each product, to ensure you narrow down your choices effectively and go for the best watercolor markers most suited for your needs and budget.

Alternatively, supermarkets or specialty stores that offer art supplies are other places where you can find a good Watercolor paint kit. The main benefit of purchasing in-person is that you get to test these pens before forking out your hard-earned money.

What is the warranty?

Most products such as Watercolor brush pens don’t come with a warranty, for the nature of the products. However, most reputable sellers and manufacturers should offer some type of guarantee, be it a money-back guarantee or free replacement in case of damage or unsatisfactory performance.

Ensure you have equipped yourself with sufficient information regarding the policies that come with a product before buying. If a seller doesn’t offer a guarantee program, it’s best not to go ahead with the purchase. Otherwise, you can proceed at your own risk or discretion.

How to care and clean?

Compared to the conventional “paint and brush” painting system, these watercolor brush pens are much easier to care for. The general rules of thumb are as follows:

  • Ensure you put the cap back on immediately after use, this is applicable even if you’re just temporarily switching colors
  • Store your brush pens horizontally to ensure the ink doesn’t congregate at the bottom of the pens

To clean your water brush pen, simply squeeze the water through the chamber until it reaches the brush tip, then wipe it gently on a towel or paper towel. Repeat this step into your brush tip is entirely clean.

Conclusion

Finding the right equipment for any type of hobby is nothing short of overwhelming, even more so when it comes to finding the right watercolor brush pen. Depending on your needs, budget and what you have planned for your next artwork, each set of best watercolor brush pens offers different features and benefits.

Notwithstanding, with the product reviews and the product buying guide outlined above, you can narrow down your choices and are one step closer to the perfect watercolor brush pen for your next art projects.

9 Best Watercolor Markers of 2021 With Legendary Results for Artists

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You’ve used a brush, and you’ve used a pen. But have you ever tried a watercolor marker?

No, this isn’t a post for the elitist who would rather stick to their old ways of producing art. The world has progressed after all and “art” is now no longer confined to an archaic set of rules and regulations.

And that’s exactly what the watercolor marker embodies!

At A Glance: Our Top 5 Picks for Watercolor Markers

With the right watercolor marker, you can get the best of both in the world of art. The quality and grace of painting with a brush and the convenience of a pen.

And this tool is especially important when you need to do a lot of detailed work and you’re not quite ‘not there’ yet with the strokes of a traditional brush.

So, with a humble understanding of the gravitas of this medium, we decided to present to you the best watercolor markers we could find!

Here are the best watercolor markers for legendary results for artists everywhere! Go ahead and give it a read.

Best Watercolor Markers

  1. Letraset Aqua Marker

Letraset Aqua Marker is a perfect entry for people who are new to using watercolor markers. It is also excellent for watercolorists who want a little bit of modularity and uniqueness in their artworks. It’s an incredibly well-built marker perfect for people who are more familiar with markers than watercolor markers.

Letraset 9.6 Aqua Marker, Twin-Tip, 12-Pack

  • Set of 12 twin-tipped markers that handle and perform like…
  • Colors provide rich and saturated hues, superior light…
  • Package contains 12 markers, blending pen, How-To…
  • Non-toxic; conforms to ASTM D4236

Experience

The markers have two tips that offer immense versatility. There’s a fine tip for detailed work as well as a chiseled tip for broader strokes. Their durability is also astounding and by our estimation, it should withstand a significant amount of abuse.

Coupled with this is its wide barrel that stores more ink and gives better control to beginner artists. Its design makes it easily suitable for beginners and casual artists but the performance of it makes it worthy for intermediate artists as well.

The ink blends flawlessly when exposed to water which makes it possible to achieve accurate hues that give a soft appearance.

The ink is also extremely durable. It is extremely lightfast, i.e., doesn’t dilute easily under prolonged exposure to light.

Overall, the marker set is really splendid in terms of performance, design, and durability. But one gripe we did have was the lack of a brush-like tip. The tips, although of satisfactory quality, resemble a conventional marker than watercolor brushes.

That’s why we recommend professional watercolorists to stay away from this set.

Pros

  • Two tips – one fine tip for detailed work and one broad tip for fat strokes
  • Markers are extremely durable as well – sturdy tips and lightfast ink
  • Ink mixes beautifully with water as well and blends beautifully
  • The set is extremely affordable as well

Cons

  • Tips resemble more to a traditional marker than a brush
  1. MozArt Supplies Brush Pen Set

Turning towards a more professional and hardcore set of watercolor markers, we have MozArt Supplies Brush Pen Set. You can get these splendid watercolor markers in a set of 12 or 20. With an experience that is more aligned to the feeling of a brush, this brush is suitable for professional watercolorists on a budget because of its quality and performance.

Brush Pens Set – 20 Colors – Soft Real Brush Tip Marker…

  • REAL BRUSH TIP – Our Single brush pens have durable, soft…
  • WATERCOLOR EFFECTS – The ink blends excellently with water…
  • PREMIUM GRADE – High quality, professional standard,…
  • VERSATILE ARTIST BRUSHES FOR MANY USES – This kit features…

Experience

From our experience, we can vouch for the performance of these markers and recommend it to watercolorists who are handier with the flow of a brush.

The bristles used in the tip are, of course, made from synthetic fibers and it’s great because that gives the tip a sort of bounciness that gives great feedback.

The ink flows smoothly and in contact with water blends perfectly without any inconsistency. In the department of performance, we don’t have any gripes with it. It flows remarkably well and is way more worth than the price.

The ink is also plenty durable with good lightfastness. The only gripe we have with the pen is the lack of versatility.

We get it. This marker set is designed for performing really well as a watercolor marker but the lack of dual tips and other features make this pen inaccessible to newcomers to the medium.

If you plan on using this marker set and you are not accustomed to the flow of a brush, we recommend you to consider the room for mistakes and using this marker set with a collection of other markers as well.

Pros

  • Good quality brush tip that is springy, firm and durable
  • It is incredibly affordable and a good value for money
  • The ink is of good quality and is plenty durable

Cons

  • It has only one tip that is of brush-type
  1. Tombow Dual Brush Pen Art Markers

Tombow Dual Brush Pen Art Markers have one of the highest numbers of color options in a set. With a set of whopping 95 colors (+1 Blender marker), this set is one of the most fleshed-out set in terms of variety and hue options that we know of. And with a dual tip design – a fine tip and a brush tip, this watercolor marker has got all the things it needs.

Experience

With the wide selection of colors, mixing hues almost become obsolete because you can already find the hue you want in the box with such a huge variety of colors.

The markers also feature dual tips. One of which is a fine tip which is great for detailed work and the other is a brush tip which has better control and flow than a broad stroke chiseled tip.

The ink is fantastic as well. It flows well, blends perfectly and mixes accurately. It is also extremely lightfast and completely acid-free.

As a professional watercolorist, you can also work out your painting over several days with this marker set. The pigments lift up with no problem when in contact with water.

It comes with a desk stand to store all the markers together. It also has a smart cap design. A small notch on the cap prohibits the marker from rolling around.

The tips also come with a feature of self-cleaning. With other markers, the tips will get muddy and dirty over time. But with Tombow markers, you’ll never have to face this problem because the markers will clean itself.

