Watercolor Archives - MarkerSupply.com Blog

Creating Snowy Effects With Markers

Wintertime is here! And for a lot of folks, this season brings along those frozen flakes of white that some of us love and some of us hate. Whether or not you are a fan of real snow, adding the effect of it to your artwork can really make it stand out!

So for those blizzards of art projects that involve snowflakes, snowmen, and other snowy winter scenes, see these quick and easy ways to add and enhance the effect of SNOW on your cards, crafts, and more!

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Salt & Watercolors

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You can create a crystallized look on a watercolor background by sprinkling some sea salt on top before it dries!
Here’s how:

Step 1:
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Begin making your background. You can use real paints like the Sakura KOI or Gansai Tambi watercolors, or use a dye-based “watercolor” marker like the Zig Clean Color Real Brush, Zig Art & Graphic, or Sakura KOI Color Brush Pens. Be sure to use a thick, watercolor paper for the best blending effect.

For this card, we used 3 varying blues in the Clean Color brushes and made layered marks using light and dark colors.

Step 1 1/2:
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Use a wet paint brush or a water brush (like the Zig BrusH20) to easily blend the colors together to make the painted background.

Step 2:
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While everything is still slightly wet, sprinkle a little bit of sea salt over it. The grains of salt will begin to soak up the color.

Step 2 1/2:
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Leave the salt on the paper for a few minutes, and it will start to leave little crystallized marks behind!

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Everything has a different effect on the results of this- the darkness of the color used, the size of the salt grains and how much you sprinkle on, how wet or dry the paper is, etc. Experiment a bit to get the look you want!

Step 3:
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Once the paper has fully dried, gently brush off the salt. You can then use other pens and markers to draw designs over the top! Some recommendations that we used for this card- Posca paint pens, Zig Wink of Stella Glitter brushes, and Uni-ball Signo Gel Impact (one of the best opaque white pens you can find!)

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Marvy Snow Marker

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With “snow” right in the name, you get the gist of this special marker right away. Snow markers write with seemingly normal white paint, but when the marks are heated with a heat tool, they puff up to create a snowy 3D effect!

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Use this marker to draw or write something freehand, or use it to embellish cards, stamped images- anything you want some 3D texture on! To keep the paint nice and wet when you heat it, try doing smaller areas at a time. The thicker and wetter the marks are when heated, the bubblier the look will be. After each time you mark a section, give it a little blast with the heat tool and watch it puff up!

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Try it in other colors!
Don’t just stop at white when you can make this same awesome effect in COLOR with the Marvy Puffy Velvet markers!

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While these markers work well for papercrafts, they are also labeled as a fabric pen- so you can try them out on clothes, bags, and more!

(**Note: These markers need a heat tool to make the puffy effect, so it’s not a project for kids to do alone. Use caution with heat tools- they can blow air that is heated to over 600 degrees! If misused, it can definitely burn your project or YOU!)

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Glitter!

It shimmers and it sparkles. The qualities of glitter make it a natural choice for glistening winter effects!

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Whether you’re doing cards, ornaments, scrapbooks, coloring books, or a craft of any kind- try adding a little glitter!
Our favorite marker picks:

Sakura Gelly Roll Stardust Gel Pens
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These pens definitely pack a punch in the glitter department. Great for writing or adding colorful details!

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*Note: Some glitter pens have different looks on light and dark papers. On a darker surface, a lot of the color may soak in and leave only a faint shimmer.

Zig Wink of Stella Brush Tip Marker

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Another impressive glitter tool, the Wink of Stella brushes lay down color along with a good amount of sparkle. The bristle brush makes it easy to lay it sideways and quickly cover bigger areas and backgrounds. The very tip of the brush works well for detailed spots.
For pens with more control, the Wink of Stella also comes with a fine, plastic tip.

Posca PC-3ML Fine Tip Glitter Markers
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The same great Posca ink that you love, with some glitter particles mixed in! Posca paint pens are great for use on a variety of surfaces- even chalkboards!

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Use them along with other Poscas for some sparkly window art!

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We’d love to see your snowy projects this winter season! Share them on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter pages!

@MarkerSupply      #MarkerSupply

Overview of Watercolor Markers

Watercolor is a timeless style of painting and sketching. Using markers instead of tubes of paint, etc. is a quick, simple, and more mess-free way to explore this type of art! This blog takes you through the markers we have at Marker Supply that are dye-based and will easily blend with water (and with other colors) to create smooth color gradations, shadows and fading effects, and of course- watercolor art!

(*All of these markers are water-based and should not bleed through most papers. However, it is recommended that if you are blending them with water to create watercolor style art, you use a thicker paper designed to handle the moisture.)

