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Sharpie or Pencil: Weighing the Pros and Cons for your Artistic Vision

For budding artists, choosing the right medium and tools is crucial to bring their visions to life. Today, I'll dive into the pros and cons of using a Sharpie black fine point marker and a standard pencil for drawing. Both have their unique qualities and it's important to understand how they can impact your creative process. If you've paid close attention to my channel lessons over the years you'll notice that I do switch between drawing with my Sharpie or a pencil.

So let's explore these two contrasting options and help you make an informed choice!

Pros and Cons of Drawing with a Sharpie Black Fine Point Marker:

1. Bold and Permanent:

One of the major advantages of the Sharpie marker is its bold, jet-black ink that creates strong, vivid lines. The permanence of the marker ensures your artwork withstands the test of time and remains crisp without fading. This makes it great for creating bold outlines, expressive illustrations, and impactful designs.

2. Versatile on Different Surfaces:

Unlike some media, Sharpie markers work on a variety of surfaces, from paper and canvas to plastic and metal. This versatility opens up a world of creative possibilities, allowing you to experiment with different textures and explore unconventional outlets for your artistic expression.

3. Easy to Color:

One major benefit to drawing with Sharpies is that your drawing is now prepped for east coloring. Just like a printed coloring book, your markers and pencil crayons are easily applied without disturbing your bold outlines. Artwork can often appear like a page out of a comic book.

4. Limited Blending and Shading:

While the Sharpie marker excels at bold designs, it has limitations when it comes to blending and shading. The ink is non-blendable, meaning you cannot easily create gradients or smooth transitions of values. This constraint often requires artists to adopt a more graphic or illustrative style, which may or may not align with your artistic preferences.

Pros and Cons of Drawing with a Standard Pencil:

1. Control and Precision:

Drawing with a pencil offers impeccable control and precision. The fine tip allows you to create detailed lines, shading, and delicate textures. With varying pressure, you can achieve varied line weights, lending depth and dimension to your artwork. The pencil becomes an extension of your hand, offering a tactile experience that brings subtleties to life.

2. Easy to Erase and Blend:

One of the greatest advantages of a pencil is its erasability. This allows you to make adjustments, correct mistakes, and seamlessly blend graphite for smooth transitions and gradients. The ability to achieve tonal variation and soft shading makes the pencil ideal for realistic drawings and gentle values.

3. Prone to Smudging and Fading:

One downside of using a pencil is its susceptibility to smudging over time. Graphite can easily transfer onto other places on the paper or even your hands, necessitating extra caution and use of fixatives to preserve your artwork. Additionally, pencil lines may fade over an extended period, potentially requiring additional protection to ensure longevity.


In the realm of art, both the Sharpie black fine point marker and the standard pencil offer unique advantages and considerations. The bold permanence of the Sharpie marker caters to artists seeking impactful lines and versatile surfaces. Meanwhile, the pencil excels in delicate details, shading, and the ability to adjust and blend as needed.

Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on your artistic style, preferences, and the specific project you're working on. Remember, there's no right or wrong answer; it's all about discovering what works best for you and your creative vision. So, grab your chosen tool, unleash your imagination, and let your artistic journey unfold!

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2 opmerkingen

24 jul. 2023

Very informative, thanks.


Sooner Meyer
Sooner Meyer
23 jul. 2023

I love using both sharpie and pencil. I mainly use pencil and then outline with sharpie when I want or need to. To preserve my drawings I put them in a plastic sleeve in a binder where I keep most of my drawings. I have a Marvel binder, DC binder, and then another binder for the rest of the drawings.

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