How to coloring tips Marker Shading with a Blender Marker - Art-n-Fly

Marker Shading Using a Blender Marker in 4 Simple Steps

By Anisa A. Claire


Tired of flat-looking pictures when you color with markers? You can shade like the pros using any alcohol-based markers in just a few simple steps using a colorless blending marker.  Let’s take a look at the materials you’ll need.

You’ll want to slide a sheet of paper behind the page your coloring if it’s in a book to prevent any bleed through. This is always a good idea when using wet mediums.  The other blank sheet you’ll be using to test your colors on. 



Decide where your light source is in the picture.  In the pictures in this article, the light source is coming from the upper right, you'll want the pigment the most saturated at the bottom left. 

Color the bottom left with the marker color you've chosen, undiluted.



Pick the color you want to start with.  Hold the colorless blender tip on the bottom of the colored marker.  Touch the tips together and hold for around three seconds to test.  Remember, the colored marker is the one doing the infusing, so it always needs to be on the top.  After you’ve held them together for three seconds, use your blank sheet of paper to see how saturated the ink is.

Based on the amount of space the shading will fill, adjust the length of time you touch the tips together.  Hold them longer for more infusion, and the reverse for less. Some artists recommend using the blender marker to dilute the ink in the nib of the colored marker. To do this method, follow the steps above in reverse (blender marker on top), however, we do not recommend it as it's harder to control the level of dilution.



Follow the previous step again, but this time apply it to your actual coloring sheet above the undiluted color. You can drag some of the color toward the light source.  

For best results, move your back and forth in a uniform direction (in this example, we just went up and down- NOT right and left).



You can now use the blender marker to clean up any rough edges. In the image above, we went outside the lines so we used the marker to clean it up, wiping it off on the practice paper in between. You can see below how we continued to push the ink back and forth so it formed a transition between the darkest and lightest point.

When you finish with one color be sure to run the blender marker over your blank sheet a few times to make sure all the infusion is out and won't be transferred to the next color (a little staining is normal!) before putting it away. 

That’s it! You can easily shade using your alcohol markers and a colorless blender.  It will take a bit of practice getting used to the length of time you’ll need for each color, depending on the size of space you’re trying to fill.

For a deeper dive into the ways you can use blender markers, check out this video: 


Hope you enjoyed this article!

Leave a comment