Ohuhu Dual Tip Waterbased Art Marker Review


Bright sunflower illustrated in ink and Ohuhu waterbased dual tip markers

I recently got the 160 set of the Ohuhu waterbased art markers with a brush tip and fineliner. Mine came in a sturdy black carry case, which to be honest if it had a brand name like Derwent on it would be sold empty for at least £30, and I paid £35 for it complete with pens.

160 set of Ohuhu dual tip, felt tip, waterbased art markers and carry case

The first thing I noticed while doing the swatch cards is that the brush nibs do not feel consistent across the colours. Some are much softer than others, and one pen already had a frayed tip before I'd even used it. The set does come with some replacement tips. The colours are numbered but in a very random way that doesn't make sense.

After trying the pens on various types of paper I noticed the colour intensity was stronger on some papers than others. The colour was strongest on cold pressed watercolour paper, and also the cartridge type paper Ohuhu provides for the swatch card. The colours were a bit lighter on Canson Imagine mixed media paper. 

This difference in intensity on different surfaces is something you can use to your advantage when planning projects requiring a less saturated colour. I'd suggest experimenting if you buy them because all artists favour different papers.

Test  showing the results of different blending methods for Ohuhu waterbased art markers

Although the markers are waterbased they do not really shift a lot when you use a waterbrush, the colour seems to seep into the paper and mostly stay there. Even applying the marker to wet paper it didn't thin out like a watercolour, it just had fuzzy edges.

It's important to note these are like a felt tip pen, not a dedicated watercolour pen. In general I found them harder to blend, the best results being achieved by quickly blending two pens into each other while the ink is wet.

I have seen reviews saying the pens are very water soluble and easy to blend, and I notice some sets of pens have white pens, and others are black barrelled pens, so I'm not sure if it's the same ink in both pens.

The pens also naturally get darker as you add more layers. Layering different colours can give some interesting effects. If you want a lighter tone you can briefly dip the tip of the pen in water which will dilute it and give an ombre effect as the colour comes back into the nib.

Colourful pink and blue whale illustrated with ink, Ohuhu waterbased art markers and coloured pencil

Something else to note is that if the pens are worked a lot, either by layering or blending, they can cause piling on the surface of some papers. This is common in many felt tipped pens. I have an Ohuhu marker sketchbook for alcohol markers and it even happens on this paper. I found the most robust paper was watercolour, either hot or cold press. Canson Imagine mixed media paper also worked beautifully with these pens with no bleeding and holds crisp marks.

Being a felt tip it is hard to get even areas of tone, it's inherent in this type of pen they can get a bit streaky. I always feel it's best to utilise the strengths of each medium, rather than trying to get it to perform as something else. So I think these pens would be ideal for looser and more casual illustrations, to colour in black ink drawings, and to use in conjuction with coloured pencil. They are a quick way to get a nice intense colour on an illustration.

Loose sketch of a short eared owl made with ohuhu dual tip waterbased pens

I really enjoyed using them and tried to produce some diverse illustrations to show the versatility of the pens. All the illustrations I did apart from the whale are black ink drawings I coloured using only the markers. I used some coloured pencil on the whale which I think produced a lovely look. It's something that would be suitable for designing stickers.

Along with the carry case I think they'd be ideal to take sketching if you didn't want to use paints outside. The beauty of this type of art supply is it allows the freedom to play and experiment, which is essential to creativity, so I know I'll be using mine a lot more.

- Good selection of colours including some lighter and more muted ones
- Pens layer well giving some interesting variations of colour
- Great for quick sketches and trying colour combinations
- Work well combined with coloured pencils
- Value for money with convenient compact carry case
- Has a fineliner tip which is excellent for adding details 
- Spare nibs included 

- Can be difficult to blend
- Not totally water soluble, tends to stain paper
- Inconsistent brush tips
- Says fade resistant but no lightfastness information 
- No option to buy pens separately if a colour runs out

Products used -
Ohuhu 160 felt tipped waterbased brush markers
Canson Imagine mixed media paper
Daler Rowney Aquafine Hot Pressed watercolour paper 
Faber-Castell Pitt Black Artist Pens 

Colourful autumn gourds and pumpkins drawn with Ohuhu waterbased pens

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