Ohuhu is a respected brand in the traditional art world, so when it offered to send me a set of the Ohuhu Honolulu 320 alcohol markers for review, I jumped at the chance. It might seem obvious, but the first thing you'll notice about these markers is the sheer amount of them. The 320 dual-tipped markers come in a black carry case, and the box contains dividers to split the markers up into six different sections.
Also in the box is a plastic sheet to place below your paper to prevent bleeding, four swatch cards to fill in and a colour chart. To review the markers, and see how they measure up to other pens on our best markers list, I tested them with Ohuhu's marker pad, as well as on plain paper over a number of weeks. I created a few projects, made a lot of squiggles, did some colouring in, and also lent them to my husband, who is an artist, to get this view on them. I also left the top off some of the markers overnight to see what would happen.
Ohuhu Honolulu 320 review: colour range
The range of colours provided in this set is impressive. It's a little overwhelming at first, in fact. The colours arrive all jumbled up so if you're anything like me, you might feel compelled to organise them before you do anything else.
Once they're all nice and tidy you may then want to fill in the swatch cards. These make it much easier to see at a glance the true colours you have, rather than relying on the chart that comes with the markers. Filling in the swatches will take you a while, but it is a nice way to get properly familiar with the colours you now have in your arsenal. I found the range of colours more than enough for what I needed – throughout the time I spent with the markers, I didn't ever want to use a colour but not be able to find it in my selection. There are three fluorescent colours available too, a red, yellow and an orange.
The set also comes with one colourless blender, which I found works reasonably well for blending colours together. The marker does seem to take on the colour it is blending though, which can mean it transfers to the next bit of blending you do unless you wipe it after each use. I wonder if this gives the colourless blender a limited lifespan. Perhaps providing two or three of these markers for a set this size might have been better, though it's hard for me to say without having spent more time with the set.
Ohuhu Honolulu 320 review: design
The design of the pens is pleasing. They are easy to hold and are dual-tipped. My set has one broad, chisel tip for larger sections and one brush tip but sets with one fine and one brush end are also available. I found that the edge of the chisel tip is also ideal for fine work, while the brush tip is good for creating smooth, sweeping strokes.
Both ends of the markers look the same, so you have to refer to the little image of brush or broad to see which end of the pen you are opening. I found this a little annoying, though I can see if you had different lids for each end that could also be irritating, as you'd probably spend a lot of time putting the lid on the wrong end.
It's worth noting that unlike competitors Copic, these pens are non-refillable. However, you can take the tips out and turn them around, prolonging the life of the pens. I tried this out and found it pretty easy to do, although it was messy.
I left the cap off one of the markers for a couple of hours, to see what happened, and found that it did dry out pretty quickly, which affected the marks it made. However, I tested again after putting the cap back on, and the pen seemed to go pretty much back to normal, which was encouraging.
Ohuhu Honolulu 320 review: drawing experience
The Ohuhu Hondulu markers are really enjoyable to draw with. They create smooth, even lines and provide even coverage, and they dry almost instantly, so you don't have to worry about smudging. I particularly like the brush tip and the way it flows. I also like the way they dry, with the colours staying vibrant and the lines appearing sharp.
As I mentioned above, I wasn't a huge fan of the colour-blending pen, and found that sometimes it left whitish marks on top of colours. But the pens themselves actually blend quite nicely, and there's no bleed from one colour to the next.
You do definitely need to use the transparent sheet to go under your paper, though. As when I forgot to do this there was some bleed-through to the page below. Even with the sheet, I saw some bleed through to the other side of the page, which is not necessarily a problem, but something to bear in mind.
Should I buy the Ohuhu Honolulu 320 markers?
Is the Ohuhu Honolulu 320 marker set for you? If you want a glorious range of colours, each with two tips to choose from, then the short answer is yes. The markers are priced at around $200 / £200 but discounts are often available, and when you consider the number of pens you get, this is good value compared to other brands such as Copic.
Does anyone need this many markers? Well, that depends. Think about what you need them for and how many shades of yellow you could possibly need. If you'd be happier with fewer colours you may want to opt for one of Ohuhu's smaller sets.
If you're worried about the longevity of your markers and want them to be refillable, you'd be better off going for Copic markers, although they are more expensive. Having the option to refill ultimately means the markers will last longer and are therefore more environmentally friendly. Replacement markers are available to buy from Ohuhu if yours run out.
I recommend getting the Ohuhu marker pads art sketchbooks or another brand of sketchbook that's made specifically for markers, or you will likely find that your artwork goes through the paper – even with the included transparent sheet.
Read more: The best pencils