Review: Spectrum Noir Metallic Markers (Water-based & Archival)

Here are some new metallic markers that were sent over to me from Spectrum Noir. It's the same company that sent me the pigmented artliners which I reviewed many months ago.

Right now, there's a total of 12 colours in their Metallic marker product line.

In the first box set you see above, the colours are Burnished copper, Pewter, Gold Plate, Gold Nugget, Silver Ingot and Antique Bronze.

The second box set has more exciting colours and they are Amethyst, Red Garnet, Pink Quartz, Green Citrine, Jade Green and Blue Topaz.

These markers are water-based markers, acid free and the inks are supposed to be archival. I am not able to test the lightfastness so I can't say how resistant they will be to fading.

These are dual tip markers. On one end is the brush tip and the other is the fine tip. The brush tip is quite flexible and is a joy to work with. The markers are juicy and the ink comes out quite evenly.

I usually associate markers with metallic colours with markers where you can shake. You know those markers with the ball bearings inside? Well, these Spectrum Noir markers are the typical markers with the ink-soaked sponge.

The markers are long and not that thick. The matte surface body feels nice to hold.

The design of the markers is very minimalist and clean. The caps cannot be posted and the bodies are round and can roll off the table.

Here are the colour swatches from the set with the earth tones.

And these are the swatches from the more colourful colours. If you don't tell me these are metallic markers, I won't even know just by looking at time.

But actually if you look closer, some of the colours have the metallic shine. Some are more obvious than others.

Most colours are opaque or very opaque. Colours like Gold Plate and Gold Nugget can cover any medium beneath. The covering strength of these colours make them suitable for mixed media use. These are definitely not markers for colour sketches because they are so opaque. You can use them like paint markers.

Some colours are quite beautiful. The flexible brush tip is very suitable for calligraphy purposes. With some colours, you get some variations of value within the strokes that can look quite nice.

The markers are permanent when dry. You can also paint on plastic and other surfaces. Some colours are easy to rub off with finger while others are pretty permanent.


When I first used the markers, I was actually surprised at just how smooth they are. It's smooth like putting-your-finger-to-cheese-cake-topping smooth. It's extremely satisfying to use them. The occasional variations in value within the strokes make the colours more interesting than they already are.

These are very good markers.

Amazon USA is currently selling each set at US $17. So that's like less than $3 for each marker. That's typical marker pricing. When you consider that these are archival inks, I think it's quite worth the money.

Highly recommended.


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


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