13 Best Alcohol-Based Markers In 2021

Welcome to the rainbow world of markers!

An art marker is a coloring tool used by people of all ages – children to adults. They are also known as artist markers, brush pens, marker pens, or paint markers. These are pretty and colorful sets of felt-tip pens with broad tips that are easy to use. They come in a wide array of colors to meet one’s coloring needs.

Markers are perfect for any art activity for school projects or design work in the professional world.

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The Difference: Alcohol-Based vs. Water-Based

Alcohol-based Art Markers

Alcohol-based markers are also known as permanent markers. These markers contain an alcohol mixture together with their ink or dye. This kind of formulation lets the pens produce vibrant colors while allowing the ink to dry quickly upon application. There’s no worry about smudging nor smearing on your precious work when using alcohol ink markers.

Considering the ink content, they don’t appear streaky when you need to shade large spaces. Blending is also easy to do with alcohol-based markers. You can easily overlay colors without damaging your paper.

Alcohol markers commonly have a strong scent; thus, they are best used in well-ventilated areas. These markers also bleed through paper, so it’s best to use thick paper or cardstock material. For additional protection for the next page, it is best to use a blotter page or extra paper underneath your work.

Water-based Art Markers

Water-based markers have water and ink solutions combined. Together they bring out bright and brilliant colors in an artwork. They are the common preference for school use because they come odorless and washable. It’s easier to clean up the mess for kids who may accidentally write on their hands or some surfaces.

What’s great about this type of marker is that they don’t usually bleed through paper. However, they may appear streaky when you overlay colors. The presence of too much water may also easily warp your paper so consider using thicker ones or watercolor sheets.

Water-based markers are best for journals, scrapbooks, and other crafts. The price point is relatively cheaper than alcohol-based markers, and they are widely available in stores. Artist-grade water-based markers are also available for those who prefer premium-quality inks.

Which To Use?

Both water-based and alcohol-based markers have their uses. This article focuses entirely on alcohol-based markers. If you’d like a list that covers both water and alcohol markers, check out our review of the best markers for adult coloring books.

Let’s Talk About Tips

Markers are available in different tips (also called nibs). To understand the type of tip that markers offer, let’s briefly discuss the differences between the commonly used ones. They may have a particular purpose, but it’s always up to you, as the user, to maximize it. There are four types below:

Brush Tip

Brush tips are the preference of most professional artists because of their versatility. The soft, durable tips are perfect for making strokes of varying widths. They are perfect to color large areas, while the pointy tip can color small sections. Brush tips are also ideal for calligraphy work and various craftworks.

Chisel Tip

Chisel tips are a broad type of nibs that looks like the tips of a highlighter. They are suitable for making thick and thin strokes. The wide, flat side can instantly fill color on your paper as soon as you glide it in. The nib is firm and is not as flexible as the brush tips.

Bullet Tip

Bullet tips are the most common type of marker tip. This is the usual tip we see on children’s markers. They have a slightly rounded tip that is good for regular writing and coloring. It may not be too ideal for coloring large spaces and very tiny spots since the nib is not versatile.

Fine Tip

Fine tips are markers used by illustrators, architects, or professional designers. They have very thin tips that are ideal for fine lines and tiny details. They are not the best option when coloring larger areas. Markers of this type dry quick.

Note: Some markers label “bullet” tips as “fine” tips.

The 13 Best Alcohol-Based Markers

Now, let’s shift our focus to alcohol-based markers.

Alcohol-based markers usually feature dual tips, which are helpful for users. It may be a combination of chisel and fine or brush and fine tips. Some markers offer brush and chisel tip combinations, too. You won’t have to worry about ink color consistency since one pen is all you need to color larger areas or smaller sections.

If you are here looking for your first set or something to add to your collection, we have listed down the best alcohol markers that you may consider:

1. Copic Markers 36-Piece Sketch Basic Set

Let’s start with Copic markers. Copic is a Japanese brand, and the markers they produce are considered top of the line by art professionals worldwide. While the price point is higher than other brands, you will get your money’s worth since the inks are refillable and the nibs are replaceable, too. You won’t need to purchase a new pen or a set if any of your markers run out of ink or if the nibs start to wear out.

