Nowadays, markers have become an essential part of drawing and art, which are an excellent way to express ourselves too. Among professionals and non-professional artist, alcohol-based markers are on the top list.
However, these are tend to be utterly expensive. But in this article, we’ve listed down some of the best alcohol-based markers that are really cheap.
Despite being half of the price, they are almost as practical, durable, and good-looking as expensive ones. And you will undoubtedly love using them for your artworks.
We didn’t want to place too many of those in our article, so we focused only on the 12 best we’ve found. Here, you will learn all about them.
12 Best Alcohol Based Markers | Quick List
- Shuttle Art Dual Tip Art Markers
- BRIGH Ciao Copic Markers
- Darice Studio Dual Tip Marker Set
- Art-n-Fly Professional Markers
- Arrtx Dual Tip Skin Tone Marker Set
- Ohuhu 40 Color Dual Tip Markers
- Prismacolor Alcohol-Based Markers
- Winsor and Newton Promarker
- Shuttle Dual-Tip Alcohol Marker
- MayMoi Dual Tip Permanent Markers
- Milo Double-Sided Brush Markers
- AspireColor Dual Tip Sketch Markers
How Do Alcohol Markers Work?
When you read or hear the term “alcohol-based” it means exactly what it says. The ink of the markers starts as alcohol, and then the manufacturer adds some dye to it.
Of course, alcohol-based art markers use a different approach to the ink than water-based markers. First, alcohol is more expensive than water. And second, the mixing and build process tends to be a bit more complicated.
But this creates a strong-bonded ink that flows easily, dries faster, and sticks to everything more effectively.
How Did We Come up with This List?
Well, we tried several brands. We also compared several of their features. And to make sure that we give even better reviews we did this:
We only use markers that last long, look great on any surface, and still manage to offer the perfect blending & fading abilities. As not all marker brands provide this kind of advantage, we had to dismiss those that didn’t – so we were left with only a few options.
Ignoring Bad Option
Apart from picking according to quality builds and performance, we also ignored those markers that bled, ran, or filtered through the paper.
On the other hand, all other markers that just weren’t easy to color with or eventually created a mess if you tried to blend or paint – we also ignored them.
We needed to go only for the most affordable options available. So we couldn’t focus on the brands with the most color options, or with the highest numbers or markers. Instead, we focused on the basic colors, and sets of no more than 50 markers overall.
That gave us the chance to consider just a selected set of alcohol markers, following the ideal price range for most people who are on a budget. Luckily, we found terrific products still.
If there’s something that says more about a brand or product than its features, then that would be the reviews.
We analyzed over 1,000 reviews between all the products on this list. That gave us a clearer idea of what each marker set really offers. We actually found interesting factors this way – and we want to share them with you next
1. Shuttle Art Dual Tip Art Markers- Editor’s Choice
If you don’t care too much about professional-quality marker but instead want something decent enough – then you’ll find a perfect option in the Shuttle Art Dual-Tip Marker set.
You will get 50 different colors that deliver the most vibrant and vivid tones you can hope for. That would be ideal for beginner or child artist who want to experiment to the maximum level and enjoy a wide array of options.
That also leaves a magnificent blending capacity. You will have thousands of different combinations to achieve – and the high-quality ink won’t be a problem at all. In fact, you will get an almost unlimited palette of colors so you can draw whatever you want.
What stands out the most about this brand is the durability of the ink. The fading resistance it offers makes it superb to have. Whether you use it on paper, wood, glass, cloth, or even plastics – they will mark well enough for the cost.
Another exciting part is the triangular-shaped barrels. Any user will grab the markers and glide through any surface without feeling uncomfortable or losing any grip. And sure enough, you can place them on any table-top or desk, and they won’t fall off too. Thanks to this shape!
Finally, you get a dual-tip design. The 7mm broad chisel tip helps you cover wide blank spaces to make interesting and colorful drawings. But with the 1mm tip, you can make the finest traces and draw stylish figures more effectively.