Pros

  • Wide selection of colors – 95 colors + 1 blender
  • Amazing performance that is unrivaled by any other
  • Comes with a desk stand for easy storage
  • The tip can clean itself and will remain consistent over a long time
  • The markers can be purchased individually
  1. Winsor & Newton Water Color Markers

Winsor & Newton has brand recognition in the art community that is second to none. And they have always produced remarkable art products that artists around the globe vouch for.

These markers come in a set of 12 and the quality of each of the markers is nothing less than excellent. Winsor & Newton never fails to amaze artists with the quality of their products and this marker set is not an exception to that.

Sale

Winsor & Newton Water Colour Brush Markers, Set of 12

  • DUAL TIPS: All paint markers have a fine bullet nib for…
  • UNBEATABLE COLOR: Highly pigmented water based color gives…
  • INTERMIXABLE: All watercolor markers are intermixable with…
  • LIGHTFAST: All colors are resistant to fading for 100 years

Experience

Like the entry from Tombow, these markers also come with dual tips. One of them is a fine tip for detailing and fine lines, and the other one is a brush tip that is great for watercolorists and calligraphists.

The bristles of the brush tip are made from synthetic fibres. They are springy and hence, provide an incredible amount of feedback to the user.

But the more important part is the performance of the ink. And of course, Winsor & Newton wouldn’t skimp on the part of quality.

The ink’s dissolvability is incredibly good. The pigments mix effortlessly even without the use of blender marker. You can simply use a wet brush to mix the inks effortlessly.

The colors are also extremely vibrant and attractive. In terms of vibrancy, they match Tombow’s offering. The pigment count is remarkably high and hence the colors produced are very saturated and attractive.

The marker set comes in a tin box and hence can be carried around without any hassle. This makes this marker set incredibly for plein air painting.

The only downside is the rather limited number of colors in the set – 12. You’ll need to do a lot of mixing to get the color you need and with watercolor markers that’s a lot of hassle.

Pros

  • Two tips – one fine tip and one brush tip
  • Incredibly lightfast ink and professional grade quality
  • Colors are incredibly vibrant and gorgeous
  • Set comes in a tin box that is great for traveling and plein air painting

Cons

  • Colors available in the set is rather limiting
  1. Bienfang Watercolor Brush Pens

Bienfang is a brand under a corporation called Speedball which has been a respected company for over 100 years now. If that doesn’t tell indicate the prestige and quality of its products, then also keep in mind that this brand can give ancient European establishments a run for their money.

These quality markers are geared to a novice audience of beginners, casual artists, and even kids.

Experience

This marker set comes either with 9 or 12 markers. And we believe that a set of 12 colors is more than adequate for a novice artist. The markets come in a case that makes it also suitable for traveling and outdoor painting.

But even if these markers are meant for beginners, in terms of quality, there’s only praise for these markers. The colors have a very high pigment count and are vibrant. The resulting artworks always have poppy and attractive look.

The colors are also incredibly lightfast and it’s astounding to witness this kind of quality and durability in such an affordable set that is meant for beginner and casual artists.

The markers only feature a brush tip that might upset the professional and intermediate audience. But keep in mind that it’s not targeted towards that audience.

Otherwise, the brush tip is actually of impeccable quality and have a nice spring to it.

There are not many flashes with this marker set. This set is meant for the novice artist and for an affordable price it gives the best possible performance, both in terms of functionality and durability.

Pros

  • Incredibly affordable and beginner friendly
  • Includes a blending marker
  • Comes with a case for easy carriage
  • Decent performance offering a good value for the money

Cons

  • It is not meant for professional or intermediate artists
  1. Tanmit Dual Tip Art Markers

Tanmit Dual Tip Art Markers are amazing quality markers that give the wide selection and design like Tombow Markers at the price of Bienfang markers. The set comes with 60 different colors that offer astounding variety at this price point. The markers also have a dual tip design with a micron style fine tip and a brush tip.

No products found.

Experience

This marker set come with 60 different colors at an incredibly affordable price. This kind of variety is not even witnessed in some of the higher priced professional grade marker sets.

These markers also have dual tips – one Micron pen style fine nib and a brush tip that is made out of synthetic fibers. The dual tip design is extremely necessary for watercolor markers, even though we have mentioned some entries on this list without dual tips.

The fact that this marker set is geared towards novice artists is astounding to us. But when it comes to ink performance and durability, you’ll have to keep in mind that it’s meant for beginners.

First of all, the colors won’t be as vibrant and saturated as some of the other entries on this list, like the Winsor & Newton or the Tombow.

And the dissolvability of the ink is also not that remarkable. What it means is that the ink won’t completely spread when mixed with water.

Ultimately though, these markers are a great bargain for beginners and way more worth than the price.

Pros

  • Incredibly affordable
  • Markers come with dual tips – one fine tip and one brush tip
  • There are 60 colors in a set
  • It is extremely beginner friendly

Cons

  • This set is not meant for professionals
  1. Tropic Desire Watercolor Markers

Tropic Desire brings this remarkable watercolor marker set that is suitable for beginners and the artists on the go alike. This wonderful set comes with 20 different colors and a carrying case that can also hold other pens and brushes.

If this doesn’t seem worth it for the extremely affordable price, you can also get your money back because of their satisfaction guarantee!

Experience

We feel that 20 colors is more than adequate for the needs of a beginner or an artist on the go. This sort of variety of colors eliminates the need for mixing to get new colors for most of the paintings.

The markers come with only one brush tip that has synthetic fibers and has a firm feeling while applying strokes.

Some may say that one tip is inadequate and we agree partially to that argument. But the quality of the brush tip itself didn’t leave a lot to desire in our use case. Still, we’d suggest you pick up some brushes if you plan to use this marker set extensively.

The colors are extremely vibrant and poppy as well. The ink is extremely lightfast too. On this front, we don’t desire anything more from this product. It’s already of excellent quality.

The best part of this whole deal is the inclusion of a travel case which makes painting on the go possible and makes this a value proposition for the small price tage it carries.

Pros

  • It is extremely affordable
  • The color variety is enough to satisfy a beginner’s need
  • The added travel pouch is amazingly handy

Cons

  • It only has one tip. There’s no fine tip, only a brush tip
  1. US Art Factory Watercolor Marker Set

US Art Factory is a well-renowned brand in the world of art products. They have been the maker of some of the best quality art products that we know of and this entry from them is not a slacker either.

We deem this watercolor marker set as the best set that beginner could get. It comes with all the necessary things to get started with this medium.

Dunamis Watercolor Brush Pens, Calligraphy Pen, Best Real…

  • ✔ MULTIPURPOSE… High Purity, Very Bright Colors, can be…
  • ✔ COLORS & FUNCTIONS… 20 Unique Colors which are Perfect…
  • ✔ HIGH QUALITY… Quick-Dry Watercolor, 0 Mess, Odorless,…
  • ✔ DURABILITY… Long Lasting Professional High Standard…

Experience

This watercolor marker set comes with 20 different colors that we deem adequate for a beginner. A more important inclusion is that of the water brush which is used to blend the colors. And it is refillable.