Copic Sketch is a dual-tip art marker featuring a combination of chisel and brush tips. For Copic, the term “super brush nib” is used for the brush tip. This flexible nib allows for the smooth, paint-like application of colors. The tips share the same ink barrel. There is a little indicator as to which end is the broad tip or the brush tip. It’s good to note that a Copic marker’s nib is known to be long-lasting and doesn’t fray even after extended, heavy use.

Professional artists invest in Copic markers because of their premium quality inks, durability, and replaceable features. These markers are smooth to apply, and the colors are vivid and stunningly beautiful. Overlaying colors are easy to create the kind of gradient effect you want. Overall, there are 358 colors available, but here’s a 36-piece color set for starters.

Since these are alcohol markers, expect ink to bleed through if you’re using regular papers. If you’re into adult coloring, always use a blotter page or extra sheets under the page you’re coloring to help absorb ink. Copic also released a sketchbook that works well with your Copic marker set.

Sketch is the best-selling model of the Copic markers series (other models are Ciao and Classic). They are non-toxic and acid-free.

Copic Markers 36-Piece Sketch Basic Set
Copic Markers
36-Piece Sketch Basic Set
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2. Prismacolor Premier Double-Ended Art Markers

The next on our list is the Prismacolor brand founded in the USA. They produce artist-quality markers, and they are well-known in the field of colored pencils, too. The Premier series is the alcohol-based marker made with dye-based ink for richly saturated colors. It has good ink flow for superior blending. They are available in 3 options: brush and fine, chisel and fine, and illustration sets.

The Prismacolor Premier Double-Ended Art Markers have dual-ended nibs, which allow for versatility – the brush tip is used to make flexible strokes or wider color coverage, while the other end with a fine tip works best for details. The two tips share one barrel of ink, which ensures color consistency at both ends. The marker has a cylindrical body that allows ease and comfort even when used for long periods.

Available in around 200 vibrant colors, there are also starter sets of a dozen or so. This 72-piece we feature includes metallic colors already, perfect when adding some shimmer into your craft. By the way, the art markers do not have refillable ink barrels nor replaceable nibs. If you need to replace a pen, they are available for individual purchase.

As a good practice when using alcohol markers, always have an extra thick board or something similar to place under your work. They can bleed through your paper, which will avoid messing up your next page or surface. You may also consider other Prismacolor markers that may suit your needs.

Prismacolor Premier Double-Ended Art Markers – Fine and Brush Tip
Prismacolor Premier Double-Ended
Art Markers – Fine and Brush Tip
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3. Ohuhu Colors Brush & Chisel Markers

The Hawaiian Island of Oahu inspired the team behind Ohuhu to make coloring tools that will allow artists to paint their inspirations. To achieve this, they made a variety of coloring materials such as markers, pens, and paint sets available in many shades. They also made their products affordable so that even aspiring artists can afford artist-quality tools.

The Ohuhu Colors Brush & Chisel Markers Set is one of their alcohol-based markers available. These are dual-tip markers that contain high-quality ink content. They are easy to apply on paper, producing pretty and brilliant colors. They are great for blending since both nibs can color a wide area in a single application. Inks quickly dry and ensures that your colors will last.

This 72-piece art marker collection includes one colorless blender. A colorless blender is a clear, alcohol-based tool that allows you to blend your colors, create highlights, make fading effects. Practice with this tool to make a smoother transition of colors on your art piece. Remember that inks may bleed on your paper, so always have an extra sheet handy. Ohuhu has its own set of media pads and stationery to match your markers.

It’s easy to recognize colors with this Ohuhu alcohol marker set because the caps come color-coded with a name. The cap color does not exactly match ink color when dried up, so it’s best to make a swatch of your pens when you receive them. A swatch board is included on each set, too.

A good budget-saving feature for this set is that when your brush or chisel tip starts to wear out, you can pull out the nib and reverse it. When you insert the other side of the tip, it’s like having a brand new pen. The inks are not refillable, though.

These markers come with a black carrying case that is perfect for storing your pens or when you need to go out. This is the same with the rest of the Ohuhu markers set, all safe and non-toxic.

