Art Tip Video: Using Markers in the Art Room

My best marker tips for the art room including the paper I use and how to get kids to color thoroughly.

Using markers in the art room is by far one of the easiest mediums to prep for. I love how easy it is to set out trays then put them back into my marker drawer in less than a few minutes. No washing or sorting required.  But sometimes an art project colored with markers can look, well…you know…messy.

Teaching kids how to color with markers has been a one of my goals this year. I’ve experimented with different markers and different papers to see what works best for all grade levels.

This is what I found….

My Favorite Markers:

Prismacolor Markers are expensive but worth it. I had a little extra room in my budget this year so I bought six boxes of the 24-marker set. I originally intended them for my older students, but the results were just so amazing, I had to allow my younger students to use them.

They are double-ended meaning that one end of the marker is a fine point and the other end is a broad, chiseled end. Most of my students use the broad tip but the fine point is a bit easier to color with.

I teach my students to listen for the click when placing the cap on. Taking proper care ensures a few years of usage.

Crayola Markers have been my go-to markers ever since I began teaching. The broad tips are angled to deliver a thick or thin line. The best part of course is that they are inexpensive. In the video I actually say “cheap”. I really should say inexpensive as they are not cheap. In fact, I’ve had my current classroom pack for over three years and they are still holding up well. They are great quality for the price.

What do you think?

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  • Cheryl O'Neil

    Hi Patty,
    Thanks for the helpful video on using markers. I like the idea of using card stock. I researched options on Blick and noticed there are different weights of card stock. 65, 80..Is there a weight and or brand you recommend using with markers?

    • Patty Palmer

      I use the brand that my school office manager buys. Office quality. I’m not at school today so I can’t check. 65 should be good but you can test it. If it feels heavier than regular copy paper, then it’s good!

  • Dawn Collins

    I am wondering where to find Carola markers. When I ‘google’ this brand, it keeps bringing up results for Crayola instead. Where can I find the Carola. I searched Dick Blick without results. Thanks and LOVE your ideas. I work with autistic, developmentally disabled and elders in nursing homes.

    • Patty Palmer

      I’m so sorry, Dawn. This is a typo. I was referring to–and trying to spell–Crayola. My new WordPress update has a very frustrating auto-correct!

  • cmzelaya@gmail.com

    In design school Prismacolor were a must have! They are the best. I loved hunting for just the right color.

  • watsonv610@hotmail.com

    I showed this video to my middle schoolers today. They wanted to be insulted that I was showing a video about how to color with markers, but I heard a lot of oh, I didn’t know that as we watched. We also had a long discussion about the cost of the other markers. They decided Crayola was good with them. Thanks for these great “tip” videos. Virginia

  • Tammy

    For some reason I can’t view the video of a link to the video. Where is it?

    • Patty Palmer

      Yikes…thanks Tammy for the heads-up. We launched this new site back in July and some of the videos didn’t transfer over. I’m fixing it now.

  • Susan Heath-Powers

    Mr. Sketch markers are a great marker also that can be order on Amazon. I have found that are bright and last longer than Crayola.

  • ankapasa

    Have you ever tried using permanent markers on alfoil? On a piece of cardboard, create a simple string picture by gluing the string on a drawing. I’ve made space rockets, flowers and Egyptian Pharoahs. Once the glue has dried, cover the string and cardboard with a piece of alfoil. Gently press the alfoil down and tape it securely at the back. Colour in the various sections of the string art with permanent markers. The result is pretty cool. Cheers, Annette

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