Update 7-23-2021: It appears that the Leisure Arts double-ended markers pictured above are no longer available at the manufacturer’s website. You can click here to shop for other similar options.
Since 1971, Leisure Arts has been best known as a publisher of affordable, high-quality craft patterns including crochet patterns, knitting patterns, sewing patterns, needlework patterns and craft instructions. The company has also produced a wider range of products in the lifestyle, decorating, cooking and craft niches – but my overall impression of the company is that craft books have been their primary mainstay for the majority of the time period they’ve been in business.
Leisure Arts has recently introduced an up-to-date, enticing range of calligraphy instructions and coloring books for grownups. Coinciding with the rise of the adult coloring trend, Leisure Arts has also entered the art supplies market, introducing a range of coloring instruments that includes different types of markers, calligraphy pens and colored pencils. These product offerings are intended to complement their extensive selection of high-quality adult coloring books.
As a longtime fan of the company’s craft instructions, and also a longtime connoisseur of art supplies, I’m excited to try out some of the Leisure Arts markers and coloring books. The following is my product review of the Leisure Arts 60 pack of double-ended markers:
The Best Things About These Markers
These markers have two sides – a thicker tip and a finer tip. This is ideal for drawing lines of varying thicknesses – although both ends of these markers are on the finer side, relatively speaking. You can achieve a remarkable level of fine detail when coloring or drawing with these markers.
These markers come in a set featuring 60!!! rich, vibrant, appealing colors that are mostly in the medium to dark range. If you’re used to coloring with kiddie marker sets that only have 10-24 colors, having this many gorgeous colors to choose from will feel blissfully extravagant.
The colors are all truly lovely. In this set, you get a couple of vibrant reds; oranges ranging from red-orange to pumpkin to fluorescent to peachy to coral; several choices for yellows; an astonishingly broad and lovely range of greens; a spectacular variety of blues; an appealing variety of pretty purples and purplish-pinks ranging from red-purples to blue-purples; a lovely range of gorgeous pinks; several browns; a limited range of grays; and black. The packaging specifies that colors and contents may vary.
These markers are really juicy! My experience so far has been that the color flows easily through the marker tips and onto the page.
I think the primary selling point for these markers is the remarkably low asking price. It is mind blowing to me that a pack of 60 art markers could sell for $12.99. How is that even possible???
For comparison purposes — the Prismacolor art markers I used to buy cost me $5+ each when I bought them individually at a Los Angeles art store many years ago. I just priced them online, and I found them for $3+change each, so I guess the prices have come down a bit since I bought mine.
It isn’t necessarily an apples-to-apples comparison, because these are water-based markers, and Prismacolors are alcohol-based markers. Prismacolors are clearly higher quality than these are — much higher quality.
But, if you are just looking to relax and have some fun coloring, Prismacolors may be overkill for that purpose (not to mention priced higher than what you’d want to spend). And if that’s your situation, these Leisure Arts markers might be just what you’re looking for. IF you want to work with pretty colors, and you don’t care about obtaining the highest quality artist markers possible, and you don’t want to spend one zillion dollars buying markers, this set is probably just what you want.
They also might be ideal for you if any of the following describes you:
- You’re a parent who’s looking to get your older child, teen or tween started with drawing — without spending your family inheritance on art supplies.
- You’re a college student on an ultra tight budget, and you’re taking a drawing or illustration class as an elective (you’re actually a business major, or some other major).
- You need bright, colorful markers to use only one time — perhaps for a party game, for putting together a scrapbook kit or for some other single-use purpose.
Best Subjects to Draw With the Leisure Arts Double-Ended Markers
Because the range of greens and blues in this set is excellent, I’d recommend this set of markers for coloring landscapes or floral art. This set of markers is also ideal for coloring a broad variety of other subjects including geometric art, abstract art, still life art, foodie art and mandalas. The range of browns and grays is acceptable but not super impressive – so this set could possibly work okay for things like architectural drawings, animal drawings and pet portraits – but in my opinion it is not completely ideal for those purposes.
Where this set really shines: It’s best if you want to draw something really bright, eye-catching and colorful. It’s perfect for adult coloring.
This set of Leisure Arts Double-Ended markers is not ideal for portrait drawing or fashion sketching, simply because the color range isn’t well suited for rendering skin tones. There’s one light peachy color that could possibly work okay for coloring Caucasian skin tones, but it is slightly orangier than what I consider to be ideal for this purpose. If you’re sketching people of color, there are some darker browns that could work for coloring darker-skinned people, but this set is lacking the color range that would be ideal for sketching Hispanic or Native American people.
Other Observations About These Markers
These markers are ideal for coloring finely detailed pages and drawing fine lines – which describes most adult coloring books. If you’re frustrated because you can’t easily color within the lines of your coloring books using Crayola crayons or whatever other coloring instrument you’re currently working with, I think you’re likely to be satisfied with these markers.
However, the flip side is that these markers are not ideal for quickly covering gigantic areas of paper with color. If your coloring books lack detail, you’d probably want to choose markers with thicker tips than these have. Even the side with the thicker tip isn’t all that thick.
I used Prismacolor double-ended markers for years. The thicker chisel-tip end of my Prismacolors was much thicker than the fat end of these Leisure Arts markers — and the thinner end of my Prismacolor markers was thinner and finer than the thinner end of these Leisure Arts markers.
Like every other set of markers I have ever worked with, it is possible that the ink from these could bleed through to the back of lightweight paper. If you’re drawing from scratch, you’d most likely want to pick up some marker paper to use with these markers. Bristol board or illustration board would also be acceptable choices for drawing surfaces with these markers.
If you’re planning to color in coloring books, one-sided coloring pages are typically ideal for use with markers (any markers – the issue isn’t unique to this marker brand) because of the bleed-through issue.
These markers are not refillable. So if you’re a professional artist, or aspiring to be a professional artist, these markers are probably not going to be ideal for your purposes. In that case, I’d encourage you to buy refillable markers like Copics instead of these. Yes, you will pay more — much more — for Copics than you would for these. Copic Sketch markers cost $5.24 or more each — so you couldn’t even get 3 Copics for the price you’d pay for this whole set of 60 markers. Big difference, right? Ouch.
But, these markers can’t even begin to compete with Copics in the quality department. They are reasonably good quality considering the price you’re paying, and I definitely think you’re getting more than your money’s worth for this set. But they probably aren’t what you want to use if you’re putting together an illustrator’s portfolio — or already starting to do client work as an illustrator.
I also wouldn’t recommend these markers — or, in fact, any markers — to anyone who needs to produce archival quality renderings. Markers were never intended to be lightfast or archival quality. These Leisure Arts markers certainly are not. But competing brands, aren’t, either — not even Copics.
If you’re trying to decide whether to buy these or a set of Sharpies, I’d say buy these if your goal is to draw on paper. Buy Sharpies if you have a need to draw on a non-porous surface such as acrylic or other plastics. This particular set of Leisure Arts double-ended markers is ideally suited for paper, but these markers will not work well for drawing on non-porous surfaces.
If you happen to get some ink on your hands, it isn’t a big deal. These are water-based markers, and their ink cleans up relatively easily with ordinary soap and water. They are non toxic markers.
I think the Leisure Arts double ended markers are an outstanding value for the price. I recommend them to casual artists and crafters whose primary criteria for art markers are affordability and pretty, eye-catching colors.
I particularly recommend these double-ended markers to any adults who are interested in upgrading from using crayons in their coloring books. These markers are much better suited for achieving the level of fine detail you need to stay within the lines when coloring in your coloring books.
These are NOT the highest quality art markers available, but the quality is totally acceptable for adult coloring or for other similarly fun recreational purposes.
Where to Buy Leisure Arts Double-Ended Markers
Click here to shop for these markers at the Leisure Arts Website.
- Update 7-23-2021: It appears that the Leisure Arts double-ended markers pictured above are no longer available at the manufacturer’s website. You can click here to shop for other similar options.
Learn More About Adult Coloring
Learn More About Drawing and Sketching
- Learn more about drawing with markers.
- How to Draw a Still Life
- Click here to visit our main index of pages on the topic of drawing.
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Posted By: Amy Solovay
About Your Product Reviewer: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer with a background in textile manufacturing. She holds a bachelor’s degree with a studio art minor; and she has also obtained another degree in textile design.
This page was last updated on 7-23-2021.