This post may contain affiliate links. We may earn a small commission from purchases made through them, at no additional cost to you.
Do you love creating beautiful artwork? Maybe you are a seasoned professional or simply enjoy doing the now popular adult color books available, you will need a good set of coloring pens. When walking into a shop to buy coloring markers, you will discover the many brands that exist. What do you look for in a good yet affordable set of adult coloring markers? To make it easier for you, we will be presenting a variety of coloring pens for the professional as well as the beginner. Also, learn about what you need to look out for when purchasing adult coloring markers.
- 1 Purchasing the Best Markers for Coloring
- 2 Coloring Pens and Pigments
- 3 Best Markers for Coloring Design
- 4 Coloring Markers and Color
- 5 Best Markers for Adult Coloring Books
- 5.1 Fine Coloring Markers
- 5.2 Best Gel Coloring Pens
- 5.3 Best Brush Marker
- 5.4 Dual Tip Coloring Markers
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
- 6.1 What are the Best Colored Markers?
- 6.2 What is Better, Colored Markers or Pencils?
- 6.3 What Colored Marker is Best, Ohuhu or Copic?
- 6.4 What is Better, Using Water or Alcohol-Based Coloring Pens?
- 6.5 How can You tell if a Coloring Pen is Water-Based?
- 6.6 Why do Copic Colored Pens Bleed?
- 6.7 Can you use Gel Pens for Coloring?
Purchasing the Best Markers for Coloring
Before purchasing a set of best-colored markers, you might want to have a look at a few things. Considering the brand, pigment base, and price amongst other things can save you time and money in the long run.
Coloring Markers and Nibs
Commonly, there are four main types of coloring pens, each pen has a different type of nib. The nib is important because this is what provides the specific effect you might be looking for. The type of nib you choose will, therefore, depend on what you want to achieve.
The brush tip felt coloring markers absorb the ink and then apply it evenly to the page surface. These types of adult coloring markers are best used to cover larger areas, for example, shading or simply covering a larger part of the art piece. You can also use these tips for more detailed work, as they provide 6 mm tips.
These have finer nibs and come to a thin point, perfect for more detailed work. The nib sizes come in 4 mm or even smaller, so they will definitely not be used for something like shading. Rather, these are the best-colored markers to use for smaller and fine details, also great for creating amazing lettering.
You can also get coloring pens that have dual tips, so you can do multiple effects with a single pen. The coloring pens have a different tip on each side of the pen, these can either be a brush tip, fine tip, or chisel tips. In most cases, the tips on either end will be the same color, however, you do get dual coloring pens that have a different color for each tip. These types of coloring markers provide great versatility.
Gel Coloring Pens
The gel coloring pens contain ink that is gel-like in consistency and usually provides brilliant colors. If you have used a gel pen, you will notice that the tip is similar to your average writing pen and the ink is also alike. These coloring pens are not ideal for shading and covering larger areas and should rather be used for adding details and highlights.
Watercolor Coloring Pens
The ink inside a watercolor marker is watery and will provide you with effects similar to that of watercolor paints. However, the pens do not make use of watercolor paints, instead, the pens contain a dye. You can design paint-like effects with the brush tips and use them to draw finer details.
Coloring Pens and Pigments
You have two choices when it comes to the type of pigments used in pens for adult coloring books. You have your alcohol base and then a water pigment base. The alcohol-based coloring pens are usually more expensive and offer higher quality. The water-based coloring pens are more affordable and safer to use, especially for kids. However, the color in these pens does not last quite as long as the alcohol-based option.
Alcohol Coloring Pens
The alcohol-based coloring book markers provide much better effects when it comes to blending. The ink is absorbed into the paper more thoroughly and the color will last a long time. These coloring pens can be used for your unique artwork or as pens for adult coloring books. Even though these coloring pens offer long-lasting color, the ink does tend to bleed through the paper. You will need to make sure you have superior quality paper when using them. We recommend you do not use it in any journals or on any other unsuitable paper. The ink from these coloring pens also dries fast, so you must work quickly.
Water-Based Coloring Pens
These are more affordable; however, the quality might not be the same as the alcohol-based variety. The coloring pens contain a mixture of water and glycerin or only water. Since it is water-based, the pens are safe to use and have no odor and are a great choice for kids to use. The color is not permanent and if water gets onto it, it will begin to bleed through.