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Zig Clean Color Real Brush Marker

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Colors Available: 80

Sets Available:
Set of 48 with Case and Bonus Water Brush
Color Tone Sets of 6
Color Scheme Sets of 4
Set of 6
Set of 12
Shade and Shadow Set of 20
Trend Set of 12
Grayscale Set of 20

Tip Style: Single-Ended, bristle brush

Currently a very popular watercolor marker, the Clean Colors have been recently featured on many craft blogs.  Its hair-like brush tip resembles more of an actual paint brush, which makes it easier to thin out the color as the stroke grows larger. Clean colors have awesome blending ability and plenty of light and dark colors to create gradation effects. Their color range also includes fluorescents and a variety of gray tones.

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Sakura KOI Coloring Brush Pen

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Colors Available: 48

Sets Available:
Set of 12 colors
Set of 24 colors

Tip Style: Single-Ended, Rubber Brush

A newer marker from Sakura, the KOI comes with its own fun and unique color palette. The brush tip is more of a sturdy, rubbery feel, but still flexible- allowing you to make thin or thick lines- but will quickly spring back to its original shape. This durable tip also makes these markers great for working with rubber stamps.

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Zig Art & Graphic Twin

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Colors Available: 80

Tip Style: Double-Ended, Fine Tip and Rubber Brush

A dual tip marker (like getting 2 pens in 1!) that has a rubber brush on one end, and a fine point on the other- a handy combo for coloring both larger and tiny spaces. Available in a wide variety of colors, very similar to the Clean Color range. The brush tip on these markers is a little longer and more “bendy” than the KOI. The ink is also very fluid when pressure is applied to the brush tip- making it a breeze to dab some color on a palette surface for blending just like real paints.

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Zig Calligraphy II Dye

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Colors Available: 15

Sets Available:
Set of 6
Set of 12

Tip Style: Double-Ended, 2mm Square and 3.5mm Square

Another double-ended marker that features 2 square (flat-edged chisel) tips in different sizes, common with writing many calligraphy font styles. The dye ink in this marker makes it possible to add some unique shadowing and other effects to your lettering!

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Prismacolor Watercolor Colored Pencils

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Colors Available: 36

Sets Available:
Set of 12 in metal tin
Set of 24 in metal tin
Set of 36 in metal tin

Tip Style: Sharpened pencil point

These special colored pencils from Prismacolor are water soluble and can create incredible blended effects and watercolor works of art. The pencil tip lets you apply pressures and shading techniques while drawing and writing that differ from what is done with markers.

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Sakura KOI Pocket Field Sketch Box

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Outside the world of markers is this handy watercolor tool- featuring 24 half pan watercolor paints, a water brush, dabbing sponges, and a detachable palette tray. It’s small and portable- perfect for painting anywhere you go! The lid forms an easel that holds postcard size paper- helping you capture the perfect little scene at the park, on the beach, or in the city!

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Blenders

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All of the above markers can be used with regular paint brushes and water, or try using them with any of these convenient blending pens!

Zig BrusH20 Water Pens: A refillable pen that holds water-  just squeeze the barrel and it flows out through the brush tip! Available in 4 sizes.
Zig Blender Marker: A dual tip rubber brush marker full of water-based blending solution. Works well for more subtle blending than using water.
Zig Art & Graphic Twin Colorless Blender: A dual tip (fine/rubber brush) marker, just like the other Art & Graphics, only this one has no color, just a clear blending solution.
Sakura KOI Colorless Blender Pen: A rubber brush colorless pen, great for blending and mixing colors. Sold as a pack of 2 pens.

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Techniques

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There are several techniques you can use to paint with dye-based markers:

-Use the markers to sketch out your drawing, then blend with a water pen to give it a watercolor look.
-Add a little water to the paper first, then soak in some color in places over the top of it.
-Briefly soak the color tip in water until the tip lightens. Then as you color, the shade will gradually darken.
-Touch the tip of a lighter color marker into the tip of a darker color until a little soaks in, then draw with the lighter tip for a smooth color-changing blend.
-Color a section with a darker color, then use a lighter color to blend it out.
-Dab the wet tip of a water pen over the colored marker tip, then apply to the paper from the water pen.

There are plenty more ways to create watercolor with markers! Let us know your favorite tips and tricks, and send us some of your painted watercolor works! We love to see what you markers are making!!

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The Clean Color Craze!!

We’ve recently seen an explosion of art blogs, message boards, and customers using and enjoying one of our water-based brush pens- the Clean Color Real Brush from Zig!!

