Before You Buy Another Marker Try This With What You Have! 3 Beginner Blending Techniques!

Hi friends! Today we are talking about basic alcohol marker coloring. You can use whatever permanent markers you have for today’s lesson.


As far as coloring mediums go alcohol markers come with the steepest learning curve. There are hundreds (well, it seems that way LOL!) of different marker brands from Sharpie to Copic offering alcohol based pens and they all have various features like brush, bullet or chisel nibs, different shaped barrels and matte vs shiny plastic but you know what? The ink is basically the same in whatever pen you choose! If you are feeling like you are not coloring up to your full potential because you don’t have the most expensive markers fear not. In this video I will share 3 simple techniques that will improve your coloring and make it easy no matter what brand you own.

This tutorial is sponsored by Top Flight Stamps! SAVE 10% off your next order with coupon code: thefrugalcrafter10 *USA orders of $50+ ship free!

Supplies (affiliate links used)


Blending techniques:
1. Flat all over streak free coverage. The key to getting a solid flat coverage is to saturate the paper with ink. You can do parallel lines of ink with the chisel tip or circled with a brush tip to achieve this. If it is mottled looking do another coat. This also works well for small areas where you have no room to blend.

2: Layering or layered blending. Use 3 or more shades of the same color. Color the entire area with your lightest shade of maker, then color the dar and mid tone areas with the middle shade and color the darks with your darkest shade. Use the lightest marker to soften the edge where the mid tone meets the light and use the mid ton marker to soften the area the dark meets the mid tone.

3. Dark to light blending. Again with 3 shades of the same color, color your darks, then color over the darks with the midtone and bring the color out, then use the lightest marker to color over the whole area.

More coloring tips!

  • If you messed up a blend or your colors are too dark apply a later of colored pencil or chalk in a paler shade of the same color, it will even out your coloring and add depth and highlights.
  • Gel pens come in a huge variety of colors and transparencies, use opaque pastels and metallic to add a bold highlight or detail over a solid dark color or use dark transparent and glitter colors to shade and add a subtle sparkle!
  • If your color is streaky add another coat of marker.
  • A clear blending marker actually works better as a color lifter or eraser so if you color outside of the lines wait for the ink to dry and use the chisel tip if the clear marker to push the offending ink back in place. Id that don’t work you can tidy up the background with a gel or paint pen.

I hope this was helpful and it encourages you to give your alcohol markers another try. Alcohol markers are a lot of fun when you know the simply steps to use them to get the effects you want. Keep practising and til next time happy crafting!


Sketching Citrus! Sketchbook Sunday…er Monday LOL!

Hi friends! First I want to wish all of my fellow Americans a happy Labor Day! It is considered the end of summer in these parts as the days are getting shorter and all the kids are back in school tomorrow! September always feels like a fresh start to me. My twins started High School this year so that means no more popping down to the local elementary school to lend a hand with this or that. It’s so weird! You kids go through life and get a little more independent each day and in turn you can be a bit more independent yourself. It’s a bit sad to see them getting older but on the other hand I am excited for the adventure that awaits them.


Speaking of school…I think it is always important to learn new things. It helps keep our mind fresh and supple and puts us in the atmosphere of growth where we can find fulfillment and happiness. This might mean signing up for a class or giving a supply that you were frustrated with in the past another go to challenge and push yourself. You can find ways to grow and learn everywhere! I purchased a RENDR sketchbook a while back because it was supposed to be no bleed through paper for markers and mixed media but I soon realized that “no bleed through” meant “no blend” as well. I felt bad about buying this kinda pricey paper that I couldn’t seem to use but I decided to put it out yesterday and try it again. This time I decided not to fight with it but to do what the paper wants: layering. This also got me using my alcohol markers in a new to me way. I typically work small coloring stamped images blending from dark to light in a very quick fashion. I had seen some beautiful marker illustrations recently on instagram and I realized that these artists were using markers totally differently that I was by layering! This allowed them to work a bit larger and get really vibrant results. I never realty thought of my markers as a “serious art medium” as all markers (except for Winsor & Newton Pigment Markers *use coupon code SALE818 for an extra 15%-25% off through midnight today and Winsor & Newton Watercolor Markers which are on sale now!) are fugitive, meaning they will fade in the light but hey, this is Sketchbook Sunday and my sketchbook isn’t getting direct sunlight! See a time-lapse on the layering technique here!

Supplies (affiliate links used)

  • Rendr Sketchbook there was zero bleed through on the back of the page but it doesn’t blend well so you are better off layering on this paper. If you have this paper give yourself time to learn to use it as there is a learning curve, I like it so much better than when I first got it.
  • Ohuhu markers I used pens from the 100 set  Review here
  • Prismacolor colored pencils
  • I also used col erase pencils for the beginning sketch but I didn’t need to erase so the others would have been fine but if you want the erasable version here it is
  • Extra fine tip Posca pens for opaque highlights


***BTW today is the last day to save 45% on any of my teachable classes with coupon code OFFLINE45 

And one more deal you don’t want to miss…

Consumer crafts is offering 15%-25% off total purchases on their website (*excluding WOW of the week) through 9/3/18 11:59pm PST with coupon code SALE818.  Craft fairs and holiday crafting is right around the corner and this is a great chance to grab some deals on craft basics, art supplies and more. You never know what you are going to find so it is a bit of an adventure and the deals can’t be beat!


I have purchased a lot of my stencils, dies, craft storage, beads, pencils and markers from Consumer crafts as well as basic craft supplies for the library kids classes I used to teach as well as art gift sets and decor. If you know you need some of these products it pays to stock up when they have the total purchased discounts, they don’t happen often. Some, but not many, exclusions apply.  Use coupon code SALE818 to get the extra discount! Sale ends tonight at 11:59pm PST.

I hope you have a wonderful day! If you have today off I hope you spending it with family and friends or maybe creating some art! Til next time happy crafting!

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