A colorless blender marker can create interesting effects on your artwork depending on how you utilize it. There are multiple outcomes that a colorless blender marker can achieve such as patterns, highlights, textures, gradients, faded colors, and flawless artwork.
In this article, we’ll discuss three techniques for blending colors that you can practice in your artworks, and other tips on how to use a colorless blender marker.
So go ahead and scroll down to read the step-by-step instructions on each of the techniques. For beginners, I have also provided a quick recap of the basics of a colorless blender marker.
What Is A Colorless Blender Marker?
A colorless blender marker is an alcohol-based marker and its main purpose is to blend out inks. Its brush will usually vary from a brush tip to a chisel tip or a fine tip. Although most of these markers do come with two heads wherein one would be a brush tip and the other a chisel tip.
Colorless blender markers are not just limited to use with alcohol markers. It can be used even with generic coloring pens. Though, you would really get the best results when using alcohol markers.
Where Can You Buy A Colorless Blender Marker?
They can be bought in your usual local art stores where markers are also sold or online.
If you are buying a pack of alcohol markers, it would usually come with one colorless blender marker.
How Do You Use Blending Markers?
First and foremost, prepare your materials and your workstation.
- Marker paper or cardstock
- Extra papers
- Colorless blender marker
A crucial step to maximize your colorless blender marker is to make sure that you are using marker paper or cardstock, as these are the best kinds of paper that can hold lots of ink! Papers below 200 GSM will tear easily as more ink is added to them.
Also, make sure that you are protecting the surface where you are working on.
Use any extra paper that can absorb excess ink as a barrier between your paper and your workspace to ensure that your ink does not bleed directly into your workspace.
What Does A Colorless Blender Marker Do?
👉 Create Textures
A colorless blender marker can be used to create textures and patterns in drawings such as checkered patterns, stripes, polka dots, scales, and even fur.
Once the ink on your colored area has completely dried, simply use the colorless blender marker to draw over the colored area as if it is a regular pen. Its outcome would fade out the color to a lighter shade. If you desire an even lighter shade for your pattern, you can just go over the area again until you are contented.
If you want a softer look for a texture, maybe if you’re coloring animal fur, you can also use your colorless blender marker while the ink is still fresh to create a softer fade effect.
👉 Add Highlights
A colorless blender marker can also be used to create highlights as it picks up the ink from the area where you want the highlight to be emphasized.
Once the ink on your colored area has completely dried, simply go back and forth the area repeatedly using your colorless blender marker until it resembles your desired highlight.
👉 Clean Up and Fix Mistakes
A colorless blender marker may also be used to pick up inks in situations when you’ve accidentally used the wrong color, or if your color bleeds outside your intended area.
Once the ink on your colored area has completely dried, simply go back and forth the area repeatedly using your colorless blender marker until the color completely disappears from the paper or fades out to the lightest color possible.
If you’ve noticed, a general technique when picking up colors or fading out colors completely is to wait for your ink to dry before going back to lift these colors as this creates a cleaner faded effect. If you do want a softer fade, you can go ahead and use your colorless blender marker while the ink is still fresh.
A general tip to maintain the quality of your colorless blender marker is for every after usage of the colorless blender marker, clean it out by sliding it back and forth on a scratch paper until there’s no longer any colored ink that shows up.
👉 Create Gradients
A colorless blender marker can create a smooth transition from one color to another to create a gradient effect on drawings, this is usually applied when coloring hair, clothes, shadows, etc.
👉 Fade Colors
A colorless blender marker can fade out your ink to a more subtle color, this is useful if you’ve accidentally oversaturated your colors, or if you just want to create a gradient effect with just one color.
Below are 3 techniques for creating multiple color gradients, or a single color gradient.
#1 Priming and Painting Over
A general reminder for the technique, make sure to work quickly before your inks dry out!
- Saturate the entire area where the blending is needed with the colorless blender. You should see that it appears translucent or a bit shiny when you have used it on the surface.
- Take your lighter color and color it over the entire surface that you’ve run with the colorless marker.
- Take your darker color and color it over the lighter color until the area where you would want the colors to be blended together, or where they would meet each other.
- Get your lighter color again and then use it to blend the two colors together by going over the area where they meet back and forth until you are contented with the way that they have melted together.
- You can also use your darker color again if you want the darker shade to be more prominent and blend it out again using your lighter color.
To create a gradient effect with one color using this technique, follow step 1 and immediately use your desired color over the entire surface, then use your colorless blender marker again to fade the color if desired.
#2 Palette Blending
- Take your lighter color and color it over the entire area where the blending is needed.
- Take your darker color and generously run it on a separate plastic surface where it would not dry out immediately.
- Get your colorless blender marker, and preferably using the brush tip, pick up the darker color on the plastic surface by pushing it in or sliding it back and forth on the surface. You will see the color on the colorless marker brush itself once it has been absorbed.
- Blend or color over the area where you have colored the lighter color and slowly work your brush smoothly from your starting point until such time that the darker color that was picked up has run out.Allow the darker ink to run out by itself and only lift it once it has run out to make sure there’s no harsh transition. The color should be distributed smoothly and create a smooth gradient effect.
- You can repeat picking up your darker color and coloring it over the area if you want a prominent darker shade, just make sure to run it smoothly and allow the ink to run out by itself before lifting it from the paper.
To create a gradient with one color using this technique, follow step 2 immediately using your desired color and proceed with the following steps on your intended area.
#3 Pick-up technique
- Take your darker color and run it generously onto a separate plastic surface where it will not dry out immediately.
- Take your lighter color and use it to pick up and absorb the darker color from the plastic surface by pushing it or sliding it back and forth.
- You can then use it to color over the area where you want and you should see that the colors have already blended together.Allow the darker ink to run out by itself and only lift it once it has run out to make sure there’s no harsh transition.
- If you want to have a prominent darker color, just repeat the steps and color over the area smoothly.