A bonus inclusion is that of a pad of watercolor paper. Each sheet is rated at 250 gsm and there are total 12 sheets in the pad. You also get an ebook to tutor you through the basics of watercoloring.

Unfortunately, it only features a single brush tip. Although it is a good brush tip that is made from synthetic fibers, the lack of a fine tip really brings down its value proposition.

But it redeems some of that damage by performing incredibly well. It’s unbelievably good for a beginner’s marker set. And it also comes in an organised case that is extremely handy.

Pros

  • Incredibly cheap
  • Best choice for beginners 
  1. Spectrum Noir Aqua Markers

Spectrum Noir Aqua Markers might just be the best value-for-money marker set on this entire list. It is geared towards non-professional artists – both beginners and intermediate artists.

There are various kinds of sets that come from Spectrum Noir. You can get Primary, Essentials, Floral or Earth sets to cater to any need according to your subject.

Sale

Spectrum Noir Aqua Artist’s Water Based Dual Nib Marker…

  • Water-Soluble Aqua Markers: Easily create a whole range of…
  • Dual-Tipped: Flexible brush for broad coverage and an…
  • Quality Water-Based Dyes: Smooth bright colors can be easily…
  • Spectrum Noir: A growing range of high-quality, affordable…

Experience

The way these markers are packaged and sold in sets make them extremely handy in terms of purchase and eliminates wastage of markers.

And no matter the set you get, it’ll always be light on your wallet. These extremely affordable markers come with a dual nib design. Something that has only been limited to expensive marker sets like Tombow and Winsor & Newton.

And there are a lot more areas where this marker set seems more akin to expensive brands. One of which is the durability of the ink. The ink used in this set has one of the highest lightfast ratings that is only evident in high-end brands.

The ink also flows incredibly well and blends flawlessly. The quality and performance of the ink surprised us because we didn’t expect it coming from such an inexpensive brand.

The markers also have a anti-rolling cap design which is rare to see in this price point.

Overall, for an artist who is somewhere in between being a beginner and an intermediate, this marker set is the best. And anyway, we are more than satisfied with this product.

Pros

  • Incredibly cheap
  • The colors are vibrant and poppy
  • Ink is extremely lightfast
  • The markers have a smart cap design that prevents it from rolling

Cons

  • It can’t be bought individually

Conclusion

So that’s all for this article. We hope that this guide helped you find the best watercolor marker set for you.

We tried to keep all the entries on this list as unique as possible, i.e., catering to different needs. So that, everyone can find what meets their needs.

With that, we wish you well in your creative endeavors and thank you for reading!

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The Best Watercolor Markers | August 2021

Creating smooth watercolor effects on a piece of paper or canvas has all sorts of calming effects and can bring simple peace and joy to the artist. Cleaning up at the end, however, can be a messy ordeal that is noticeably less soothing than the act of painting. Watercolor markers offer a chance to replicate all the brush strokes and paint effects of watercolor painting, but they come in a basic marker that has a cap on it. Use the watercolor markers to make detailed lines and create drawings that have more precision than your standard watercolor paintbrush can offer, then put the caps back on your markers and toss them into your bag for the easiest cleanup you can imagine.

Simplemost Media

There is one big distinction that actually separates watercolor markers from traditional watercolor paints. Watercolor markers are actually full of dye and not the usual pigment that makes up the color of watercolor paints, according to Amy Markham, artist, art teacher and creator of Starling, a podcast dedicated to helping artists develop depth in their creative practice.

“Most watercolor markers on the market are not actually watercolor at all, although they can create a similar effect,” Markham points out. “Watercolor paint is pigment-based, where watercolor markers are dye-based.”

Simplemost Media

Each style of watercolor paint has its benefits, but the watercolor markers steal the show when it comes to fine details and vibrancy that the combination of watercolor pencils and paint can achieve. The two mediums of dye and pigment cannot necessarily be used together without thought, says Markham.

“Both are capable of creating interesting effects but only pigment-based ones can really be used along with traditional watercolor paints. If you want to use the dye-based markers with watercolor paint, it should only be used on top of the paint to detail and glaze,” Markham adds. “They should never be used under watercolor paint as it will not mix well.”

Simplemost Media

Watercolor markers, sometimes referred to as brush pens, have a soft tip that mimics a fine tip paintbrush. This tip is fed the wet color from within, but it behaves very similarly to a fine paintbrush when you begin using it. The easiest way to use them is to draw in the lines and colors where you want them and then come back with a bit of water on a clean brush to blend the fine lines down and create the style you imagine when you think of watercolor paintings. There is a useful water brush that comes with some sets that can be filled with clean water at the beginning of your session and used to blend colors without adding any further dye or pigment to them. With this handy water brush, you might not even need to have a cup of water on hand while making your watercolor painting — one less spilling hazard!

To add even more convenience to your artistic endeavors, there are kits that have dual tips on each marker. One end is a very fine tip that will help make highly detailed and precise lines in your work, which is no easy feat when using a traditional brush. The other end of the marker is a broader tip that helps fill in large swaths of color when you need it to. This combination of tips makes the markers highly versatile, which can be a great selling point for someone who is thinking of making this hobby as low-fuss as possible.

Simplemost Media

Even though they use a water-based dye instead of pigmentation, watercolor markers can still vary in their vibrancy of color, just like a pigmented paint does. The price of a set of watercolor markers is often related to how rich and colorful the dyes used are.

Consider a set of watercolor markers that actually uses pigment for its color. The set typically has dual-tip markers, which are a real treat to paint with, and vibrant pigment-based colors on the inside. This means that the paint coming from these markers can actually blend naturally with other watercolor paints on your paper or canvas. This set is a highly useful tool in fine-tuning the details within a watercolor painting while still allowing the different colors to mix nicely with each other.

8 Best Watercolor Markers in 2021 for Pros and Hobbyists Alike

Since we were quite young, we’ve been avid painters. In particular, we’ve always been huge fans of painting with watercolor paints because we love the way they spread and layer to make stunning patterns and images.

We’ve had quite a number of years of practice with watercolor paints, but we’re always open to trying new things and experimenting with unique twists on our favorite art techniques. That’s why, the moment we discovered the trend of watercolor markers, we were hooked and just knew we had to pick up a set of our own.


10 Best Watercolor Markers

Like we do with just about anything, we decided to do a little bit of research into our options before we settled on a watercolor marker set, just to make sure we really invest our money in the right spot. We like to bookmark the options we liked the best in our search and then go back to them, but this always means that we’re basically making an awesome recommendations list as we look. Why not share such a thing if we have it, right?

Check out these eight awesome watercolor marker kits that we came across in our search.

1. Editor’s Pick: ARTEZA Real Brush Pens

We’ve tried several different kinds of watercolor markers before, and our personal favorite kind has always been the kind with brush tips. That’s why we loved the look of this kit from ARTEZA so much!

In this flat, easy-to-store box, you’ll receive 24 markers, all in different colors and shades. The tips of these markers are flexible, pliable, and very pointed, mimicking the shape of an actual paintbrush but without the continuous need to dip the tip back into your water and paint. These markers take a moment to get used to but, once you’ve got some practice, they’re actually reviewed as allowing more control than a brush, making this awesome for painting, drawing, and freehand calligraphy. We also appreciate how affordable the kit is despite how many markers are offered.