Ohuhu Colors Brush and Chisel Markers
Ohuhu Colors Brush & Chisel Markers
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4. Darice Studio 71 Alcohol-Based Marker Set

Darice is an art brand founded in the 1950s. Their products focus not only on art materials but also on other craft, party, and home projects. Studio 71 is the brand name for their coloring markers and sketch pads that comes at an affordable price.

The Darice Studio 71 Alcohol-Based Marker Set contains 48 pieces of pens with dual tips – chisel and brush tip. It’s a great combination because the wide chisel lets you lay down colors quickly, while the brush nib is ideal for small spaces and calligraphy work. The colors are pretty, vibrant, and include skin tones. They blend well, but nibs may easily fray if used with too much pressure.

This set has a triangle handle design for better grip and ensures the markers stay on your table and don’t roll away. It also has an indicator as to which end is the chisel or brush tip. Colors are easily identified because of their color-coded caps, and names are labeled. They don’t exactly match the cap color; thus, it’s essential to swatch all of your pens.

Expect ink to bleed through paper since these are alcohol markers. We suggest using an extra sheet of cardstock under your work to help absorb any ink and protect your next page. You can also try Studio 71’s paper line for your sketches and other artwork.

The ink for these markers is not refillable, and nibs cannot be replaced. However, this can be a good and budget-friendly set for beginners.

The inks are long-lasting, and you can practice several coloring techniques if you are new to alcohol markers. Each set comes in a transparent case. Markers are best stored horizontally when not in use.

Darice Studio 71 Alcohol-Based Marker Set
Darice Studio 71
Alcohol-Based Marker Set
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5. Winsor & Newton Promarker Brush

Winsor & Newton is a brand based in London. They are makers of premium and high-quality art materials. The Promarker series refer to their dual tip alcohol-based art markers. They are available in chisel and bullet tips and brush and chisel tips. Those that come with brush nibs are called the Promarker Brush series to avoid confusion.

The Winsor & Newton Promarker Brush (Essential Collection) contains 48 pens with brush and chisel tips. It has a wide range of brilliant and rich colors that are great not only for paper but also on acetate, glass, wood, or plastic. The flexible brush nib glides smoothly on paper that lets you play around with different art strokes. On the other end is the chisel tip, perfect for thick strokes and wider color application. These markers contain high-quality alcohol-based inks that are easy to blend, less streaky, and dries fast.

The caps of these markers have different shapes making it easy to identify which tip ends with brush or chisel. The pointed cover protects the brush tip, while the flat cover on the other end is for the chisel. There is also a small notch on the pen’s cap that will prevent it from rolling off your desk.

Given that alcohol markers bleed through most papers, you may try Winsor & Newton Bleedproof Paper for your arts and sketches. They are designed to prevent the markers from bleeding. You may also use thick papers or card stocks with a smooth surface as a substitute. Always remember to use a blotter page when using alcohol markers to make sure they don’t stain your next page or surface.

The pens come in a nice box with individual slots. This can properly hold your markers upright or be placed horizontally. A quick note that the nibs are not replaceable. The inks are not refillable, too.

Winsor and Newton Promarker Brush
Winsor & Newton Promarker Brush
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6. Arteza Everblend Ultra Art Markers

Another favorite among coloring artists is the Arteza brand. They are not just makers of quality markers but various art supplies, too. They value customer feedback very well, and if you have any concerns with your item, they have customer support 24/7.

The Arteza Everblend Ultra Art Markers are alcohol-based, dual-tip markers. They contain highly pigmented ink which can be used on various surfaces such as paper, glass, wood, and plastic. It has a triangle handle design that allows for a comfortable grip and won’t let your markers roll-off from your table as you work. Inks are not refillable but should your nibs fray, replacement tips can be bought separately.

This 72-piece set features fine and chisel tips plus a clear blender marker. The combination allows you to make small, intricate designs with the fine tip, and the broad chisel tip is perfect for filling in wide spaces. The colorless blender helps in overlaying colors, blending, and making highlights. The caps are color-coded with their name label. You may need to create your own swatch card as this set does not come with one.

Expect beautiful colors with these Arteza Everblend art markers. They blend well and dries quickly, too. Please use a blotter page when working on coloring books to help absorb the ink that may bleed through. You may also try the media pads and paper they offer that works well with these markers.