It doesn’t matter what you’re looking for exactly – this Shuttle Art Set with 50 vibrant colors can be your best option. And it comes with a carrying case.
2. BRIGH Ciao Copic Markers- Best for Artist
We couldn’t talk about alcohol markers without mentioning Copic Markers. They’re simply the best out there – and the I6-Brigh Ciao markers are not an exception.
It all starts with the fine tip they offer – ideal for the most demanding drawings where you need a thin tip. It is called the Super Brush Nib. This is a flexible, soft, and superfine tip that blends, marks, and feels like no other.
This is the Brightest set on top of all, which means you get more colorful and vibrant colors to make daylight drawings. If you don’t need dark colors to enjoy, then this super affordable option will work well for you.
But the real advantage comes from its fast-drying capacity. It will dry up almost instantly, which prevents bleeding and seeping through the paper.
Apart from that, they are super durable. It doesn’t fade away too easily. And all of that is possible without using a single pinch of harmful chemicals.
All the markers are refillable, as well. That’s a huge advantage for those who are always drawing and draining out the ink. You won’t have to buy them again, but just get the ink and refill when needed.
As for the cost, it is pretty decent for the quality you get. There are only 6 markers, but they offer outstanding results, a long-lasting marking experience, and tons of color combinations to enjoy.
And if you want something slightly more expensive but with more options, you can get the sets with 36-72 copic markers if needed. All of them offer exceptional quality that only Copic can achieve.
Read also: 10 Best Copic Markers for Beginners
3. Darice Studio Dual Tip Marker Set
Coming with different sets of colors and numbers, the Darice Studio 71 is a high-quality option that won’t empty your wallet.
The basic version includes 24 different colors, including blues, blue-greens, browns and creams, neutrals, yellow-greens, and yellows, violets, plus oranges.
Together, they make one of the broadest color palettes you can hope for – with an outstanding combination capacity.
You may also get the 12-color option or the 48-color set. They all provide the necessary colors for an efficient drawing experience.
And if you’re just looking for specific tones, then you can also get them. The Darice Studio 71 alcohol marker set offers the chance to get Skin Tones, Blues Tones, Grays, Bright Colors, Bold Primary, and Earth Tones.
Each set will provide enough, so you can paint fantastic things without making much of an effort.
But they don’t stand out for the number and type of colors, but for their dual-tip design. You can enjoy the pointed brush for detailing and styling drawings, along with a chisel tip for wide markings. This will get you a super practical set of markers for all kinds of art you want to create.
Apart from that, you get a no-roll design. This means that it doesn’t matter where you place the markers, they won’t roll down or fall off. This design adds up an extra advantage that keeps the usage safer and much more practical.
For those who want to take their marking experience to another level, the Darice Studio 71 set will not disappoint. It is the perfect alternative for demanding users who want something cheap and practical.
4. Art-n-Fly Professional Brush Markers
Art-n-Fly is one of the best brands in the market, you know! – and this Professional Brush set is a perfect example of why.
Despite the super low cost, these markers come with a unique Japanese brush tip. It allows fine and thick traces, as well as fantastic high-grade results for any of your needs.
Whatever you want to draw with these markers, you can make it possible with its excellent Japanese dual-tip design.
Something interesting to consider is that you can get a wide array of tones from this brand. You will get the gray-tone set, the blues, skin tones, and even stone colors along with purple, lilac, and similar ones. And sure enough, they all come in sets of 6 markers. If you want more, you can get sets of up to 48.
But it is not only the color availability and the number of markers but the fantastic ink and overall marker quality you get.
In fact, the ink is totally refillable. That’s something you don’t often get from markers this cheap, which adds up to an already amazing product.
Yet, it is not the refillable feature that makes them so fantastic, but the replaceable tips. Yes, you can actually get the nibs off and place new ones to draw whatever you want at the highest quality.
Adding everything together makes it one of the most practical sets of markers you can get. And they will still manage to last a lifetime despite their super low cost. And that’s something you shouldn’t dismiss.
