• FREE SHIPPING Starting at $60+ on select products. More Details

What Is The Difference Between Water-Based and Alcohol-Based Markers?

on July 15, 2023

Choosing the right art materials can make a huge difference in the final outcome of your project. In the world of markers, the two most commonly used types are water-based and alcohol-based markers. 

But what are the differences between these two? How do their characteristics influence your artwork? Which brands offer the best options for each type? This post will answer all these questions and help you make an informed decision for your next art project.

Difference Between Water-Based and Alcohol-Based Markers

Water-based Markers:

Water-based markers are markers where the pigment or dye is dissolved in water. When you apply them to the paper, the water evaporates, leaving the pigment behind.


Safe and Non-toxic: Water-based markers are generally safer and less toxic than their alcohol-based counterparts. This makes them a good option for children or anyone concerned about safety.

Easy Cleanup: If you make a mistake or spill some ink, it's easy to clean up with just a little bit of water.

No Bleeding: Unlike alcohol-based markers, water-based markers typically do not bleed through paper.

What are water-based markers?


Limited Blending: Water-based markers do not blend as seamlessly as alcohol-based markers.

Longer Drying Time: They take a bit longer to dry, which can lead to smudging if not handled carefully.

Less Vibrant Colors: The colors are generally not as vibrant or rich as those produced by alcohol-based markers.

Usage: Ideal for children's art projects, calligraphy, and simple illustrations.

Alcohol-based Markers:

Alcohol-based markers, on the other hand, use alcohol as a solvent for their pigments or dyes.

What are alcohol-based markers?


Vibrant Colors: These markers produce vivid, rich colors that make your artwork pop.

Quick Drying: They dry quickly, reducing the risk of smudging.

Excellent Blending: They are renowned for their seamless blending capabilities.


Bleeding: They often bleed through paper, especially thinner types.

Strong Odor: They tend to have a stronger odor than water-based markers.

Not Ideal for Young Children: Due to their high alcohol content, they are not recommended for young children.

Usage: Great for professional artists, manga drawings, and complex illustrations.

Environment-Friendly Options

At Markerpop.com, we understand the need for sustainable and safe art supplies. We offer several environmentally-friendly, non-toxic markers that are safe for both children and adults. Brands like EcoLine and Stabilo offer great options for eco-friendly, water-based markers.

Brands We Offer

COPIC: Renowned for their high-quality, alcohol-based markers, COPIC offers a range of products suitable for professional artists and illustrators. Their markers offer excellent blending capabilities and vibrant colors.

Prismacolor: Prismacolor provides high-quality, alcohol-based markers known for their smooth application and blendability. They're great for a wide range of art and craft projects.

Tombow: Offering high-quality, water-based markers, Tombow is known for its brush pens, which are ideal for calligraphy, doodling, and simple illustrations. Tombow markers are also non-toxic and safe for children.

EcoLine: EcoLine markers are water-based, making them safe and ideal for children. They also have the added advantage of being eco-friendly.

Stabilo: Known for their vibrant colors and quality, Stabilo offers both water-based and alcohol-based markers. Their water-based markers are safe for children and have an easy grip, making them a popular choice in schools.


Both water-based and alcohol-based markers have their unique strengths and are best suited to different types of artwork. The choice between the two often comes down to personal preference and the specific requirements of your project. 

At Markerpop.com, we offer a wide range of both types of markers from top-quality brands. Whether you are a professional artist, a hobbyist, or looking for safe options for children, we've got you covered.

*Please note that prices and availability are subject to change. Always check our website for the latest details.