We know how much our customers love using Winsor & Newton ProMarkers. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide, which should answer some of your most frequently asked questions about these fantastic graphic markers.
If you have a question that’s not listed here please email us and we’ll add your question, along with our response, to this very blog post…
Q: What are ProMarkers?
A: The Winsor & Newton ProMarker is a twin-tipped graphic marker popular with artists and illustrators the world over. All colours within the ProMarker range are fully intermixable with one another, allowing for complete control when blending.
There are five different types of ProMarker: the original, ProMarker Brush, ProMarker Watercolour, ProMarker Neon and ProMarker Metallic.
Q: What are the differences between each ProMarker type?
A: All ProMarkers include two nibs, one at each end, that allow for a variety of different stroke types when drawing and colouring. The standard ProMarker includes fine and chisel nibs, as do ProMarker Metallic and ProMarker Neon colours. The ProMarker Brush features a brush nib and a chisel nib, and the ProMarker Watercolour includes a flexible brush and fine point nib.
This variety makes the ProMarker an incredibly versatile tool. One can achieve very different effects with the fine nib and it’s great for very fine details. The brush nib allows you to create very fluid, flexible lines of different widths.
Q: How many colours are available?
A: Standard ProMarkers are available in 173 colours – six of which are Neon shades and six of which are Metallic. The ProMarker Brush is available in 72 and the ProMarker Watercolour is available in 36 colours. All colours are created using the same ink formulation, making them very easy to use in conjunction with one another.
Q: Can I use ProMarkers on surfaces other than paper?
A: The alcohol-based ink in these markers is permanent and extremely quick drying. This means ProMarker colours can be applied to a range of surfaces including card, glass, wood, plastic and more. When applying colours to a textured or porous surface like bare wood or textiles the ink will bleed outwards slightly, so make sure you allow for this when working close to the edges.
Q: How do I need to store my ProMarkers?
A: Alcohol-based markers such as these can be stored either horizontally or vertically.
Q: What is the difference between water-based and alcohol-based markers?
A: Water-based ink is lightfast and acid-free, which is perfect for archival projects such as scrapbooking. They are also easily manipulated with water, and you can use a water filled brush pen to blend and add washes to your artwork. Alcohol-based inks provide a vibrant, streak-free flat finish and can be applied to a diverse range of materials.
Q: What paper should I use with ProMarkers?
A: The surface you’re using makes a difference to the quality of your artwork. We therefore recommend that you use a bleedproof paper to achieve optimum results. This paper is specially coated to lift the ink away from the paper in order to keep the inks wetter for longer and prevent ink form bleeding through multiple sheets.
Q: What is the Colourless Blender and how do I use it?
The Colourless Blender allows you to create stunning shading and texture effects. Using a blender takes practice and is a definite skill, unlike using watercolour paints to blend. The key is to work as quickly as possible. Most artists will keep the colours used for blending either to one side or in hand.
To successfully achieve a blend you can lay down some blender ink before working on the area, but this is down to individual preference. To blend two colours you’ll need to work quickly, keeping the ink wet and continuing to work the area. The ink will appear more evenly blended when dry as the alcohol evaporates. This technique takes practice; try on scraps of discarded paper before working on your finished design.
Q: What do I do if I’ve accidentally left the cap off my marker?
A: If you’ve only left the cap off the marker for a couple of hours then you should be able to replace the cap and leave it to rest for a few hours to allow the ink to recharge the dry nib. If the marker has been left for longer you may need to purchase a new one.
Q: How do I stop my inked lines bleeding into my coloured work?
A: If you’re using alcohol-based markers you need to make sure you are using a water-based fine liner. Ensure your line-work is completely dry before adding colour. For best results try heat setting your line work before colouring.
Q: My markers keep bleeding through my paper, what can I do?
A: Common soft papers will soak up the ink, resulting in feathered edges and your colour bleeding through sheets. We recommend you use a specially coated paper such as the Winsor & Newton Bleedproof Marker Paper. Bleedproof paper is specially coated to lift ink away from the page, making it easier to work with the inks and preventing the ink from bleeding through the pages. If you need to work on softer papers for sketches etc., try placing a sheet of greaseproof paper behind the sheet you’re working on. If you prefer a more heavyweight paper, Bristol Board also works very well with ProMarker and ProMarker Brush pens.
Discover more exciting marker collections and art supplies you can purchase from Cowling & Wilcox in these great blog posts which go into depth about different marker products: