Winsor Newton Watercolor Markers Review

(This is a guest post by Nick Folz. You can find more of Nick and his work on his blog, Smallberry Drive, Twitter, and Instagram.)

I’ve been on a real watercolor kick recently. It was one of those mediums I ignored for reasons I could never put a finger on, but when I came across these Windsor Newton Watercolor Markers I had an excuse to give them an honest go.

The markers are double ended, one felt brush tip, one fine tip. The option for two widths is nice, but I end up just using the brush tip most of the time. The pigment just seems to flow from the brush side better. Some times the fine point tip would be too harsh on an area I have washed over and sort of eat up the paper, so I would occasionally use it pre-wash.

There are plenty of ways to experiment with these markers. · Use them as markers, straight up, no water. · Rub the marker on a plastic palette with a touch of water to make watercolors to brush on. · Brush water down and draw while wet to create a “spreading” effect, I just call it "Wash Under". · Draw with the markers, wash over the drawing with water to spread the pigment and fill in with color.

I did the last option most often. I would ink a drawing and then follow the outline of the ink with the marker color of choice, then wash inward to fill with color. You get a very pleasant gradation of color, while still keeping that watercolor look. The control of a marker and the style of watercolor got me hooked. One of my favorite watercolor effects is when you lift some pigment from one area and move it to an area with too much water. When it drys, the pigment gathers on the edges of the wet area and has a really pleasant appearance.

You can’t let the marker sit too long; the pigment gets less apt to move around the longer it sits. So I would do one area at a time, washing with water as soon as I inked. While that may sound tedious, it is actually very satisfying. The brush tips make this sort of technique a joy. After I would finish the area coloring I would re-work some stuff with water and adding different effects. I would add an area of water and tap the brush end of the marker to make the “spreading” look. Or I would add drops of water to the washed area and let the pigment dry at the edge of the re-watered area.

The markers do seem to leech into the paper, meaning if you apply the marker to dry paper you can never completely wash away a mark, you might see a line of pigment even after washing most of it away, but being aware of that just made me use it to my advantage.

The main drawback to this set has to be the variety. I usually ended up only using the green and blue markers. The yellow and orange are extremely similar to one another and the red is under saturated, making it turn out pink. The black is, well, black. I guess I could mess around with it for shading and maybe even inking, but I just prefer ink for that, not watercolor.

I would still wholeheartedly recommend the markers themselves, just not the set as much. They really opened up a whole medium to me that I normal steer away from, and have a level of forgiveness and control that make them approachable.

(JetPens provided this product at no charge to The Pen Addict for review purposes.)

Enjoy reading The Pen Addict? Then consider becoming a member to receive additional weekly content, giveaways, and discounts in The Pen Addict shop. Plus, you support me and the site directly, which I am very grateful for.

Membership starts at just $5/month, with a discounted annual option available. To find out more about membership click here and join us!

Posted on October 10, 2016 and filed under Winsor Newton, Watercolor, Pen Reviews.