Best Markers for Coloring Design
Coloring books markers must be comfortable to use, as you do not want your hand to get tired when using it. The pen barrel design is important and having some contours in the design will help to provide a better more comfortable grip. If you are going to be working for a long time, consider coloring pens that are thicker and that have a curved triangle stem.
Coloring Markers and Color
When looking for the best adult coloring markers, you need to make sure you choose a product that has brilliant colors. If you are going to use the coloring markers a lot and you do not mind spending a bit more, you should invest in a bigger set that contains many colors. Smaller sets are also available for those just starting or using the pens for coloring books. You are also able to purchase individual coloring markers if the need arises.
Best Markers for Adult Coloring Books
To make your shopping experience easier, we have come up with a collection of the best markers for coloring. Whether you are looking for a brush tip, fine tip, or dual tip, there is a product out there for you. We have also provided the best-colored markers for those on a budget and more for those who do not mind spending a bit more.
Fine Coloring Markers
First, the finer tip markers offer brilliant colors, and you can usually get some good deals. These coloring art markers are perfect for adding touches to smaller areas and creating details. These are considered the best markers for adult coloring books.
Most Affordable Fine Color Markers: CRAYOLA Pens for Adult Coloring Books
The Crayola pens are one of the best adult coloring markers on the market, providing 40 amazingly brilliant colors in a set. The colors do not wash away and will provide you with great long-lasting color. The selection of colors provides you with a wide range of choices so you can create color depth and simply have freedom coloring in or creating your own designs.
The fine tip color markers are perfect for lettering and details, but not the best choice for filling in larger areas or shading. The color application is smooth and will not streak, and the colors applied come out even with no color variations. Once a color has been applied, you will have to go over the same area again, as the colors are so vibrant. These are the perfect pens for adult coloring books, as the ink is quickly soaked up and will not pool or bleed. However, some have experienced some bleed-through on thinner paper, so getting thicker paper to work on is the best way to go. To sum up, these are the best affordable coloring pens for beginners with plenty of color choices.
Best Quality Fine Color Markers: STAEDTLER Fineliner Pens
The Staedtler Fineliner Pens are of excellent quality and are best used for writing, underlining, and journaling. You get 20 different water-based colors that come in a pen that has a fine tip of 0.3 mm. The tip is metal clad, and you can leave the cap off for days without having to worry if it will dry out. Since it is water-based, the color will not be as long-lasting and might run if any water gets onto it. These are the best-colored markers to use on thinner paper, as they will not bleed through. The color comes out smoothly and evenly, so there are no variations in color. The fine tip is best for drawing details like lettering and is not ideal for covering larger areas or shading.
The barrel design is triangular, which will provide a comfortable grip so you can write for a long time without experiencing discomfort. The ink dries fairly quickly, which is a good thing for many. However, this means that blending any colors will not be possible. The pens come in a handy container that can stand up for ease of use and accessibility. All colors provided also work well with each other. There have been some complaints about the colors not being as vibrant as other brands and that the colors on the cap do not quite match the color that comes out on the paper. For some, these might be bothersome, however, these coloring pens are a great starter set and are an affordable option that provides an excellent choice of colors.
Best Gel Coloring Pens
Gel coloring pens are fun to work with and they come in an array of different colors. You even get metallic effects and glitter colors for added creative flair. These coloring pens are best used for filling in smaller areas and creating finer details.
Best Affordable Gel Coloring Pens: SAKURA Gelly Roll
The Sakura Gelly Roll gel ink pens are an affordable option when it comes to coloring pens. They also offer great quality, and you have a wide range of brilliant colors. This set specifically only has the classic colors, but there are other metallic, glitter, and opaque options available. The coloring pens are water-based, will last a long time, and will not bleed through or pool on the paper. Also, the ink is fast drying and will not cause tearing or feathering of the paper. The application is smooth, providing consistent colors. The set consists of 10 classic colors from blue, black, green, orange, purple to red, brown, royal blue, pink, and burgundy. The 0.4 mm tip is great for applying those details.
