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.

Posaca-Zig
 
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.

MolLiq
 
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.

krinksmash
 
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:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rg41eFqFpYI. 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 durablesupply.com and  artprimo.com.

2 Responses to Paint Marker Opacity and Translucency

  1. The Smash H2O WHITE looks quite opaque – something I need in a marker when I want to put a layer of a light bright acrylic on top of a darker color. I have to put on an undercoat of white first and that marker makes it look like it would be easier than brushing on Titanium White. . .

    • Alas, all paint markers are not created equal. I found the Smash H2O incompatible with Posca paint markers–the Posca beads up when layered over the Smash H2O color. The Zig Biggies are what I like to use to lay down large blocks of color and when they dry they are very matte and compatible with most other paint markers. If you want to go the Smash route maybe you try using a medium or fixative in between coats of paint.

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