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What are POSCA pens?

What are POSCA pens?

Uni-ball POSCA pens

There is a whole world of Uni-ball Posca users out there! And hopefully after reading this article you will be more informed about these amazingly versatile products.

A Posca art pen is basically an odourless, water-based and water resistant pigment ink marker for most surfaces. It is very popular amongst artists, designers, calligraphers, illustrators and creative hobbyists. It is used by amateurs and professionals on all types of materials, hence its versatility and compatibility to use with other mediums. The acrylic paint is contained in a hard, hand held plastic tube with a polyester fibre applicator nib. Various shaped nibs are available, so you can always choose the right nib for the right project! Uni-ball POSCA Markers contain highly pigmented water based pigment ink that produce poster-like, vibrant and vivid colours. Once applied they are opaque and will dry like acrylic paint. Posca markers are water-resistant.

Are Uni-ball Posca markers permanent?

Yes. They are lightfast and water resistant and will write on virtually any surface from glass, primed canvas and wood, to paper and metal without any bleed. Once dry, the opaque colours can be completely covered with a new paint application, working colour over colour. Also, Posca markers are amazing for laying down opaque blocks of vivid colours next to each other. A graphic designers dream medium.

Whilst still wet, the acrylic marker paint can be diluted with a little water to create washes, either directly on the substrate or in a palette. Paint can also be blended when wet on the substrate to create new colour combinations.

Uni-ball Posca markers are lightweight and easy to transport, they can be used for painting indoors or outdoors. Take them on holiday or sketching days out. Using  Posca art pens will allow you to start and finish a painting in one sitting as there is a very short window on drying times, only a few minutes at the most!

Water resistant Uni-ball Posca Markers are the ideal medium for customising many of your favourite objects such as skateboards, bedroom doors, bedroom walls, mobile phones, mirrors, lampshades, trainers, denim jacket, leather jacket, water-bottles, your bicycle and a whole host of other objects.

Download the  Uni-ball Posca PDF guide here.

The Perfect Uni-ball Posca Products; Pens, Pencils and Pastels.

Posca products group shot

5 Posca nib types and 8 different Posca sizes; For writing, painting, drawing, colouring, decorating and mark making that can be used on virtually any surface.

PC-17K Extra Broad 15mm tip; Extra Broad chisel/square 15mm tip. Available in 10 vivid colours, it has an extra-broad square shape tip, will create fat and thin lines, it is great for creating lettering and excellent for filling in large areas. Excellent for large scale artwork, murals, indoors and outdoors, great for using on walls, and windows. Used for Street Art, Graffiti Art, large italic style handwriting and large format work.

PC-8K Broad Chisel tip 8mm; Available in 33 vivid colours. Allows you to create thick or thin lines, neat curves and also tapered lines. Excellent for calligraphy, lettering and outlining, Street Art, Graffiti Art, Italic-style hand-writing and large format work. Murals indoors and outdoors. Replaceable tip.

PC-7M Broad Bullet tip 4.5-5.5mm; Available in 15 vivid colours, great for creating dots and smooth outlines, neat curves and great for blending and fine details. The rounded tip is excellent for precision on large art pieces on canvas or primed or unprimed wooden panels. 

PC-5M Medium 1.8-2.5mm bullet tip; Available in 49 vivid colours with reversible and replaceable tip. Multi-purpose marker, produces neat and precise lines for detailed work, and for blending colours together. Used for colouring and lettering. Great all-rounder. 

PC-3M Fine tip 0.9-1.3mm; Available in 44 vivid colours, reversible and replaceable tip. Used for extra fine detailing, designing, drawing, decorating and lettering. Great all-rounder.

PC-1M Extra Fine 0.7mm marker; Available in 29 vivid colours . Extra fine and precise bullet tip. Used for those extra fine details and designs. Used by card makers, designers, and illustrators. Can create tiny dots, curves, continuous lines and expressive strokes. Great for colouring.

PCF-350 Brush marker; Available in 10 vivid colours. Soft brush fibre tip, is ideal for brush script, calligraphy and colouring. Excellent for creating painterly marks and reaching areas that other markers cannot with its soft fine tip. Great for colouring and fine designs. 