- The original Ice cream smooth gel ink invented by Sakura, line width is 0.4mm
- Archival quality ink chemically stable, waterproof, and fade resistant
- No smears, feathers, or bleed-through on most papers
Best Quality Gel Coloring Pens: SHUTTLE ART Gel Pen Set
The Shuttle Art Coloring Pens might be the best markers for adult coloring books. A popular choice on Amazon with a selection of 120 unique colors and different ink types. You can let your imagination go wild with this broad range of coloring pens. The cost is a bit more, however, you will get your money’s worth. The variety of ink types is what appeals to many, as you have a range of metallic, glitter, pastel, neon, neon glitter, swirl, and standard options. The ink is non-toxic as well as acid-free, so great for the kids to use. The long-lasting gel ink pen applies smoothly and the 0.8 mm to 1.0 mm tip is perfect for those finer details. These coloring pens are not suitable for coloring larger areas or shading.
The pens are packaged in a convenient carry case and even though it is a bit big, it can be taken with you wherever you go. You can use these pens for coloring, journaling, sketching, doodling, creating greeting cards, and more. There are a few things that can be considered disadvantages. For example, the neon and pastel gel colors are not as vibrant as other brands. Some have also found that the ink does not flow as smoothly as it should. To help with this, consider storing the pens upside down for better ink flow. These are minor issues, and these coloring pens are amongst the best adult coloring markers on the market.
Best Brush Marker
So far, all the best markers for adult coloring books have been fine tip pens. Next, it is time to look at the brush marker that you can use to color in larger areas and what is the best marker to use for shading and blending. To have a good selection of coloring markers, it is ideal to have something of everything including a few fine tips and brush tips. However, a good set of quality brush tips can stand alone.
Best Quality Brush Marker: FABER-CASTELL Brush Pens
The Faber-Castell Brush Pens are a popular artist quality option from a trusted brand. Everything is aimed at the quality of this brush pen set from the ink to the pen design and packaging. The set comes with 24 vibrant colors all organized according to shade. Also available in a 12, 48, 60, and 90 pen set. This particular set has an excellent range of colors that are permanent, waterproof, and lightfast. While the ink is still wet, the colors tend to blend well but when it dries it becomes waterproof and smudge-proof. The highly pigmented India ink is acid-free and odorless and provides rich and brilliant colors. The ink should not bleed, even if it is very thin paper. Since the cost for these brush markers is quite significant, they are aimed more at the experienced artist.
- High light resistance, water-resistant, permanent odor-free, acid-free, pH neutral
- Available as individual pen or in various assorted sets.
- The shafts and caps and fibre-tip pens are made of polypropylene (PP) to protect them from drying out quickly.
The brush strokes are versatile, as you can use the pens to apply broad, medium, and finer widths of a brushstroke. You will need to use a good quality paper, as you can damage the paper if you go over an area too many times. The amazing colors available and quality of the product have attracted many who purchased the product and were extremely satisfied with the results. Even though it is more on the expensive side, you are getting your money’s worth.
Dual Tip Coloring Markers
Dual tip coloring markers are quite versatile as they have two tip options in a single pen. Most of the pens have a brush tip on one end and another type of tip on the opposite end. These are an excellent choice for beginners as you have a wider option of design techniques available in a single pen. The dual-tip markers also have some of the best markers for adult coloring books.
Best Affordable Dual Tip Coloring Markers: OHUHU Alcohol Markers
The Ohuhu Dual Marker Set comes with 72 brilliant colors and a single colorless blender. For so many colors and being alcohol-based, these pens are surprisingly affordable. Although they do not have the superior quality the Copic markers have, these are the next best thing. This is a great choice for artists who need a wide selection of colors but are on a budget. The dual tips consist out of a chisel tip on one side and a brush tip on the opposite side. Select the brush tip for lettering and move on to the chisel tip to cover larger areas. The ink blends well dry quickly, and will not smudge. The ink is also long-lasting and becomes waterproof once dry. All of the pens come in a zip carry case you can take with you wherever you go.
- High-quality ink blends seamlessly to achieve beautiful coloring effects.
- Your artwork will never fade or smudge with time.
- Draw smudge-free thanks to its fast-drying, alcohol-based formula.
The carry case is not that supportive of the pens and does not keep them as organized as they should be. The barrel design makes handling the pen a bit uncomfortable. Each pen contains a color code and color name for easy reference, although it might be best to make a color chart or swatch, to make identifying colors a little easier. The color choices do come in a large number of different greens and fluorescent colors and many of the colors are quite similar. However, the colors are vivid and highly pigmented, which makes them excellent adult coloring markers. The quality of the ink may not be the same as other brands and darker colors can seem a bit inconsistent on application, due to its fluid consistency. Some have also found that the ink takes a little longer to dry and might smudge. These markers are great for beginner artists or those who are looking for something more affordable.
