Artist’s Loft Markers Review – The Good and the Bad

In this Artist’s Loft marker review I’m going to go over the design of the markers, the blending capabilities on marker and print paper, if they smear when using over pen lines and if I think they are worth the price.

The set I’m suing for this review is the 6 set of neutral gray Artist’s Loft alcohol based markers.

As with all markers, there are some good and bad to go over and I’m going to cover it all in this Artist’s Loft markers review.

Design

The profile of the marker has a triangular shape to it which I like. It feel great in the hand and prevents the marker from rolling of the table or desk. The texture of the markers reminds me of most other markers I’ve tested. It feels a little too smooth and slippery especially if you’re sketching fast and have sweaty fingers. I wish there were some markers that had a rougher outside texture to them with more friction and better grip.

The triangular design of the Artist's Loft marker

One solution to this is to wrap the pens in some sort of tape. If you want it to be super grippy, wrap it in hockey stick tape.

The length of the pens are pretty much identical to Copic markers although for some reason they feel shorter.

Overall a good looking marker pen with some originality to it by being triangular in shape.

The Artist's Loft marker is a dual tip marker which means you get two types of brushes in each pen, one on each end. There's a broad, chiseled tip and a fine brush tip. The brush tip is not very flexible but you can still adjust the thickness of the lines by tilting the pen. My personal favorite is the chisel tip which allows you to have both a fine tip and broad tip on one side.

The two sides with chisel brush and fine tip brush

I prefer to only use this brush since all you have to do to get a finer, thinner line is to rotate the pen and use the corner of the brush. To me, this is easier than switching from one end to the other whenever you want to adjust the width of the lines.

Blending on Marker Paper

For testing the markers on marker paper, I'm using the Canson XL marker pad. The purpose of this test is to see how well the Artist's Loft markers blend using this paper and the color correctness. One important thing for me is I want the cap color to correspond to the actual color of the ink.

Since these are alcohol based markers I was expecting them to blend well and they did. One thing that was a bit surprising was the difference in tone between neutral gray 5 and 6. I felt it's too big of a difference and I wish there was a gray tone in between.

There's a big tone difference between some of the steps

Neutral gray 2 seemed to have a bit of cool gray mixed in to it compared to the rest of the set which I found odd. The rest of the set has a more natural gray tone to them.

I added some BiC lines to the marker paper just to see how much smearing and bleeding the markers would do. Surprisingly, the markers did really well and didn't smear the BiC lines as much as I thought they would. You will always get some smearing when using alcohol based markers on pen lines but you can always go back with the pen once you're finished with the markers and clean it back up.

Overall, I really like how the Artist's Loft markers performed on marker paper. Some issues with the gray tones but nothing that would stop me from getting this set.

Blending on Regular Paper

In this test I'm using a Strathmore Sketchbook. The paper is on the thicker side and not really meant for markers. Personally, I usually prefer to sketch on this type of paper or regular print paper instead of marker paper. The reason for this is I like the friction of regular paper. Marker paper always feels to smooth for me and the ink doesn't dry as fast. This is good for blending but you can still blend on regular paper as well. You just have to be a little bit faster since print paper absorbs the ink quicker.

I did the exact same tests on this print paper as I did on the marker paper and the results were pretty much what I expected it to be. The blending is harder and not as smooth, the strokes of the markers are more defined and visible and the dry time is faster. I like this style of sketching, it looks dirtier and not as perfect as it would on marker paper. To me, that's a positive. This is all a matter of taste.

When sketching over BiC lines the bleed is worse on print paper which is to be expected. This doesn't bother me as I always go back and clean the lines up with the BiC once I'm done with the markers. This gives you a dirty, sketchy background but still keeps the main lines and features clean.

Whether you prefer marker paper or print paper, I'm sure you'll be satisfied with the results you get with the Artist's Loft markers.

Conclusion & Price - Are the Artist's Loft Markers worth it?

After testing this set I'm pleasantly surprised by how well these markers perform on any type of paper. The flow of ink is smooth and even, blending capabilities are great and the price is fair. You can pick this set up for around $20-23 on Amazon which is about $10 less than the Copic equivalent. The main difference of course is that Copics are refillable and the Artist's Loft markers are not. Although I'm sure you can find a way to refill them if you really wanted to.

Overall, I recommend this neutral gray set of these Artist's Loft markers to both beginners and more experienced artists. Just keep in mind that some tones may have a hint of cool gray in them and that the transition between tones isn't as smooth as you might expect.

I hope you enjoyed this Artist's Loft markers review and that it gave you and idea of how they perform.

You can pick a set up of these markers here and try them out for yourself.

Happy sketching!