Trying out new art supplies is so fun. In the past my go-to white pen has been the widely-recommended Sakura gelly roll. I have enjoyed using these pens, but they do sometimes have a problem getting started or flowing smoothly. The Sakura gelly roll is the pen I used for the baby’s breath in the picture below.
I recently found out that Sharpie makes a couple of different types of white markers. I thought I’d give them a try to see how they compare. I tested them on the same type of paper used in the baby’s breath picture: Strathmore gray toned sketch paper.
The first marker I tried was the extra fine point water based marker. I loved this one.
This is the type of marker that has to be shaken and have its tip pushed in several times to get flowing when it is new or when it has been sitting unused for awhile. Once that was done It flowed smoothly, and made a line slightly wider than the Sakura. The line was a little less bright, and didn’t stand off the page like the gelly roll ink. However, I liked its somewhat chalky effect. This is a case of two good media that produce different results but are both useful when their particular look is needed. For example, I might actually have preferred this look for the baby’s breath up above. However, my gelly roll still has a safe place in my pen cup.
I liked this marker so much that I played a bit more.
That about sums up my feelings about the white Sharpie extra fine point water based marker.
Next up was the white Sharpie “fine point” oil based marker. Sharpie calls this a fine point, but it’s actually a much broader point than that name might imply. I measured the width of its line at at least 2 mm.
I did the whole shake it and push in the nib repeatedly routine, and got the ink flowing.
White Sharpie oil based marker test.
Even so, the marks on the paper were much lighter than the marks on my finger. It seems that these markers aren’t compatible with the paper I was using. The problem was that the paper absorbed the marker like a sponge, leaving just a faint mark on the paper itself. Still, judging from the marks on my fingers they would be great for use on a less absorbent material. It’s even possible that this very faint white might come in handy to produce the effect of a soft glow. It’s something to keep in mind, but mainly I’ll be planning to use this on other surfaces.
Here’s the final comparison, along with a gold oil based Sharpie line for comparison. I think the paper seems to “disappear” the white more than the gold. For comparison, the “by Edgar Allan Poe” is written in black Sharpie extra fine point permanent marker.
Comparing white Sakura gelly roll pen, white Sharpie water based marker, and white Sharpie oil based marker on gray Strathmore toned drawing paper.
In case your wondering why Edgar Allan Poe is mentioned (because I’m nosy enough that I would wonder if I saw this somewhere!), there’s a good story about that.
I’m using an unfinished project as scrap paper. Why? Well, I think the following verse from Poe’s “To Helen” is heartbreakingly beautiful.
Read it aloud to feel its power. That tone-change in “to his own native shore,” right?
“Poe could get it,” I thought. Followed closely with, “Oh, this would make a great Valentine’s Day card!”
But then I did some reading and found out that he’d written this not for a lover, but as a memorial to his good friend’s dead elderly mother who had also been a mother figure to Poe. After reading that, it kind of didn’t feel right to use it as a romantic greeting anymore! Therefore, scrap paper.