Hi rainedrops!! It’s been a while! It would mean the world if you quickly took a look at my links to see my other projects, so you can see the artwork I’ve been creating and my new Kofi page! https://raineydaydoodles.carrd.co/?fbclid=PAAabMifQLvZhl50edKb-2RzSdK3wes-JKPm_86xGkIqVg1gbOwYUDL8Q2
So what did I come back to talk about? Today I have the amazing privilege of working with Arrtx again!! If you’re not familiar with them, they are an amazing art brand that works to create high quality art supplies at a more affordable price!! I have absolutely loved their supplies, way before our first collaboration a few years ago when I was able to review their alcohol markers!
Today, I’m reviewing their brand new “Simptap” Acrylic Markers!! I’m going to be comparing them with two other popular acrylic markers, the infamous Posca pen, as well as Arrtx original crylic marker set!
First of all, let’s discuss the details of these brand new Simptap markers! Are you interested in checking them out? Click the link below!
Ok, so the markers! This is a set of 24 acrylic markers, with brush tips no less!! I was so excited to see that Arrtx once again used a brush tip for their acrylic markers, like they did with their past design as well. What’s different about these is the top ink valve, making these markers a bit more similar to Posca in that you have more control with the amount of acrylic being used.
This set of 24 is $27.99 on Arrtx official website, as well as on Amazon. In comparison, their previous acrylic markers came in various sets and prices, with one of their larger sets of 32 being $24.99. However, a 29 set of Posca pens on Amazon will cost you a full $61.99. So these markers far surpass even settling in the middle of these prices! They’re only a few dollars extra in comparison for being a brand new product with a more complex design, so I’m really impressed with this pricing!
So let’s see what makes these acrylic markers different!
As usual, I love Arrtx packaging and design, the box for these markers is so cute! You can also see from this photo the barrel and valve design for these markers. I think it’s probably time to show off these colors!
Ahhh!! SUCH amazing swatches! One of the very first things I realized when initially testing these markers were the unique color choices! Now this is something to look at when purchasing, in my opinion this is NOT a set of very basic primary and essential colors. Personally, I’m really happy with these colors, as I like having the more unique colors! But it is something to keep in mind. What I love about these colors is how coherent they all feel together, which makes it feel like they can all be used together to make wonderful color palettes!
This set includes a white and black, with 22 colors, 2 of those being metallic! I had no idea there would be metallic markers in this set so I was very excited to see the shimmer in the gold and silver markers! It includes a wide range from reds to blues, as well as lots of skin tones! I personally do not feel any of the markers are the same pigment in comparison to each other, as that as always a problem I seem to notice in sets of art supplies, though I do see a few colors that are somewhat similar to each other. Still not enough to make it feel like any of these colors are a “waste”!
These markers also include a code system which I always really appreciate, because sometimes using markers based on the cap color alone is a bit of a challenge. It does tend to be that cap colors do not match the ink as well as they potentially could, and there are some markers in this set which do face this issue, or have caps which look somewhat similar to each other, like with J529 and J532, which in reality are very different colors. I would also love a color naming system so that colors could be referred to with names as opposed to just codes, since with a naming system it is easier to remember which color has which name, whereas with a code system with very similar letters and numbers, it feels like you do have to look at a swatch page more to figure out your colors.
Here you can see some of my playing around as I worked to get the markers started before the swatching video. I did find getting the ink flowing in these markers to be a bit of a struggle at first, but this is part of the design so as to not damage the brush tip. As opposed to pressing down on the tip itself to make the ink flow like with a Posca, you press down on the ink valve on the opposite side of the marker. This shouldn’t be a problem but the valve is a little hard to push down, and it can be a bit challenging to get the ink to flow down all over the brush tip as opposed to just flowing down one spot. However, getting acrylic markers started always seems to be a time consuming task, and once these get flowing they have worked absolutely beautifully!! Where I find my poscas occasionally getting stuck, needing to be repumped, and then a HUGE amount of ink spilling out onto my swatch page (or even worse, my drawing) the ink in these is much more reliable! You can literally see as I compared it to the posca, the purple posca pen spilled ink everywhere!! You do need to use the markers as directed on Arrtx site, shaking them well with the cap on and pressing the top valve 4-5 times. But I had no spilling issues while using these. Huge win! Plus, look at the different sizes you can get with the brush!
Here are some more tests I did to see how the markers work with one another. First off, these markers have AMAZING blendability, I was truly impressed. Initially I wondered the difference between these and past Arrtx acrylic markers, but the blending quality of these is much improved. If I had to guess this is maybe due to the ink flow being heavier meaning there is more actual ink sitting on a page to move around? I was also using a high quality paper (Mossery Watercolor) for these so that probably helped. They also overlap each other great if you allow the first color to dry, meaning it’s easy to fix mistakes by just placing colors on top of each other. The only downside I did notice is that the white is very translucent, which honestly is one of my biggest pet peeves which acrylic markers. I have the same exact issue with my Posca pen, where it feels that the white ink is looser and less opaque. It is a bit aggravating, as I’d love it to be a thicker ink allowing for the white to be used to cover up other colors. But seeing as it’s an issue for the art supply as a whole, I definitely don’t see it as a downside to these markers. I compared it to the previous Arrtx white acrylic pen and it's equal in opacity.
