< Back to blog

Everything You Need To Know About Winsor & Newton ProMarkers

If you’re looking to buy Winsor & Newton ProMarker Single Colours, click here to visit our online shop. You can also browse our full range of ProMarkers here.

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…

What are ProMarkers?

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. 

What do you use ProMarkers for?

The most common use of ProMarkers is for illustration, typically for bold coloured drawings. Their vivid colours and versatility make them great for such creative line work. Furthermore, due to being able to use ProMarkers on surfaces other than paper, they are great for crafts involving glass, plastic, and even wood.

How many Winsor and Newton ProMarkers are there?

There are five different types of ProMarker: the original, ProMarker Brush, ProMarker Watercolour, ProMarker Neon and ProMarker Metallic.

What are the differences between each ProMarker type?

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.

How many colours are available?

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.

Can I use ProMarkers on surfaces other than paper?

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.

Are ProMarkers alcoholic?

Winsor and Newton ProMarkers use alcohol-based ink, which allows for brighter, streak-free colours.

How do I need to store my ProMarkers?

Alcohol-based markers such as these can be stored either horizontally or vertically.

What is the difference between water-based and alcohol-based markers?

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.

What paper should I use with ProMarkers?

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.

Do ProMarkers work on canvas?

While ProMarkers are designed ideally for use on paper and other smooth surfaces, you may also use alcohol-based markers on a canvas. They will, naturally, behave very differently on the new surface as it provides a more granular texture for your art.

How do you blend with ProMarkers?

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.

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.

What do I do if I’ve accidentally left the cap off my marker?

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.

How do I stop my inked lines bleeding into my coloured work?

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.

My markers keep bleeding through my paper, what can I do?

Common soft papers will soak up the ink, resulting in feathered edges and your colour bleeding through sheets. We recommend you use 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.

How can I avoid streaks in my ProMarker artwork?

When marker lines overlap and dry, they can cause unwanted uneven streaks in your artwork. Streaks can sometimes be an asset to your art style, however they can also appear where you least want them. Some simple tips for avoiding streaky lines are below:

  • Draw with circular motions.
  • Work with speed to avoid drying ink.
  • Work with wet ink.
  • Choose a quality drawing surface.
Shop Winsor & Newton ProMarkers

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:

Scott W. Mason: Fashion Illustration Using Winsor & Newton Markers

New Promarker Design, Same Great Quality

< Back to blog

You may also like....

New ProMarker Design, Same Great Quality

October 03, 2019

Winsor & Newton ProMarkers & BrushMarkers have been given a brand new look for 2019. Discover the best graphic markers for artists and illustrators, now available in a wider range of colours and sets.

read more

A Guide To Winsor & Newton Graphic Markers

June 05, 2019

We’re big fans of the innovative selection of graphic markers available from Winsor & Newton. Winsor & Newton’s marker collection includes a variety of options to suit your every creative need, led by the Winsor & Newton Pigment Marker, a pen so revolutionary it will change the way you work forever.

read more

Scott W. Mason: Fashion Illustration Using...

June 20, 2018

We’re delighted this week to introduce you to Scott W. Mason, fashion illustrator extraordinaire, who will be demonstrating how to create material textures with ease using Winsor & Newton ProMarkers…

read more

#InspiredByProMarker Drawing Challenge

October 13, 2016

Win the entire range of Winsor & Newton ProMarkers & BrushMarkers by taking part in the #InspiredByProMarker challenge this October.

read more

Spring Sale Prize Draw

April 04, 2016

Our Spring Sale has begun! Now’s your chance to win £500 to spend on any products from our massive Winsor & Newton range…

read more

Changes To Letraset Products

February 05, 2016

Winsor & Newton acquired the Letraset marker brand in 2012 and as a result they’ve given Letraset ProMarkers a brand new facelift, whilst maintaining their excellent quality standards customers have come to expect.

read more