Tag Archives: markers

Solvent based Markers are Dangerous to You and Your Artwork

Who would have known that? I didn’t. DUH!

Last night I was researching markers and pens as I am in the market to purchase a set. I wanted to buy this set from the art store where I work as I do get a nice discount. Sharpie Markers were out of the question as the fumes from them make me feel ill, not high or happy, sick.

Last night I settled on buying a $119 set of 24 Prismacolor Double Ended Markers. I already loved their lightfast colored pencils so why not their markers. I was ecstatic!

I went to work today and during lunch purchased that set of 24 Markers. I was so excited until I brought them home, opened the packaging and then one marker and almost puked. I have a head ache on the right side of my head from that damn Poppy Red Marker. Upon closer inspection of the solvent-based marker itself is a sticker reading Non-toxic. NON TOXIC my ASS! Tomorrow those 24 markers go back to where they belong, locked up in the expensive artist materials jail cabinet.

I’ve re-settled on purchasing Le Plume Double Ended Markers. They are water based, rubber stampers love them, and they won’t kill me or my family members. I’ll continue using Micron, Faber Castell and check into Zig artist pens soon.

1.Markers contain a reservoir of soluble ink that is wicked onto a drawing or writing surface through a felt or nylon tip. With the exception of archival markers, most markers are not lightfast, even if they are classified as permanent.

I work hard folks to use the best artist materials I can afford. I choose artist and archival quality whenever possible. I want to be “DOING” art for a long long time and as such refuse to put my health or other people’s health in danger just for the sake of permanency. My face is so close to the paper when I’m drawing. How do you think I get that detail. I’m sorry, but I’ll not sport an activated carbon mask when drawing. I didn’t like Xylene (found in most white board markers, bingo dabbers, rubber cement, sharpies etc) in Art College and I don’t like it now. Trusting brand alone is not enough today when searching for artist materials.

And worst of all… after some searching I came across this 2.snippet,

Never use solvent based markers on a photocopy or directly on original artwork done with permanent ink! The marker will make the linework smear.

Save yourself and your artwork. CHOOSE waterbased, unscented and acid free whenever possible. Or in the least, go outside to draw or paint. I don’t have that option as we are expecting our 9th or 10th snowstorm tonight.

1. From Blick Art Materials
2. From page 172 of the book, Drawing Shortcuts: Developing Quick Drawing Skills Using Today’s Technology, By Jim Leggitt

UPDATE Found a great artsist safety site aptly named Artsafety.org