What Surfaces can I use my Uni-ball Posca paint Marker on!

Always make sure your surface is dust and grease free before you start any project. The smoother the surface the longer the drying time, however POSCA art pens usually only take a few minutes to dry in the right conditions. They can be used on almost any surface. 

  • Black paper, white paper, cardboard, bristol board, primed canvas, primed or un-primed wooden panel Will dry permanent, can be varnished with 2 coats of water based spray varnish in a matt, satin or gloss finish. On more absorbent un-primed wooden panel, it will take slightly longer to dry. 
  • Glass - bake in the oven at 160ƒ for 45 mins then spray with clear varnish, hand wash only. Not suitable for use on items used in contact with food.
  • Stone - to fix spray with clear varnish.
  • Textiles - Iron on reverse to Fix. Posca paint will absorb into the fabric. It will fade after 20 washes, but will not wash out completely. Can be reapplied to refresh colours.
  • Smooth exterior and interior walls - make sure the surface is clean and dry and dust free, Posca will dry waterproof, can be spray varnished for longevity or to change the look of the finish.
  • Windows - no need to fix will dry waterproof. Can be wiped off with water or a microfibre cloth and a scraper can be used for stubborn paint.
  • Metal water bottles - Fix with clear varnish.
  • Ceramic - Porcelain  - Fix in the oven 160ƒ for 45 minutes then apply clear varnish spray. Hand wash only.
  • Plastics - Fix with clear varnish.

Getting started, how can I prepare my Uni-ball POSCA pen to work correctly?

New art pens, releasing the Paint!

Before using your new Uni-ball POSCA pen, you will need to shake your pen vigorously to mix the paint inside the tube. Then dab and press your new POSCA a few times to enable the flow of paint to impregnate the fibre tip/nib. Don't flood the nib too much, or the paint will pool and flood on the surface. As soon as you see the paint being loaded into the nib, stop pressing down.

Once you can see the paint in the nib, do some tests on a spare piece of paper. Use a paper towel for any excess paint. Whilst waiting to use between colours, stand your pen (vertically with the lid on) on a flat surface with the fibre tip down. This will ensure your nib is fully loaded with pigment. If needed, you can shake your marker (with the lid on), between applications.

When you are finished using your POSCA markers they must be stored with the cap firmly on. Most POSCA pens can be stored vertically or horizontally, apart from the brush-tipped Posca which should be stored horizontally if possible.

If your tip becomes damaged, it can be turned around or even replaced with a new tip bought separately. 

Reversible tips: PC-3M and PC-5M

Replaceable tips: PC-1MC, PC-3M, PC-5M, PC-7M, PC-9K, PC-17K.

Most of the POSCA tips are washable and replaceable or reversible. If you find one of your tips has dried out, you can soak it in a glass of water and then replace it.

Line quality, line variety, tips and techniques;

  • Fibre nib styles provide a choice of line thickness, as well as being a creative tool. Small details or bold outlines will make your characters or objects stand out. 
  • Use a second outline in either the same hue but a different tone or use a light blue or mid grey to create cast or drop shadows. This will create a 3 dimensional look. Using dots and dashes or multiple small gestural marks will suggest movement to your characters in motion! Or create texture and value with cross hatching techniques using a variety of line weights.
  • Whilst using the brush tip marker pens you can even flick the paint onto your surface to provide more organically made marks and splashes of colour. A quick spritz of water to dilute the paint whilst still wet on the surface will disperse your paint and create washes. 
  • Aim to work with the flow of your marker nib fibres, similar to that of a paint  brush. Think about the direction of your line when outlining and pull your marker towards you if possible. When working in the wrong direction, too much friction from the nib on the paper may make the paint splatter, and leave a large drop of paint, rather than creating a smooth transition of line. 
  • If you don't want your colours to bleed into each other, just wait until each colour has dried before applying the next colour. The paint will dry matte, so if your paint has a sheen it is still wet. 
  • Because of the opaque nature of the Posca marker paint, overlaying one colour over another is easy. Even the lighter colours such as white or yellow will be seen over the dark reds, blues and even black.
  • Posca Markers can be used over surfaces painted with different paint mediums, such as watercolour paint, acrylic paint, gouache paint, coloured pencils, or over inks. Posca art pens can be used to create a star filled night sky over inks or acrylic paint or provide lost highlights in a watercolour painting. However, only add small details as the water soluble mediums may re-ignite if too much Posca marker paint is used. 
  • When working with a large area of block colour, work one section at a time and work from right to left if you are left handed or left to right if you are right handed. This will ensure you don't put your hand into the wet paint.
  • Always have some paper tissue at hand for spillages, and spare paper to test out your markers before you commit to your artwork. Apply different pressure to create your lines and keep the paint flowing into the nib.  

