Most helpful critical review
381 of 387 people found the following review helpful
Great Pens BUT...
on May 25, 2009
These are great markers/pens - I'm on my third set, so obviously I like them - but there are a few caveats. As a mixed media artist, I've found several reasons to be cautious of these markers if you are using them for more permanent or "fine" art purposes.
For just coloring or for kids, these are absolutely perfect. These are extremely vibrant, the ink lasts forever, they don't dry out quickly if you leave a cap off, they travel very well, the color selection is fantastic, and they are priced extremely well.
If, however, you are using them for a mixed media project - or will be using more than one technique on your project - you will run into some problems. (Then again, these aren't touted as "fine art" markers - or priced as such.) The colors are great - but filling in large spaces will be problematic because they are "streaky". They leave a very definite line with each stroke - so you will end up with a project that looks like you colored it in first grade. Secondly, altho these start out with a fantastic nib, it degrades quickly - and you wind up with a lot of little "fuzzies", fine "hairs" and the tip of the nib becomes "floppy" even tho the rest of the nib remains firm. This causes problems when trying to fill in small spaces, or writing. (Leaves a lot of tiny stray marks.)
Also, these are definitely not waterproof - or water resistant. One drop of water will destroy whatever you've colored. Since water will leave a distinct mark on the paper, I thought maybe they would work well if blended with water. I colored and then used a waterbrush and a regular brush with a little water, to try to blend the "streaks" away. NOT a good idea. You just wind up with a mess. (They aren't advertised for this use - but I thought it might work.)
The other issue with these is the color fastness. The colors fade and wash out over time. I used them in one of my moleskin journals - and several years later, the colors have disintegrated a lot. They weren't exposed to sunlight (the journal was closed and on a bookshelf) - so I don't know what the level of acidity is...but I'm guessing it's on the higher end. (Which strikes these for scrapbooks, just FYI.)
I'm not getting rid of mine anytime soon - I love to use these for adding color to sketches, doodling, coloring with my kids, lending to my kids for school projects, making garage sale signs, etc. I just wouldn't use these in any of my art projects or swaps. (I live in a really dry climate and worry the color breakdown would be worse somewhere humid.) Definitely not for work that will be sold.
You won't waste money with these - they are great marker/pens for around the house...for drawing or coloring at school or using at home, these are total perfection! If, on the other hand, you are looking for a good "art marker" or "art pen", pass on these. These will be a huge disappointment - and there are much, much better options out there.