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The Best Watercolor Markers

Last updated on October 19, 2020

We looked at the top 12 Watercolor Markers and dug through the reviews from 7 of the most popular review sites including Get Life You Desire, Createlet, Wow Pencils, Parka Blogs, Review Finch and more. The result is a ranking of the best Watercolor Markers.

Best Watercolor Markers

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Our Picks For The Top Watercolor Markers

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Arteza Real Brush Watercolor Marker Pens, 24-Count

Arteza

Real Brush Watercolor Marker Pens, 24-Count

Overall Take

Vibrant Watercolor DyesThis watercolor marker set is a great choice for its vibrant colors and ease of use.

Experts Included
DWYM Crafts Experts plus Review Finch. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" They are so much fun and are a great price for what you get."

SPREEY Refillable Watercolor Brush Markers, 48-Count

SPREEY

Refillable Watercolor Brush Markers, 48-Count

Overall Take

Most Affordable SetYou won't have to purchase new watercolor markers when you go with this set, as the markers are refillable.

Experts Included
DWYM Crafts Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.

Ohuhu Watercolor Brush Markers, 20-Count

Ohuhu

Watercolor Brush Markers, 20-Count

Overall Take

Most VersatileNot only is this watercolor marker set non-toxic, but it's also odorless.

Experts Included
DWYM Crafts Experts plus Get Life You Desire. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" These brush pens are odorless and constructed with non-toxic materials. Young children will not have to worry about dangerous toxic materials when using these brush pens for their artistic activities. An easy to use organizational tray is included so that..."
  The Best Value

Magicfly Watercolor Dual Brush Pen Set, 100-Count

Magicfly

Watercolor Dual Brush Pen Set, 100-Count

Overall Take

Huge Color VarietyThis watercolor marker set offers a good color selection combined with dual-tips for fine or broad strokes

Experts Included
DWYM Crafts Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
19

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the watercolor markers available to purchase.
12

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

7

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Get Life You Desire, Createlet, Wow Pencils, Parka Blogs and Review Finch.

8,503

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon and 3 others.

Our experts reviewed the top 12 Watercolor Markers and also dug through the reviews from 7 of the most popular review sites including Get Life You Desire, Createlet, Wow Pencils, Parka Blogs, Review Finch and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Watercolor Markers.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Arteza Real Brush Watercolor Marker Pens, 24-Count

Our Expert Score
10.0
1 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.6
845 user reviews
Our Take

This watercolor marker set is one of the best sets of watercolor markers on the market today. The colors really pop and the brushes are smooth, making it easy to get great results.

What other experts liked
They are so much fun and are a great price for what you get.
- Review Finch
What other experts didn't like
I thought these were going to be great but realized that the pens run out of ink after only a few uses.A total waste!!
- Review Finch

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Magicfly Watercolor Dual Brush Pen Set, 100-Count

User Summarized Score
8.0
213 user reviews
Our Take

This watercolor marker set comes with myriad colors to choose from. The dual-tip design of the pens makes fine details easy to paint into your work.

Overall Product Rankings

Arteza Real Brush Watercolor Marker Pens, 24-Count

1. Arteza Real Brush Watercolor Marker Pens, 24-Count

Overall Score: 9.6
Reviews Included: 4

SPREEY Refillable Watercolor Brush Markers, 48-Count

2. SPREEY Refillable Watercolor Brush Markers, 48-Count

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 1

Ohuhu Watercolor Brush Markers, 20-Count

3. Ohuhu Watercolor Brush Markers, 20-Count

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 2

Magicfly Watercolor Dual Brush Pen Set, 100-Count

4. Magicfly Watercolor Dual Brush Pen Set, 100-Count

Overall Score: 9.2
Reviews Included: 2

Chromatek Watercolor Brush Pens, 52 ct

5. Chromatek Watercolor Brush Pens, 52 ct

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 1

Crafts & Colors Artist Watercolor Brush Pens Set, 26-Count

6. Crafts & Colors Artist Watercolor Brush Pens Set, 26-Count

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 2

Ohuhu 36-Color Watercolor Brush Markers Set

7. Ohuhu 36-Color Watercolor Brush Markers Set

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 1

Kuretake Real Brush Watercolour Brush Pens

8. Kuretake Real Brush Watercolour Brush Pens

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 1

Decospark Watercolor Brush Pens Set

9. Decospark Watercolor Brush Pens Set

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 2

Winsor & Newton Water Colour Brush Markers, 12 ct

10. Winsor & Newton Water Colour Brush Markers, 12 ct

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 3

Tanmit Calligraphy Brush Markers, 60 ct

11. Tanmit Calligraphy Brush Markers, 60 ct

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 5

Genuine Crafts Watercolor Brush Pens

12. Genuine Crafts Watercolor Brush Pens

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 1

Our Watercolor Marker Findings

Arteza Real Brush Watercolor Marker Pens, 24-Count

What We Liked: This watercolor marker set is one of the best sets of watercolor markers on the market today. The colors really pop and the brushes are smooth, making it easy to get great results.

SPREEY Refillable Watercolor Brush Markers, 48-Count

What We Liked: If you’re searching for a high-quality watercolor marker set that won’t break the bank, this set is an excellent option. The brush tips are versatile and made using durable 100% non-toxic brush hairs. Artists will find the tips can be used to make both thick and thin lines.

Ohuhu Watercolor Brush Markers, 20-Count

What We Liked: Adults who love to relieve stress through art will find these watercolor markers are a true gift. The set comes with 20 brushes that have tips that are both soft and flexible. In addition to creating beautiful nature scenes, the markers also work well as calligraphy pens.