Available colours and nib sizes:

POSCA water based pigment ink markers are available in pin, chisel, bullet and brush tips, with a huge range of vibrant, opaque colours to choose from. There are a total of 66 colours, including 8 Metallic, 6 Fluorescent and 8 Glitter. Each marker will have a particular palette available for that size and nib type. 

Download the Posca Colour chart here

Black and White is available in every nib sizes.


  • Coral - available in PC-5m nib.
  • Fluorescent Red - available in PC-5M and PC-8K nib.
  • Red - available in all nibs.
  • Glitter Red - available in PC-3ML nib.
  • Metallic Red - available in PC-1MR, PC-5M and PC-8K nib sizes.
  • Dark Red - available inPC-3M nib.


  • Fuchsia - available in PC-3M nib.
  • Pink - available in all nibs.
  • Metallic Pink - available in PC-1MR, PC-5M and PC-8K nib sizes.
  • Light Pink - available in PC-1MC, PC-3M and PC-5M nibs.
  • Glitter Pink - available in PC-3ML nib.
  • Fluorescent Pink - available in PC-5M and PC-8K nibs 


  • Violet - available in PC-1MR, PC-1MC, PC-3M, PC-5M, PC-7M and PC-8K nib sizes
  • Glitter Violet - available in PC-3ML nib.
  • Metallic violet - available in PC-5M and PC-8K nibs.
  • Lilac - available in PC-3M and PC-5M nibs.


  • Sky Blue - available in PC-3M and PC-5M nibs.
  • Light Blue - available in all nibs.
  • Glitter light Blue - available in PC-3ML nib.
  • Glitter Dark Blue - available in PC-3ML nib.
  • Turquoise  - available in PC-8K nib.
  • Metallic Blue - available in PC-1MR, PC-5M and PC-8K nib sizes.
  • Dark Blue - available in all nibs.
  • Navy Blue - available in PC-3M nib.


  • Khaki - available inPC-3M nib.
  • Dark Green - available in all nibs.
  • Emerald Green - available in PC-3M and PC-5M nibs.
  • Metallic Green - available in PC-5M and PC-8K nibs.
  • Glitter Green - available in PC-3ML nib.
  • Fluorescent Green - available in PC-8K nib.
  • Apple Green - available in PC-3M and PC-5M nibs.
  • Light Green - available in PC-1MC, PC-3M, PC-5M, PC-7M and PC-8K nib sizes.
  • Aqua Green - available in PC-5M nib.


  • Beige - available in PC-1MC, PC-3M, PC-5M and PC-8K nib sizes.
  • Salmon Pink - available in PC-1MC, PC-3M, PC-5M, PC-7M and PC-8K nibs.
  • Orange - available in PC-1MC, PC-3M, PC-5M, PC-7M and PC-8K nib sizes.
  • Glitter Orange - available in PC-3ML nib.
  • Fluorescent Orange - available in PC-5M and PC-8K nibs.
  • Pale Fluorescent Orange - available in PC-8K nib.
  • Dark Orange - available in PC-1MR, PC-1MC, PC-3M, PC-5M, PC-7M and PC-8K nib sizes.


  • Straw Yellow - available in PC-1MC, PC-3M, and PC-8K nibs.
  • Yellow - available in all nibs.
  • Fluorescent Yellow - available in PC-5M and PC-8K nibs.
  • Glitter Yellow - available in PC-3ML nib.
  • Gold - available in all nibs. 


