Reviewing the Latest Quality Artist Markers: Molotow, Liquitex, Montana and More

By Adriana Guidi in Research > Art Products

Most of my art mediums are usually oils, watercolors, pastel, acrylic and charcoal. I’ve occasionally used markers for some of my personalization jobs, where I paint on wood, glass, etc, and I need it to stay permanent, but that’s about it.

For that type of work I’ve always used the Deco Markers because they’re oil based and don’t usually wear off. BUT, when I started doing more value sketches for my paintings, I read about a technique from pastel artist Karen Margulis where she uses the Warm Prismacolor Grays in the 20%, 40%, and 70%.

Well, I had to run out and get some because I love trying new art materials. :) They work great, and I often refer to my value sketches more than my photos. I’ve noticed they’re way more interesting, and I can resolve any issues and change things around from the photos.

That’s been about as far as I’ve gone with markers (oh, yes, and I forgot the occasional use of the Pitt white and black pens for some illustration work) but every so often, out of the corner of my eye I’ve been seeing these Copic markers around the various art shops. I didn’t really pay that much attention to them until I was offered a free box of sample markers from a local art shop.


In the sample box came one of each of Liquitex, Montana, Sharpie, Prismacolor, Winsor & Newton and Molotow markers. So, to round it all out, I also purchased a Copic gray, and did some experimenting.

First off, Liquitex and Montana are both water-based acrylic markers, which means you can pretty much use them anywhere you’d use acrylic paint. Montana can even be used on surfaces like canvas, wood, metal, walls and glass. They’re also lightfast, waterproof and abrasion-proof.

One of the advantages I’ve seen in using these acrylic markers over my normal Deco Markers is that there’s no strong odor—the Deco are oil-based, after all.


Molotow is a little different, and has some other advantages and disadvantages. It’s billed as an “acrylic based hybrid paint marker” so it can be used on most surfaces, but I guess there could be some that it won’t work as well on.

On the plus side, it’s UV resistant and lightfast, which makes it equally great for indoor or outdoor use. It also has a special Flowmaster pump-valve and is refillable. (Actually, the Montanas can be refilled, too, so that’s another mark in their favor.)

Prismacolor and Sharpies have been around for a long time; I may as well leave those alone. You already know about them. I’ll finish with the other marker in that box, the Winsor & Newton watercolor marker.

The Winsor & Newton markers are meant to be used right alongside (and with) regular watercolors, or any other mediums that you’d normally use watercolor paints with. And, they’re perfect for detail work: they have a fine tip on one end and a brush tip on the other.

All of the markers mentioned above come in a wide variety of colors, so check out your local art supply shop and hey—try something new! I’d recommend picking up a few markers of a couple different brands and just have fun experimenting!


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