Are you ready to graduate from kiddie crayons and start using the best alcohol-based markers on your adult coloring books and artwork? You may be a bit hesitant about using colored markers because you think that you will be spending too much money on them.
However, let me tell you this. You will find adult coloring books more beneficial if you use proper coloring materials. You might also be thinking that alcohol-based art markers are just for professional artists and that they might be too difficult for you to use properly. That is not true at all.
Note that even complete beginners can use colored markers somewhat properly. In any case, though, you should not be afraid of trying new things. You might like using colored markers if you give them a try.
This article will teach you all about alcohol-based colored markers and how to choose the ones that will give the best value for money. By the end of this article, you will know what questions you need to ask. You will also understand what factors you need to consider when shopping for your first set of markers.
Best Alcohol-Based Marker Reviews
1. WEISBRANDT Alcohol Brush Markers
I am so happy that this set of markers contains 50 pens. I was surprised that there were 48 different colors, and plenty of different shades to make shadows and highlights easier to do. Included in the set are two colorless blender markers that came in handy when trying to make transitions between colors almost seamless.
Every marker comes with dual tips. One end is a “brush” tip, which is not a brush, but a soft felt tip that acts like a brush. I like using the brush tip for outlining and brushstroke calligraphy. The other end of the markers has a chisel-point nib. I also sometimes use this end for calligraphy but oftentimes, I use them to make sharp lines and angles.
Another nice touch is that the color codes of the markers are printed clearly on the caps. Having color codes makes organizing and choosing the right colors a lot easier. I am a complete newbie at using good alcohol-based markers, and I like following YouTube tutorials. Having the codes printed on the pens makes it easier to follow the lessons.
As I mentioned earlier, this set of markers also comes with two blender pens. These pens do not contain any colors, but a mild alcohol solution that you can use to blend colors. I have used a lot of other alcohol-based markers in the past, and these are among the best when it comes to ease of blending.
I do not have anything that significant to complain about, but if I must mention one thing, it would be about the light gray marker. It would have been much better if it was one or two shades darker. As it is, the light gray marker is almost white.
- The set contains 50 pens, including 2 blending pens
- Each marker is dual-tipped
- Each marker has its color code printed on the caps
- The markers are easy to blend and fade
- Budget-friendly while still being high-quality
- The lightest gray is near imperceptible
These are among the most budget-friendly alcohol-based markers brands available right now. However, you will not be compromising all that much. You will be getting 50 markers in total, and nearly all the shades of colors that you will ever need, especially if you are a beginner.
2. Belleza suprema Alcohol Art Markers
The best thing about this set of alcohol markers is that it contains 100 different colors of markers. I was a bit overwhelmed at first when I first opened the box it came in, and it got me excited to start using them right away.
For some people, 100 colors might be too much. However, I believe that it will always be better to have more colors than you think you would need rather than finding out later that you needed a couple more letters.
Another neat feature of these alcohol markers for beginners is that all of them come with dual tips. One end of the markers has a fine 1mm bullet-point tip, which is great for drawing details and for outlining.
The other end is a chisel-point tip. I often use it for coloring wide areas (using the wide edge) and also for drawing very fine lines (using the narrow edge).
It is also nice that the ink these markers use dry quickly, which prevents accidental smudging. However, even though the inks do dry relatively fast, you can still easily blend them using a blender marker. Also, once dried properly, the ink does not fade easily.
I had a problem with these cheap alcohol-based markers, though – that is they bleed through quite easily, especially on thin paper. I highly suggest that you do not use these markers if you are working on a coloring book with pictures on both sides of the page. The ink bleed-through will make the other side of the page virtually unusable.
- Provides an incredible number of colors in the set
- Not only are the color codes printed on the cap, but the names of the colors are also on there
- All the marker pens come with dual tips
- Quick-drying inks that do not fade easily
- Comes with a carrying bag and plastic organizer
- Bleeds quite a bit
I advise you not to use this on adult coloring books where the prints are on both sides of the pages. The ink would bleed so much that it will render the next page unusable. Other than that, you will be getting a good value as this set contains 100 colors, which is a lot more than what most people would need.
3. ARTIFY Artist Alcohol Markers
If you like to focus on drawing people and portraits, then you should seriously consider getting this set of artist alcohol-based markers. This set comes with 24 pens. Most of the pens in the set are earth and skin tones that you can use to replicate any skin color you can imagine.
