Not just a pencil case essential, colouring materials are now a staple in almost every home. As well as being an important part of school equipment for annotating diagrams, maps and graphs, colouring pens are also a staple of every artist’s tool kit. A great stress buster, many people love adult colouring: filling in complex designs with attractive colours can be relaxing and people report it may help them to destress.
Top 10 Best Colouring Pens in the UK 2021
Below are our pick of the best colouring pens on the market or alternatively, read on to find out more about the safety information you should know before buying colouring pens.
1. Colouring Pens, Vakki Dual Tip Brush Pens Brush Fineliners Pens Art Marker
The dual tip pens with 24 rich colors, vibrant, brilliant and vivid, divide subtly, bring more color choices. bright colors help you inspire your creativity, perfectly express your creative inspiration, a good choice for artistic creator and painting enthusiast.
They are very suitable for drawing lines & details, adult colouring books, bullet journaling, scrapbooking, painting, sketch, calligraphy, lettering, signing, manga, graphic, design, illustration, perfect for kids, adults, teacher, college students, beginners and professionals.
While the 0.4mm fine-liner tip is suitable for outlining the precise line, great for any intricate parts, the 1-2mm soft brush tip is used for shading & coloring, filling larger spaces easily. durable & flexible tip, various thick and thin strokes, creating countless effects, making your artwork vivid.
These pens use water-based ink, acid-free, non-toxic, also safe for kids. quick drying after writing, no ink leak leading, no smudging on the page. the cap has a unique and simple design, which has good sealing performance, prevents the ink from evaporating, and cares for the pen tip, and is more reliable to use.
2. CRAYOLA Fine Line Marker Set, Multi-Colour
There were a lot of shades of different colors, even those you can’t find elsewhere, giving you more options when it comes to coloring. These coloring markers are exactly what you need if you want some gradation in your coloring and more depth of color because there are different shades in the same color family.
Thanks to the fine line tips of these markers, you can get to those corners neatly or use this for writing or lettering. It just works either way. It takes more time to fill up your empty spaces because of the fine tip but despite this having a fine tip, the color does spread out more uniformly.
There are no spots that are darker than the others. Once it dries up, it looks even. You need to give it some time to dry up to avoid streaking though it doesn’t require too much drying time. Specially, the colors don’t bleed to the other side of the page.
3. Tombow Dual Brush Marker
The color variety of Tombow brush markers is fantastic, there are 108 pens in the full set, all of which are different colors.
The Tombow sets all come with a blender pen, which is colorless and designed to help you make fantastic blending effects on your art work. You can go further and get the blending kit that comes with another blender pen, a blending palette, a mister and a little booklet with instructions.
Being a water based pen is a massive advantage for avoiding ghosting and bleeding through paper. This part is more relevant to bullet journalists because if you use sketch paper or sketchbook these pens will absolutely not bleed through, not even ghost, however not every notebook for bullet journal has a thick paper
These pens can be used for coloring too, specially since you can achieve watercolor effect and blending options are endless. The ink strokes blend nicely with each other while wet too and if you work in a good pace you won’t get too many lines where the ink overlaps the previous stroke that are common for water based markers.
4. Copic Marker 12 Piece Set
The markers come in a nice and solid acrylic casing that’s meant to give them a little home on your desk. They’re not very travel-friendly though, as they could break and don’t close securely.
Most of the shades in this palette are understated skin tones, so they’re obviously not the bright or vibrant variety, but what’s great about them is the fact that they’re extremely buildable. This means that you can truly see the difference between each layer.
There’s something about its formula that makes them dry quicker when applied, so each stroke yields just the right amount of pigment. Since it builds very well, you can use the same marker to create different shades and can mix and match color combinations to your heart’s desire. It also doesn’t bleed through your paper until several layers in, and feathering is at a bare minimum.
The brush tip makes the colors meld together seamlessly. It’s easily controllable with the right amount of firmness. The pack also comes with its own colorless blender, which is a great addition to this set.
5. Sakura Koi Colouring Brush Pen Set
These are water-based markers that use dye inks. So they are not lightfast and will fade in the future. Because of that, they are more suitable for casual use and not meant for creating artworks with permanence in mind. Do not use them to do commissioned works.
The sharp brush tip is made of some sponge. If you’re going to blend, getting the tip dirty is unavoidable.
As with brush tips, you can get a variation of thin and thick lines depending on the pressure you apply. This tip is also good enough for writing, creating calligraphy art.
Because the markers are water-based, the strokes blend easily together to create a even wash without streak marks. They don’t dry instantly so you have some time to blend. They also do not bleed through pages.
6. Faber-Castell Pastel Tones Pitt Brush Pen
The brush nib is essentially a more refined, longer version of a standard felt tip nib – but that is no bad thing! It has a sufficiently fine tip to achieve fine lines a fraction of a millimetre wide, and when more pressure is applied and if the pen is held at an angle, 5mm wide strokes can be made.
When making quick strokes the marks have a fluidity to their character that resembles traditional pen and ink. When drawing a continuous line scribble, the colour appears darker when you go over the same lines and so a tonal variation can be achieved.
Additionally, when you use the pen at an angle and work quickly, the edges of the line break up to make a more textured mark, which contrasts with the more refined lines beautifully.\
It’s got semi-transparency because they dry within seconds, by the time you have reached for your next colour the first will have dried.
7. Staedtler 323 Triplus Colour Fibre-Tip Pens
The pens have water-based ink so they’re washable, they don’t bleed unless used on very thin paper and are odourless meaning there’s no getting high or headachey when using them like there is with solvent-based pens.