View price on Amazon

2. Budget Pick: Winsor & Newton Water Colour Brush Markers

Are you feeling somewhat interested in the brush ends that you saw on the markers we showed you above, but you’re also an avid drawing enthusiast, so you’re just not sure that you want to be working with a super flexible end all the time? Then we have a feeling you might get along a little better with something like this watercolor marker kit from Winsor & Newton!

Rather than giving you just a brush end on your markers, this brand has actually made their markers double-ended so that you can choose how you want to use each color! One end is a brush end while the other is a harder, denser classic felt tip, like a regular marker but with specialized watercolor ink rather than the kind that’s, say, inside the markers, you used as a kid. These markers are comparable in price to what you saw before, which makes their double ends even more awesome, but you only get 12 rather than 24, so you’re getting about half the colors.

View price on Amazon

3. Premium Pick: Artist Watercolor Brush Pens Set of 26

Are you still thinking about how much you like the idea of brush end watercolor markers, but you’re also a first-timer with them, and you’re lacking on the other art supplies you feel you might need to use them properly? Then we think you might have some better luck with this full beginner’s kit offered as a full bundle by Crafts & Colors!

Besides a pack of 25 colorful watercolor brush markers, this kit also provides you with a brush tip marker that has no ink; this is a water brush pen that can be used with actual watercolor paints for a blended art effect. You’ll also receive a zipping canvas case with elastic bands inside in which you can organize the colors however you please, store them neatly, and keep them from getting lost. Finally, you’ll also get a pad of art paper that’s perfectly porous for using watercolor paints and the ink in watercolor pens, just to ensure you’re all set.

View price on Amazon

4. Gift Box of 48 Premium Watercolor Brush Pens

Are you actually quite practice in using watercolor markers already because you’ve had a small set for a while now but, because you love using them so much, you’ve decided it’s time to expand and give yourself a better color range? Then we’d like to direct your attention to this wonderfully thorough kit available on Dab and Dot Markers!

In this kit, you’ll get an impressive total of 48 colors and shades for a wonderfully affordable price. These particular pens are the perfect step for beginners who want to get a little more professional with their skills because they’re simple to use, but they’re capable of a lot. These markers and the ink inside were specifically designed to be easily controlled, good for layering and blending, and free of streaks.

View price on Amazon

5. Kuretake Clean Color Real Brush Watercolour Pens

Did we hit the nail on the head for you when we talked about a 48 shade range because that’s precisely the kind of kit size you were looking for, but you’re the kind of shopper who always makes sure to look at more than one version of the same style of thing before you make your decision? Then here’s another pack of 48 watercolor brush markers for your consideration, this time from Kuretake!

Now, the first thing you might notice is that this kit is quite a bit more expensive than the first even though they both offer 48 colors and shades. This is because of the quality of the tip and the ink inside! In particular, this watercolor ink in these markers is specifically designed to be layered, giving you more pigment the more you layer, just like with other watercolor paints. Another perk of this pack is that the markers come in a neat little plastic case that keeps them organized and makes them easy to store!

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6. Ohuhu Set of 6 Aqua Painting Brushes

Are you actually a lot more interested in the construction of the brush style marker itself than in purchasing any quality paint or ink that will stay loaded in them? Perhaps you’re just a bigger fan of classic watercolors, but you’re also more experienced in drawing than you are with painting, so you like the idea of working with a pen more than a brush and still getting the same effect? Then we think you’re going to love what Ohuhu has to offer!

Rather than giving you a range of colors in their own pre-paint loaded markers, this brand offers you six empty brush style “markers” that are empty but that you can fill with water. This way, you can release the water at whatever speed you need to get the wash and pigmentation you want and use the brush tip dipped in your regular watercolor paints, rather than having the paint itself seep from within the pen. We love that these watercolor markers can be used as often as you like with any color so long as you clean and take care of them!

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7. Arteza Artist Pencil Case Organizer

Have you actually been looking for a kind of watercolor marker that’s a little more kid-friendly because it’s really your children who are budding artists rather than yourself, and they’ve been getting enthusiastic about drawing and painting all at once? Then we’re convinced that you’re going to love this complete art kit from Arteza!

Inside this super colorful, handled zipping kit, you’ll find watercolor markers in the outside flaps and pencil crayons lining the inside ones, all held together by little elastic rings that keep them organized. The shades that you get are complementary between the sets, meaning you have the same colors in both the markers and the pencils. The markers themselves, however, very a little bit from the others you’ve seen on this list; they’re a little more ink-based rather than being quite so realistic to regular watercolor paint. They’re still a great introduction to the tool for young artists, but they’re a little easier to manage, both in terms of ink flow and in the fact that they have a slightly denser tip.

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8. Watercolor Brush Pens by Genuine Crafts

Have you seen quite a number of features and details so far in these kits that you’ve really liked, but you haven’t quite found them in the combination you’re really hoping for so far? Well, just in case this might be it, here’s another awesome alternative option offered by GenCrafts!

These 20 thin-tipped watercolor brush tip markers come in a range of bright colors that layer well and don’t streak. You’ll open your bundle to find all of these markers organized in a neat, space-efficient plastic case that snaps shut and is also home to a color-free water marker that you can use with actual watercolor paints. You’re really getting a combination of everything you’ve seen so far!

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Conclusion

Do you know another artist or DIY enthusiast who loves painting but has been looking to expand their skills, so they’re hoping to invest in a set of watercolor markers to perfect their technique with? Share this post with them, so they have all kinds of information and options to consider before they choose!

How to use ink and watercolor with markers and dip pens

In this post, you will learn how to use ink and watercolor paint. We will look at how to use dip pens , markers, technical pens and the various types of ink.

Ink and watercolor painting, also known as “Ink and wash”, or “Line and wash” are two media that have long gone hand in hand with each other. Using ink drawing techniques in your painting can add a whole new dimension to your artwork.

In this post, I’ll demystify the subject with an in depth look at the methods and technical aspects of this style of art.

Lets jump right in and answer some of the most commonly asked questions about ink and watercolor.

Should You Ink Before Or After Watercolor?

Inking before, or after applying watercolor can both work perfectly well. It depends upon your preferred artistic style. Starting with an Ink drawing would tend to be the more structured approach, whereas putting down paint first may appeal to those with a more loose improvisational style.

Artists In the 19th Century, initially used watercolor purely as a method of tinting their pencil and ink drawings. Artists such as J.M W. Turner (1775 – 1851) began to take a more experimental approach. One of these was to add ink over the top of the painting. Soon, both methods started to be employed.

Study for ‘The Shipwreck’ circa 1805 Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851

Pros & Cons Of Inking First

Pros
  • Gives you a visual framework. i.e it’s easier to see where to put your washes
Cons
  • You can’t use water soluble ink without it bleeding and running. Restricts you to waterproof India Ink or permanent marker.
  • Feels a bit restrictive. Can lead to a “Coloring in” mentality.

Pros & Cons Of Watercolor First

Pros
  • You can be more free and easy with your watercolor washes
  • As long as the paper is dry, you can use either soluble or non-soluble ink
Cons
  • Without the structure of lines, the end results can be unpredictable.

What Is The Best Type Of Pen To Use With Watercolor?

It’s possible to use just about any kind of pen with watercolor. I’ve used Dip pens, Fountain pens, Markers, Rapidograph style technical drawing pens but I would tend to avoid using cheap ball point pens as the quality of line that they produce is not very consistent or expressive.

Let’s take a look at the some of the pros and cons of the pen options you have when learning how to use ink and watercolor.

Traditional Dip Pens

A traditional dip pen is simply a pen which has interchangeable nibs. The nib has a small depression which acts as a reservoir that can hold a few drops of ink enabling you to draw or write with it.

Pros
  • Inexpensive: The nib holder is basically just a wooden or plastic shaft with a metal grip on the end in to which pen nibs can be inserted. The nibs themselves are quite inexpensive too.
  • Expressive: You can vary the line width considerably depending upon the amount of pressure you apply
  • Versatile: There are many different types of nibs available that give different line characteristics. Some are suitable for drawing some are more suitable for calligraphy.
  • Easy to clean: The nib can easily be removed and cleaned with isopropyl alcohol or soap and water.
Cons
  • Small ink reservoir: You have to constantly stop and dip the nib to replenish the ink. Though you can get little clip-on reservoirs which attach to the nib to increase the amount of ink they hold, it’s still pretty small though.
  • Difficult to use: Dip pens can be difficult to control. They take a bit of breaking in and tend to be scratchy .
  • Messy: Blots and splatters are a common occurrence.

The websites below have excellent guides to the different kinds of dip pen nibs that are available and their uses.

https://www.mirabellemakery.com/blog/guide-dip-pen-calligraphy-nibs

https://www.jetpens.com/blog/the-best-nib-and-nib-holder-combinations/pt/763

Fountain Pens

Although it’s usually thought of as a writing implement rather than an art tool, a fountain pen offers a lot of potential for drawing. The nib of a fountain pen isn’t particularly flexible but you can still get a lot of expression into your lines. A fountain pen is reusable of course and is fairly easy to maintain.

Watercolor artist Artist Liz Steel uses a fountain pen in her beautifully expressive work and has written a number of interesting articles on using them. Here’s the first article in the series.

Technical Drawing Pens

Technical drawing pens have narrow tubular tips and are typically used by architects and engineers for draughting plans and schematics. They are designed to produce lines of a consistent width (This tends to range from 0.1mm to 1mm).

Technical pens such as the Rotring Rapidograph use ink cartridges, waterproof drawing ink and have interchangeable nibs which screw into the barrel of the pen. They are also often used by artists for fine details and for various drawing techniques such as “Stippling” and ” Cross Hatching which I’ll come back to later.

Pros
  • Large ink reservoir: This is an advantage as you don’t have to constantly stop and start.
  • Easier to use than dip pens: Technical pens produce smoother lines and aren’t nearly so scratchy.
  • Consistent: Technical pens deliver a precise line width.
  • Versatility: Unlike dip pens, technical pens can easily be used with rulers guides and shape templates to create borders and lettering etc.
  • Reusable: Unlike disposable markers, they are refillable you don’t have to constantly keep buying new pens.

Cons

  • Expensive: A full set of nibs and pens is a very costly investment, but you probably don’t need to buy them all. You could have just one pen and a few different nibs.
  • Fiddly and difficult to clean: The narrowest gauge Rapidograph style technical pens contain tiny wire filaments the width of a hair. They are very easy to render useless if you are not incredibly careful when cleaning them.
  • Non expressive line: For an artist. The unvarying line width that a technical pen provides may feel rather sterile. It all depends on the results you are trying to achieve.

See the link below for a great resource on choosing technical pens

https://www.jetpens.com/blog/the-best-technical-drawing-pens/pt/436

Marker Pens

There are many types of permanent and non-permanent markers that you can use with watercolor, including Fineliners, Gel Pens, brush pens
they come in a wide range of shapes, colors and thicknesses.

Pros

  • Ease of use: Marker pens are disposable and don’t require any maintenance.
  • Inexpensive: Markers are cheap to buy and are available from most stationery stores.

Cons

  • Short life span: Markers dry up with quickly if you are using them regularly, so they may not be economical in the long run.
  • Inexpresive: The lines they produce tend to be quite uniform and lacking in expression. Although brush pens do a reasonably good job of replicating the look of brush strokes.

Choosing The Right Paper For Ink & Watercolor

A 100% cotton hot pressed watercolor paper such as Arches will give you the best results for the combination of watercolor and ink.

The standard texture of watercolor paper called “NOT”, is of a medium roughness and that can cause problems, especially with dip pens as the pen tends to catch in the rough indentations of the paper.

NOT textured watercolor can be quite hard on fineliner and maker pens too. Hot Pressed watercolor paper is much more suitable, as it is completely smooth.

You can of course use any kind of paper for ink and watercolor. I’ve even used thin photocopy paper but generally, I would suggest using a thicker (180lb or 300gsm) cartridge paper or cardstock. Comic book artists use a thick smooth card known as Bristol board for inking over the penciller’s lines.

Types Of Ink

India Ink

The most commonly used type of drawing ink is India ink. Also known as Chinese ink or Encre De Chine. India ink is made from burnt organic materials such as bone, oil and soot and mixed with water and a binder such as shellac. India ink may be water soluble or non-water soluble depending on the amount of shellac in it. The label should indicate how water soluble or waterproof it is.

Watercolor Inks

Watercolor inks, like these Dr P.H. Martin’s inks show below can be used much like watercolor paints but have a much higher intensity of pigment. They are highly staining and are very light fast. I would recommend using only a porcelain palette for these as they will heavily stain plastic palettes.

Ink Drawing Techniques

Below, I’ve illustrated eight commonly used ink drawing techniques. You can pick one and stick with it or use a combination of them to get different texture effects.

  • Hatching: Simply a set of parallel lines drawn horizontally or vertically
  • Cross Hatching: Horizontal and vertical parallel lines.
  • Contoured hatching: Lines that follow the form of the object.
  • Contoured cross hatching: Lines follow the form of the object and cross over each other.
  • Random: Short multi-directional lines.
  • Tiled or woven cross hatching, Small blocks of cross hatching that resembles a woven fabric, or tiles.
  • Stippling: Light and dark shading can be achieved by how densely the dots are grouped.
  • Scribbling. As the name suggests. A series of small tight random marks.

Landscape Sketches With Ink & Watercolor

Ink is a good medium for experimentation and these little landscape vignettes from one of my sketchbooks were inspired by various photographs that I had taken. I was experimenting with different styles of border and ink drawing techniques.

You could take this idea and develop it further to make personalised gifts such as bookmarks or gift tags etc.

I used a set of Uni Pin, fine line marker pens. These are permanent markers, as I don’t want them to run after I paint over the top of them.

