Quick Review – Posca Paint Pens

I haven’t been using these pens for that long, but I still wanted to chat about Posca’s Paint Pens. Since I am still a noob, I’ll let you know if my opinions change in the future.

My hubs bought me the set of eight, extra fine (0.7mm) Posca paint markers for my birthday last month. I’d been eyeing these pens for ages, so kudos to him for getting me a set!

I own other Uni-ball pens for art, and they are my favourite for the graphic crosshatch style stuff I make. You know Uni pens equal quality, and the Posca pens don’t let down in that department. In fact, I can easily see the Posca pens helping my graphic art level up.

My set includes white, black, blue, light blue, green, yellow, red, and pink.

According to the packaging, they work on over 50 surfaces. I haven’t tried them on anything other than watercolour paper or cardboard, so if you’ve experimented with various surfaces, let me know how that went in the comments. 🙂

You activate the pens by shaking them vigorously, then pressing down on the nib. Sometimes, this process has to be repeated for the ink to flow into the nib.

The colours are extremely vibrant. Since this is paint instead of ink, it does take a moment to dry and is vulnerable to smudges for the first few seconds. You can easily see the transition from wet to dry, unlike with some ink pens, as the paint goes from glossy to matte when dry. Don’t worry though, the paint dries super quickly.

I’d compare the paint flow to that of a gel pen, the nib glides over paper really easily and, because you don’t have to press down on the nib, holding this pen is lighter and smoother than some other pens. If you do press down while holding these, you’re likely to get paint splatter if the nib suppresses, so that should be avoided.

These pens come in various sizes, but since I tend to draw on smaller scale, I figured the finest nibs would work best. If you’re going to colour major areas, I’d recommend a pen with a larger nib. Having said that, I still managed to block in solid colour.

Some artists have complained that the paper does become overworked and pill if you colour with these pens, and recommends to rather fill in large areas by drawing lines in the same direction.

To test what would happen, I tried the line-method and also coloured in every direction, and my paper didn’t show any signs of being overworked. This might be because I stuck to small areas or because of the small nib (not actually meant for wild colouring 😜) but either way, I’m impressed.

I am a bit disappointed in the white pen, since this is the pen I wanted more than any of the others to highlight my watercolour paintings. It isn’t quite as opaque as the others, despite shaking and re-activating the pen before each use. Of course, this might be because there’s something wrong with the specific pen. Again, if you’ve been using these things and have some tips for me, please leave a comment and help me out.

To get the white pen to show up I have to draw in multiple layers. In this shot, the three boxes show how the paint shows up on black cardboard in one, two, and tree layers.

I can’t see myself using the paint pens to draw portraits, as I prefer the soft gradients I can achieve with normal ballpoint pens, but I might use the Posca pens to outline or block in background elements. Maybe if I learn to draw with the paint pens, my thoughts on this might change.

Overall, I’m seriously impressed with these pens, and will definitely buy additional colours and maybe even different sizes of pens to grow my collection. I love the opacity of the colours, and can see loads of future art-making using these.



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7 responses to “Quick Review – Posca Paint Pens”

  1. The paper probably didn’t pill because you were using the right paper (watercolour paper) that could handle paint. I think some of the artists who say that are using drawing cartridge? At least the one I saw was and it was frustrating to watch!


    • Nope, I watched a review on pretty decent watercolour paper, and it still began to pill. But okay, she was trying to push the paper as far as she could for the review, and even suppressed the nib at one point so lots of paint spilt on the paper.


  2. Ok, so yes, something wrong with your white pen or it needs a heck of a lot of shaking. The paint is just as opaque as the others, or should be. Most people use the 0.7 or 0.9 bullet nibs for white, rather than the pin. Which leads me into why your paper didn’t pill. The pin nibs are (I think?) metal and smooth. The bullet nibs are made of a type of fiber that allows them to remain undamaged when used on concrete… so they’re kinda rough. They can tear up most paper really easily if you’re not careful. Check out this video and the follow up for some REALLY great tips on using Posca pens: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es-qHnpYQqo As for my personal tips, you can paint with the stuff, even water it down and get washes and gradients. Just pump some of the paint onto a plastic surface and use a brush. And mix colours. You can even touch a wet brush to the tip like you can with the WC pencils. I’ve used my pens on wood and a metal tin. Works wonderfully. You can use them on glass, you just need to bake it to set. I still think you could probably use it on your dolls too 🙂


    • Thank you! I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s something wrong with my specific white pen, because no amount of shaking improves the pigment, which really sucks.


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