stylefile markers

My favorite marker sets from Amazon

best marker sets

This article will help you realize and select what exact materials you will need to start sketching, which brands of markers would be the best choice for you, I will share what I personally use in my sketching routine, you will get direct links here to my absolute favourites. Basically, you can use this list as a guide while shopping on the Internet. Also, you will learn which marker brands can be potentially damaging to your health.

best markers for sketching.png

These are affiliate links, if you buy I make a commission (at no extra cost for you!).

Here I will recommend you a variety of brands to choose from but If I was to pick my absolute favorite marker brands, it would be Copic and Touch. They both have an extremely wide array not only of colors but also of marker tips. In Copic, for example, these include ‘Classic’ markers, ‘Extra Wide’ ones, the thin ‘Ciao’ markers and remarkable ‘Sketch’ (the last two have brush points). Copics are more pricy, Touch markers are more affordable. Here I also share Stylefile and Chartpak brands which are quality and quite affordable.

I don’t recommend you to use Touchfive, Touchnew and Vista Artista markers since their quality not as good as their price (yes, they are cheap) not to mention that they can be damaging for your health, especially for the lungs. My students and I tried these markers and unfortunately, we didn’t enjoy drawing with them.

Regarding the nibs. Professional markers usually have two nibs: wide (wedge) on the one side and thin on the other (fineliner tip) or it can be brush nib and the thin one. 

Side note: I’m a big fan of brush nibs, they are my absolute favourites.

Some markers are refillable (like Copic for instance) some are not (like Promarker or Stylefile for example).

 

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Gray marker sets

Grays go first. I purchase grays more often than any other colors. Why? Grays are the most important in interior drawing since they create tone and value, background and shadows in your sketch. Set of grays might be your first purchase when you get serious about interior sketching.

COPIC 5 grays at least are essential, but «the more grays – the better». 

Take a look at this 5 Sketching Grays Copic Sketch Set of Markers (5 markers + multiliner). Refillable markers and replaceable nibs: 

https://amzn.to/2LxdDGm

COPIC 12 grays is my favourite set of grays, it’s great if you’re really serious about interior sketching or consider to draw sketch commissions in future, then check this Copic Classic set:

https://amzn.to/2RQL5J5

TOUCH 6 grays. It is a great alternative to Copic, Touch markers are really good and quality, plus they are cheaper than famous Copic:

https://amzn.to/2LuPhgi

TOUCH 12 grays. Here is a nice set of warm grays, ShinHan Touch Twin Brush Marker Set 12WG Warm Grey:

https://amzn.to/2RTVbc7

STYLEFILE 12 grays. Stylefiles are also very good quality markers indeed. Double-ended with fine and broad nibs, but they are not refillable as Copic for example. Look at this Brush Marker-Neutral Grey Set:

https://amzn.to/2LwcIWE 

STYLEFILE 12 grays. The same set but with wedge and fineliner tip, if you prefer wedge nibs instead of brush ones:

https://amzn.to/2KYnC8a

CHARTPAK Gray Set. There are 22 greys+3 blacks. They are not refillable, one-nibbed, but excellent quality. Chartpak is markedly different from the markers mentioned above. These markers have one very wide tip, that is highly convenient for interior sketching. The only disadvantage is that these markers have a rather strong smell of solvent. This 25 colours set contains 22 grays (warm, cool and neutral), plus 3 blacks:

https://amzn.to/2ROYykF

LETRASET/ WINSOR & NEWTON I like 6 Neutral Tones Set from Letraset (as I mentioned, grays are the most usable markers in interior sketching). These markers are not refillable. Recently Letraset ProMarker brand was renamed to Winsor & Newton ProMarker, but essentially, the marker quality stays the same:

https://amzn.to/2XrPurQ

markers for sketching
 

Coloured marker sets

When purchasing colored markers, focus on earthy, wooden tones. Yes, you will need some basic bright colors like red, yellow, green, etc, but you will not need 5 reds or 7 violets which are usually included in marker sets for manga drawing for example. Our aim is interior design and architectural drawing. Here are some sets where grey colors are already provided, so you can purchase one set and have it all: grays and colored markers all in one. Or maybe you prefer to buy gray and color sets separately. Here is the list of my favorites:

CHARTPAK Architecture Set, (25 colours):

https://amzn.to/2XnvZ3U

TOUCH Twin Brush Marker Set B (48 colours). NB: Grays are included here!

https://amzn.to/2J5ivkd

TOUCH If you want more bright colours check Touch Twin markers (60 colours) with fine tip nib on one end and a medium-wide chisel nib on the other:

https://amzn.to/2XjcVyL

COPIC ciao Set B. It was my very first Copic marker set. I remember at the time how pricy it was for me but at the same time how happy I was when I got it! This set definitely was a great investment for my business! Copic Ciao is more affordable in comparison with Copic Classic or Copic Sketch.

https://amzn.to/2XvF6KQ

COPIC INK REFILLS They are available in all 358 colours of Copic palette, but I need only my top-frequently-used Copic colours such as grays, for example this one:

https://amzn.to/2Xx1KCs

STYLEFILE markers (24 colours, grays are included here). If you are looking for your first and relatively affordable set, I would have started with them:

https://amzn.to/2xxuwZ9

STYLEFILE markers (24 colours), these are double-ended but with brush tip:

https://amzn.to/2LGfBEw

Side note: you can purchase markers one at a time to get familiar with a new brand, for instance with Letraset:

https://amzn.to/2JjDVKD

 

P.S. Please share this blog article with your friends! They would be glad you did. Thanks in advance, you're awesome!