Four Step Method For Line & Wash Landscapes

  1. Start with a very light pencil drawing.
  2. Outline the drawing in pen
  3. Use short hatched contoured lines to shade in the darks while leaving some areas blank. (I’ve left my foreground and sky mostly free of ink lines as I’m going to allow the paint to stand on it’s own in these areas.
  4. Add color.

Be sure to check out this comprehensive post on painting landscapes in watercolor

Here is a list of all the products that I’ve mentioned in this post. Have fun trying out some new techniques.

Product List

Ultramarine Blue: Winsor & Newton | Daniel Smith
New Gamboge: Winsor & Newton | Daniel Smith
Burnt Umber : Winsor & Newton | Daniel Smith

Pens

LAMY Joy Calligraphy Pen Buy From Amazon
Pen Set Fountain Dip Pen with 11 Nibs Buy From Amazon
Rotring Rapidograph 0.35mm Technical Pen Buy From Amazon
Rotring Isograph Technical Drawing Pens Set of 3 Buy From Amazon
Uni Pin Fineliner Drawing Pen – Complete Set of 9 Buy From Amazon

Ink

Ph. Martin’s Radiant Concentrated Water Color set Buy From Amazon
Winsor & Newton India Ink Buy From Amazon

Brushes

Princeton Neptune Synthetic Squirrel Round Brush Buy From Amazon

Paper

Arches Watercolor Paper Block, Hot Press, 9″ x 12″, 140 pound Buy from Amazon

About sketching – reviews, articles, testimonials, advice »Pens for drawing: which ones to choose for sketches with alcohol markers?

Capillary, gel, pigment and waterproof – the range of pens is quite large in stores and it is not always possible to choose the perfect tool the first time that will best combine with alcohol markers for sketching. At first glance, it may seem that any pen from an ordinary office supply store is suitable for sketching and line art, but in reality, not everyone will be able to satisfy the artist and not ruin the work.

Which pens to use with alcohol markers?

Today you can buy drawing pens with completely different ink compositions and pen thicknesses, but to work with alcohol art markers, you will have to be a little more legible about the choice. Since alcohol markers for drawing have alcohol in their ink, ordinary inexpensive pens can create “dirt” at work or even ruin the drawing. Therefore, first of all, we recommend choosing waterproof capillary pens and sketch liners with markers.This way your work is least susceptible to unplanned ink stains and smudges.

The main problems when drawing with a pen and markers

1. Loss of line definition

Some illustrators and sketchers prefer to first create an outline with a liner and then start filling the paper with a colored marker for drawing. In this case, the ink of the pen dries on the paper and then is moistened again with alcohol marker ink. Loss of clarity of the contour line can become a rather significant nuisance.After a short period of time after filling the work with color, the outline begins to blur in both directions, which makes the sketch less clear and accurate. And in the case of small details of the drawing, complete confusion in the contours may occur.

2. Changing the shade of the marker during operation

Inadequate quality pens and liners can even create real “dirt” on paper, which, by the way, is quite difficult to get rid of. This situation threatens to lose brightness to all work with markers.And it turns out like this: in the process of filling the finished contour with markers, the ink of the pens loses its stability and is transferred to the marker pen, thereby distorting the color.

3. Loss of ink color saturation

Another nuisance when working with improperly selected drawing pens in conjunction with alcohol markers can be a banal loss of saturation of the color of the pen on paper. The unstable pigment is “washed away” when it comes into contact with the marker ink. As a result, at work, instead of a black outline, only a dirty gray remains.

4. Non-drying ink

This problem is perhaps one of the most painful for sketchers. One of the indicators that your pen is not suitable for sketching is the constant smudging of ink from the finished outline on the paper. Ink can stain the back of your hand when it touches the paper, and it can crawl all over your job, leaving smudges and streaks. In this case, it can be judged that the ink of the pen is too pigmented and oily consistency.And yes, such a pen will print everywhere 🙁

How to choose the right sketch pen?

In order to avoid all of the above troubles when sketching, there are several factors to consider when purchasing pens and liners. Firstly, we always recommend choosing only waterproof pens and pens from a well-known brand that also produces its own model of alcohol markers. Don’t expect Chinese liners of an unknown brand to become your constant sketching companion if you plan to combine line art with alcohol markers.

Branded pens and liners always have a higher price, but the advantages of such a material for drawing are much greater than those of more budgetary counterparts. As one of the tools for buying a branded drawing pens, you can take into account that well-known brands are testing their pens together with their markers. This means that, at least with markers of a similar brand, the pen will not leak, leave stains at work and get your hands dirty 🙂

Testing of different brands of pens:

Copic alcohol marker in shade Y08 was selected for the pen test.In the image on the left, a pen is applied over the completely dry marker color. On the right image – first a pen, and then a color marker.

Copic Multiliner SP (0.2 mm)

This Multiliner is specially designed to work with Copic Classic, Copic Sketch, Copic Wide and Copic Chao alcohol markers. It is waterproof and performs well in work. The time it takes for the ink to dry completely depends on the density and texture of your paper.The Copic Multiliner SP sketching liner can be refilled with a special cartridge. The liner can also be used with other brand alcohol markers.

Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen (XS)

The liner is excellent when applied over the marker color, but produces significant blur on contact with the marker ink. There is also some distortion in the bright yellow of the marker ink.

Marvy Le Pen

Marvy has performed well in both application methods.It’s also worth noting that the liner black ink remained very saturated anyway.

Marvy Le Pen Permanent

Le Pen Permanent is a drawing pen with alcohol ink. Unfortunately, the ink of this liner is not very resistant to alcohol markers. The lines gradually lost their clarity, and the color – saturation.

Prismacolor Premier (0.1 mm)

Prismacolor Premier Sketch Liner 0.1 works well with a thin outline, but with a higher intensity of application, the ink begins to “smear” around the paper.

Pentel Artist Stylo

Pentel Artist Stylo exceeded all our expectations and proved to be excellent in the work with alcohol markers. No ink leaks in either test case.

Sacura Pigma Micron (0.1 mm)

Not a bad result, but with more intensive application, the liner ink still gives off some of the pigment and stains the paper a little.

That is, there are a huge number of different pens and liners for drawing and they all “behave” differently with alcohol markers. Some of them work well with marker sketching, while others are more suitable for dry graphic work.

What liners are: thickness, price, reviews

Liner – a type of capillary pen with water-based ink. Designed for drawing with thin, rich lines and is used in the work of designers, architects, for drawings and decoration work.In addition, the capillary pens dry quickly and leave almost no marks. They are used when signing documents. And, of course, liners are loved by everyone who draws manga and comics in general. They can be used to draw not only on paper, but also on cardboard. However, glossy or greasy surfaces are not suitable for pens.

Benefits

  • Lines are easy to draw and clear, and different thicknesses allow you to draw small elements.
  • The drawing dries quickly, leaving no streaks and does not get dirty, does not leave streaks and does not spread on the paper.
  • Wide range of colors, except for black shades. Many manufacturers offer to buy colored liners individually or in sets.

Liners are divided into two types: disposable or reusable.

Reusable liners:

  1. They fit well on paper, are waterproof, the surface of the drawing does not brighten or crack;
  2. Durability;
  3. Refuel with special ink bottles;
  4. Isograph. It replaces the helium pen well and draws a line of equal thickness.Refill it with ink cartridge.