The markers come in a nice organizer case with individual slots. This box allows you to store your markers horizontally, too. They are safe and non-toxic, making them safe for users, even beginners or young artists. You may also check out the other Arteza markers.

Arteza Everblend Ultra Art Markers
Arteza Everblend Ultra Art Markers
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7. Bianyo Classic Series Alcohol-Based Dual Tip Art Markers

Bianyo is a new art brand established in the USA last 2019. They may look fairly new in the art world but have proven that their products are worth trying by artists of all ages. Aside from great markers, they also have their own line of paint sets and paper products. They also offer one year warranty for their products, so just get in touch with their customer service team should you have any concerns.

The Bianyo Classic Series Alcohol-Based Dual Tip Art Markers are available in up to 168 color options. They are sold per sets of 36, 72, or you can get the entire set of 168 pens. This particular pack contains 71 colors + one colorless blender. It’s a combination of chisel and fine tips that are perfect for illustrations, coloring wide sections, and working on fine details such as outlines and filling small areas. The colorless blender helps with overlaying colors, smoothens edges, or make gradient effects. Remember always to clean the tip after use to avoid ink settling into the nib.

These dual-tip markers have a squarish body shape, thus, won’t roll off from your desk. They are still comfortable to grip as you do your art. The pen caps are round and color-coded, too, but use the swatch card that comes with your set to see the ink color as you test each of your pens. Expect ink to bleed through paper since these contain alcohol-based ink. Remember to use extra sheets underneath your work to absorb any ink that may seep. You can also try Bianyo’s own paper line for these markers.

They come in a nice and sturdy carrying case with a zipper that is perfect if you need to take your markers somewhere. They all contain premium quality ink but are much affordable than other brands. The inks are blendable, vibrant, rich, and smooth when applied. They also dry fast and are long-lasting.

While the inks of Bianyo markers are not refillable nor feature replaceable nibs for the pens, specific color markers can be bought separately.

Bianyo Classic Series Alcohol-Based Dual Tip Art Markers
Bianyo Classic Series Alcohol-Based Dual Tip Art Markers
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8. Arrtx ALP 80 Colors Alcohol Art Markers Set

Arrtx is another art supplies brand focusing primarily on markers by providing sets available in a particular family of colors such as skin tones, greens, greys, blues, and more. The markers are available in brush and chisel tips and a chisel and fine tip combination. Arrtx is still expanding to provide more options for other art materials such as pens, paints, and papers.

The Arrtx ALP 80 Colors Alcohol Art Markers Set is the complete pack of dual-tip alcohol markers in chisel and fine tips. There are 80 color choices that you can use for your adult coloring book, drawings, or crafts. They are made with highly pigmented ink, so colors appear vivid, beautiful, and less streaky. You can color wide areas, create thick and thin lines. You can also blend colors with ease using the colorless marker included. This can be a good alcohol-based marker set for beginners.

While these markers have color-coded caps, it is still best to swatch your markers to see how the ink works with paper. Each set comes with a blank swatch paper that you can use. The ink may bleed through due to the alcohol ink formulation, so protect your surface all the time by using extra scrap papers or thick card stock. For sketches, you may also try the marker paper from Arrtx.

The pens are stored in a sturdy cardboard box with nice design prints. This box has a movable belt strap that you can use as a handle when you need to carry your markers. The container also features an opening that can be converted as a horizontal stand when the markers are in use. Inside, the pens are secured in individual slots, so they are all neatly stacked even if you need to pull single pens out. Since this is boxed, it can also make a great present.

A quick note that these pens are not refillable. Damaged tips cannot be replaced as well. Smaller sets are available for purchase.

Arrtx ALP 80 Colors Alcohol Art Markers Set
Arrtx ALP 80 Colors
Alcohol Art Markers Set
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9. Shuttle Art Dual Tip Alcohol-Based Art Markers

The next brand on our list is a popular supplier of various art and office supplies. Shuttle Art is known for its huge selection of colored gel pens, pencils, paints, and art markers. Offering 200+ unique color choices for their line of alcohol-based markers is just a wow for the heart of any beginner or a professional artist.