So, which do I prefer, the old or new Arrtx acrylic markers? Honestly I think they are both really useful and both have their own unique upsides! I love the ease of use with the old markers, where you don’t have to pump the ink, and the fact that they have a brush tip and a bullet nib. However, I feel the ink quality, control, and blendability makes these new markers more effective for truly finished illustrations! Speaking of.. here’s mine, using the all new Simptap markers to color!
She’s such a cutie!! I used mainly J529, J532, J555, J508, and J233 for the color palette, as well as J005 for her skin tone. I absolutely LOVED mixing J005 with the tiniest hint of J532 for blushing!! I think the same theory would work great for the darker skin tones as well by mixing them with maybe J529 or J543!! And you can see that my white did come in handy, as I used it a bunch to blend out the color in her wings and skirt to create the illusion of more pastel colors. Like I said before, the blending here is top notch!!
Lastly, I did really want to test these markers on something other than paper, since Acrylic markers are known for working well on all sorts of materials. Since I’ve been using the older Arrtx acrylic markers to customize some shoes! Here you can see where I used the new Simptap marker in black, and it worked great on the red canvas part of the shoe! It did make me notice that the brush tip on this new marker is a tiny bit thicker then the last, not really a plus or a minus in my book, just something to note. I’m honestly really excited to see what using both arrtx acrylic markers TOGETHER will be like in the future!!
To finish, let’s look at a little list of pros and cons I made on these guys comparing them to Posca Pens, seeing as they are the leading brand of acrylic paint pens.
NEW ARRTX SIMPTAP MARKERS:
Price - PRO
These markers boast a huge discount in comparison to Posca, with the Arrtx set of 24 at $27.99 29.. and a set of 29 Posca pens at $61.99. That means the Arrtx average around $1.50 per marker, with Posca at $2-3 depending on the set.
Ink - PRO
The ink quality here is great, as well as amazing for blending, something Posca has never worked that great for for me!
Tip - PRO
Of course a brush tip is always going to be a huge PRO in my book!! The brush tip makes these so unbelievably easy to use effectively in your art.
Ink Valve - POSSIBLE CON
If you’re not a fan of using Poscas due to having to push them in a bunch, then you might find the ink valve of these annoying as well. It is somewhat difficult to push them in, but it doesn’t impact daily use much as the ink flows better after they have been started.
Code System - PRO
Posca simply doesn’t have this so, pro, duh!!
Ink flow - PRO
I didn’t have ONE ink spill while using these, a feat which certainly cannot be said for Posca!!
Colors - POSSIBLE CON
If you’re looking for basic, essential primaries only, you might be more interested in a different set of Arrtx acrylic markers (since they have so many, you can pretty much find anything you’re looking for at a huge price discount from Posca!) BUT if you’re interested in more fun, unique colors, you’ll love this set in particular!!
Packaging - PRO
Great package, great barrel and wonderful art and logo work on the Arrtx packaging as always!
Blending - HUGE PRO
Absolutely stunned by the blending with these, they blew me away with something I didn’t even expect to work as well as it did!!
Usability - PRO
All in all they are easy and fun to use, and they give the look and feel of working with acrylics in a more quick way than pulling out your paints and brushes. I am looking forward to using them in the future!!
So, finally, how would I rank these markers? I absolutely love them. I’m obsessed with the unique colors and the usability of the design. I can totally see myself using these a ton in my sketchbooks. I do find the Simptap valve a little difficult to use and I wish it was a lot easier to push it down. But other than that, which doesn’t really come into play with actually using the markers that much, I love them!! In comparison to the older Arrtx acrylic markers, I see myself using them pretty equally to one another for different purposes. I wouldn’t say one is necessarily better than the other, just different!! However, these new ones do win considerably on blending. And in comparison to Posca? Well… I have always been a little unfavorable towards Posca pens. They dry out, they spill ink everywhere, the tips get damaged getting ink out, and they don’t have enough colors. So.. yeah. This is an Arrtx win in my book! Plus remember that price difference??
Interested in checking out these amazing new markers?? Don’t forget to click the link below and see them, as well as Arrtx other wonderful art products!
Thanks once again to Arrtx for working with me, don’t forget to follow them on their socials to be sure to keep an eye out for new products, as well as giveaways and art challenges which they do ALL THE TIME! I absolutely love this brand and how they make amazing art supplies affordable and accessible to more artists. I couldn’t recommend the brand enough!!
Hope this was a helpful review for you guys, be sure to check out my Kofi page if you want to see more new blog posts from me! I’m starting a new series there where I showcase one of my art mutuals from my instagram each month and share their art!! I’m really excited about it so definitely give it a look!
Thanks for reading, have a good day Rainedrops!!