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.

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