For a start, the Shuttle Art Dual Tip Alcohol Based Art Markers Set is available in a small pack of 51 colors + 1 colorless blender. Each pen has a triangular body, so this lets your marker stay on the table as you work. It also ensures a very comfortable grip even for long periods. It features a fine tip on one end and a broad tip on the other. It’s a good combination to make wide and narrow strokes, color spaces of different areas, and create different effects when you blend using the colorless pen included. The ink flow is great in making consistently beautiful colors that don’t smear nor smudge.

The caps are color-coded and properly labeled, too. It’s best to make a color palette of your own as they may not be close to the actual ink color. Shuttle Art markers also bleed through regular paper; thus, the use of thick card stocks or marker paper is ideal. If you are into adult coloring books, always use an extra blotter sheet underneath your page for added protection.

A black zippered bag is provided for each marker set. There is no individual slot to hold each pen. Still, it’s a perfect carrying case for travel and storage—a reminder to keep your markers in a horizontal position to maintain the balance of ink inside the barrel.

This marker set can be a good start for budding artists or sent as a gift. If you prefer more skin tones or pastels, upgrade to a higher set for more variety of colors. By the way, these markers do not have ink refills nor nib replacements available.

Shuttle Art Dual Tip Alcohol-Based Art Markers
Shuttle Art Dual Tip Alcohol-Based
Art Markers
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10. Art-n-Fly Professional Sketch Markers

Art-n-Fly is a supplier of premium art supplies made to be budget-friendly. Their goal is to provide professional-grade markers, pens, and other art materials such as watercolors and sketchpads that more users can enjoy without breaking the bank.

Art-n-Fly Professional Sketch Markers belong to the line of their dual-tip alcohol-based markers. It features a chisel and brush tip combination that allows you to work on bold and varying strokes. The brush tips are made in Japan and provide a top-grade feel as you glide it on paper. These markers contain highly pigmented inks that will make your artwork nice and beautiful.

You will have 48 brilliant color choices for this pack, and there are separate sets available for skin tones, greys, earth tones, purples, and blues that you can also complete to maximize your color range.

Each marker’s body is uniquely designed with a hexagonal shape to ensure they stay on your desk and won’t roll off. The slightly curved edges let one have a comfortable grip, too. As a general practice, the caps come color-coded but make your own swatch as a reference for the actual ink colors.

These markers bleed through paper, so it’s important to use a layer of protection such as extra sheets of scrap paper under your work. Art-n-Fly does have its own line of marker papers that you can also try for your illustrations and sketches.

A good feature of this brand is that their inks are refillable, and the nibs can be replaced, too. This is a good plus for any artist, so you can save more as you invest in good quality art markers. Art-n-Fly has available ink refills for all the colors they offer.

The markers are housed in a durable box with their own slots. This is ideal for horizontal storage and easy organization according to your preference.

Art-n-Fly Professional Sketch Markers
Art-n-Fly Professional Sketch Markers
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11. Caliart Colors Artist Alcohol Markers

Artify is another brand name for high-quality art materials. They offer a wide range of options from markers, paint sets, watercolors, brushes, and other art accessories. Customer service is also great should you have any concerns with your item.

This 108-piece dual-tip brush markers set from Artify includes 107 lively colors and one colorless blender. The brush tip is partnered with another commonly used tip – the broad chisel type. With these two nibs, you can do more on your artwork. You can create wide and narrow strokes and even work on small details, too. The colorless blender tool is useful in overlaying colors, blending your shades, softening edges, and more. The ink dries quickly, so there are no smearing nor smudges.

The markers have a smooth circular body with color-coded caps. It doesn’t come with a swatch reference card, but you can make your own following the codes printed on the cap of each pen. This is important since the ink color is not exactly the same as the one on the caps.

Since these great pens are alcohol-based, expect that they will bleed through your adult coloring books or papers. As good practice, protect your next pages by placing a blotter sheet just under the page you’re working on. Artify does not have its own line of papers yet, but its markers can work well with other brands.

Artify markers do not support refillable inks nor replaceable nibs. Pens are always sold per set. Each marker set comes with a plastic carrying case with individual slots.

