Saturday, September 22, 2012

Montana Acrylic Markers Review

Paint Pen Smackdown!

I recently got some acrylic paint markers by Montana, and wanted to compare them to my Posca ones.   Both are water-based for easy clean-up, and to be honest they are very, very similar.  Here's the Montanas...

 They are new to the market, and based on their popular "artist's" spray paint  line.  In theory they are a 2mm line, but as you'll see, they act more like the 1mm line of the Poscas....

                  yeah, there's no colors noted because the writing on the pens is all Japanese.    

Both types are high-quality, don't bleed through paper (looking at you, Copic markers), and have excellent coverage.  They are almost opaque layered over each other, with just a hint of the under-color showing through.

"M" =Montanas, "P" = Poscas - the flower is all Montanas, and you can see the yellow flower centers pretty much cover the blue.

I did this just to compare the colors, and you can see that sometimes the Montana's blurped out a fat line, but usually it comes out fairly fine.  The control over a detailed pic would definitely be better with the smaller tip of the Poscas.   Both types of pens come in multiple tip sizes, so you could just buy fatter/thinner if you like, but this was considered "fine" size by both.

They work well on slick surfaces (glass, plastic, etc.), but I usually use them on paper.   They will blend nicely on glossy paper, but not so much on watercolor paper, so it's a flatter, more cartoon-y look.

Why would you use them instead of ink markers or gel pens?  Because they are much, much more opaque, and can be cleanly layered over each other.  They really "pop" off the page because of that.   Painting over collage work or photos is a breeze with these.  As to which to chose, go with the brand that you like the colors of better, or are cheaper.  I generally get pens at JetPens, a mom-and-pop business with great service and huuuge selection of off-beat pens.

So there you go, the acrylic marker smack-down ends in a stand-off:  I'm calling this one a tie.


  1. Thanks for this review! I take my watercolor backgrounds and make color copies at my local copy store. I like to journal over the colored pages. I have Sakura glaze brights, basics and souffle- but these pens dont last long and before you know it, I have to replace them. How long do Posca & Montana pens last? I like the finer point of the Posca & plan on ordering soon. I hope they last longer than the Sakura pens.

  2. I can't say that I've used them enough to use them up - but I have been happy that they don't dry out as fast as old paint pens used to. For years I wouldn't buy paint pens because it seemed like they would work a few times, then dry out, even if I kept them in a baggie.

  3. Thanks for responding :) That is good to know they don't dry out quickly. When I searched google for Posca fine line pens and art journal, your site came up. Seems that not too many people have caught on for using them in art journaling- but I have a good feeling about them & cant wait to try them out :)

  4. I saw your link on Thanks for the info!

  5. Thanks for sharing this wonderful review. Also, valuable paint sprayer reviews of best rated sprayers available in the market.

  6. do they bleed under mod podge?

  7. Great review, think I will get some Montana pens in the end.

  8. Thanks for your review. I'm doing some research on painting. I need to paint some old things in my house. But I have no idea.