Arteza’s line of acrylic paint markers raises a lot of questions whether they are a good alternative to traditional paint and can provide good quality. In this review, we’ll put them to the test to find out.
In case you’ve been living under a rock this whole time, I have been on a roll reviewing all sorts of art products from the brand Arteza, ranging from acrylic paint, metallic paints, outdoor acrylic paints & wood slices, and alcohol paint markers.
And now, I am ready to dive into their acrylic paint marker collection. Are these worthy contenders to their traditional acrylic and brush cousins? Let’s find out in this full video and post review.
*As a disclaimer, Arteza did send me these paint markers for free in exchange for my complete honest review. I am not sponsored by this company; I am however an affiliate for them (since I actually love some of their products) so some links used below are affiliate links, which means I will get a small commission if you use these links, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products I really like and enjoy; so if you want to support me and my blog, use these provided links 🙂 Your love and support is always appreciated.
>>> Click here to check out what Arteza Acrylic Paint markers are all about
Now, when I do these reviews, I typically like to look at several things, including labeling, opacity, color selection, etc. However, these markers present a minor challenge.
Basically, the labels on the markers themselves include the name of the color, the color number (internal to Arteza) and instructions on how to use the marker. That’s it. Since these paint markers have the least amount of labels on the tube, that limited my testing for light permanence and opacity; however, I will try to test out as many factors in relation to these markers and document them here.
So, with that being said, let’s dive in and see what these Arteza acrylic paint markers can really do.
Criteria 1: Organization + Color Selection
Arteza acrylic paint markers come in a clear thin plastic case that also has a tray on the bottom for the markers to sit upright (so as to keep the acrylic paint sitting in the pen bottom and not leak out). This is super helpful for keeping your pens useable for much longer; plus, because they sit snugly in the tray, you can carry these around and the markers will stay put, which is a nice plus.
I do want to note that the plastic packaging did tear when it first arrived in the mail since it’s just cheap plastic. A little tape can easily fix this.
Now let’s talk color selection.
Inside the set, there are 40 vibrant marker colors, including space black, titanium white, and metallic silver and gold; each of which are low-odor, water-based, UV-resistant, highly-saturated pigments, quick-drying, and non-toxic.
While, I am not a big fan of paint sets that tout tons of colors, I make an exception with acrylic markers, mainly because color mixing is a bit more limited. The included colors range from all the colors of the rainbow, various shades of primaries, as well as a few fluorescent colors.
There are also 40 replaceable dual tip nibs, with one end featuring a chisel tip and the other a detail pointed tip, which can be easily swapped out with the included plastic tweezers. The pens themselves already have their own dual tips, including a rounded tip (best for pumping) and a detail pointed tip.
A Note on LightFastness
Lightfastness or color permanence has always been a sore spot between Arteza and me, mainly because their advertising says one thing and their labels say (or don’t say) another. The case remains true with these acrylic paint markers. Simply looking at the marker itself for any signs of permanence is fruit-less (it basically just states the brand name, safety label, and instructions. Next, I took to Instagram to chat with an Arteza representative, who informed me that “at the moment, we don’t have a lightfast rating for the acrylic markers”.
soooo, there’s that.
Overall, I liked the simple organization of these markers and the varied color selection, so I will give them a 4 out of 5.
Criteria 2: Colors Mixing/Blending
Then, I moved onto playing with the colors and seeing how they interact with one another.
Firstly, to use these acrylic markers, you’ll need to shake and pump until the paint inside the marker-well gets absorbed into the tip nib. This will require some patience and arm strength (I shook and pumped markers for 20 minutes straight and I had to give my sore arms a break afterwards). When pumping, it’s best to use the rounded tip that’s already included inside the marker body, mainly so you don’t end up destroying your fine tip nibs (which I did several times).
Once the pumping was done and the paint ready to use, I proceeded to glide the markers on canvas paper….and to my surprise, I was impressed at how smooth the colors flowed from the nib, as well as how saturated and deep each of the colors were. Whenever I noticed I needed more paint on the tip (which was after 15-30 seconds of rigorous use), I would just shake and pump again and more would flow out.
Compared to the alcohol-based markers I tried from Arteza, these acrylic markers barely had any smell, which meant I could paint without having to crack open a window or get slap-happy high from the fumes; I could just paint away like regular traditional acrylics.
Then, I decided to test these marker’s blending capability…
I started by creating one swatch of color and quickly while the paint was still wet, created another different color swatch overlapping the previous one. As a first layer, the result was underwhelming…
The blend wasn’t really as apparent. So I decided to keep improvising.
I went back and forth with my color swatches, slowly adding more layers, building them up one on top of the other, carefully creating a blend that looked half-decent. What I have concluded from doing this is that, since I am dealing with watered down acrylic with hard nibs, trying to create a seamless blend is a bit difficult, especially because of the resulting streaks and how fast these paints dry. To mitigate the streakiness, I used a brush with a bit of water to help spread the paint out better, and it worked brilliantly.
This made me realize that having a brush tip greatly adds blending prowess to these markers – and I sincerely hope Arteza explores this option in the future for this set. But for now, we merely have the hard tips, and they are…OK.
So, if you want to make a blend with Arteza acrylic markers, you’ll want to make sure you work while both colors are still wet and create multiple layers for a smoother blend. Plus, having a brush around will go far.
In terms of color flow and blend-ability, I give them a 3.5 out of 5.
Criteria 3: Opacity + Swatch Test
The opacity test is something I never skip, because it helps me figure out opacity levels for each color, how many layers I’ll potentially need to do, and exactly what color I want to use (versus what I see on the cap).