Magicfly Watercolor Dual Brush Pen Set, 100-Count

What We Liked: This watercolor marker set comes with myriad colors to choose from. The dual-tip design of the pens makes fine details easy to paint into your work.

Crafts & Colors Artist Watercolor Brush Pens Set, 26-Count

What We Liked: This set of watercolor markers offers watercolor markers with very colorful dyes that will surely stand out in a painting. The added water brush is useful to blend the the finer lines together to achieve the effect you want.

Our Expert Consultant

Amy Markham   
Artist and art educator

Artist and educator Amy Markham is the creator of Starling, a podcast dedicated to helping artists develop depth in their creative practice. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Amy has been an art educator since 2001. Today, she teaches middle school art at a school outside of Memphis, Tennessee. Her personal artwork explores myth-making and symbolic understandings. Through her brand, Starling Creative Living, she leads others to explore art production as a method for enriching their life experience.

Our Watercolor Marker Buying Guide

Creating smooth watercolor effects on a piece of paper or canvas has all sorts of calming effects and can bring simple peace and joy to the artist. Cleaning up at the end, however, can be a messy ordeal that is noticeably less soothing than the act of painting. Watercolor markers offer a chance to replicate all the brush strokes and paint effects of watercolor painting, but they come in a basic marker that has a cap on it. Use the watercolor markers to make detailed lines and create drawings that have more precision than your standard watercolor paintbrush can offer, then put the caps back on your markers and toss them into your bag for the easiest cleanup you can imagine.

There is one big distinction that actually separates watercolor markers from traditional watercolor paints. Watercolor markers are actually full of dye and not the usual pigment that makes up the color of watercolor paints, according to Amy Markham, artist, art teacher and creator of Starling, a podcast dedicated to helping artists develop depth in their creative practice.

“Most watercolor markers on the market are not actually watercolor at all, although they can create a similar effect,” Markham points out. “Watercolor paint is pigment-based, where watercolor markers are dye-based.”

Each style of watercolor paint has its benefits, but the watercolor markers steal the show when it comes to fine details and vibrancy that the combination of watercolor pencils and paint can achieve. The two mediums of dye and pigment cannot necessarily be used together without thought, says Markham.

“Both are capable of creating interesting effects but only pigment-based ones can really be used along with traditional watercolor paints. If you want to use the dye-based markers with watercolor paint, it should only be used on top of the paint to detail and glaze,” Markham adds. “They should never be used under watercolor paint as it will not mix well.”

Watercolor markers, sometimes referred to as brush pens, have a soft tip that mimics a fine tip paintbrush. This tip is fed the wet color from within, but it behaves very similarly to a fine paintbrush when you begin using it. The easiest way to use them is to draw in the lines and colors where you want them and then come back with a bit of water on a clean brush to blend the fine lines down and create the style you imagine when you think of watercolor paintings. There is a useful water brush that comes with some sets that can be filled with clean water at the beginning of your session and used to blend colors without adding any further dye or pigment to them. With this handy water brush, you might not even need to have a cup of water on hand while making your watercolor painting — one less spilling hazard!

To add even more convenience to your artistic endeavors, there are kits like the Magicfly Watercolor Dual Brush Pen that have dual tips on each marker. One end is a very fine tip that will help make highly detailed and precise lines in your work, which is no easy feat when using a traditional brush. The other end of the marker is a broader tip that helps fill in large swaths of color when you need it to. This combination of tips makes the markers highly versatile, which can be a great selling point for someone who is thinking of making this hobby as low-fuss as possible.

Even though they use a water-based dye instead of pigmentation, watercolor markers can still vary in their vibrancy of color, just like a pigmented paint does. The price of a set of watercolor markers is often related to how rich and colorful the dyes used are. A set of markers like the Arteza Real Brush Pens, 24 Colors for Watercolor Painting with Flexible Nylon BrushTips, Paint Markers for Coloring, Calligraphy and Drawing with Water Brush for Artists and Beginner Painters is low-cost but still offers a good array of colors. This set would be ideal for art students who are above a novice level and are hoping to hone their skills in this medium while learning the nuances of the style.

Consider a set of watercolor markers that actually uses pigment for its color. The set typically has dual-tip markers, which are a real treat to paint with, and vibrant pigment-based colors on the inside. This means that the paint coming from these markers can actually blend naturally with other watercolor paints on your paper or canvas. This set is a highly useful tool in fine-tuning the details within a watercolor painting while still allowing the different colors to mix nicely with each other.

DWYM Fun Fact

Watercolor paints don’t have to be limited to paper or canvases. You can set up a fun craft night with watercolors and blank white pillowcases or t-shirts. The trick is to lightly soak the materials in water before painting them with the watercolor dyes. The result is a dreamy watercolor pillow or t-shirt that you created yourself!

The Watercolor Marker Tips and Advice

  • Work slowly when starting with watercolor paints and markers, says Markham. “With most watercolor markers you will find that they are highly water-soluble and blend very easily, so start slowly,” advises Markham. “You can rewet most brands even after they dry to continue to blend and layer.”
  • Watercolors are inherently wet and can soak through thin paper that isn’t suited for blending watercolor paints together. Find a paper or canvas that is designed for watercolors and you will get much better results when creating your art.
  • Finally, when you are done with a piece of art that you hope to keep for years to come, Markham says to be sure you store it away from direct sunlight. “Remember that the art you create with these products will be more archival when stored away from light, or under UV-filtered glass,” says Markham.