How to blend markers

Do you want to learn more about blending with markers? Well I’m here to tell you all about it. I also have a video that shows you in more detail different kinds of blending and how blending really works.

I have had this idea in my head for months, I’ve been wanting to break down my knowledge about coloring into smaller easier to digest videos. Videos that is specially about coloring and not card-making. I love my card-making videos but I wished on more than one occasion that I could point you to a video that goes more in-dept on the subject of coloring.

But before we start coloring we need some good paper, as with most coloring mediums papers really makes the difference. For markers you want a dense paper with a slick surface, the ink still needs to be able to go down into the paper, so the tiniest tiniest texture is needed.

I have used Make It Colorful Blending Cardstock for years and I love it, however you can just as well use X-press It Cardstock which is the Copic brand or the paper that many of my fellow US colorists use, Hammermill Color Copy (the one with the frog on). You can use Neenah, but as it is a little less dense than the other papers it can be harder to blend and it can make the colors bleed outside the lines if you have a heavy hand.

All my little color ghosts from the Fab-BOO-lous Friends stamp set by My Favorite Things are stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink. And the little letters are sticky letters from Create A Smile Stamps.

Let’s start with the Solid coloring, to get a good blend you need to learn how to get a good solid, well it will make it much easier anyway. The way alcohol based markers work is that they have an alcohol based medium with pigments in. The darker the color the more pigment. This means also the lighter the color the more alcohol, which also means that lighter pens will be juicer and easier to both blend and get a good solid with.

The trick is to go in a medium speed and make sure to overlap the previous line of ink with the new one just a little bit and before the previous line dries. This will help the pigment to even themselves out in the alcohol and will give you less streaks and a more even result. If your first layer looks a little splotchy, just add a second layer before the first has time to completely dry and you will get that even result you are looking for.

For the blending I card I decided to color in the same colors, but add one more pen to the combinations for every step. I usually tell you which markers I use, but as this more how to use the pens and less about that perfect color combinations I have chosen to leave them out.

I use one marker at the top and adding one per step to have 4 markers at the bottom ghost. The way I blend is to overlap the colors slightly, going from dark to light, and what happens is that the extra alcohol medium in the lighter pen will push the darker pigments a little bit further into the paper and make a the overlapping part be lighter than the darkest tone but darker than the lighter. The gradient isn’t perfect but the more pens you add the easier it is to get that smoother blend. Also the more contrast between the darkest and the lightest the more 3D like dimension you will get.

The last ghost card is all about cross blends, using a color from a completely different color family to add that little extra. The first column I used a marker that had the same value as the grey but a completely different color. Purple, blue, green and orange, in that order and then I did a grey blend with three markers on top. The most important tip with this kind of coloring is NOT to choose a color that is much darker, than the lightest grey. That will cause the alcohol medium in the lightest grey to push the pigment in the colored pencil, unevenly into the paper and that causes a very unpredictable splotchiness.

For the second column I used a marker from another color family as the shadow, always choosing a color that goes towards the cooler spectrum. From the top to the bottom, a Blue shadow with a green blend, a red shadow with a orange blend, a purple shadow with a pink blend (should have chosen a lighter purple though) and lastly a purple shadow with a blue blend. This causes a deeper more natural shadow however they can be a little bit harder to blend if you stray to far away from the base color.

The third column has two colored gradients just because it was fun. It is easier to work with lighter colors and I would recommend using grey to shadow with if you want to have some dimension to them. However I choose to just make the gradients. From the top Mint and Blue, Blue and Purple, Purple and Pink and the last one pink and green. Doesn’t the last one look like a watermelon? All it needs is som black/grey dots in the pink part.

Well if you have read this far, thank you so much for taking the time. I would really appreciate of you left me a comment telling me how you like the content and if there is something else you want to see either here or on my channel or on both.


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