5. Arrtx Dual Tip Skin Tone Marker Set
One of the most overlooked brands in the market is called Arrtx. This brand always manages to deliver exceptional quality, but most people ignore what it’s capable of doing.
This set, for example, is one of the most unique options you can get. It is purely skin-toned, which means you can make all kinds of skin colors with this set.
You will get 24 tones, so you can draw the ideal flesh shade according to your drawing needs.
This pairs up well with the dual-tip design. Apart from being super helpful to sketch people, it also allows us to make both the thickest lines as well as the thinnest. You won’t have any problem drawing the hardest faces or body parts with this coloring set.
The ink quality doesn’t stay behind, either. It offers a fantastic pigmentation and vividness that makes every drawing look amazing. Along with the dual-tip design, you can make highlights, fill up entire areas, or just create complicated drawings of specific human parts without problems. And it flows amazingly well and comes with a colorless blender.
These alcohol markers are simply fantastic for detail-oriented drawing experts. Those who want to achieve the ideal flesh tones will not find a single drawback on these markers. The colors are so realistic and easy to blend if needed that you won’t have a limit to the kind of drawings you can make.
They even come with a squared design that makes them safer to use and prevents them from falling or rolling off tables. Along with the grip-oriented design, using these markers feels simply fantastic.
Want to take your drawing to another level of realism? Then use these Arrtx Skin Tone Markers.
6. Ohuhu 40 Color Dual Tip Markers
How will you feel knowing that Ohuhu is actually the set you’ll get everything in? Everything that your previous set lacked and everything that you fancy about. A set with 40 different color choices and brilliant colors is a fancy set though.
As you’re having both chisel tip and fine tip in one marker, you can use them for highlighting and underlining and many more things.
We’ll have a lengthy discussion on the ink. The very first thing to be grateful about is that the solvent that is based on alcohol. Because of the perfect solvent, the ink becomes more permanent and doesn’t fade away anytime soon.
As the ink doesn’t bleed out or take much time to dry out, the color tone comes out really perfect. If you’re using the right art paper, you’ll see how well-pigmented the colors are.
The ink flow never interrupts you while using them. Putting them in the right position with caps on help maintaining the right ink flow.
As a bonus, you’ll receive a colorless blender with the packaging. You’ll be able to mix the colors together flawlessly or turn dark colors into light ones. In other words, by blending you’re getting more colors than the set offers.
It is exciting that you can refill the ink and replace the nibs. This isn’t mentioned in the product features though. Use Copic ink and nib and get your job done. All the money that you’ll save is bonus.
This set will not fall behind when it comes to appearances. The color coded caps will save your time. You’ll get a bonus carrying case in which you can keep the markers organized even while traveling.
This set will cost you the least yet provide you the most.
7. Prismacolor 24 Colors Alcohol Markers
Here’s the set that is a great catch for all beginners, experienced and professional artists. Your artwork, illustrations or coloring book will get more attention with the touch of Prismacolor.
Alcohol is used as the solvent of this set. As a result, the smooth color lasts way longer than ordinary ones. The color tone is so on point that it your artwork will looks so real.
The set provides you 24 assorted colors. With some tricks, you can create more colors.
The trick is blending. The markers blend so well that new colors will emerge. Blend the odd color linings and it will give you a better outcome.
These alcohol markers are double-ended. Two tips are given in two sides. Chisel or broad tip is at one end and fine tip comes in another. This says that both your precise work and covering or coloring will be done with this. Both tips share one source of ink which might make you run out of ink soon but we have solution.
Rubbing alcohol can be effective when you want to use your set for a longer period. Pour some of them into the ink tank and leave it for about a day. The dried ink will start flowing normal.
Ink flow of your new set will make your project easier. It will neither be so much to bleed nor be so less to fade out.
You can allow your kid draw with this AP certified non-toxic set.
You don’t want to miss out all these amazing features that come with such an affordable price, do you?