When I completed my swatching, I noticed most of the typical acrylic colors like yellows, greens, light blues, and pinks were transparent and would require multiple layers; however dark colors like brown, purple, black, and blue were very opaque and would require less layering for effective coverup.
As for the color swatching, most of the colors matched closely with their marker wells, with the exception of a few blues which seemed greener than their actual color swatches.
In terms of swatch matching, I give these markers a 4 out of 5.
Advice for any artist EVER: I always recommend doing color swatching on paper when getting any paint or art medium so you can understand how your color looks when dried on paper. It’s good practice that will only benefit you later.
Criteria 4: Functionality and Application
After those initial tests of these acrylic markers, I decided to pull out my Arteza canvas pad and dive into artist mode and play to test for functionality and application.
I created a sketch and transferred it to my canvas paper; I then proceeded to add my pops of color using my markers. At first I was a bit nervous. I was a novice with this medium, after all. It was only now I was dipping my toe into unknown waters. But, after a few minutes, I was blending, layering, and creating “smokin’-hot” colors and shades.
With how easily these markers flowed, I was vibing and getting into my element.
Each stroke of the marker colors was effortless, and the instant feedback of seeing colors coming alive on canvas was simply marvelous. Plus, using the black and deep purple acrylic markers were AMAZING for creating my cartoon-style, pop art outlines.
This is a big reason (actually the main reason) why I wanted to test out acrylic markers – for their precision and easy line work capabilities – and I got back exactly what I was looking for.
I also wanted to test how well colors can be layered on top of one another, especially lighter colors like white on top of darker layers like black and dark purple. To up the ante, I decided to completely draw over the first word “sparkle” with black and dark purple and then add in the lettering on top. As long as I waited for the layers to dry in between application (which was 20-50 seconds), adding lighter layers was really easy and were very vibrant.
Lastly, I wanted to give my unicorn horn another shot with some shading, using gold, silver, and dark purple. At first, I had to get used to the hard nib instead of the soft give of a brush, but once I got the hang of it, I made a unicorn horn that had dimension and depth. This proves that with a bit of practice, you can create nice blends with acrylic markers.
Now, there are instances where I saw some snags in the coloring process.
1. Color Streaking
When working with any marker, streaking will probably be a primary complaint. When I applied the first layers of color, the streaks were very visible, more so with the transparent colors (like we predicted in our opacity test). I know there are better techniques out there when laying down paint marker layers (especially with hard nib tips and not brush tips), but what helped me was creating multiple layers building them up until the streaks were barely visible.
2. Color Limitations
Considering the world of markers, this one was pretty obvious. With acrylic marker pigments, the majority of the time, what you see is what you get, and you can get a few shades darker with some layering of color or mix colors using the blending techniques mentioned earlier in this post. However, of the 40 markers available, I did notice skin tone shades and gray shades were a bit lacking.
3. Marker Tip Wear
While using these acrylic markers, I was wearing down the fine detail nibs, rendering them useless after an hour of use. I can understand why Arteza supplies you with extra nibs just for this reason. To help with this, I probably will ensure I keep a good flow of acrylic at the nib tip and avoid applying too much pressure while painting (this one is a bit tough since I am not used to “softly” using markers).
But all things considered, I totally give blendability, layering, and overall use a 4 out of 5.
Are These Arteza Acrylic Paint Markers Actually Worth it?
Are Arteza acrylic markers good contenders against their more traditional acrylic and brush counterparts?
My answer to that is….yes, but with some set-backs. So let’s recap what I discovered in my testing.
The Good Qualities of Arteza Acrylic Paint Markers
- Paint pigments are deep and highly pigmented
- Amount of Color availability is great
- Organization kit enables for easy transfer and proper marker storage
- Easy to use and draw with.
- Great for on-the-go transport and requires little extra supplies to use
The Not-So-Great Qualities of Arteza Acrylic Paint Markers
- Brush nibs are currently not available
- Blendability takes a while
- Brush tips easily wear out
- lightfastness is not rated
Who are these Acrylic Markers are good for?
If you are any of the following, Arteza acrylic paint markers are the best choice for you:
- A beginner who wants a large variety of water-based markers that is affordable and effective
- A professional artist looking to add some pizazz or expand their work.
- Looking to get better precision and line work
- Looking to get a whole variety of acrylic markers for a beginner price
All in all, Arteza’s acrylic paint markers actually do have quite a bit to offer to many artists on varying levels of experience. Whether you are a first timer or a professional artist looking to mix up your mediums, you can definitely find some value with these markers on a decent budget.
If you are always on-the-go or can’t always use water and brushes, acrylic markers are a great alternative. If you’re an artist who would rather use the hardness of a marker vs a brush tip for making detail lines or other types of line work that require precision (which is what I like to do), these acrylic markers are a great additional tool for your art supply belt.
But, if you are brand new to acrylic painting, these acrylic markers may present a bit of a challenge for you. The paint does dry quickly, much quicker than regular acrylics, so that puts you under more pressure when it comes to blending.
However, this can be advantageous if you want to get something out quickly (like fleshing out ideas or just winging it with color). But, if you want to create large landscapes or create commissions, you may want to consider these markers more as accessories to using acrylic paint and brush, rather than the main show-stoppers.
So, there we have it. That is my honest-to-God review of Arteza acrylic markers. I enjoyed the whole experimentation process, and I will definitely consider them for other art supplies.
What are you thoughts about my review? Have you tried acrylic markers before? Comment below and let me know!
Related Arteza acrylic paint supply reviews:
- Arteza Premium acrylic paint review
- Arteza Outdoor acrylic paint review
- Arteza Metallic acrylic paint + canvas pads review
- Arteza Alcohol paint marker review
- Arteza Everblend marker review