If you’re looking to dip your toes into the world of watercolor, but you don’t want to commit to an intense complicated setup (water, paint, brushes, canvas, etc.), a good set of watercolor markers can get started on your artistic journey and have you cranking out pieces quickly and easily. Take a look at our comprehensive list of the best watercolor markers and brush pens available to get your creative juices flowing – without making art overly complicated.
Chromatek Watercolor Brush Pens
There’s no doubt about it, grab this set of Chromatek Watercolor Brush Pens and you’ll be well on your way to becoming an avid watercolor enthusiast – if you weren’t already. It has everything you need to introduce you to the magic of watercolors, and features some extra bonuses, too!
This set is complete with 50 different shades, and each pen is individually labeled with the color name and number for convenience. It also includes 4 blending brush pens with distinct tips, perfect for spreading or blending color and creating any lines or shapes, limited only by your imagination.
These pens are simple to use, blend easily and provide a nice amount of pigment. With the included tutorial pad and other handy tips, you’ll quickly get the hang of these remarkable watercolor pens and fall in love with watercoloring in general.
Arteza Real Brush Pens
The student-grade Arteza Real Brush Pens are a perfect choice for new watercolorists and complete beginners to the art world. They’re economical, come in a variety of colors, and provide a nice experience for even the most casual painter.
Each of the 96 shades in this series is labeled with the color name, so they are easy to organize and use. They have a brush-like tip made from flexible nylon hairs, so they look and feel more like real watercolor brushes than traditional watercolor markers. This tip also allows you to create thick or fine lines, depending on your technique.
The water-based ink can be easily blended out to create light pastels or washes, or they can be deeply applied to the paper for vivid, rich color. These markers are handy for anyone looking for a simple introduction to the world of watercolors, without all the fuss!
Winsor & Newton Promarker Watercolor
The versatile Winsor & Newton Promarker Watercolor markers are perfect for making art on the go, or creating masterpieces quickly – without the mess. These highly pigmented markers apply easily to high-quality paper, and blend out nicely.
The 36 different colors in this line have handy dual-sided tips. On one end, you have a nice flexible brush tip for thicker lines and washes. On the other, there’s a fine bullet nib for creating thin lines and adding intricate detailing to your pieces.
Overall, these markers are pigmented and lightfast – your art won’t quickly fade away. You can also re-activate the ink with water once it’s dry, if you want to go back in and blend some more colors (especially since the shade range is decent, but limited). These markers are great for traveling, or for pulling out and creating quickly when the mood strikes.
Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Artists’ Watercolor Markers
The German-made Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Artists’ Watercolor Markers are the perfect choice for artists of all skill levels. They’re a simple introduction to watercolors for beginners, but experienced artists will appreciate the high quality and exceptional pigmentation.
These markers feature dual brush tips – one thicker brush, and a smaller bullet nib. You can quickly switch between the two to create larger washes, or add fine details to your work.
These versatile markers allow you to create works of art using a variety of techniques, but they may take a little finesse and practice to achieve optimal results. They come in a nice variety of 30 distinct shades, and artists of all levels can appreciate the vibrant, rich colors they produce.
Budget: Benicci Watercolor Brush Pens
For a set that won’t break the bank, the Benicci Watercolor Brush Pens are a great lower-budget alternative. With a variety of colors and some handy accessories, this set has everything you need to jump into the world of watercolors – without a big investment.
This marker set includes 25 brush pens, a water brush for blending, a handy 12 sheet painting pad, and a zippered case for sketching on the go. Mess-free and washable, these markers are designed to be economical, effective, and easy to use. Their tips are flexible and consistent, and they can create thicker or thinner lines.
These pens are great for traveling, creating quick doodles, or practicing new techniques without an elaborate setup. It’s a nice budget-friendly option for both beginners and experienced artists alike.
For Variety: Ohuhu Water Coloring Brush Pens
The Ohuhu Water Coloring Brush Pens offer a unique watercoloring experience that is perfect for any artist looking to add a little variety to their repertoire. This set comes with six refillable pens with a good variety of nylon brush tips – three rounds and three flats of various sizes (small, medium, and large).
You can fill these brushes directly with water-soluble ink, or simply add water to them and dip into traditional paint instead. There’s a little bit of a learning curve to use them (for instance, don’t use too much water or they can leak), but once you get the hang of them, they’re a fun set to experiment with.
This set is fun for a beginner to play with, especially if you want something a little more involved than standard watercolor markers. Experienced artists who want something a little different will enjoy the variety that this set provides.
Tombow Dual Tip Brush Pens
If you’re looking for watercolors in every shade, try Tombow Dual Tip Brush Pens. This set includes 100 different vibrant colored pens with dual brush tips – one for shading larger areas, and a .4mm tip for working with finer details.
This set is perfect for the artist who doesn’t want to bother mixing up their own colors, and prefers to work with markers. With such a large shade range, you’ll have any color you could need – from neutral flesh tones to bright neons. Each pen creates highly pigmented color that can vary from wide shading strokes to delicate fine lines.
An excellent choice for enhancing your coloring books, these brush pens are an economical choice for any artist.
Akashiya Watercolor Brush Pens
For the artist who wants the convenience of a marker, but the application of real watercolors, the Akashiya Watercolor Brush Pens fit the bill. These colors are water soluble and blend nicely, and you can create gradients and washes like you would with a set of standard watercolor paints.
There are a ton of colors and shade ranges available in this brush pen series, from nice neutral flesh tones to vibrant hues for urban landscapes. You can pick up some curated sets to start, or collect colors individually as you need them (or replace them if you need to). These pens feature a good-sized synthetic brush tip, which can be used for shading or for fine details.
Take them on the go, try them in your sketchbook, or use them to experiment with new watercolor techniques – in a practical, mess-free environment.
Kuretake ZIG Clean Color Real Brush Marker
Handy for coloring books, the Kuretake ZIG Clean Color Real Brush is a marker that acts like a paint brush. Use them for beautiful brush lettering, illustrations, or creating lovely watercolor gradients and washes.
With a flexible synthetic nylon tip, you can create thin or thick lines, depending on your needs. These markers are water-soluble and blend nicely, but they are also nice to use without water as well. They’re more suitable for sketchbooks and casual painting, as they may not be as lightfast as other markers or paint. But if you’re not planning on creating large-scale art to hang in a sunny window, these are an excellent choice for practicing and colorful doodling.
Take these markers on the go and create sketches or fill in your coloring book, and then bring them home and add some water to make your paintings pop.