Markers are a popular medium for artists, designers, and hobbyists and come in a wide range of types, including alcohol-based and water-based markers. While both markers have unique advantages and disadvantages, understanding their differences is crucial in selecting the best one for your applications.
So, what is the difference between alcohol vs water based markers? This article will summarize the difference in various features and functionalities.
|Point of Difference
|Alcohol (Isopropyl or Ethanol)
|Permanence and Fade Resistance
Alcohol-based markers are type of markers that uses alcohol as a solvent for their pigments. The alcohol used is typically isopropyl alcohol or ethanol, which evaporates quickly, allowing the marker to dry quickly and reduce the chance of smudging.
Alcohol-based markers are known for their high pigmentation, allowing them to produce vivid and intense colors. They are ideal for use on non-porous surfaces such as plastics, metals, and glass, as the alcohol-based drink can dry without smudging and bleeding. Alcohol-based markers are also known for their ability to blend smoothly and evenly, making them ideal for creating gradients and shading.
On the other hand, water-based markers use water as the solvent for their pigments. These markers are typically made with a water-soluble dye or pigment that can be dissolved in water. Unlike alcohol-based markers, water-based markers dry more slowly, which can lead to smudging if not allowed to dry completely.
They are ideal for use on porous surfaces such as paper, cardboard, and fabrics, as the water-based ink can penetrate the surface and produce vibrant colors. Water-based markers are also more forgiving when it comes to blending and layering, s they can be reactivated with water, allowing for more control and precision.
One of the primary differences between alcohol-based markers and water-based markers is the ink’s drying time. Alcohol-based markers dry quickly, making them ideal for use on non-porous surfaces where smudging and bleeding are more likely to occur.
On the other hand, water-based markers take longer to dry, making them better suited for use on porous surfaces where the ink can penetrate the surface and bond with the fibers. However, this slower drying time can also be a disadvantage, as it can lead to smudging and bleeding if not allowed to dry completely.
Level of Pigmentation
Another significant difference between alcohol-based markers and water-based markers is their level of pigmentation. Alcohol-based markers are known for their high pigmentation, allowing them to produce vibrant and intense colors. This high pigmentation makes them ideal for creating bold and vivid designs.
Water-based markers, on the other hand, are generally less pigmented than alcohol-based markers. However, they can produce a wider range of colors because they can easily mix and blend.
Blending and Layering
In terms of blending and layering, alcohol-based markers are known for their ability to blend smoothly and evenly, making them ideal for creating gradients and shading. They are also known for their ability to layer colors without causing the paper to warp or buckle.
Water-based markers are also good at blending and layering, but their ability to be reactivated with water makes them more forgiving and easier to control. This allows for more precision and control when blending and layering.
Permanence and Fade Resistance
When it comes to permanence and fade resistance, alcohol-based markers are generally more permanent and fade-resistant than water-based markers. This is due to the alcohol used as a solvent, which helps the ink to bond more tightly with the surface.
Water-based markers are more susceptible to fading and smudging, especially when exposed to moisture and sunlight.
Regarding cost, alcohol-based markers are generally more expensive than water-based markers. This is due to their high pigmentation and fast-drying properties, which require more expensive ingredients.
Water-based markers are generally less expensive because they use water as a solvent and less expensive pigments, making them a more affordable option. However, there are exceptions, and some high-quality water-based markers can be more costly than lower-end alcohol-based markers.
Similarly, some brands of alcohol-based markers may be priced more competitively, making them more affordable for artists on a budget. It is also worth noting that markers can add up quickly, mainly if you use them frequently or for large scale projects, so it’s essential to consider the cost when choosing the suitable markers for your needs.
When comparing alcohol vs water based markers, it is essential to note that both have advantages and disadvantages. The decision of choosing between the two markers comes down to personal preferences and the specific application. Many artist designers prefer to use a combination of both types of markers to take advantage of their unique properties.
By understanding the differences between alcohol-based markers and water-based markers, you can select the best type of marker for your specific project and achieve desired results.