Lines and Colors art blog

Sharpie Liquid Pencil

Sharpie Liquid Pencil
Sharpie, makers of the iconic line of markers and pens, has announced a Liquid Pencil, a pen like instrument that makes lines with “liquid graphite”.

The lines are apparently erasable like a pencil, but dry into ink like permanence in 24 to 36 hours (depending on whether you believe the packaging or the Sharpie blog).

I like to carry around small sketchboooks, but seldom sketch in pencil because the subsequent wear on a sketchboook carried in a pocket often smears pencil drawings. I love the idea of being able to sketch in graphite, erase and smudge while drawing, and then have the resulting drawing “self-fix” in a few days.

Whether it actually works as advertised I don’t know. I haven’t had a chance to try one of these yet, but the concept is appealing enough that I thought I’d mention it now. The Sharpie blog says they will be available in stores in September, though Office Depot shows them as available for order online now.

Engadget has a short video review of the Liquid Pencil in use.

Sharpie, incidentally, is looking to make their web presence a resource for doodlers, with their Sharpie Uncapped site and Showcase (more here and here).

[Via Daring Fireball and Engadget]

[Addendum 8/29/10: Alas, though I haven’t yet tried this myself, follow up posts on Engadget indicate that the dream of the Liquid Pencil is indeed just a dream, and Sharpie is getting by on their claims on a technicality. The marks remain erasable, to some degree, indefinitely. No mention was made of smear resistance, however, so I may yet try one when I get the chance, but Sharpie hasn’t done themselves any favors with this bad bit of PR.]


13 responses to “Sharpie Liquid Pencil”

  1. Keep us posted. I have the same issue with smudged sketchbooks.

  2. I can’t wait to try this product. Thanks for the heads up!

  3. I gotta have one – even if it doesn’t work as advertised. I wonder – how dark in grade is the graphite?

  4. There’s a product from Dervivan called Liquid Pencil that’s been on the market for awhile now, but it comes in a bottle so it must be brushed on. It sounds like a similar medium.

    Sharpie would win points from me if they made a marker with pigmented ink, but this does sound interesting.

  5. That should be “Derivan.”

  6. Interesting indeed! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Sean C. Avatar

    Anybody try one of these yet? The customer reviews on retail sites have been mostly negative. I’m interested in this product and the only way I can get it is to order it blind off the internet. Thanks.

    1. I haven’t tried one personally, but Engadget has followed up on their tests, and the results are disappointing. See my addendum to the original post, above.

  8. Kenna R. Avatar

    I tried out the Sharpie Liquid Pencil as soon as I saw in in Office Max, but I was pretty disappointed. It doesn’t write smoothly at all, very blotchy and impossible to draw with, like a poor quality pen. Very frustrating. I tried smearing it and the ink rubbed off of the page completely. Very limited range of value.
    I was excited about this product and the dream of never having sketches smudged to the point of oblivion again, but sadly the “Liquid Pencil” is just another erasable pen. An erasable pen with poor quality gray ink. It was worthless for writing notes with, and even more worthless as a drawing tool. Just wanted to warn all the good people here not to waste your money. 🙁

    1. Sorry to hear that, but I appreciate your report, Kenna, as do many other readers. Thank you.

  9. Ordered several Liquid Pencils from Sharpie and they are as described- not very eraseable, and the worst part, the ink does not flow out smoothly. It’s like drawing with a dying ballpoint pen. Horrible.

    1. Thanks for the report, Rafael. Seems all reviews to date are negative.

      For the benefit of other readers, Rafael Kayanan is a well known comics illustrator and concept artist. You can see his blog here.

  10. mike townsend Avatar
    mike townsend

    I agree with Rafael. The liquid pencils are a disappointment. Stick to your regular pencils and spray a little spray varnish (my preference is Golden’s Archival spray varnish matte) lightly to fix the graphite without making it look obviously coated. Aquanet being a close second.