Review: Sharpie Extra Fine Permanent Markers

Sharpie markers are permanent markers and come in various sizes, starting from the thinnest line, namely

  • Ultra Fine (0.2mm)
  • Extra Fine (0.4mm)
  • Fine (1mm)
  • Chisel-tip (5.3mm)
  • King-size
  • Magnum

The ones listed above are the general use all-purpose markers. To check out Sharpie's entire range, visit the Sharpie website

I've prefer thicker ink lines for drawing. Sharpie Extra Fine markers work well for me. They are listed it as a 0.4mm tip but I feel they are more like 0.7 that I commonly use with the Pilot V7 Hi-Tecpoint pen.

Since they are markers, when their tips are left in contact with the paper for too long, they will create an ink blob. You have to work fast, but even so sometimes you do get a slight blob at the end of the line which I quite like. If you like to draw digitally, you can get the same effect with the iPad apps Bamboo Paper and Paper by Fiftythree.

Click for a larger view

Click for a larger view. The top left sketch is not drawn with the Sharpie.

Click for a larger view

The ink is dark black, permanent, waterproof and dries instantly. However, when you're drawing over dried watercolour, the ink appears like dark sepia.

It does come with that marker smell though. Extra Fine tip is smaller so I could barely detect the smell, but it's there.

Markers are prone to bleed though paper. For the sketches above where I use 200gsm watercolour paper, there are faint impressions of the marker ink on the opposite page. If you're using it in a sketchbook, you can only draw on one side of the paper.

Do not use fixative with Sharpie markers. The chemical in the ink will break apart and spray in different colours over your paper.

Another important attribute for drawing is how lightfast is the ink. I'll update this review with a test in the future. Generally speaking, marker inks are not lightfast and will fade.

I do like drawing with them. But I have to withhold my verdict on recommendation because I don't know how lightfast they are. If you're just drawing to scan later, it's no big deal.


Find more reviews at Dick Blick Art Materials (US) | Jackson's Art (UK)


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