Liner thickness:

  • Liner 0.05 – the thinnest. Draws very thin lines and is suitable for a flat surface; on textured, textured paper, the lines will be difficult to see.
  • Liner 0.1 is another thin liner that is also best used on smooth surfaces.
  • Liner 0.2 – the main liner for working on miniature. Has a suitable color thickness and brightness. Not suitable for fillings – too thin.
  • Liner 0.6 – good for fills on miniatures and for drawing on A4 sizes.
  • Liner 0.8 – for filling. Not convenient when working with miniatures

The most popular and high-quality brands of liners / capillary pens: Stabilo, UniPin, FaberCastell, Sakura. Pens of these manufacturers are sold both individually and in sets in the Art-Kvartal store at an affordable price.

What is a sketchbook and how to choose the right sketchbook?

Don’t know which sketchbook to choose ? Lost among the many shapes, colors, sizes and types of sketchbooks? We will help you choose your sketchbook and get it right.

What is a sketchbook?

Sketchbook , Sketchbook – literally translated as a sketchbook ( sketch , sketch is a sketch, book is a book). We used to call these notebooks just that – sketchbook, sketchbook, sketchbook. But the shorter word , sketchbook , now replaces those concepts.

Typically, a sketchbook is a small notebook that is convenient to always have with you.He is like a notebook, only for drawing. There are also large sketchbooks (albums) , which are needed when artists purposefully plan projects of impressive size, for example, it is difficult to make a detailed sketch for a painting one and a half by two meters in a pocket notebook.

A sketchbook is an ideal tool for recording ideas and intentions, experiences, sketches of an emotional state. The sketchbook was originally an artist’s notebook. This is a small album or notebook where the artist puts his ideas, sketches, where he trains to draw, makes the necessary notes.

However, over time, people from other creative professions have also mastered the sketchbook. Fashion and interior designers, architects, stylists, even writers began to record all their ideas, thoughts and sketches in sketchbooks. Almost everyone who is fond of graphics, painting, sculpture, or who is somehow connected with creativity, has sketchbooks. Moreover, professionals usually have several sketchbooks for different purposes.

And you can buy yourself a sketchbook and make various sketches, sketches, paste in your favorite pictures, stickers, design each page in a certain style and much more.In general, a sketchbook is a storehouse of ideas of a creative person, which he creates himself.

Nowadays, keeping a travel book, or a diary from a trip, in which you can sketch impressions, paste photos, tickets and generally do whatever comes into your head, has become a very popular direction.

Keeping a sketchbook on a regular basis is rewarding, and if creativity is your profession, it’s even necessary. Sketches help you get your hands on drawing and improve your composition skills, moreover, this way you will preserve your ideas and impressions for a long time.Even if you are ashamed to show the first sketches to someone, this is not a reason for worry. Everyone starts somewhere.

So how to choose a sketchbook and how to learn how to work with it correctly?

Which sketchbook should I buy?

Starting (or continuing) drawing and want to quickly buy a sketchbook? Then the main thing is to decide what tools you will most often draw in them. You need to understand that sketchbooks are for markers, for mixed techniques, for watercolors, for dry tools (pen, pencil, pastel).

Sketchbooks for markers

If you are looking for a reliable sketchbook for art markers (such as Copic, Style File Marker or Winsor & Newton), then the sketchbooks of the legendary German brand Leuchtturm1917 are of course the best choice. Convenient sizes, stunning thick (180 gsm), completely white paper inside. Sketchbooks Leuchtturm1917 are the ideal choice for those who draw with copies and art markers in general.

However, glues for Copic markers with special leak-proof paper or sketchbooks by the marker manufacturer Style File Marker will also be a good purchase.

In the selection below, we suggest you familiarize yourself with the best sketchbooks for markers that are presented in our store:

Watercolor sketchbooks

Watercolor paper is thicker in weight, but much weaker glued than ordinary paper, therefore it holds water perfectly and gives the same blurring effects, soft gradient. Of course, watercolor paper has a texture, it is a little rough and not smooth. Here you can find the following options for sketchbooks with watercolor paper:

Universal sketchbooks (for painting in mixed media)

General Purpose Sketchbooks are usually made of high abrasion resistance and medium weight paper.The purpose of these sketchbooks is to give the maximum scope for creativity. You can use different tools (a little – pastels, a little – ink or watercolors). Of course, general purpose sketchbooks will ideally “hold” dry tools such as pencils or liners.

Look at these mixed media drawing albums:

To buy exactly what you need, we suggest looking at a large assortment of sketchbooks in our store at and choosing the appropriate one, based on several parameters of the sketchbook:

1.Sketchbook paper weight

Paper in sketchbooks varies in color, brightness, density, texture, suitability for specific materials and in your emotional perception (this is also very important!). Are you planning to draw with markers? Then the Leuchtturm1917 sketchbooks or the unique Ogami stone paper sketchbooks are the way to go. Perhaps you need a sketchbook with black sheets ? Or with a combo box with pages of different colors? Or should there be craft paper in the entire sketchbook?

2.Size (format) sketchbook

Are you going to carry it around in your bag and need a pocket sketchbook? Or carry it in your bag and store it on the shelf? Then your choice is sketchbooks and sketchbooks for drawing in the most popular Medium or A5 format. Or maybe you are planning to paint in the open air with a sketchbook and you need more space for creativity? Then your choice is large sketchbooks A4 and A3, or even gluing art paper.

We recommend the following sketchbooks in the most popular formats:

In A6 format (pocket version) we recommend the following sketchbook models:

In A5 format (the most popular sketchbook for travel and daily sketches on the run) these models may suit you:

The following sketchbook models are very good choices in A4 format:

In A3 format you will find a huge space for creativity with these sketchbook models:

3.Sketchbook shape

Square, rectangular, elongated: which one do you like best and which one suits your tasks?

4. Binding type

It can be a spring (spiral), soft or hard cover, bound pages, open-bound sketchbook ,

or simple gluing of quality watercolor or graphic paper.

5. Sketchbook accessories

Flatbed is a rigid sheet of cardboard, plastic or wood that acts as a cover on the back of your sketchbook.It is needed so that you can draw comfortably, even if the table is not at hand.

Paper clips – we recommend purchasing sets of paper clips, which you can use to conveniently fix a sheet of an album or sketchbook while drawing and do not let it slam shut at the most inopportune moment.

When working with a sketchbook, the main thing is not to forget the basic rules that we have listed below.

Rules for working with sketchbook

  • A sketchbook is needed to capture your ideas.That is, the sketchbook should be at hand at all times.
  • You can paste into it any pictures, photos, pieces of fabric, other materials and whatever you want.
  • The more information your sketchbook has, the more useful it will be.
  • The sketchbook must be used continuously.
  • Perhaps the most important rule: a sketchbook must be convenient and understandable for you, because this is the source for your inspiration!

Source: Indinotes Notebook Store (indinotes.com) – Reviews

Products listed in the review

Previous reviews

90,000 10 practical tips from the top 10 watercolor books

Welcome to our watercolor corner. Let’s remember together what a pleasure it is to paint with watercolors. This is a magical process and an amazing result if you stop being afraid and find a little time. You can create a beautiful drawing, even if you don’t know how to draw at all. You will see for yourself when you complete these few exercises, which we have prepared especially for you from our best watercolor books.