Another thing that I liked about these markers is the ergonomic design of the pen barrel. The pen body is triangular with rounded edges, which makes them easier to grip. I like using these markers whenever I am doing a large portrait where I will be holding these pens for hours at a time.
These markers also came with their own hard plastic carrying case. I liked having a separate case for these markers mainly because I only use them for coloring skin. I have another set that I use for general drawing purposes.
These pens also come with dual tips. One tip is a fine point, which makes it easier to draw fine lines and details. The other tip is a chisel-point, which is great for coloring, highlighting, and other general purposes. Having dual tips give these markers additional versatility.
I honestly have no real significant complaint about this product. If you are looking for a set of skin tone markers that have accurate color reproduction that is a lot more affordable compared to the top brands, then you need to check this product out.
- Contains all the skin tone colors you will ever need
- Ergonomically-designed pen body
- Comes with a durable plastic carrying case
- Dual-tipped for added versatility
- Printed color codes on the caps
- None as I find this set a good product at a good price
You should seriously consider getting this set of skin tone markers to complete your set. Even if you already have a set of markers, having another set consisting of just skin tones will make a whole world of difference. It also helps a lot considering these markers are much more affordable compared to the top brands.
4. CHAFFIT Alcohol Permanent Markers
These markers all come with dual tips. One end has a broad chisel tip. I like to use this one when I am drawing architectural perspectives. The other end is a fine bullet point that I usually use for line drawings and outlines. Those are just the typical things that I use them for but these markers can still do so many things.
This set of markers come in 80 different colors, which is more than enough for an amateur and many professional artists as well. I hardly use more than 8 different colors for any given piece. This is why there are still more than a dozen markers in this set that I have not even touched yet, and I have been using this for a couple of months already.
Another nice touch is the nice-looking PU leather carrying case that came with the set. The bag provides a snug fit for all the markers so you can see the color codes on the caps. This bag also makes organizing the markers a lot easier because it holds them in a grid pattern.
Speaking of the color codes, you can find them printed clearly on the caps of the markers. This promotes ease in choosing which colors you need to use on a particular piece. Moreover, the actual names of the colors come printed on the caps, so if you like working with the names of the colors instead of just the codes, you can freely do so.
It is a good thing, though, that you get the color codes and names on the markers themselves. You should not depend on the colors of the caps because some are not accurate. For instance, the green marker has a tinge more yellow in it than what you can see on the cap.
- Come with dual tips
- Has 80 colors of markers
- Features a PU leather carrying bag
- Color codes and names printed on the caps
- The colors are bright and dry quickly
- The colors on the caps are not accurate
You will be getting 80 different colors of markers, so just that should be enough to convince you to at least give this product a chance. In addition to a large number of colors, it also has a nice-looking and functional carrying bag. Aside from the issue of some markers not having color-accurate caps, there is nothing much to complain about.
5. Arrtx Skin Tone Alcohol Based Art Markers
If you are a newbie at color marker drawings, then you probably are not familiar with the entire marker sets dedicated to skin tones. I like using this set because it contains 36 different skin tone colors, allowing me to recreate any skin color (with highlights and shadows) on paper. You will love this set if you like to draw people and portraits.
These markers also come in a nice, rigid carrying case. It is a box made of thick cardboard, allowing you to bring your markers around with you wherever you go. You can also use the lid as a sort of stand that promotes ease in picking out the colors you need.
All markers have dual tips. This means that you will be getting all the kinds of markers that you will need. I intend to use bullet-point fine tips for outlining and drawing small details. The broad chisel tips, on the other hand, are useful in coloring large patches. They also work for architectural and industrial drawings.
The best thing that I liked about this set of markers is that it is only a fraction of the price of the more popular brands. You are getting 36 markers for the price of 9 markers from other top brands. Even though these are more affordable, quality-wise, they are somewhat the same.
The only issue I have with these markers is that the codes on their caps scratch off easily. The couple of pens that I usually use in my drawings already have their color codes almost erased. These markers would have been much better if the codes were stamped in the caps.
- The set contains 36 different skin tone colors
- Comes in a sturdy and nice-looking carrying case
- Feature dual tips
- The ink flows evenly and dries quickly but still blends effortlessly
- Provides great value for money
- The color codes are easy to scratch off
There is nothing all that serious to complain about with these markers. They have accurate and bright colors and dual tips for versatility. They are also economical. If you are a beginner at using color markers, or a professional with a very limited budget, you will love this set of markers.
