Sunday, September 21, 2014

On the hunt for the perfect opaque white marker....

If you enjoy art journaling as much as I do, I'm sure you have been trying to find the best permanent white marker (that actually works.)  I have tried a bunch, and here is a review of some of them.  The pictures aren't that great, but they will give you the names of the company that makes them.
I will start with the worst ones...


This is Craftsmart by Michael's.  One time I came across one that really worked well, but lately I bought two that are AWFUL.  You push the nib down and expect to get a good flow, but you get a huge blob and no flow.  I'm taking them back.  They were $3.99 or $3.49 (can't recall exactly.)  This pen does not work well on canvas either if you're trying to outline something.



You would think Prismacolor would have a great pen, but this does not work on paper, or any other surface.  Just don't buy it.


Pen-touch by Sakura.  It's goes on in blobs and it's hard to use.  I regret buying that one, and I don't remember the price. 


Gelli Roll pen works ok on paper with a very thin line.  Great for doing fine work and outlining.  Good flow and lots of pigment.  Doesn't work on canvas.


I used to LOVE Elmer's Painter's pens.  I would buy the box of various colors when I had a 50% off coupon.  They lasted for a long time and the paint spread consistently.  The white worked like a dream.  The quality has gone down considerably in the last two years.  I'm so disappointed.  They don't last, and they spread blobs too.  You start a line and it's ok, but fizzles out after a couple of inches.  I have not seen an improvement in the quality, so I'm going to quit buying the brand.  I didn't have a white pen to use in the picture because I threw it out in a fit of frustration...lol.


The Faber-Castell pen is good.  The only set backs: the nib is thick and you have to apply the lines a couple of times to get a solid white line.  But it spreads evenly without blobs. 


DecoColor also spreads a good line, but you have to apply a couple of times to get the solid line.  It also smells vile of chemicals...  I aim my fan toward the table when I'm using it.


The winner is:  Uni-ball Signo.  It draws a really good line, but is not permanent.  Unfortunately.  For paper work it's great, but not on canvas if you're going to apply something else on top.  It smears.  I did get a whole box of them for $23.00 at Jetpen's and if you buy, make sure to get the Japanese version.  See the lettering on the box?  Free shipping if you spend $25. I had some of their other colors as well, and they are great for writing, so smooth and easy.

What is your experience with white pens??  I would love to know since I'm still hunting for that perfect PERMANENT marker.  If you want to keep in touch, please sign up for my newsletter at the top right hand side.  :)
xo


14 comments:

Iris Fritschi-Cussens said...

You make a good point about some pens being good, and then when you buy them again they're not so good. It's annoying because you can think you've found 'the one' only to end up with a bad one!

I recently bought the Pen Touch by Sakura. I tried a tester in the store and compared it to the Uni Posca (also a tester). The Pen Touch was much more opaque so I went with that. Only to find out when I came back home that it wasn't as opaque as my Uni Posca (which is going to run out soon). ARGH!! So I think it's definitely also luck of the draw (lol) in terms of consistency between different pens of the same brand/type.

I've heard about the UniBall Signo SO much now, I really must try it out!

Thank you for this article, it's really helpful!

jinxxxygirl said...

I too have heard that UniBall Signo is Soo good but now you tell me its not permanent soooo back to the drawing board i guess... i have heard that Sharpe waterbase paint pens are good... But i have yet to find one white with a extra fine tip... If i ever do and i like them i'm buying the whole store...lol Hugs! deb

JackieP Neal said...

Thanks for sharing this Maria- I know what you mean about those Sakura's! Spent too much money and they don't work! oh bother!! "_

Aditz said...

I've also used UniPosca, but it leaves no white mark, nowhere. I was pretty disappointed, while my Sakura works almost fine (almost what I need). pretty weird I guess. Either way, thanks for the tips! :)

Marilyn Harris Mills aka Maer said...

I too have spent far too much money on searching for the perfect white pen and yes my choice is the uniball signo too....but don't buy them at Michael's...they must stay on the shelf too long because each of the three I bought there were dried out.

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Win Dinn said...

I'm with you - the Signo is the only one that's half way acceptable, but the lack of permanence is a huge factor for me. When, oh when, will the magic one appear?

Maria said...

Iris, Deb, Jackie, Aditz, Marilyn, thank you so much for your comments. I see that you have had the same experience pretty much. Elmer's used to have the perfect white permanent marker, but their quality is shot...boo-hoo. I always end with a layer of varnish on my paintings (and mixed media) so I have to be careful of smears.

Tanya McAlexander said...

Totally with you on the Uniball Signo, its a dream. I have heard lots of good things about the Postco pen in white and black...I have not had a chance to actually try it but I have seen friends use it with lots of success.

pam thorburn said...

I love the sign for fine line workMy favourite for thinker lines is the Molotow acrylic paint pen-and it comes in lots of other colours too.

Rosie said...

I love the Uniball signo too - but can I also add to the list the Posca paint pen in white. The finest point you can get is 0.7 so its not that fine, but the result is brilliantly opaque so heartily recommended.

Boo Martin said...

I too am on a quest for a permanent white pen. I agree the signo gel is a great pen but not permanent.

The Sharpie poster pen is great but I'm not sure if it's permanent. I tried their oil based one but the oil and white paint separate in my pen.

ginigin said...

I love my Posta pens, especially white on black rocks. So far goes over almost everything. Sharpie water based paint pens are great; the oil ones work ok but I've heard they can eat through paper. Gelli roll white glaze are awesome and permanent. And you can always use a dip pen and acrylic ink.

Dana S. said...

I think I have one that you haven't tried yet that works pretty well, but over all I agree. I love the signo the most. I have white and gold, now I need more white and need a black (hoping it is is smooth and covers as well as the white.) I also keep trying the oil paint sharpies. I keep expecting them to work on over gel medium. They never do. And I had heard some people use a white out pen too. I need to try that!