Drawing various artworks has become so easy and accessible because of the use of alcohol markers. These markers deliver a unique effect on the drawing surface with the use of a wide selection of vivid colors and shades.
Its portability has become a factor for most modern artists and amateurs. The only challenging factor for these markers is that it dries quickly and the ink is basically permanent.
Shading and blending pose another challenge and dilemma for both amateurs and professionals. The good news is, alcohol markers always come with a colorless blender marker.
This tool will dramatically change the way we use permanent alcohol markers to another level. If used right and carefully, the result is stunning and natural. But how does it work? The next topics will guide you on how to use a blender marker to complement your alcohol markers.
What is a Blender Marker and How does it Work?
A blender marker is a tool often referred to as a colorless marker. It has a clear and alcohol-based solvent in a pen marker usually with a fine tip on one side and a broader tip on the other side. It can help in blending colors and fading effects.
But using this tool is quite tricky. Since it is called a blender marker, we assume that it can easily blend two colors by rubbing both edges. Well frankly, it does not. Some tricks and guides need to be familiar with to be able to use them more effectively and smoothly.
Blenders markers do not contain any ink but with proper preparation and techniques, they can deliver blending colors to your artwork. They always come with an alcohol marker set.
Moreover, since alcohol markers use permanent inks that dry quickly, blender markers will delay drying to make the blending possible.
There are two methods to choose from when using these colorless blender markers. These are:
- Soaking Method
- Color Blending on the Blender Marker Tip
These methods can be used interchangeably or in conjunction with one another. The steps are basically the same.
Things You Will Need for Both Methods:
- Alcohol Markers, ordinary and colored pencils
- Smooth Art paper
- Absorbent Scratch paper
Step 1: Place your absorbent scratch paper under your drawing paper. This will serve as an absorber of excess ink as you draw and blend colors on your art paper. It will also prevent leaking and smudging as you use your alcohol markers and blender markers on top of it.
Step 2: Next, draw a design using an ordinary pencil or colored pencils. Let us start with a rectangular box for easier reference.
Step 3: For the soaking method, prime the design or rectangular box with a colorless blender marker to slightly soak the art paper exactly on the edges of the design. Just make sure the target design is filled with a blender marker but not over-spreading it.
Step 4: Immediately put your two colors halfway of the box for each color. The middle part will naturally blend but not just yet.
Step 5: Using the pointed brush tip of your blender marker, gently run the two colors in the middle of the box to gently blend the colors. At this point, the colors are blending perfectly well because they are both soaked on the colorless blender marker underneath. Blending is much easier and gradual if you brush it lightly with the tip of your blender marker.
Note: The blender marker will be more effective if used by priming the surface with the colorless marker rather than blending the two colors with it without soaking the art paper first.
Step 6: Use color blending on the blender marker tip method to make the blending more natural and effective, you may color your blender marker with the colored alcohol marker.
Using the blender marker with some color on its tip, gently rub it to the surface. This will create a darker shade on its initial stroke while fading the colors as the blender marker releases its solvent.
Use it several times to complete half of your box. Do the same with the other color you need to blend with.
Step 7: Clean your colorless blender marker on a separate scratch paper or paper towel to make sure no colors are left on its tip. The colors will be wiped off as the blender releases some solvents.
Afterward, you can now use it again to retouch the blending junctions of the two colors by soaking the alcohol color markers.
Step 8: Use the blender marker again to smoothen the color blending and transition where the two colors meet. Follow these exact steps for your other designs and color blendings.
Other Important Techniques and Uses
You can use your blender marker to add small details to your artwork such as simple reflections, and some details to the eyes where reflection is coming from.
Retouching and Layering
A blender cannot erase a particular marking but can effectively correct some minor sketches or strokes. By making several layers of color with a blender, the correct color and shade can possibly be achieved.
Shading and Fading Effects
Use your blender marker on fresh color marks to change color shade. It will help lightens the color and creates shading effects on the design. Soaking the art paper with a colorless blender before the actual color marker will create a homogeneous effect as your background.
Color Blending and Mixing
Color blending and mixing is the most common use of a colorless blender marker. This is similar to the soaking method to effectively blend and mix to color shades. Alcohol markers dry quickly, and the best results can only be achieved while the colors extend their drying time with the help of the blender marker.
A colorless blender marker is a very important tool that comes along with alcohol marker pens. Without it, your artwork will just be a mere coloring book without any shading or blending effects. It is therefore important to be familiar with its use and the various techniques available to achieve its versatility and proper use.
Alcohol markers have quick-drying inks. However, this drying time can be extended and manipulated with the use of a colorless blender marker to make shadings, color fading, and color blending possible and naturally beautiful.