A little while ago the lovely people over at @PagosArt sent me their Watercolor Dual Brush Markers (120 colors set) to try out and share my opinion. These markers are listed as multi purpose markers but in this post I'll be reviewing them from a hand lettering artist's point of view. So let's get into it!
Where can you find them?
These markers come in a plastic storage case with multiple stacked plastic trays each containing 20/24 markers depending on the set you get. This will allow your to store the pens together and horizontally, if you’d like.
The markers have a long smooth slender body and they’re super comfortable to hold and write with.
These are dual tipped with one large brush tip as a well a fine monoline tip. The barrel starts off with a rounded design at the end with the brush tip and ends with a triangular design at the end with the fine tip.
This triangular design stopped the markers from rolling around on my desk too much especially when I was trying to lay out the markers to take photos.
On the body of the marker, the only information you can find is the name of brand and an indication of which end has the brush and which has the fine tip. Unfortunately there are no color names or color codes on the marker to the help identify the marker's color.
Range Of Colors
120 markers is a very WIDE range of colors and you’ll get an excellent variation of light and dark shades of any color you need at a particular time. There are also a few markers that I’m pretty sure are neon colors!
As I was testing these markers, I did notice that some of the colors are very similar to each other and the color of the ink didn’t match the color of the marker. This is actually quite common but most of the time the markers are labelled with a name or code for the colors. Unfortunately, these markers weren’t and since there are so many markers it was difficult to remember the exact color I used.
Although these are called watercolor markers and they have water based ink, I had quite a bit of trouble trying to blend these using certain techniques. The ink in these markers dried very quickly once added to paper so techniques where I put down one color and then attempted to blend it into another color using a water/paintbrush resulted in bleeding. (tap the image to see a video demo of this)
They were also difficult to blend evenly and there were often visible marks where the initial color was added to the paper.
These markers were great for some techniques like picking up color from non absorbent surface you write, rubbing the tips of the markers together to write an ombre word, layering colors on top of each other to build up the intensity of the colors and also creating simple abstract watercolor backgrounds. (tap the image below to see a video demo of this)
My first impression of the nib was that it felt very sturdy when I used it on Marker and Rhodia Paper, which are both smooth papers. After a while of writing the tip did become a bit worn down which made it difficult for me to achieve very thin upstrokes. But so far the nibs are still intact with a good contrast between thin and thick stokes. I have only used these for a short amount of time so I can’t say how long they will last without fraying so that’s something I’ll have to do at a later date.(tap the image below to see a video demo of this)
While I was swatching the colors, I did run into 2 fine point nibs that were defective and 5 brush nibs that were molded(but their monoline tip was fine) and there were 3 nibs that felt a bit dry.
Writing/Ease of Control
Writing with these reminded me of writing with the Zig Brushables markers but with a little bit less flexibillity. Since these don’t have much flexibility, the nibs won’t bounce into their normal shape as quickly as a flexible nib will, so you will definitely feel some stiffness as you write with these. Some of the colors were definitely a little more flexible than others and this could have been because the the ink.
So after using these to create a few lettering pieces, I would like to share just a few tips that can help you to avoid similar problems I had:
- Use these markers on super smooth, non textured paper like rhodia paper or marker paper to keep the tips unfrayed for as long as you can.
- Don’t blend with water. I know these are called watercolor markers but I’ve found that blending them on paper with water makes the colors spread out of the area where you put it.
- If you want to use them as watercolor or to blend, put down the color on a palette or a piece of plastic and then pick up the color with a paint/waterbrush.
- If you're on a tight budget, you can get the smaller set of 80 colors, because a lot of the colors are quite similar to each other and some are the exact same, so the smaller set will definitely have more than enough colors for you.
Overall I would say these markers are pretty great for the price, which is about $0.35 each. If you're looking for an affordable set of markers with a wide range of colors then these markers are a great option! Especially if you already know the basics of brush calligraphy and just you’re looking for pens to practice with.
If you’re an absolute beginner looking for a set of brush pens to start your lettering journey, if you’re looking to do a lot of blending directly on your paper or if you don’t like writing with firm brush pens then these may not be the best fit.
I hope you found this review helpful and I'd love to know what you think about these. Interested in more pen review? Let me know which pen I should review next!