  • Bordeaux - available in PC-1MC, PC-3M, PC-5M and PC-8K nibs.
  • Brown - available in PC-1MC, PC-3M, PC-5M, PC-7M and PC-8K nibs.
  • Bronze - available in PC-5M and PC-8K nibs.
  • Dark Brown - available in PC-3M nib.

The metallic colours are great for all craft orientated artwork and seasonal decorations. The neon colours will allow you to create some amazing birthday or occasional decorations.

The broad nibs will allow you to overlay colours to create subtle tones. For best results, wait until each layer is dry, then overlay your different hues. Or, you can work wet into wet to create gradients or blend your paints to create new colour combinations. 

Complimentary colours will sing off the paper when laid down next to each other. Or you could work block colours close to each other on the spectrum to create harmonic palettes. Poscas are an excellent medium for creating vivid and bright flat geometric shapes and surface pattern designs.

Uni-ball Posca Coloured Assorted Pencils - Set of 36

If you love Uni-ball POSCA paint markers, you will adore POSCA pencils.

Uni-ball POSCA pencil's smooth finish allows for a range of tried and tested drawing techniques. The pencils blend, stipple, cross-hatch, and outline. They can also be used with water and turpentine to create washes of colour or mix blended colours on the paper. 

Posca Pencils

Uni-ball POSCA has expanded its range to include Posca Pencils, giving artists, illustrators and crafters more creative options and possibilities. The new POSCA PENCIL & POSCA PASTEL ranges complete the Uni-ball POSCA colour collection and work beautifully on a wide range of surfaces.

These pencils have the same quality you would expect from Uni-ball POSCA, boasting amazing longevity, usability and naturally a fantastic colour range and coverage.

They have a unique formula and contain more oil than wax, making the colours ultra deep, punchy and vivid. Their innovative construction means the pencils are sleek and easy to use, sharpen like a dream and don't crumble or break when a heavy pressure is applied

Available in 36 stunning shades, these top quality art pencils have six levels of intensity and carry a deep, rich concentration on the page. They are adaptable too; they look great on light and dark papers and can be used with both water and turpentine to achieve a range of effects


Uni-ball POSCA Pastels Assorted - Set of 24

The new POSCA PASTEL range completes the POSCA colour collection. Their unique formula contains more wax than oil, so colours are vibrant with a super smooth finish. This also means that POSCA pastels leave hardly any residue on the page. Colours can be blended and overlaid, you can stipple, colour block, cross-hatch, scratch and outline. Plus you can heat the sticks to create textured effects. POSCA PASTELS can be used on wood, glass and fabric as well as on pastel board and paper . The Posca pastels have a long and fine body and are used like a pencil, are ergonomic with a natural grip. They can be sharpened to a thin tip for detailed work or used to create shading and mark making.

This set includes all 24 POSCA PASTEL colours: White, Yellow, Bright Yellow, Light Green, Green, Emerald Green, Apple Green, Blue, Light Blue, Prussian Blue, Sky Blue, Fuchsia, Violet, Pink, Vermilion, Red, Dark Red, Dark Olive, Brown, Dark Brown, Light Ochre, Black, Grey and Light Orange.

  • Beautiful Posca wax crayons sold in a box with 24 different colours.
  • The pastels can be used on almost all surfaces such as paper, glass, metal, plastic and wood.
  • The 24 bright and vivid colours come in a practical metal box, which consists of 2 layers that can be separated for ease of use.
  • Blendable with blending fluid

Shop all Uni-ball POSCA products

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Which is the best Liquitex acrylic paint for you?

Varnishing Acrylic Paintings


Ellie Jakeman
Ellie Jakeman

I have had a strong interest in the visual and creative arts since a very early age. After completing an Art and Design Degree and Post graduate studies I have taught Art and Design, Fashion and Textiles, Textile design , Fine Art print and Illustration for over 20 years. Before teaching I was a freelance artist and illustrator and decided 4 years ago I would return to freelance and commissioned work. I have created many domestic and commercial murals for hospitals and hospices. I work part time for ARTdiscount as a content creator and product tester.

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