Nowadays there are tons of different options that colorists can choose from when it comes down to their coloring medium of choice. There are pencils, gel pens, special paint and even chalk, but today we decided to focus on a classic and one of our favorites: markers.
Markers may not be completely erasable like pencils and may sometimes bleed through which can cause problems in cheaper coloring books that use thin paper, but they do produce a much more professional finished product. Here are our favorite markers with a detailed descriptions as to why we like them:
There is a reason why you will find these markers or a similar version by Crayola in every school and kindergarten...because they are time tested and work. If you are new to coloring these should be the first purchase you make in the “markers” category. At $16 for a 40 pack they are very affordable and give you plenty of hues to work with. This fine tipped version is perfect for coloring books since they are thin enough to tackle detailed work while still being thick enough to fill out large spaces.
Crayola markers may not be the highest quality and they may not produce the most clean finish but there is no reason to break the bank on more specialty markers if you are just getting started. These markers do not blend well and will create a nasty overlap line where one layer of color meets the other but at such a low price you can’t expect the world.
Sharpies may not be the brand that you think of right away when you are researching coloring markers but hear me out. The ink that these markers hold is high quality and specifically this “color burst” version has a very nice strong color level. I wouldn’t however go using these as an everyday marker. These markers are really great as a secondary accent tool that you use to go over an already colored area that needs some pop. The ultra fine tip is also awesome for going over borders and accenting your designs that way.
An important thing to keep in mind with Sharpies is that they do cause quite a bit of bleed through which can be a big issue when coloring on cheaper, thinner, paper. The ink also tends to spread from the original application point so keep this in mind when doing border work and color just inside of the lines and allow for the color to seep outwards.
These are the everyday markers for experienced and long time colorists. They are around the same price as the Crayola markers at the top of the list but for half as many markers, but they are definitely worth it. These markers come in a quality plastic case which makes accessing your markers and organizing them easy.
The most amazing thing about these markers is how long they last. There are cases in which people have left these markers open without capping them for days and the color has not dried out. There are even people who say they have had their Staedtler markers for years and the color remains as strong and high quality as the day they bought them. These markers are the real deal! Even though they share the same problem as the Crayola markers which is their blend-ability, the color quality you get from these will help produce a much higher quality final product. Also check out the very popular fine tipped version of these markers if you want a step up from the Sharpie fine tipped markers.
These markers are the Holy Grail of coloring and their price definitely reflects that. At more than $3 per marker (in a set) and closer to $4 or $5 when bought individually these markers are certainly not cheap, but just one use will prove to you that they are worth the price.
The ink that these awesome markers use takes a little bit longer to dry which allows them to seamlessly blend in with previous layers for a perfect consistent finish or to blend with other colors. This makes them a great meeting point between the water color paint that very skilled professionals use to create those amazing colorings we’ve all seen on Instagram while staying as easy to use as other markers. However, we do not suggest that you get these markers if you are just starting out no matter how cool they are.
Start out with the Crayola markers you probably already have in you house or if you know that coloring is something that you will be doing for a while go with the Staedtler markers. Once you have learned the ropes with those cheaper options get these and watch you colorings turn into magic.
If you are interested in reading more about different coloring options check out our series in which we discussed the pros and cons of all the options out there.