Best Overall Dual Tip Coloring Markers: PRISMACOLOR Markers
The Prismacolor markers feature both brush and fine tips and come in a variety of sets from a six pen set to a 200 pen set. This particular marker set comes in a handy case with 24 richly colored pens. When storing, the case and pens are positioned horizontally, which can help to improve the lifespan of the markers. The combination brush tip and fine tip make it easier to shade larger areas and apply finer details using a single marker. The marker design is comfortable, and the ink formulation allows for excellent bendability, is acid-free, and provides consistent color. You can easily determine the color of each pen by the lines of color, one at each end of the pen. A wavy line appears at the brush tip, while a straight line circles below the fine tip. The cap fits firmly in place ensuring the ink will dry out prematurely.
- Dual-ended markers featuring both fine and brush tips with carrying case
- Advanced dye-based ink formulation for richly saturated color and superior blendability
- Single source of ink guarantees color consistency at both ends and an anti-roll cap keeps your markers in place
As these are alcohol-based markers, they can give off an odor and may bleed, so using thicker quality paper is recommended. The ink may also dry slower than anticipated, which means you must be careful of smudging. The markers do not streak on even application and you can layer colors without having a negative effect on the paper. This is a great quality set of markers for both amateurs and professional artists.
Best Quality Dual Tip Coloring Markers: COPIC Coloring Markers
The Copic Coloring Makers are an extremely popular choice from a trusted brand. Offering superior quality, they are at the top of the list for the best markers for coloring. They are more expensive and are geared more towards the professional artist, as they can work with airbrush systems and come in a wide variety of colors. The markers are refillable, and you can replace any damaged nibs.
This specific product is a 36-piece basic set that offers a brush and chisel nib at either end of the marker. There is a small mark at each end of the pens to help you identify which nib it is. The caps coordinate with the color of the ink and the color codes can also be located on the pen itself. The ink has a low odor, dries acid-free, is non-toxic and permanent, and is ideal for blending purposes. You can easily layer and build up colors, and since it dries quickly, you do not have to worry about smudging. The coloring markers come in a plastic container that is, unfortunately, not the best to travel with. These are, however, the best markers for adult coloring books, as they do not bleed unless multiple layers are being added. Feathering is also not a problem with these dual-tip markers. If you are a beginner, you may want to first try out a more affordable option. However, for the more experienced artist that does not mind the price tag, these are an excellent choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Best Colored Markers?
When it comes to quality and versatility, the most popular best-colored markers are the Copic dual-tip markers. Unfortunately, these coloring pens are quite expensive but there are many other more affordable options available. For example, the Prismacolor dual-tip markers are more affordable, yet still provide quality.
What is Better, Colored Markers or Pencils?
They both offer different effects, so it depends on what you want to do. Color pencils are great for blending and offer lighter shading options. Pencils are also less expensive than markers. Colored markers provide more vibrant colors and can offer more versatility when it comes to lines and shading.
What Colored Marker is Best, Ohuhu or Copic?
The most popular and better quality colored markers are the Copic brand. The Ohuhu markers are an okay option for alcohol-based pens. However, the color and blendability do not compare to Copic markers. The Ohuhu markers are still a good choice and can be a great alternative to the more expensive Copic markers.
What is Better, Using Water or Alcohol-Based Coloring Pens?
If you are looking for quality vibrant colors, then alcohol-based pens are best. You can blend colors more easily and they tend to dry quicker. The water-based pens are more affordable and safer to use with no odors. So, it is really up to you what you prefer, as both choices have pros and cons.
How can You tell if a Coloring Pen is Water-Based?
Simply apply to a small strip of paper to test it out, if you apply a little water to the mark and it starts to run, then it is water-based.
Why do Copic Colored Pens Bleed?
These colored markers are alcohol-based, which means that they might bleed. However, this particular brand is of high quality and any bleeding only occurs after multiple layers of color have been applied. If you are still bothered by this, try a more superior quality and thicker paper.
Can you use Gel Pens for Coloring?
Yes, these pens for adult coloring books are a good option. You will not have to worry about the color bleeding through the paper and you can color more detailed areas. Gel pens also come in a variety of classic colors as well as more creative varieties like glitter or metallic colors.