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The artwork created by these pens has been amazing to see! The flexible brush tip allows for thick and thin lines to be made- great for brush lettering and quick sketching. Plus, try blending the Clean Color Real Brush pens with a water pen for gradation and shading effects, or to create incredible watercolor style art!! This pen can make anyone feel more like a professional artist!

Use the Clean Colors to:
-Easily sketch out your drawings before adding water & creating the look of a watercolor painting!
-Make blended or brush stroke backgrounds for mixed media art, handmade cards, etc!
-Ink your rubber stamps or color your stamped designs!
-Add a large variety of colors to your brush lettering!
…and much more! There are so many crafting possibilities that can go along with these markers!!

Marker Supply is excited to now have in stock ALL 80 COLORS of the Clean Color Real Brushes!! Check out their page on our website to see the updated color chart. All colors are available individually, or in a number of sets!

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The 32 new colors can be easily added to your collection with these 2 new sets: The TREND set of 12 and the SHADE & SHADOW set of 20. Both are made entirely with new colors!!

The other colors can be found in the giant 48 collection, that comes with a handy carrying case AND a bonus water brush pen!!

There are a variety of smaller sets too- so you can get just the colors you need for a specific project. Try the color scheme 4-packs or the special set of 12 basic colors– available for a special limited time super-low price!!

Keep an eye out for some new sets COMING SOON! The Clean Color Real Brush Set- Grayscale Set of 20 includes both cool and warm shades of gray, with a large range of tones from dark to light. And the Clean Color Real Brush Color Packs will each have various shades of a certain color- great for blending and specific color projects.

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PAPER COMPARISON TEST

Having trouble getting great watercolor/blending effects with your Clean Color markers? Try switching your paper!!

For best results using these or any other watercolor style medium, try using watercolor paper.
Cold Press 140lb tends to be a popular paper style for watercolor. It has some texture that allows the water to make effects in and around the paper’s small ridges. It’s also considerably thicker and stronger than plain ‘ol white papers, and specially designed to get some water on it!

We made several attempts at blue gradation with the Clean Color markers by making 3 side-by-side color blocks using varying tones of blue, on plain white paper and 140lb cold press watercolor paper.

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Results are very different and clearly show how much better the watercolor paper is!!

Even within the world of watercolor & other artist papers, there is a wide range of paper types, textures, and thicknesses- so as always, experiment around with different kinds to find the paper that works best with your own art style!

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ADDING EXTRA EFFECTS

Try these other brush pens with your Clean Color artwork to add more special effects!

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Zig BrusH20 Water Pens– A good tool for a very common use of the Clean Colors. These pens hold plain water, which when applied to your Clean Color markings, will cause them to move and resemble watercolor paint. Helps create amazing blending & shading techniques! Available separately in different tip styles, or grab them all with the Pack of 4!
You can also try the Zig Blender Marker– for a softer effect, without the use of water. This dual tip brush marker with “invisible ink” gives you great control of blending the water-based dye marker ink.

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Use the Zig Blender marker for subtle shading, and the Zig BrusH20 Water Pens for more intense blending.

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Zig Wink of Stella Brush– Add a little sparkle to your project! These glitter brush pens, available in a variety of colors, will lay down a nice amount of glitter along with their color, and can also be used to help blend the Clean Color ink. Some shimmer can really help your drawings or handwriting stand out!

 

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Zig Fudebiyori Metallic Brush– Awesome brush pens for adding an intense look with their smooth, metallic colors that will pop on light or dark colored backgrounds.

 

Also, for another fun effect with the Clean Colors and water- try sprinkling a little sea salt over the top while the marks are still a bit wet- you’ll be left with a cool crystallized look!

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OTHER WATERCOLOR TOOLS TO TRY:

If you are looking for similar products that can make a watercolor effect but don’t have a brush tip, try these!

Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils

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They look and act just like regular colored pencils, but their marks will blend with water!

Zig Calligraphy II Dye Markers

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A dual-ended chisel calligraphy tip marker with water-moveable dye ink!

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NEW “WATERCOLOR STYLE” MARKER COMING SOON!

Keep your eyes on the NEW PRODUCTS section for our latest dye-based brush marker- the KOI Coloring Brush from Sakura. With similar blending abilities to the Clean Color Real Brush, the Koi brushes have their own unique 48-color palette and a firmer (though still flexible) rubber brush tip.

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And as always, if you have any artwork you’d like to share with us- we’d LOVE to see what your markers are making!! Post on our facebook (Marker Supply), or twitter (@MarkerSupply), hashtag us on Instagram (#MarkerSupply), or email us!

Happy coloring!!