Steven Powers (SMP): Water Proof Markers, Pens, and Pencils Challenge

Water Proof Markers, Pens, and Pencils Challenge

I have been working with watercolors and various methods for line work, which led me to ask the question, what markers, pens and pencils are water soluble. So I put various ones in my arsenal to the test. I was surprised at what I found.


I was looking for one that would be acceptable to use with watercolors that could be applied prior to washes of transparent watercolor. In this trial, I made swatches of each on a mixed media paper and then ran a water brush over each of them.

One thing that to point out is that even a water-soluble pen or pencil has it's uses.  Such as adding quick value to a design sketch. My go-to media is graphite, which is great for design as well as finished work and works great, but it will only get so dark. Graphite is gray, not black. Pens are a great addition to graphite and watercolors.  Hopefully, you will find one that is what you are looking for.

• Copic Multiliner
• Pigma Micron
• Prismacolor Marker
• Sharpie Marker
• Uni-Pin
• Uni-Ball
• Pentel Slicci
• Pentel Technica
• Pilot G-Tech-C4
• Bic Velocity 1.0
• Bic Velocity 1.6
• Faber Castell Polychromo
• Prismacolor Premier
• Pentel GraphGear 1000
• Drafting Pencil
• Strathmore Mixed Media Paper

Digital Tools
Canon Power Shot S95

Photoshop CS6

Windows 7



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