Caliart Colors Artist Alcohol Markers
Caliart Colors Artist Alcohol Markers
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12. Artify Artist Alcohol-Based Art Marker Set

Artify is another brand name for high-quality art materials. They offer a wide range of options from markers, paint sets, watercolors, brushes, and other art accessories. Customer service is also great should you have any concerns with your item.

This 108-piece dual-tip brush markers set from Artify includes 107 lively colors and one colorless blender. The brush tip is partnered with another commonly used tip – the broad chisel type. With these two nibs, you can do more on your artwork. You can create wide and narrow strokes and even work on small details, too. The colorless blender tool is useful in overlaying colors, blending your shades, softening edges, and more. The ink dries quickly, so there are no smearing nor smudges.

The markers have a smooth circular body with color-coded caps. It doesn’t come with a swatch reference card, but you can make your own following the codes printed on the cap of each pen. This is important since the ink color is not exactly the same as the one on the caps.

Since these great pens are alcohol-based, expect that they will bleed through your adult coloring books or papers. As good practice, protect your next pages by placing a blotter sheet just under the page you’re working on. Artify does not have its own line of papers yet, but its markers can work well with other brands.

Artify markers do not support refillable inks nor replaceable nibs. Pens are always sold per set. Each marker set comes with a plastic carrying case with individual slots.

Artify Artist Alcohol-Based Art Marker Set
Artify Artist Alcohol-Based
Art Marker Set
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13. Spectrum Noir Triblend Alcohol Marker Pens

Spectrum Noir is a brand that provides premium quality art supplies for all users. While they have serious crafters in mind when making their art markers, even inexperienced users can maximize the use of professional-grade coloring tools from them.

The Spectrum Noir Triblend Alcohol Marker Pens only feature a fine bullet nib. The unique part of this marker is that it contains three colors in one pen. This is perfect for blending as you only need one marker to make gradient colors of the same shades. It is seamless to transition colors using one nib that is perfect for smaller, detailed sections. The nibs are Japan-made for durability and precision.

These markers have a hexagonal body shape but still, guarantee a comfortable grip. There are 24 pens in the set, which gives you a total of 72 brilliant colors. The pens are color-coded, and there is a color key guide but as a general rule, swatch your own markers for your own reference.

These markers have alcohol-based dye ink; thus, expect ink to still bleed through paper. Protect your surface or the next page with an extra thick sheet.

The pens come in a sturdy box. Unlike the other Spectrum Noir alcohol markers, the inks are not refillable for the Triblend series since the nib openings are quite small. Nibs are not replaceable, too. The good news is that each marker is also sold individually.

Spectrum Noir Triblend Alcohol Marker Pens
Spectrum Noir Triblend
Alcohol Marker Pens
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Help Section

How do I revive dried-out markers?

Dried-out tips may occur with alcohol markers, affecting color output on your artwork. To avoid this, always make sure not to leave your markers uncapped when not in use. Store them properly in cool, dry places.

If you encounter this issue, you may revive them by trying these steps:

  1. Use alcohol – add a few drops of at least 90% alcohol in your marker’s ink barrel and rest it overnight in a horizontal position. See the complete steps on this YouTube video.
  2. Soak the tips – using a small container, dip the marker’s nibs into alcohol until you see ink coming out. Close your markers and wait for around 15 minutes or so before you use your markers again.

How do I store alcohol markers?

Considering that alcohol markers have dual tips, it is best to store them horizontally to ensure ink is distributed on both ends. Vertically storing them will let ink stay at the bottom part of the barrel and concentrated on one tip while leaving the top tip dry.

What type of paper should I use?

Alcohol-based markers leave vibrant, juicy, and saturated inks. They are best used with marker papers, and there are some brands that feature bleed-proof sheets, too. It’s quite common that they bleed through regular paper; thus, it’s important to always use a blotter sheet. Use smooth cardstock or paper as this also prolongs the nib’s life. Rough or textured papers may cause uneven absorption of ink and may damage the nib in the long run.

Conclusion

A great set of markers is so nice to use on different crafts and artwork. The colors add life to what you do. It brings out your creativity.

If you are new to using alcohol-based markers, this is a great time to practice and level up your skill. Choose the marker that will work for you. Learn different techniques that will improve your coloring style, too.

Go ahead and create something beautiful today. Cheers!

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