- This set comes in 80 different colors
- Comes with a handy carrying case
- Each marker contains a lot of ink
- Quick-drying ink that prevents smudging
- Easy to organize with the color codes stamped on the caps
- The carrying case is a bit too soft
These markers are some of the best that your money can buy. Aside from the rather soft carrying case, which you can remedy easily, there is nothing that serious to complain about with these markers. These markers are among the best that beginners can buy. Aside from being truly affordable, I notice that they work very well.
- The pens have an ergonomic design
- Comes with a sturdy carrying case
- Bright and vibrant colors
- Dual-tipped for added versatility
- Writes smoothly and evenly
- The inks bleed through all paper except for the thick stock
Although you have to compromise color vibrancy for ink bleed-through, it is an easy choice once you see how great these pens work. When you use these for coloring, it is like you are using paint pens just based on the brightness of the colors.
8. Quick Craft Permanent Alcohol Markers
This is one of the most affordable sets of markers that I have used so far, and you wouldn’t be able to tell by how vibrant their colors are. I have used them extensively for making mandalas, and I loved how nice all my art pieces looked afterward. The colors are so bright that you could swear that these pens contained acrylic paint.
This might not seem much for some people but I liked the ergonomic design of the pens quite a lot. Unlike the round-barreled pens that you usually see, these pens have rounded triangular bodies.
This is a unique shape that makes these pens sit more naturally in your hand. It is also the reason why this is my go-to when I plan on finishing a giant mandala in just one sitting.
If you like organizing your art supplies just like I do, then you will like the clear printing of the color codes and names on the pens themselves. Arranging the colors makes it a whole lot easier to select the right ones to use for whatever kind of drawing you will be doing, unlike just based on the colors you see on the cap.
Even though this set of markers is already quite affordable, it only gets better because the manufacturer provides a one-year money-back satisfaction guarantee. If you find that your markers are defective, or just do not like them for whatever reason, you can send them back and you will get a full refund.
However, I never had any good reason to send my set of markers back. The only thing that I did not like about this set of alcohol-based markers is not with the markers themselves, but rather with the cloth carrying case.
For a carrying case that’s supposed to hold 100 markers, this is quite flimsy. This was easy to fix, though. I just inserted a wide strip of cardboard to bolster the sides of the bag.
- The markers use highly-pigmented inks that are perfect for a lot of applications
- Ergonomically designed pens
- The color codes and names are stamped on the caps
- Feature dual tips for added versatility
- Comes with a money-back, satisfaction guarantee
- The carrying pouch these markers came with is a bit loose
Overall, when you take the price and quality of these pens into consideration, you will discover that they provide great value for your money. You will be getting 100 pieces of markers all-in-all and that alone makes them one of the best cheap alcohol markers.
9. ADAXI Skin Tone Alcohol Art Markers
Don’t be fooled by the label as this set has 29 skin tone markers AND one colorless blender. Still, the 29 skin tone colors are more than enough to recreate all kinds of natural skin tones accurately. On the other hand, you can also use these colors when you just want to give your drawings a warm earth tone.
These markers are also dual-tipped, which I liked immensely because it adds a lot of versatility to the markers. For instance, I like using the chisel tips when creating sharp lines and angles, like when I am doing architectural illustrations. On the other hand, the fine (0.7mm) bullet-point tips are great for line drawings and general drawings.
As mentioned earlier, this set of markers comes with a colorless blender marker. These markers are quite easy to blend using the alcohol blender. I was able to make almost seamless gradation in colors without too much effort. If you are interested in creating photorealistic drawings, these markers will work well for the said application.
Another little detail that I liked immensely is the color codes and names on the caps of the markers. This helped a lot when I needed to organize the colors. Once I just relied on the colors of the caps but I discovered that using the color codes allowed for more accurate color choices.
Speaking of the cap colors, some markers in this set do not have a color that accurately matches that of the ink. It is the reason why I would rather depend more on the color codes, especially in the cheaper brands of color markers. Fortunately, only a couple of the markers had this problem.
- The set contains 29 different skin and earth tones
- All markers have dual tips
- Comes with a colorless blender marker
- The markers have their color codes and names printed on their caps
- Features a handy travel bag with a plastic base
- Some of the markers do not have matching cap colors
It would be quite unfair to compare these markers with the top brands, especially if you consider that these cost a fraction of the price. You will need a dedicated set of markers just for skin tones and I think this product checks all the basic requirements.
