What Are Posca Pens? An Artist’s Dream or Overhyped?

What are Posca pens? You may have heard your artistic friends talking about this pen brand and all the incredible things they can do. The hype is probably justified. Obviously, as with all art equipment, these pens are better for some uses than others. So, in this guide, we get to the bottom of Posca pens, what they can do, and who they are best for.

Posca Pens Explained

What are Posca pens? They are water-based paints available in a variety of styles with a variety of tips. They dry permanently on virtually any surface, which has made them popular for illustrators, artists, and even for things like graffiti and signage for shops. Posca pens can also be used by artists. They’re especially useful for mixed-media or even journaling.

Posca pens are water-based, so they have an incredibly bright color. The fact that you can get them in a variety of styles with different tips makes them a suitable paint pen for virtually any use.

What Are Posca Pens Used For?

Painters often use them for things like outlining or even providing the detail in other mediums. They mix well with acrylics, though there is no acrylic in the pen itself.

Other uses for these pens include:

  • Writing menus or specials on menu boards
  • Creating artwork and murals on walls and on the ground – Posca pens are a street art favorite
  • Drawing or painting on textiles or even wood and rocks
  • Creating drawings or images in shop windows
  • Coloring outdoor sculptures
  • Scrapbooking or doodling

As you can see, these pens are incredibly versatile. The list above is not comprehensive and people get more and more creative with their use of the Posca pen. Their website has some awesome examples.

How Much Are Posca Pens?

Posca pens aren’t the cheapest. There are a lot of different brands of paint-style pens and brush pens out there that are competitors, but this is seen by many as the elite. Because Posca pens have such good reviews, they’re fairly costly.

That said, you can get some amazing sets of pens for around $50, which is fairly reasonable when you consider the fact that they last ages. On top of this, the pens have a smart method of preserving the paint within. While you can buy some cheaper alternatives, they tend to leak ink and waste it. The valve within Posca creates a solid seal to conserve the paint reserves.

How to Use Posca Pens

There are a lot of videos out there showing you exactly how to use Posca pens for a variety of different purposes.

Using the Posca pens is as simple as taking the cap off and getting started. You can draw or paint a variety of different things, from calligraphy to full-blown portraits and graffiti or street art. There are many more techniques to be aware of.

The mixing technique involves mixing the paint when it is still wet, which can provide you with a whole range of colors. You need to be careful to ensure you mix on the paper or surface you are using, otherwise you can risk contaminating the nibs.

You can also use the “blowing” technique to create interesting gradients just like you would see graffiti artists do. In the words of Posca: “Just blow vigorously (but not too vigorously!) on the tip of the POSCA when it is filled with paint.”

Posca Pen Alternatives

If you are asking what Posca pens are you may also be wondering if there are alternatives, especially if you are put off by the price. Because of the fact that Posca pens are water-based paint acrylic pens, there are other brands that make some good alternatives.

If we were to pick one set of Posca pen alternative pens out, it’s the Arteza Acrylic Paint Markers which come in a set of 40. They’re quick-drying, very simple and straightforward to use, and you can even replace the tips. They don’t preserve ink quite as well but that isn’t too much of a problem as long as you look after your pens and use the lids properly.

Posca Pen Tips

There are multiple choices for the tip. Naturally, different tips will be better for different artistic uses.

  • brush tip (ideal for calligraphy)
  • 0.7mm ultra-fine pin tip
  • 0.7mm extra-fine bullet tip (great for outlining and detailing)
  • 0.9 – 1.3mm fine bullet tip
  • 1.8 – 2.5mm medium bullet tip
  • chisel tip
  • 15mm extra-broad tip (great for larger blocks and street art uses)

Are Posca Pens Oil Based?

No. Posca pens are water-based, with bright and vibrant colors.

Are Posca Pens Toxic?

No, Posca pens are non-toxic. The water-based paint inside is totally non-toxic, which should give peace of mind, especially if these make their way into your child’s art box.

Are Posca Paints Waterproof?

Posca paints are waterproof. Well, they’re as waterproof as you are likely to get from this sort of pen. They are semi-permanent, meaning that you can use them for things like drawing or painting on jeans or your shoes and not have to worry if it rains. Over time, the paint will fade, but only if exposed to the elements for extended periods.

Conclusion – Joining the Posca Revolution?

You can see why so many people are using these versatile pens. They are so good to have in your collection whether you are looking to highlight your homework and make it stand out, outline acrylic paintings, create signage, or even create street art. Posca pens are probably the industry leader when it comes to paint pens.

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