8. Winsor and Newton Promarker 24 Set
What an opportunity it will be if you get all kinds of nibs in just one set! That’s right, Winsor and Newton is determined to fulfill all your necessities in artwork that require a variety of nibs.
This set is basically a mixed one that has 24 markers in it. 12 promarkers, 3 promarker metallic, 6 promarker brush and 3 promarker neon come along with one set.
Of course its solvent is based on alcohol; otherwise this wouldn’t be added to this list. Unlike watercolor, this ink dries up quite fast at your room temperature.
You’ve already known about the collection of nibs they have. This particular set has markers that have one fine tip or brush tip and a broad chisel tip. From precise drawing to wide coverage, this set will cover.
If you’re innovative enough to mix colors together and get the layer of another color, this set is for you. You can blend different colors together, get a new layer or get rid of a layer by blending.
For performing tough jobs like blending, the ink has to be of good quality too. With this set, you’ve got that too. The non-bleeding ink is of high contrast. The tone of the colors are so satisfying.
The color tone will remain the same even if you use these on glass, wood or plastic surfaces. However, for the maximum results, art papers or sketchbooks are highly recommended.
Try sketching, coloring books, illustrations and other craft projects with this one.
They have a huge collection of colors although they don’t come altogether in one set. You’ll find 160 different colors in different sets.
9. Shuttle Dual-Tip Alcohol Marker Pens
Painting is super fun not only because of the skills of the painter but also because of the colors themselves. It’s very amusing to see one color blend into another to form radiant shades and dimensions.
In this alcohol based marker set from Shuttle Art, you get 30 different markers of incredible intensity and depth.
These are double-ended markers. On one end, you get the broad chiseled tip with a thickness of 4mm, whereas on the other end, you get a fine tip of 1mm in thickness.
Between these two tip ends, you will be able to do detailed lines as well as paint quick and thick smudges.
This set is ideal for coloring, sketching, shading, rendering, illustrating, and all other styles.
We love how soft these tips feel on the paper. They give out very intense and vivid color shades, which are very easy to control.
These liners are very nice to hold as well. They are not too wide or thin, and so they are comfortable to grip on. On each end of the marker pen is a color code showing the exact number of the shade, so that you have no trouble finding a specific color.
There are ridges on the markers, which are meant to prevent them from sliding off of the paper. This lets you have better control over your process, which is vital for creating good art pieces.
These markers will enhance your skills and boost your confidence. You will be amazed at how much of a difference they make.
10. MayMoi Dual Tip Permanent Alcohol Based Markers Set
To do professional work that requires the best resources, you need a professional art supply. So, we recommend this set of markers to you based on how vivid, intense and workable they are.
These markers don’t contain any of the toxic chemicals that could threaten your health.
Both children and adults will be safe while working with these markers.
They are very easy to work with as well. The color dries very quickly and doesn’t change in shade or intensity.
It has a broad tip of 6 mm thickness that can be used to make graffiti arts, paint wide patches, color big areas quickly, and a lot more. On the other end of the marker, you will find a brush tip.
This tip is great for doing detailed work, making intricate patterns, writing, calligraphy, and so on.
One thing you will particularly enjoy very much about this marker is how nicely it blends with the rest of the colors. You will love the effects and the transitions they will bring to your art piece.
Another great tool here that everyone can get great use of is the transparent marker labeled no: 0.
This is a magic marker that will bring more life into your art by helping you highlight certain areas. You will also be able to use this to erase your mistakes in color without ruining your whole work-piece.
11. Milo Alcohol-Based Double-Sided Brush Markers
If you are looking for a nice set of markers to start your journey into the world of elegant and neat art, then consider getting this 24-colors art marker set.
You won’t be spending too much at once, and you will also get an adequate range of colors to play and experiment with. So, this marker set gets definite points for affordability.
The packaging of the set is also convenient. Firstly, the markers come standing in a hard cardboard box that also works as a marker stand. The colors are all sampled on both ends of the pens, so they are easy to find. You don’t have to get them out of their box, which adds to the ease of use.
