My painting style is very detailed and a lot of my work has very small objects with lots of detailing. I also fine line pen on many parts of the painting and at present I also simply use a fine liner brush and cut back in with other colours until I am happy with the finish. I have often thought it would be much easier to use a pen that I can fill with acrylic paint to use just like a fine line marker. Does anyone know if such a thing exists? I know nail artists use pens but I'm not sure if these will be suitable.

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Thanks to everyone for your replies!!

I'm going to give them all a try if I can get my hands them. Just a quick question has  anyone who has recommended any of the pens purchased them in the U.K?

I also do fine line detail work and love the Micron pens. I have several different sizes in the black.

it sounds good but do u get these pens in variety of colours????

karen knapp said:

For super fine detail in my pictures, I use Sigma Micron pens.... the smallest is 005 which is .20 mm  it is archival and permanent and works really well.  The point is so tiny that you can barely see it!!  It is available at craft stores or art stores.

Good luck

Prismacolor makes a fine line marker in colors...not as thin a line but very nice.
Wish there were more colors. The sets I have are with red, blue, green, brown, orange, purple, and black. 05 is the size.

The pens l have got  are Staedtler triplus fineliner They are 03mm and tey are in lots of colours

Hello Stephen,

Most of the time I use the Pitt Artist Pens, indian ink, for some details over my acrylic and/pr oil paintings... after the painting is fixed with aerosol varnish, these blend well with the rest of the painting (for acrylic you'll have to wait a bit for them to dry) - colour wise there is not a wide range, but these are available in small 0.3mm to brush tip size

Edding Paint Markers also are good, these are are supplied in a wide range of tip sizes, locally we find a very limited colour range.

What I also use at times is a blank brush pen (you can buy these singles or loose), and fill them with some diluted acrylic / ink and work over the lines (be sure to rinse them well after you've finished) - that way you can mix your own blends and hues :)

Depending on mood and patience, sometimes I add an outline with oil pastels, then go over and scrape the excess with either a toothpick / a palette knife / a wax carver (this also relies on the smoothness of background colour and texture of paint)

Sharpie permanent pens also seem to be good, but am not sure how much detail you can work depending on the background colour in the work

Lately I ordered a set of Molotow One4All Paint Markers and Uni Posca Pens (available in art-shops around Liverpool and in London) for a project I have in mind... still haven't tried them out yet. But it seems that both can be applied over paint (or most surfaces) and retain their hue. There is a wide range of colours for each and a number of nibs to choose from; from the Extra Fine 0.3mm to 1.5mm chisel tip.

This is the website for the Molotow; from a video demonstration I learned that even though these can be applied, one can easily blend the colour with brush/finger as well - anyway I fell in love with these, as they seem quite versatile and their description really struck my interest:

Hope this was a little helpful...


Hello again,

forgot the most important part... since most of the supplies available locally are rather limited... I do order most of the supplies from online vendors based in the UK.

Amazon does have a range of these products available . Most of the time I resort to,,,,,,, (you're lucky as most ship to UK only)

Most of these I ordered from... some shops I went to when I visited the UK for an annual stock of art-supplies...  :)

Hi everyone!

I've experimented with Decocolor Acrylic, Elmer's Painters and Sakura Permapaque paint markers in conjunction with acrylics, and they all performed beautifully.

None have a very fine point (the smallest I've seen is about the size of the classic black Sharpie), but I've been able to do finer details by using a light touch, so they may work for your needs. 

One caveat: for non-porous surfaces like plastic, ceramics, etc., go with Decocolor or Elmer's; the Sakura Permapaque is terrible!

Hi I Read this on the Artspeak newsletter, I use Staedtler triplus fineliners 0.3mm they come in sets of many colours (got mine from Ebay) they do tend to run so make sure the paint is dry.For a more permanent solution I use Acrylic ink with a Caligraphy dipper pen. It is painstaking but the results can be really satisfying. Have a look at Jack003, I used this method on the painting. Hope this helps. nb the fineliners will block with wet paint.

I use pit pens a lot and they work well over acrylics.  Nothing will work for long over gesso.. it eats sharpies for LUNCH.  If it's pro paint, then sharpies work but if it's craft paint then the fillers will kill 'em.

I often use a dip pen and acrylic ink.. and have been known to fill a waterbrush and add a few drops of acrylic ink to get the effect I'm after.  it'll eventually clog the brush but can be cleaned with alcohol.

I haven't used this yet, but montana makes acrylic filled pens, but even better an empty pen, which you can use with fluid acrylic. Guy at the counter said you want a milk-like consitency of paint, but basically this has a ball bearing in it and will flow your paint like a pen will. It's about 3 bucks and change at Dick Blick.

Thaneeya, did you varnish with a brush over the deco pens? Im thinking of buying some but I like to varnish my paintings with a brush too .... :)))
Thaneeya McArdle said:

Just an update on the DecoColor acrylic paint markers: I tried them on top of a dried acrylic painting on canvas, and they adhered well. I'm pleased with how it turned out.  I think when Blick advises that they not be used in "conjunction" with acrylic paint, they are advising not to use them "in tandem" with acrylic paint - not to let the nibs of the markers touch wet acrylic paint, which could likely damage the markers. 

I think these acrylic paint markers will be handy for adding extra details as a top layer to a painting.  I'm not sure how well it would work to paint over the markers, but I'm comfortable using them as a top layer.  Tomorrow I'll varnish them with brush-on varnish and see how they go (whether it's better to use brush-on varnish or spray-on varnish).

As a side note I don't think the acrylic paint markers would do well with blending - I think they are mainly meant to provide a flat surface color.

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