Category Archives: Molotow

Putting Markers to the Test

It’s no secret that I love Posca markers and how opaque they are, which makes them great for working on canvas or doodling. Today I am putting many different paint markers to the test on one magazine cover. If it’s opacity you are seeking, Posca, Zig, Molotow and Marvy Bistro clearly have the edge—just see for yourself how the colors pop over Angelina’s dress! And a black Sharpie (the three stripes on her cheek) is always a fine choice for doodling on a light colored surface.

What surprised me in this test case was how poorly Montana paint markers performed. I had to keep priming the marker continuously as I wrote its name out. It appears that Montana paint markers are in the same class as Liquitex and not meant to be opaque. I filled an empty marker with a mix of two different Golden Hi Flow paints which  did very poorly, too (see the purple-pink color outline on Iron Man). I had high hopes for the Golden Hi Flow paints and am disappointed in how they performed.

Various paint markers on EW cover.

Various paint markers on EW cover.

I didn’t expect outstanding results from all of the markers, but I wanted to test many brands on one cover, especially the brands I have written about in previous posts. Admittedly the paper for the magazine is just your average cover stock—not as glossy or thick as many fashion/lifestyle magazines. However, heavily varnished paper can present a whole new set of problems even for Posca markers. To draw on the ID magazine I turned to a Sharpie for the black and still used Posca for the other colors, but I found I had to pump the marker a lot and create a large thick pool of color to make it work.

ID Magazine muse

Heavily vanished cover paper on ID.

Luckily for all of us, the inside pages of a magazine are generally very easy to doodle on with just about any marker, pen or pencil you have handy. So why not carry a magazine and some markers with you; it’ll be like having your very own sketch or coloring  book.

Paint Marker Opacity and Translucency

Opaqueness (or opacity) is very important to me when choosing a paint marker. A nice flat vibrant opaque color is what I want in a paint marker. Today I thought I would share some tests I created for this blog. The paint markers in this test are: Posca, Zig Posterman, Molotow One4All, Liquitex, Krink K 32 water based paint markers and Smash H2O. All of the markers in my test are water based and the images on the blog are on smooth (hot press) bristol board, but nearly identical results were obtained using a rougher and more porous board. In each test I drew a thick black line (with the same brand marker) then single-pass strokes of the lighter colors over the black.

Posca and Zig are both very opaque as you can see from these tests. The downside to Posca and Zig markers is that they are not designed to be refilled, so once the marker runs out of ink you need to buy a replacement. Both markers come in a wide variety of colors and sizes.

The Molotow test swatches look more opaque than Liquitex. Molotow One4All markers are an acrylic-based hybrid paint which can be refilled and come in a range of colors and sizes. Liquitex markers are semi-translucent and behave like acrylic paint. Like Molotow, Liquitex offers a wide variety of products including spray paint that are compatible with the paint markers.

Krink makes a lot of  products that I love (especially their oil-based mops) so when they created a water based paint marker I had to buy a few markers and take them for a spin. As you can see the Krink K 32s are very translucent compared to Posca or Zig markers. I hope to find a place for the Krink K 32s in my toolbox. Smash H2O drip markers are also very new to the market. The drip markers come in two sizes: a 1.5 oz drip I used for this test, and a 4 oz mop. I really like the smaller 1.5 oz drip markers even though they are not completely opaque–the colors are vibrant, the drips are incredible and when the paint dries it has a shiny, glossy look.

Since I currently do not have a good selection of Montana markers I am sharing a link to a video demo by Sive: Recently I bought a few Bistro paint markers by Marvy, which are available at most craft stores, the neon colors have not disappointed.

If you are interested in purchasing some of these products I recommend shopping at and