Pens and Markers

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Common Questions
Drawing Pens and Markers
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Markers Questions and Answers



  • What are layout markers?

    Layout markers are professional grade markers used by artists, illustrators, animators, designers, engineers, and architects, as well as hobbyists, often for illustrations, storyboards, or technical drawings. Some layout markers are waterbased, others solvent based. Layout markers are available in many colors and shades of gray.

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  • How "permanent" are permanent markers?

    With markers, the designation "permanent" means that the ink cannot be washed off with water. Permanent markers are indelible, but not necessarily lightfast or even fade-resistant.

    Permanent markers use a solvent-based ink, and with some brands this solvent is toxic. Read labels and instructions carefully.

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  • Are water-based markers always washable?

    Water-based markers use a water-soluble ink, and they are generally non-toxic, but not necessarily washable. Read instructions carefully. If you must have a washable marker, select one that specifically features washability. Many brands are designed to be easy to wash off skin or clothing, and are suitable for children.

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  • What are marking pens?

    Marking pens are markers that are suitable for writing on paper. They have a strong, stiff fiber tip that wears well with extended use as a writing instrument. The color selection is usually very limited.

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  • What does it mean to say that a marker is "archival"?

    Archival markers contain pigments rather than dyes, however colors other than black may fade over time with exposure to ultraviolet light. Archival markers are acid-free, and will not damage the underlying surface. This makes them suitable for marking on photographs, fine art prints, and so forth.

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  • What are paint markers? Do they contain paint?

    Paint markers use opaque inks, and are often designed for large areas of coverage. However, they don't contain actual paint. Some are solvent-based and permanent, others water-based.

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  • What are calligraphy markers?

    Calligraphy markers are marking pens with one or more special tips that can create the same effects as a calligraphy or lettering pen.

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  • Are markers a serious drawing medium?

    Markers are a great tool, but they are generally not for creating permanent works of art. Use markers to create quick sketches. They are faster and more convenient than any other medium. They dry quickly, and work well on any smooth paper surface. But even archival markers are not necessarily lightfast, so if you want to save it, scan it.

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  • Blick Brand Drawing Materials
    Blick Brand Drawing Materials

    At Blick we pride ourselves on providing artist quality drawing materials at the most competitive price. See why our Blick brand Studio Artists' Colored Pencils, Studio Markers and Artists' Soft Pastels are an excellent choice for fine artists - even those on a budget.

  • Chartpak AD Markers
    Chartpak AD Markers

    These waterproof, permanent, solvent-based markers deliver brilliant color in fine, medium, or broad strokes. This video will show you a couple of tips and tricks when using these professional quality markers.

  • Faber-Castell
    Pitt Artist Pens
    Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens

    Pigmented India Ink in multiple nib sizes and 48 colors brings great versatility to pen-and-ink drawings requiring lots of intricate details. Pitt Artist Pens are great for sketching, journaling, cartooning, and drawing. The Superfine, Fine, Medium, and Brush nibs not only replace ink bottles — they're instantly available for work. The ink is waterproof, unsurpassably lightfast, acid-free, and pH-neutral. The nib size is prominently displayed on the end of the cap.

  • Prismacolor Art
    Markers Tips and Techniques
    Prismacolor Art Markers Tips & Techniques

    Ever wonder what to do with that Colorless Blender marker? Or how to get rid of those streaks in your marker drawings? We have lots of tips for you! Prismacolor Premier Double-Ended Art Markers feature two distinct nibs capable of achieving multiple line widths. Both ends draw from a single ink reservoir for a perfect color match end to end, making them ideal for both technical and artistic applications. Intended for professional artists and advanced students, Prismacolor Art Markers will not fade or feather.

  • Prismacolor Premier Illustration Markers
    Prismacolor Premier Illustration Markers

    See all the features and benefits of using these premium pigmented, acid-free, archival ink markers. They are lightfast, permanent, non-toxic, and water resistant when dry. Use these markers for crisp, detail work in artistic and technical applications.


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