The Ohuhu Kaala markers come in four separate sets. There are sets of 60 highlight tones, 60 landscape tones, 24 skin tones and 24 basic tones. They are all alcohol based pens, with a dual tip. One end is narrow and wide for more marking and the other is fine for more detailed work.
Each set comes in an easy-to-carry plastic box, and also comes with a marker for blending, as well as a plastic sheet to go under your paper so the markers don’t bleed through (this is recommended, as they absolutely will ). without this leaflet), as well as swatch cards and a color chart.
We tested all four sets to see if the best markers are available. We tried these on an Ohuhu marking pad as well as a nature coloring book. I colored an image in my book, created my own squiggles and drawings, and also lent the markers to my husband, who is an artist, to see what he did with them.
Ohuhu Kaala review: color range
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Obviously you will be getting the most colors if you choose to get all 150 markers in this range ie. the four series. But if you don’t, you should be quite happy with the range of colors available. My favorite set is probably the rendering tones, just because they’re brighter, which I like. Ohuhu markets this set for manga, comics, illustrations, cartoons and costume designs, and I agree that the set would suit those styles.
Unsurprisingly, landscapes give you a lot of green, and there’s a nice range of other colors too. The skin tones that are set to create hair skin certainly have a range of tones, although darker colors are lacking, perhaps because these can be mixed. The basic tones are quite ‘basic’ in color and would be a good place to start if you want to test whether these markers are right for you.
As mentioned, each set also comes with one colorless blender, which I found works reasonably well, although the effect isn’t incredible. I’m not sure why there isn’t a dedicated space for this blender to live in the packs, as it’s easy to lose when it’s not kept with the rest of the pens.
Ohuhu Kaala review: design
I found the design of the Kaala series more satisfying than the Ohuhu Honolulu markers I’ve done recently, as the pens are tapered towards one end, making them easy to hold, and there are different caps for each end. This means it’s easier to tell which end of the marker you’re using without looking at the symbols on each pen. One thing to note though is that there is no color information on the smooth cap, so if you put the pens back in the box the wrong way up you won’t be able to tell which is which.
It’s also worth noting that, unlike competitors such as Copic, these pens are not refillable. And unlike the Ohuhu Honolulu set, you can’t reach the tips and turn them the other way. This limits the lifespan of these pens.
The plastic boxes the sets come in are fine, although a bit flimsy (one of the fasteners came off while we were testing), and we can’t imagine they’re particularly environmentally friendly. Also they’re fine to carry individually, but it would be really cool if they somehow slid together, because when you have all four sets it’s hard to carry them.
Ohuhu Kaala review: a drawing experience
Ohuhu Kaala markers are great fun to draw with. The coverage is even, lines are smooth, and they dry pretty instantly so you don’t have to worry about smudging. I found the combination of the fine and wide narrow tip ideal for coloring and creating, and I really enjoyed using the fine tip for detailing. Note that this tip is not as small as you’ll find on some fine lines, so it may not be suitable for all projects.
Even without the colorless blending pen, the pens themselves blend nicely, and there is no bleeding from one color to another.
Should I buy the Kaala markers?
I think the Kaala markers are a great place to start experimenting with this type of alcohol based marker and deciding if you want to invest in more colors or sets. The sets start at around £20 / $22 so they are affordable.
If you know you need more colors, something like the Ohuhu Honolulu range will probably suit you better.
If you want markers that will last you forever, you’d better go with Copic markers, which are refillable. Or even the Honolulu range, which has tips that you can turn, so you use it twice.
I would not recommend using these Ohuhu Kaala markers without the transparent sheet that comes with the markers, as otherwise you will end up with your transfer work on the page below. You will likely find that with the sheet your work will be transferred to the other side of your paper, so be aware of this. I would recommend getting an Ohuhu marker pad or another sketchbook made specifically for markers, as this paper will absorb the markers nicely and show their vibrancy nicely.
Read more: The best pencils