Prismacolor Brush Marker Review


Prismacolor Brush MarkersNOTE: I ordered these Prismacolor Premier Illustration Brush Markers on Amazon and paid full price for them. I enjoy being able to share my opinions and experiences with products to help other consumers in making informed purchasing decisions.

I have always wanted to try some brush-tip markers, but thinking they were only for “real artists” I have stayed away from them. I have a nice set of Prismacolor Premier double-ended (nib/chisel) markers, so I wasn’t ready to duplicate expensive markers just to give brush markers a try.

So when I saw a couple of sets of single-ended brush markers from Prismacolor and Sanford, I made the plunge and bought them. Today I am reviewing the Prismacolor Premier Brush Tip Marker, also called the Prismacolor Premier Illustration Marker.

But first, a bit about the brush marker, also known as a brush-tip pen.  It is not a brush at all, but a marker that has a felt-tipped end that is shaped like a paint brush. The felt tip is longer and finer than the tips on other markers and is very flexible. The tip is stiffer than a brush with bristles, but gives you enough flexibility to create plenty of variation in your lines; you can vary the width of the stroke line with pressure. I created the lines in the image below with the same marker, but I used different degrees of pressure for each line: I used hardly any pressure to create the line on the left, but full pressure to make the line on the right.

Prismacolor Brush Markers

What to look for in brush markers:
Firmness: Brush tips can range from very soft to very firm. Softer tips let you create more effects but takes more control to use a softer tip.
Thickness: If you want bold strokes to fill in larger areas, you want a thicker brush tip the better. For more detailed work, a fine tip is better.
Elasticity: When a brush is flexible, you can apply pressure to it to get different effects, but you want to be sure that the tip will bounce back to its original shape even after multiple strokes.
Ink Flow: Like any marker, a brush marker needs to dispense its ink smoothly and evenly to prevent streaking and blotchiness.

Now, the review!


Features at a Glance
According to the Prismacolor website and the markers’ packaging:

  • Water-resistant ink
  • Does not bleed through paper
  • Smear resistant when dry
  • Archival, acid-free pigmented ink
  • Single-ended
  • Permanent
  • Non-toxic
  • 8 Colors
  • Smooth flow and coverage
  • Price: CAD$29.51/ USD$16.68; CAD$3.69/USD$2.09 per marker.

The Packaging
These markers are packaged in a reusable rigid plastic sleeve with a fold-over flap that has a slotted tab to keep it closed. The markers fit snugly in the plastic case, but I did not find it practical to keep them in it while I was using them: I dumped them out onto my work space. Since they were right there, I even used them for writing notes and a few lists – fancy, schmancy! I did put them back in their sleeve for storage.

The Markers
This set has eight colors: Black, Red, Blue, Green, Orange, Sepia, Purple, and Brown.
Prismacolor Brush Markers

Nice, but it is weird that there was no Yellow, a basic primary color. There are no other colors available. You can purchase each of the eight individually.

The tip of the cap is color-matched to the ink color, and the barrel’s graphic is matched as well, although in both cases what you see is not quite the color that you get on paper. Unlike the dual-ended markers, there is no color name or number on the marker itself. And the Prismacolor website itself doesn’t have the complete color details (an oversight?) so you cannot tell with certainty if the colors are identical to the Prismacolor dual-ended markers.

The barrels are almost pencil-thin and very comfortable to hold. The caps have metal clips.Prismacolor Brush Markers

The brush tips on these markers are much smaller/thinner than the brush on the dual-ended markers The tips are sharp and thin enough to make a really thin line.Prisma

The Swatches
Whenever I get a new coloring medium, I create a color chart bookmark on 65-pound stock. Here is the one for these Prismacolor Premier Illustration Markers:

Prismacolor Brush Markers

And, surprise! Being Prismacolor, and without anything to make me think otherwise, I thought these were alcohol-based markers. After the first couple of strokes on my swatch, I realized they were not. I tried to find out exactly what they are by digging through the Prismacolor website, and I could only find this:

“Premier Double-Ended Art Markers contain an alcohol, dye-based non-toxic ink… Premier Illustration Markers contain an archival quality, lightfast, non-toxic ink…”

By process of elimination, I can assume that these are water-based. So I created a couple of comparison sheets to see the difference between various markers:

Prismacolor Brush Tip Markers
Marker Comparisons

My Observations
The ink on these pens is nice and juicy, but not too juicy to cause puddling. In fact, because of the brush tip you can finish each stroke without the “blob” you can get with other water-based markers. Prismacolor Brush MarkerI was also impressed with how easy the pen made it for me to make very even, smooth strokes. There was no bleeding to the other side of the paper, and no feathering on the design, which is what I would expect with water-based markers.

The Verdict
These are a great set of markers. The colors are bright and vivid, and they give a much smoother, more even coverage than other water-based markers I use. The banding is less prominent, and there is no end-of-stroke blob. Add the feature of multiple stroke widths with one marker, including a super fine tip for tiny details with non-feathering ink and I would be comfortable giving them five stars for performance as a water-based marker – it is a shame there are not more colors as I would give up my Supertips for them in a heartbeat! As is, they aren’t practical to be a staple for my adult coloring. Add to that a relatively high price and I can only give them three stars.


  • Bright, vivid colors
  • Variety of stroke widths
  • Comfortable to hold
  • Smooth strokes
  • Limited color selection
  • Price

You can purchase the Prismacolor Premier Illustration Brush Tip Art Markers at and at

I hope this review has answered any questions you may have had, but if you have any more then feel free to leave a comment below or connect with me on Facebook.

Products in this Post:

Image Credits
Markers in action ©2016 Cogitent Inc.
Marker lines ©2016 Cogitent Inc.
Marker package – Pismacolor
Marker fan – Prismacolor
Hand holding marker ©2016 Cogitent Inc.
Marker tips – Prismacolor
Color chart ©2016 Cogitent Inc.
Marker comparisons ©2016 Cogitent Inc.
Blob example ©2016 Cogitent Inc.




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