UPDATED (ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED JULY 15, 2020 2:45 PM)
If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, we may receive an affiliate commission.
Markers are not just for kids; artists rely on them too for manga, stationery, calligraphy, illustrations, and sketching. Markers provide a rainbow of hues in a variety of alcohol-based and water-based inks. Alcohol-based markers are known for their great coverage and variety of colors; they dry instantly and are permanent for durable, brilliant, smudge-free drawings. Water-based markers are great for everyday sketching and safe for kids. They are usually more translucent and take longer to dry. A diversity of tips—ultrafine, bullet, brush, chisel—are available to create all the marks you can dream up. Below, our picks of the best colored marker sets.
1. Tombow Dual Brush Pen Set
Not only does this 96-color set boast a rainbow of hues, but each pen has two different tips, one on either end of the pen: a flexible brush tip and a hard bullet tip. This marker’s ink is water based, which means that it is odorless, kid-friendly, waterproof, and fast-drying. The set also includes a single colorless blender to create a watercolor effect, and a desk stand to house the entire assortment.
2. Ohuhu 80 Color Alcohol Markers
Ohuhu’s beautiful set of dual-tip alcohol-based markers are an affordable high-quality alternative to more expensive brands. You’ll have every color you need with this 80-marker set; it includes a blender to create gradations and mix colors. Artists love the dual tips: the fine bullet point creates precise lines and the chisel tip puts down thick lines and brushlike marks. The superior ink coverage dries quickly with intense color. End caps have the ink’s color and number code, and the cap colors are true to the ink color. The markers are wide and slightly flat, an ergonomic design for ease of use: your hands won’t get tired. The markers come in a convenient canvas storage case that zips, but the case isn’t stiff and is prone to falling over. These markers are great for drawing, sketching, writing, designing, and illustrating, fashion designing, graphic novels, card making, and designing stationery.
3. Pentel Assorted Pack
These fiber-tip pens produce a 1-millimeter line. which is thin enough for clear writing yet thick enough for drawing and coloring. Ideal for everything from office work to art, these pens are offered by one of the most reputable companies when it comes to writing implements. The 12 bright colors of dye-based ink work well for graphic designers, calligraphers, illustrators, and others, regardless of skill level.
4. Crayola Ultra Clean Washable Markers
Made by what is arguably the most famous manufacturer of children’s art supplies, these washable pigments are ideal for parents and teachers. They are made of nontoxic materials and safe for kids ages three and up. This pack includes 12 traditional colors, and the inks are removable with water from any surface (or wall!) that budding artists might fancy as their canvas.
5. Copic 72-Piece Marker Set
These dual-tip markers offer a broad chisel nib at one end and a fine-point nib at the other. Being alcohol-based they give off a strong chemical odor, but they make more permanent marks than water-based pigments and dry more quickly. They are waterproof but alcohol soluble (which makes for great blending!). The kit contains 72 colors ranging from deep tones to light pastels. Copic sells replacement nibs and ink refills for the markers, which makes them a great investment.