They have a pressure-resistant bullet tip which helps the tip keep shape in any way and no feathering of any kind has occurred.
The colours of the Staedtler Fibre-Tips are perfectly matched to the Staedtler Fineliners which is very handy for images with small and large spaces so that you can use the fineliners for the detailed sections and the fibre-tips for the larger areas for seamless colour continuity.
The barrel colour is not accurate on all of these pens so always ensure you test them on some scrap paper or create a colour chart first to avoid disappointment or using the wrong colour accidentally.
The colour range is great and most of them are really bright and vibrant however, the purple is very dark and 3 browns in a set of 20 colours seems a little excessive.
8. Crayola SuperTips Washable Felt Tip Colouring Pens
These Crayola SuperTips are really great and affordable and fun to write with calligraphy. They have a large array of colors. The colors are so pretty and the markers glide on the paper with ease.
The package is cardboard and quite flimsy so you should transferring it into a jar or case because it doesn’t uphold very well.
A major downside to this is really recognizing the colors. On the cap of the markers, they look totally different than the colors swatches on the back and tab of the packaging.
The markers themselves are really nice. They’re slim and feels comfortable to write with. The tip can be used to write thin and thick which is great because of its pointed tip. You can use the tip to draw or color in tiny spaces.
9. Prismacolor Premier Double-Ended Art Markers, Fine and Chisel Tip
PrismaColor markers use premium quality non-toxic alcohol-based ink that delivers vivid, saturated color that’s still impressively blend-able. Colors come out very smoothly with every stroke, clean and fluid, with no chance of streaking.
The dual-ended tips share one barrel of ink, so color consistency is maintained on both ends. The marker caps have a notch that keeps them from rolling off even tilted tables. The straight, cylindrical barrel is a bit thicker than some popular brands, so make sure to test the grip before you commit to purchasing a set.
The ink easily bleeds through thick paper, so it’s best to tuck another sheet of paper between the pages of your coloring book. The ink also takes a bit longer to dry. If you’re coloring wide areas heavily, be careful not to smear.
10. Arteza Real Brush Pens
This brand has always been a go-to brand for me when it comes to regular markers. Not surprisingly, their brush tip marker sets are also good. With different marker sets, you can choose from a lot of colors.
On its own, the colors are very vibrant and vivid. They don’t really need a lot of coaxing to deliver ink. The markers have a good flow. However, you can also dip them in water to get that watercolor effect. The ink thins out that way and they become more blendable.
The brush tips are quite easy to control, not too soft and pliant. There is still some stiffness in it that is similar to that of a regular marker, so if you are used to this kind of stiffness, you will find these markers easy to use.
You need to blend quickly because once the color is set, it won’t budge anymore. It’s hard to lift even if you mix it with a bit of water. On the other hand, because it is easy to dry up, you won’t have to wait too long to add a second layer or to use another color.
Tips on choosing the best colouring pens
The best markers for coloring have different types of nibs you can use as a brush or as a fine point. Some sets include replaceable nibs for long-term use. You should also consider ergonomic use – coloring with a marker that doesn’t sit well on your hand will be very uncomfortable.
Here are some of the most important considerations when choosing the best markers and pens for adult coloring books:
- Pigment base – You have a choice between alcohol based markers and watercolor markers.
- Alcohol-based markers are generally recommended for beginners. They give vivid and bright colors, they dry quickly, and unfortunately they sometimes produce a stinging alcohol smell. Be sure to test your sensitivity to this before purchasing a set.
- Water-based markers are very easy to blend, but it takes a bit of practice before you can get used to them. They also ruin thin paper if not used properly.
- Barrel shape – You will likely be coloring for half an hour or longer, so it’s best that you pick from options that you can grip comfortably. Thicker markers with triangular stems are generally recommended but make sure to test your choices before purchasing them. If you start becoming uncomfortable while coloring, make sure to take rest periods and stretch out your fingers and wrists.
- Color selection – It may be tempting to immediately choose a marker set just because of the number of colors printed on the box. More colors mean more creativity and flexibility, sure. A set of 150 might have all the colors you can even think of, but that doesn’t mean it’s the most practical or economic out of all your options. Take a closer look at the range of colors that’s offered – there’s usually a color guide printed on the box. Purchase a set that has all the shades you need, and not too many of ones you may never use.
- Color vibrancy – When testing out a set at the store or reading reviews, watch out for the color vibrancy of the marker. High-quality markers dispense solid colors and you will have no fear of producing washed-out or faded works.
- Bleeding – This is the most common problem when using markers. Even with single-sided drawings on thick paper, some markers still bleed through. Test your markers on your coloring books before you start properly. It’s best practice to put a piece of thick paper underneath the page you’re coloring for further help in preventing bleed through.
- Ink and tip quality – There is a wide range of quality when it comes to ink and tips on markers.
- Fine tips are great for detailing, while brush tips are for shading large areas. Some markers are dual-tipped, which is great for flexibility. Avoid buying pens with tips that aren’t sturdy – those will certainly not last very long.
- The best ink comes out of the tip consistently, in full vibrancy. Streaky ink creates a mess and will not serve you well. Many markers don’t dry out easily even when uncovered, so try to choose a set with that guarantee.
- Blending – Not all markers blend easily, no matter the pigment base. If you’re fond of shading and using gradients in your coloring, look for markers that are specifically designed to achieve that style.
Art is for everyone and colouring pens provide an accessible gateway to spark imagination and creativity. Good quality art materials feel better to use and last longer; that said, you don’t necessarily need to invest a lot of money if you take time to carefully consider your options.