A Guide To Different Marker Tips (& When To Use Them)
Who doesn’t love a good marker? These versatile art supplies are excellent for a wide range of projects, from completing a coloring book to illustrating a manga panel. Markers also feature a plethora of benefits, including:
- Long-lasting color
- Easy to apply
- Convenient to use
- Tons of colors to choose from
- Available in a variety of different tips
Because of their versatility, markers can be used for many more art projects than you’d initially think. For example, markers can be used for:
- Plein-air sketching
- Travel illustrations
- Photorealism illustrations
- Abstract artwork
- Graphic design
- Comic books, graphic novels, and manga
- Character sketches
- Concept art
No matter your forte, after reading this article, markers just may become your favorite medium. But before you get started on your new art project, there is one important thing to mention: make sure you know your tips. Markers feature a variety of tip shapes, from fine tip to brush tip. Make sure you begin on the right foot with this guide to different marker tips and when to use them.
Understanding the Different Tip Shapes
One of the first decisions you will need to make when choosing a marker is which tip shape you want. The tip shape impacts every aspect of your coloring experience, so you want to be sure you choose the right one. It is important to note that different marker manufacturers have different definitions for each tip shape, so keep this in mind if you are using markers from different brands.
Brush Tip Markers
Brush tip markers, also known as brush pens, are perhaps the most adaptable of all marker tips. When pressed lightly, these paintbrush-like markers produce a fine line. When pressed down harder, they produce a thicker line for filling in large areas or making bold outlines. They can even be used to make strokes of varying widths simultaneously. Because of their versatility, brush tip markers are favored for calligraphy and use in coloring books.
Chisel Tip Markers
Also a multi-purpose marker, chisel tips are a must for every art supply collection. When its wide and flat side is used, artists can color large areas with ease. When its chisel tip is used, artists can create slightly thinner lines. Chisel tip markers are ideal for calligraphy and creating other types of art that incorporates lettering.
Fine Tip Markers
For art projects that require very thin and precise lines, fine tip markers are a must-have. These markers allow artists to create highly detailed pieces. You can use fine tip markers to create an entire piece, or you can use them to create contrast and clarity on otherwise less-defined pieces. Many restaurants, coffee shops, and cafes use fine tip chalk markers to create beautiful menus and daily special advertisements.
Bullet Tip Markers
The most common marker for journal enthusiasts, avid notetakers, and diarists are bullet tip markers. With tips shaped like a bullet, these markers are ideal for writing but not so helpful for intricate details or coloring large areas. However, bullet tip markers are nice for coloring smaller areas.
Sometimes you just want the best of both worlds at your fingertips. Double-ended markers allow you to have this luxury. These markers usually feature a brush tip and a chisel tip, or a bullet tip and a chisel tip. Double-ended markers make creating art pieces with large blocks of color and intricate details a convenient and stress-free experience. No more reaching for different markers, and no more worrying about needing a chisel tip in the same color as your brush tip marker!
Understanding the Different Sizes of Marker Tips
Next on our guide of different marker tips and when to use them, we have marker tip sizes. In addition to different tip shapes, markers have different tip sizes. Marker tip sizes are most often measured in millimeters and range from .03mm at the very smallest to 50mm at the very largest. While pens are usually measured by the millimeter and the measurements are shown on the pen’s casing, markers are typically sorted into different categories. These categories include:
- Extra fine tip
- Fine tip
- Medium tip
- Broad tip
- Jumbo tip
Extra Fine Tip
Extra fine tip markers feature the thinnest and smallest tip size. Ideal for highly detailed work such as illustration, writing, and tiny sketches, these markers are beneficial in every art supply collection. Extra fine tip chalk markers are also great for creating crisp text and drawings on a chalkboard.
Fine tip markers feature thinner, smaller tips but are noticeably larger than extra fine tip markers. Many artists use fine tip markers to color in small areas, create lettering-oriented pieces, or write letters on stationary. Fine tip markers can also be used on chalkboards and whiteboards.
Medium tip markers are what many imagine when they think back to coloring with markers as a child. These larger markers are great for coloring books, artwork with large blank spaces that must be colored in, creating casual signage, and a variety of craft projects.
Broad tip markers are ideal for projects in which large areas must be filled in with color. Large-scale lettering projects including signage call for heftier markers such as these.
Artists with large-scale art projects, shop owners in need of quick storefront advertising, and other artforms requiring lots of color in vast surface areas will find jumbo tip markers incredibly helpful. These large markers make it fast and easy to create large, thick outlines and fill in massive blocks of color. Sizeable canvases and murals are great examples of projects that require jumbo tip markers.
There are so many things you can do with markers, from canvas art to creating custom tiles. In the kid’s corner, some fun marker art projects may include filling out coloring books and creating spin drawings. For adults, the fun and creativity continue by creating custom tiles and canvas paintings using markers instead of paint. Graphic design, comic book spreads, and vibrant journal entries are also possibilities!