Thursday, May 23, 2024

Paint Marker Updates: Omiowl Acrylic, Posca


5/14/24 Maple Leaf neighborhood during the golden hour 
(This is why I can't give up on my worst bad-boy art material --
 Posca markers. It's hard to beat this easy opaque color!)

It’s been more than a month since I reviewed the Omiowl White Acrylic Marker, and I’ve been using it regularly since early April, so it’s time for an update. First off, the paint itself is still the best opaque white I’ve used. It covers large areas easily with solid opacity, it requires no agitating, shaking, priming, wiping or other annoying high maintenance practices, and it’s inexpensive.

The downside is that I’ve figured out why it is sold only in bulk packs of eight: The paint runs out quickly, and the brush tip mushes down a bit with regular use (although not before the paint runs out). I’ve gone through three pens already, so that’s a lot of plastic rapidly going into the landfill. After I’ve used up my supply, I won’t be buying more. It’s a shame, but it’s encouraging to know that it’s possible to make a decent white acrylic marker with low maintenance (but now someone needs to make a refillable version).

Great paint; bad value.

The next update is not news; I’ve known all along that Posca paint markers are prone to this issue, but now I have graphic evidence of Posca’s worst annoying trait. Sketching one day, I gave a Posca a vigorous, rattly shaking with the cap on (which is essential). When I pulled the cap off, paint exploded from the tip, leaving a spray of yellow dots on the sidewalk (exhibit A, below right).
Exhibit A: Italy and the sidewalk

Relieved that the spray had landed on the sidewalk and not on my sketch, I tried to use the pen, but paint wasn’t flowing, despite the explosion. I primed the pen by pumping the point on the last page of my book that I reserve for this purpose. The abstract map of Italy resulted (I admit, the yellow and blue look nice together) when the priming suddenly released more paint. I closed the sketchbook’s back cover quickly, resulting in the colorful Rorschach (exhibit B below; photo taken after I had filled the sketchbook). The Posca finally under control, I proceeded to finish my sketch.

Exhibit B: Posca Rorschach on the last page of my Uglybook.

What I didn’t think about was that the initial paint explosion had left a puddle of paint inside the cap, which I had posted. So when I recapped the pen, all the paint from inside the cap had transferred to the end of the pen – and then to my hand. (I apologize that I have no exhibit photo for that – I didn’t want to further transfer yellow paint to my phone.)

Exhibit C: Posca is permanent on favorite T-shirts.
When I got home after my walk, I realized that the sidewalk was not the only place where excess paint had landed; the splatters had also hit my T-shirt. Exhibit C at left shows the shirt after laundering.

Never trust a Posca. If it is behaving well, it is just waiting for you to become complacent before it turns on you again.

Will I keep using Poscas? Yes, of course (see sketch at top of post). It’s an ongoing, tumultuous relationship that I know is bad for me, yet I can’t seem to tear myself away. [Cue theme song to the TV show “Cops.”]

While I’ve been generally happy with the Omiowl acrylic marker, its brush tip is too thick for making fine lines in my small sketchbook, so I’m still on the hunt for a fine line opaque white pen. (Yes, I did give up on the white Posca 0.7mm “pin type” pen, three of which I used serially before each clogged in turn; other colors do not clog nearly as badly.) My current contenders are a Kuretake Zig ultra-fine brush pen and a Deleter Neopiko Line Drawing Pen (0.5), both containing white water-based pigment ink. I’m also giving my old standby, the Sakura Gelly Roll gel pen, another try, this time in the 1.0mm size. In the past, I have typically used the 0.8mm size, but Kathleen Moore recommends the 1.0mm size to use with watercolors, so I got one for her classes. I might as well give it a fair shake.

Hope springs eternal.

Jaded as I am, I’m not holding my breath that any of these will blow my socks off, but hope springs eternal, even among the jaded. Stay tuned.

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