© Olga Sorokina, 2019


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Which brands of markers are the best choice for interior and architectural sketching?

IN THIS BLOG POST I WILL TELL YOU WHAT MATERIALS YOU WILL NEED FOR INTERIOR/architecture DESIGN DRAWING, WHICH BRANDS OF MARKERS WOULD BE THE BEST CHOICE, WHAT I PERSONALLY USE IN MY SKETCHING ROUTINE, WHAT MY FAVOURITES ARE AND HOW LUCKY WE ARE TO HAVE THESE TYPES OF MARKERS!

best markers for sketching
markers for interior sketching

You can listen this blog-post in audio format

(6 min)


GET NOW MY 5-PAGES PDF "MATERIALS FOR INTERIOR SKETCHING", I SPENT 10+ HOURS SELECTING & COMPARING THE BEST MATERIALS FOR YOU. ENJOY!

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So if you are reading this blog post chances are that you are a newbie in sketching and hand rendering, maybe you are going to buy your first set of markers and now you’re asking yourself a question: Where do I start? Well, here is my strategy: Less is More.

Which colours?

First and foremost, buy basic colours, as you will need them most. For interior sketching, it is better not to use pure, bright colours, but rather tones that are a bit ‘dusty’, ’noble‘ tones. What does that mean? With interiors it is better to choose colours that people would feel comfortable living in. A typical palette would include beige, grey, blue, olive, and woody tones.

You can buy the markers individually or in sets. There are even sets of ready-to-go colour combinations for architects and designers which consist of marker colours that work well with one another.

markers for interior sketching

You first marker selection might be as follows:

  • Light gray (NG 2, Neutral Grey #2)

  • Mid-gray (NG 4)

  • Dark gray (NG 7)

  • Light beige (or vanilla)

  • Olive

  • Dark brown (chocolate)

  • Black

As you can see, there are seven colours in all, of which three are grey shades. Greys occupy a special place in interior sketching. Firstly, they are used to give background colour to the entire sketch. Grey markers differ not only in tone, but also in warmth and coldness: there are Neutral Greys, Cool Greys and Warm Greys. To start with, you will need Neutral Greys. Usually they are marked by ‘N’ with a number: the higher the number, the darker the tone.

materials for interior sketching

What brand of markers to buy?

One of the first questions people often ask in my online sketching classes is about which materials they should use. What brand of markers is the best? How do various brands of markers differ from one another? 

Up until now, I have tested 5 brands: Promarker, Copic, TOUCH, Stylefile markers and Chartpak. All of them are good. These firms make professional quality markers that are perfect for drawing and are non toxic.

interior sketch markers

If I was to pick a favourite, it would be Copic. They have an extremely wide array not only of colours but also of marker tips. These include ‘Classic’ markers, ‘Extra Wide’ ones, the thin ‘Ciao’ markers and remarkable ‘Sketch’ (the last two have brush points). Maybe it is Copic Сiao that has influenced my technique most of all.

Here is one of my favorite Copic sets on Amazon, this is an affiliate links, if you use it, I make a small commission at no extra cost to you, so thanks in advance if you use it :-)

Check my top favourite marker sets on my Resources page here.


I did this drawing with Copic Ciao markers

I did this drawing with Copic Ciao markers

Check my interior drawings in the PORTFOLIO section on the website.

Firstly, they have a thin body that is very convenient to hold in the hand. However, the main difference is that on one side there is a wide tip (incidentally, a bit narrower than a Copic Sketch, Promarker or Stylefile), and at the other end there is a brush tip, also known as the ‘super brush’, which truly lives up to its name! It is the brush that lets you make absolutely photo-realistic effects and fantastic not only for sketching but also for landscape drawings, abstract painting, portraits, architectural sketches and even for calligraphy. Copic markers can be refilled and that is their tremendous advantage over the other brands. Although they are the most expensive markers available, in the long term Copics are the most cost efficient.

Promarker is also very good. They are quite similar to Stylefile and Copic Classic. But these are single-use markers, which cannot be refilled.

Chartpak is markedly different from the markers mentioned above. These markers have one very wide tip, that is highly convenient for interior sketching. The only disadvantage is that these markers have a rather strong smell of solvent.

copic markers sketching

A couple of more tips

  • Before buying a marker, test it in the art supplies shop and find the marker that suits you best. If you don’t have this opportunity, watch videos on marker brands on YouTube (f. ex mine is «Olga Sorokina») – this will help you make a decision about which materials are most suitable for you.

  • When you realize that sketching is ‘your thing’, be ready to invest into quality materials, training courses and books. This way you can develop your skills to become very good at sketching. This will happen quite fast. Sketching will be of great use in your work and will raise your professional skills level.

  • It is recommended that you store markers horizontally – this will extend their service life.

  • Storage and transportation: keep your markers away from the sun. If you are going on a trip, pack them into your hand-carried baggage, because the low temperatures in the baggage compartment will have adverse effect on the pigments inside the markers.

Learn more about markers from my book «The SKETCH» (available on Amazon.com)

 

P.S. Please share this blog-post with your friends! They would be glad you did. Thanks in advance, you're awesome!

© Olga Sorokina, 2017

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