Winning Ways with Watercolor Markers!

Hi friends! Today we are going to take an in-depth look at water based markers. You probably have some in your stash already. Some common brands are Tombow, Momento, Marvy LePlume, Spectrum Aqua, and even Crayola! There are more brands coming out every day like these inexpensive ones I am using today and there honestly is not a lot of difference between them but depending on what you want to do with them you might want to take a look at the tips. Most dual tip pens have a felt brush tip on one end and finer tip on the other end.  Some markers have a hard plastic fine tip,some have a fineliner felt tip and others have a bigger bullet tip. How you like to use them will determine the right style for you. If you rely on your pens for writing letters, scrapbooking or art journaling you would want one of the pens with the finer tips. If you are mainly stamping and coloring you might prefer ones with the bullet tip. It is totally up to you and your preference.

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If you are trying to determine whether or not your pens are water based you can smell them, water based markers will have no odor unless they are a Mr. Sketch marker and those will also work well for today’s techniques! Man, I used to love those markers when I was a kid! You can do the projects in today’s video with any water based markers. I am not talking about real brush markers today but you can use those too, the only thing the real brush pens are not great for is directly coloring on rubber but they will be fine for all of the other techniques. I hope you give these techniques a try!

Video!

The markers I am using are the 60 dual tip watercolor marker set from Ohuhu. I wanted to review these because they are very inexpensive (60 Ohuhu pens for $22 vs 10 pens for $20 for Tombow) I didn’t want to spend the entire video reviewing these pens so I decided to focus on techniques instead. Honestly these are comparable with the other dual tip markers I have used. They are a bit shorter than Tombow and the caps are a bit harder to remove. I made a swatch of the colors in the set and several of the colors are quite similar but that doesn’t bother me as you will eventually use those colors up so you have spares. I swatched all the colors out, waited 15 minutes and then tried to move the colors with water. I swatched in my Canson XL mixed media journal.

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Ohuhu 60 Dual Tipped water-based Marker Review

Pros:

  • Price: $22 for 60 pens
  • High quality nibs: Felt brush on one end and felt fineliner on the other
  • Blends well on watercolor paper using a waterbrush or clear blending marker
  • Compact and comes in its own storage canister. *I recommend laying it on its side for long-term storage.

Cons:

  • Markers do not have color names or numbers. The caps are the only thing that indicates color.
  • Caps can be hard to remove
  • Some colors are so similar they almost seem like duplicates

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Technique Review:
1. Coloring directly with the markers and blending dark to light
2. Using a tile as a palette by scribbling swatches of marker then applying with a water brush or water based blending marker.
3. Coloring directly with the markers and then blending with the water brush or blending pen.
4. Use it like an inkpad: Coloring with markers directly on a rubber stamp, breathing on the stamp and stamping.
5. Dragging color with a wet brush (from step 4) and filling in the design for a painterly look.

Bonus tips!
*Use the fine tip end to add detail over colored image (after the image is dry)
* Scribble the marker on a tile and pick up the ink with a sopping wet brush and spatter on color

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These techniques work best on watercolor paper or bristol but as always you can try with whatever you have. I used the smooth side of this watercolor paper by Arteza for today’s projects.
I have also had good luck with the following papers:

I use the above papers for watercolor stamping projects because they are inexpensive yet are high enough quality to give beautiful results. Those papers are not what I would use for paintings which require lifting and scrubbing or many layers by they are ideal for the techniques I showed in the video.

Here are the stamps and other supplies I used!

I had a couple of people tell me after I posted this tutorial on YouTube last night that they tried out these techniques immediately! Yay! That makes me so happy to hear. I think sometimes we make creating “a big production” but all you need is a piece of paper, a stamp and a few markers to try out these tips and have a good time. So, what are you waiting for? Happy crafting!

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Tutorial: How to watercolor with markers!

Hi friends! Today I am going to show you how to watercolor with watercolor markers. You can follow along with any watercolor markers you have and I say watercolor instead of water-based because there are some acrylic and poster paint markers and pens out there too and technically they are water-based but not watercolor. That means you are good to go with any of your basic watercolor markers, even the kids kind. That said, I will be using the extremely lovely Spectrum Aqua pens that I got from Hallmark Scrapbook. They work with any of the other watercolor markers you have so if you are considering buying some get a set with colors unlike what you already own. It’s a great way to start out! The only other thing that is important is to use watercolor paper, it is essential for blending, Today I am working on the same 140lb Strathmore cold pressed cards I use for most of my watercolor tutorials.

When you are choosing a brush you want a synthetic. A natural sable/camel/pony hair brush will hold too much water for this technique and not be stiff enough to push the color around and a natural hog hair brush is too rough and can damage your paper. A waterbrush is a synthetic but any nylon round in the #5 to #8 range will suit you just fine. Don’t stress about it, if you want to learn how to paint you have to put that brush to paper!

Tips!

  • Sketch with the fine point to avoid depositing too much color on the paper.
  • Work on small areas at a time, it is easier to blend if the ink is wet.
  • For larger soft washes with no streaks scribble the markers on a plastic palette, plate or tile and add water and use a brush to apply it.
  • Wet the paper before adding the wash for a smoother blend.
  • You can vary the line (aka stroke) of the brush marker by working on the tip for a tiny line or applying more pressure for a thicker line. Practice this technique to get experience with your markers!
  • For extra control when water-coloring stamped images (make sure to stamp them with waterproof ink) use a brush tip blender pen, many companies make them but I enjoy the Stampin Up and Tombow brands. The Dove Blender can also be used, I have not tried it but it but many stampers I trust love the it plus it comes with extra nibs and a bottle of blending ink so you might be set for life there! The blenders for alcohol markers will not work for this. To color with a blender you need to scribble the marks on a palette or dish and pick up the ink with the blender pen then start to color your image, start at the darkest area because it will gradually fade as you color with it. It is a great way to get a soft blend. Hot press (aka smooth) watercolor paper is best for this but cardstock can also be used pretty successfully. *If your blending pen goes dry or you run out of blending solution you can make your own by mixing equal parts glycerin and water.
  • Play. You won’t learn unless you use your markers. You will not harm them or use them up… well, if you do use them enough to use them up you deserve another set LOL! You buy supplies to use them so make sure you don’t let them become too precious to use!

I hope this tutorial helped you get more from your watercolor markers! Thanks to Hallmark Scrapbook for sending me the new Spectrum Aqua markers, I am having quite a bit of fun with them. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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