1. The world of watercolor

A book about drawing without rules. You never thought that watercolor could be like this – free, immense, shining. Experiments, unusual effects, walkthroughs, and how-tos await you.

It doesn’t matter who we are, how old we are and what kind of experience we have – we can always learn new things.

Playing with watercolor stains

In this exercise, we will paint side by side with bold shades of orange and purple and see how they smoothly connect in the center of the leaf.Try to make color transitions in which it is impossible to determine where one shade begins and another one ends. The fusion should look harmonious. Sprinkle salt over the entire surface of the still damp leaf: fine salt on one side and coarse rock salt on the other. Let the work dry.

This technique is suitable for depicting roosters and curly-haired animals such as poodles or sheep. Do you see silhouettes in your designs?

2.How to understand watercolor

Perhaps this is one of the most colorful and largest books that we have. Almost 200 paintings by the best watercolors under one cover! Their common denominator is respect for paint and confidence when working with it. In this tutorial, renowned artist and experienced teacher Tom Hoffmann uncovers the secrets of watercolor painting and shares his professional tricks.

You will learn to THINK like a watercolorist.

Why do you want to draw this?

Usually the artist paints not so much the subject of the image as his own understanding of this subject.Much of the pleasure of contemplating masterpieces of painting lies in the fact that we – consciously or not – penetrate the author’s intention.

Understanding the reasons is the first thing to do before starting work. After choosing the subject of the image, ask yourself: “What exactly attracts me to it?” Before making decisions about how to write, I need to focus on why I want to do it. Think about it – and then what attracted you initially is guaranteed to become part of the finished work.

An artist who has learned to distinguish between what should and what should not be portrayed, boldly embodies any of his ideas.

3. Artist’s sketchbook

Sketchbook is a great place to embody any artist’s ideas. This book is about improvisation. About the magic that turns objects and objects, emotions, impressions, smells and sounds into memories. Most of the drawings described in this book are done in watercolors.

Travel with famous contemporary artists to paint in deserts and thickets, capitals and small towns.Try working alone, with a friend, and in a group. See how to choose plots, simplify them, or work slowly and thoughtfully. Here’s an example of a watercolor sketch.

Favorite scene sketch

Start with a small sketch, then sketch out the outline of the sketch. Add shading to the general plans in the next steps. Then work on the details with a dry brush or gouache.

This watercolor sketch will evoke much more emotion than a simple photograph.

4. Portraits of fruits and vegetables

And for those interested in botanical illustration, Billy Showell’s book “Portraits of Fruits and Vegetables” will delight. Her book with stunning illustrations will charm anyone and teach you how to draw delicious pictures on the go. We are even a little afraid for the pages of this book: you will definitely want to taste some of them, the drawings are so realistic.

Draw blueberries

Draw the outlines of the blueberries.Blur with cobalt blue. Moisten the berry with water. Apply paint on the top and left side. While the paint is drying, prepare a thick mixture of dark red cadmium, French ultramarine and a small amount of light yellow cadmium. Moisten the berry, wait until the water is absorbed, drip with the resulting mixture. Don’t paint over highlights. Apply paint. With a clean, damp brush, soften the edges and make sure the paint does not drip onto the highlight.

While the paint dries, use the tip of your brush to “match” the dark color where you want it, including the small projections (dots) along the top edge of the berry.Prepare a rich mixture of dark red indigo and cadmium and apply the paint to the berry with the tip of a brush. Use the dry brush technique to achieve the darkest tone. Make the painting look realistic by softening the edges with a damp brush tip. Sharpen the details.

5. Portraits of flowers from A to Z

Another book by Billy Showell will be a source of inspiration for both beginners in botanical illustration and those who have already mastered the basics.The main part of the book is devoted to 40 master classes – portraits of flowers from A to Z. Each portrait is accompanied by step-by-step instructions and a list of mixed colors that were used in drawing. For aspiring artists, there is a detailed section on materials, technique and color.

Three brushes plus basic watercolor colors – and on your table captivating thin stems, fragile buds, velvet leaves, petals of heavenly beauty.

6. Watercolor inspiration

And this unusual creative album with stickers will help you practice building a composition and choosing a color.It contains 60 beautiful watercolors of nature at different times of the year, created by four artists from around the world. At the end of the book there are sheets with stickers (as many as 500!), Which will help you compose your own picture. It’s almost like painting, only with stickers.

Look at images of flowers, berries, butterflies, birds, trees and wait for the muse to visit! If you do not let go of brushes and paints, then you will surely find ideas for your paintings in the album.You can practice right on the pages of the book: just paint the compositions with watercolors. Or take stickers – and go ahead, create.

7. Botanical portraits

In his third book, Billy Showell talks about the materials, techniques and techniques he uses to create incredibly beautiful portraits of flowers, fruits and vegetables. Using the example of images of flowers, greenery, fruits and vegetables, Billy introduces the reader to his painting techniques that will inspire artists of all levels.You will learn how to draw petals, jagged edges, velvety surfaces, fluffy buds, glossy leaves, small patterns, inflorescence details.

Brush work No. 4

Sable Brush # 4 is great for painting small plants. A small petal can be depicted with one or two strokes. The brush holds and delivers the optimal amount of paint, and long, thin stripes on the stem can be drawn without having to re-paint.

8.When the sun was blotted

There are several watercolor exercises in this notebook. They are suitable for warm-up and teach you how to feel color and shape. This is not just a coloring book or a line book! She encourages you to think creatively, paint freely and seek your own style in art.

Exercise

Prepare purple, blue and green watercolors. Follow these 4 simple exercises for imagination and emancipation.Feel freedom of movement, lightness of strokes and joy of the process.

9. Artbook. Your life in words and pictures

Your artbook is a place where you can safely improvise, improve your drawing skills and capture important ideas and events in your life in a creative way. This colorful book will give you inspiration and all the tools you need to create your sketchbook and draw for your pleasure.

Reservoir brush

It doesn’t matter where you are: the world at every step gives us reasons to experience surprise and respect.All of this is worthy of being included in the artbook. Brushes with a reservoir are very helpful when it is not possible to arrange all the necessary watercolor accessories around – in a cafe, on an airplane, in nature.

The book contains a lot of tips that will help you start creating, add memories to your artbook, and develop your talents on its pages.

10. Hirameki

“Hirameki” translated from Japanese means “a peculiar style”, “a special imprint”, “a place where scribbles and imagination meet.”Simply put, it is the art of transforming a random blob into something amazing with just a few dots and lines. If you believe those who say that happiness is in the little things, then this book should entertain your eyes, hands and head for a long time.

Try it yourself – put a few watercolor color spots, and then create a drawing, image, picture from each.

And if suddenly there is no watercolors at hand, then in this notebook the authors have already prepared hundreds of spots for you so that you can start your imagination.

The more you practice, the more confident you will feel in watercolor painting. Now go to the refrigerator, bookshelf, coffee shop, or for a walk and draw something!

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