These markers have a chiseled end that allows you to make thick and thin lines simultaneously. You are going to learn flow and pressure control very swiftly with the help of these markers.
The brush is pretty long. It will help you make long, nice-flowing lines for your art.
The ink is smudge-proof. It dries super-fast, so you will be able to relax while working with it on paper. With this permanent ink marker, you will be able to create many different types of work, starting from calligraphy all the way to painting, coloring, and many different styles.
Due to their quick drying smudge-free formula, these markers are also recommended for working on architectural designs and project blueprints.
Rest assured with this marker, as it doesn’t have any harmful chemicals inside to create health problems for you. Children and adults with sensitive skin will also be able to use these without facing any irritation.
12. AspireColor Dual Tip Sketch Markers Set
This is for those of you who have decided to expand your skills and get more serious with your art. You will get 80 colors in this set, and thus, your range for experiments will be much wider.
It has all sorts of colors, from pastels to vibrant shades to neutral skin tones.
You will be able to make even more colors by blending them. The markers are very fast-drying, soft, and easy to work with.
They have a dual sided design. One end has a very thin bullet-shaped tip that you can use for very tiny details. The other end has a brush that is ideal for properly filling the space in with color.
One amazing thing about this marker is that the ink doesn’t come out in streaky lines. These markers produce consistently rich and deep shades of color that will take your color game to the next level. You will have an almost professional finish with these markers in hand.
The markers come in a big steady bag that holds its shape and keeps the markers standing. Each end of the marker has a color-coded tip. This makes it easy to recognize them even without taking them out of the bag.
So, by merit of this bag and the coded ends, you will be able to keep your workspace pretty neat and organized.
Benefits of Using Alcohol Markers
Flow Faster: Alcohol is similar to water as it is liquid. But alcohol is slightly more resistant to drying up when not being used. That’s why they flow faster from the tip – which causes the marker to paint more effectively and quicker.
You won’t have to wait for the ink to go out of the marker when using it.
Dry Faster: The alcohol-based ink goes down faster than water-based inks, and it also dries up quickly once it meets a surface. And that makes it super effective for those who want to prevent their drawings from smudging out or simply distort.
Blend Easily: Despite drying faster than other types of markers, alcohol-based models are also easy to blend. That adds up a superb advantage for those who want to give unique tones to their drawings. Whether it is highlighting or achieving colors that no marker offers – then alcohol-based markers are your way to go.
Work on Any Surface: The best benefit is that you can use them on almost any surface. From wood to cardboard, plastic, glass, and even metal – they will stick to anything effortlessly.
This adds up to its permanent capacity. This means that you won’t have to worry about the markers fading out after some time. Instead, they will stick for long, even with water, dust, and other factors around them.
Factors to Consider When Choosing
Even though choosing alcohol-based markers seems easy – it is not. You will have to know a few specific factors first before you can make a final choice. Here are all the factors we’re talking about:
The first thing to think about when buying a new marker set is the number and type of colors you get.
This color range will tell you how many color options and combinations you can achieve with the set. While professionals often go for the largest marker sets, they also know how to get the most out of the most complete yet small ones.
That’s why the color range doesn’t only matter in terms of the number of colors but the type you’re getting.
Some marker sets are blue tones, others are brown tones, some of them are yellow or red tones, and you may also find bright, greys, silvers, skin tones, and many more.
If you’re a beginner, go for primary or basic colors. And if you want the widest array of options, then choose
the largest sets if possible. They will be more expensive, but totally worth the investment.
Quick to Dry
There’s no point in getting amazing markers if they eventually bleed through the paper or require a lifetime to dry up.
So, focus on quick-drying markers if possible. Those will be way better for your drawings, especially if you’re someone who works as a freelancer or who delivers illustrations daily.
Easy to Blend
A huge factor to consider is whether you get colors that you can blend together. Of course, most alcohol-based markers have this capacity, but some blend better than others.
That’s why you should focus on quality markers over anything else. The more comfortable they are to blend, the more fantastic results you’ll achieve.