10. Aton Artist Alcohol Sketch Markers
When I first opened the box that these markers came in, I immediately tested them out. I liked that these pens are so “juicy”, meaning they contain quite a lot of ink. It is almost as if they were freshly filled before being shipped to me. I have been using these pens for a couple of months and not even one pen has dried out yet.
I also liked how richly pigmented the inks are. The reds are all bright but you can still notice the differences in shade. I also design my comic book characters and I like using bright and bold colors, which is something that this set of markers have in spades.
I got these markers as a supplement to my existing set. I use these mostly for underpainting so that I do not use up too much of the expensive stuff. The first time I used these markers, I was surprised at how well they blended with the others. Although these are just a fraction of what my other markers are worth, they play well together.
Speaking of costs, these markers are a lot cheaper than Copic markers and the like. However, quality-wise, they are still somewhat similar. To the untrained eye, the differences between these markers and the high-end ones are unnoticeable. So, if you do not have that much wiggle room in your budget, you should give these markers a try.
If you will be using these for adult coloring books, know that these markers tend to bleed easily through paper, especially regular paper stock. Even if you try your best not to overlap, the ink will still somehow go through the paper and onto the next page.
If you will be working on adult coloring books, I suggest placing a sheet or two of paper behind the page you are working on.
- All the pens contain a lot of ink
- The inks are quite rich in pigments
- The colors blend easily even with other brands
- The ink flows smoothly onto paper
- A lot more affordable compared to top brands, but similar in quality
- Bleeds into paper easily
If you are planning to use these markers on adult coloring books, then you should get the ones with one picture per page. These markers bleed into the page so much that anything drawn on the other side will be ruined. Other than that, these are great markers that many artists would be glad to have in their inventory.
What to Look For When Buying a Alcohol Based Markers
If you are out shopping for the highest quality alcohol markers in the world, or at least the best ones that you can afford, there are a couple of factors you have to consider. This way, you will end up with a set of markers that you will be happy to use.
The name of the color and the actual color of the ink should be as close to each other as possible. You would not want to use markers that are not accurate to their supposed colors.
However, if you are thinking of getting a set composed of 100 different colors, especially if you are checking out a not-so-well-known brand, it is fine if several markers are not color-accurate.
Number of Colors in the Set
If you are looking for a complete set of color markers, find the ones that have the most colors that you can find. A good beginner’s set of markers contains at least 60 different colors.
You may think that 60 colors are plenty. You may end up someday looking for particular shades only to discover that your set does not have them.
It is the reason why it is always better to have more than enough colors than you know what to do with rather than not having the colors that you need.
As much as possible, you would want your color markers to last as long as they can. You would not want your markers to run out of ink suddenly while you are in the middle of a project, especially if you bought the markers just recently.
There is no way to figure out how much ink that a set of markers contain, so you might need to rely on customer reviews for this bit of information.
This will depend on where you will be using the pens. I usually make architectural drawings, so I like my color markers to have chisel-point nibs.
These are ideal for making sharp lines and angles. There are also alcohol-based brush tip markers and I think they work great for fine details and calligraphy.
If you want versatility though, you should get markers that come with dual tips. It will be like you are getting two different sets of markers.
Ease of Blending
An alcohol-based marker is easier to blend compared to a water-based one. However, not all alcohol markers are the same. Some are easier to blend compared to others.
If possible, you should test the markers for a bit before you commit to buying an entire set. If you know someone who owns the kind of set that you are thinking of buying, ask them if it is okay for you to borrow a couple just to test them a bit.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Alcohol-Based Marker Used for?
Most people buy alcohol-based markers for adult coloring books. However, professional artists mostly choose alcohol-based markers for their brighter pigments and ease of blending.
Water-Based vs. Alcohol-Based Markers?
The biggest differences between water-based and alcohol-based markers are the vibrancy of the colors and the ease by which you can blend colors. The water-based markers’ colors are a bit more muted compared to alcohols. They take a bit more effort to blend because you will only be using water.
Regardless of whether you are just looking for a good set of markers for your adult coloring books or need them for your work as a professional artist, you should always strive to get the best alcohol-based markers that you can.
Since you already reached the end of this article, you have already learned all you need to learn to figure out which markers fit your needs perfectly. When you have the right markers at your disposal, you will be surprised at what you can achieve.