Overall, we recommend those options that immediately blend together once you trace over another color. Whether you want to make darker tones than average or a unique color that you don’t have on the palette – then blending is the first feature to look for.
Tips or Nibs
The tip or nib of the marker refers to the part that transfers the ink from the barrel to the surface. Here, you should focus both on the shape as well as the size.
Luckily, some models come with dual-tip designs, so you get thin and thick nibs to enjoy for different types of
drawings. But some of them do not come with dual tips. So, you will have to make sure that they fit your needs.
The shape is another exciting part. Some are thin brushes, others are round tips. They both make different
markings, so you’ll have to choose accordingly.
People Also Ask Some Questions
Are alcohol based markers good for artists?
Absolutely, yes! A thousand times yes. These are great option for professional artists. If you’re someone new in this profession and want to be really sure about the marker you’ll use, this is the best option for you.
The reason why you can trust this kind of ink is because they actually provide you the services they promise. They are more permanent than others and fades out after a really long time. If you’ve ever used water-based colors, you’ll know how long they take to dry out. But the ink with alcohol in it will dry out super-fast.
Most importantly, these markers can really bring out the color tone perfectly which is a must for artists. You can use them for a long time and some of them have facilities to refill. It’s like- all in one.
Are Sharpie alcohol based?
Sharpie is a well-trusted and widely popular brand when it comes to markers. They have a huge collection amongst which you’ll find permanent markers, highlighters and some colorful collections. Most of their inks are based on alcohol, oil and other harmless solvents.
As you’ll know, inks that are based on alcohol, perform better than others. They are of high quality and durability. Because of all these, Sharpie has a huge collection of markers that are based on alcohols. But the ones of other solvents are trust worthy as well.
What are cheaper alternatives to copic?
Copics are basically the markers which have alcohol as their solvent. The good news is that all the reviews given in this article are regarding the markers that are of the same ink type. As bonus, you’ll get to save your pocket big time if you go for the alternative to Copic markers.
Refillable ink and replaceable nib are the most celebrated features of Copics which are rarely found in the alternatives that are cheaper. They are rare but not impossible to find. All you have to do is look for these two features so that you get to save even more money while having the same quality. Now it’s your turn to choose.
Which paper is best for alcohol based markers?
If you are working with alcohol based markers then you need to choose your paper carefully. The first factor you need to look into is the thickness of the paper. Your paper should be thick enough to hold the ink in. With thin papers, the ink will seep right through and make a mess.
The other criterion here is the surface of the paper. Your paper shouldn’t feel too rough on the surface. The specialty of these markers is that their ink can blend over the paper without getting soaked too quickly. Therefore, you need smooth paper to complement this quality of the marker.
The best paper for this is cardstock papers because they are thick, durable and will let the ink move over the paper so that you can blend the colors together nicely.
Do all alcohol-based markers smell?
Alcohol-based markers smell more when there is a high concentration of Xylene in the ink. But the good news is that the more high-quality the ink is, the less it will smell.
Are alcohol-based markers toxic?
Some alcohol-based ones could potentially have chemicals that can irritate the skin. But to be safe and sure, make sure you only buy the ones that come with a non-toxic sticker label on them. And here we reviewed the best quality markers that are non-toxic.
Refillable or non-refillable: which one is more preferable?
We suggest you to use refillable markers, because alcohol-based markers are quite expensive. Even though buying refills is not that exciting, it will be cost-effective. Make sure you refill them before they dry out completely. Otherwise, the brush will wear out and need changing too. And of course! some of non-refillable markers are perform very well.
As you can see, there are several cheap alcohol based markers to go for, that are totally worth the investment. Picking the right option won’t be easy – but with our help, it shouldn’t be much of a problem either.
Remember, focus on colors, drying, tips and nibs, blending capacity, and whether you can replace or refill them. If you find a set with all those features, then don’t hesitate and get it. Drawing fantastic art will be a piece of cake after that. And you didn’t have to spend a fortune.