Thursday, August 14, 2008

Painting with Markers (Tutorial)


Water based markers
An old CD (Thank you AOL)
Paint brush and water or a water brush
Smooth Card stock or Watercolor paper
Piece of paper towel

Optional: Sharpie, waterproof pen of stamped image that has been heat embossed using embossing powder. For my examples I used a stamped image and embossing powder.

Painting with markers is a technique I learned at a beginner stamp class at Stampin Cat Studio about eight years ago and it has come in handy time and time again. It's also a great way to let your kids paint on days when you can't bear a mess. Let's get started.

1. Start with your image, you can draw something with a waterproof pen as I did here:

or you can just start painting as you would with any water color picture.

2. Choose the color you want to use and scribble that color on the CD. Pick up some of the color with a wet brush and start painting.

The amount of water determines the intensity of the hue. This is the best part of painting with markers because you can have the "perfect" light green match for your dark green by using more water. This takes a lot of guess work out of your color choices. Here is an example of the color options from one light leafy green marker. The teal shades were made from picking up ink where a blue scribble met the green:

In this picture, the red in the cowboy boots is the same marker as the pink test line near the CD(sorry about the picture):

Let your images dry before using them and your done. See, I told you it was easy.


* Some people apply a wet brush directly to their markers. This works but you don't have the same level of control over the color and you shorten the life span of your pens.

* You can also use a water based ink pad the same way. It would cost big $$$ to have as many colors of ink as a one dollar twelve pack of markers so this is not the option I prefer but go for it if you'd like.

* To make caucasian skin tones you are better off using a watered down brown than shades of pink. I use so much water with a brown marker that the paper barely changes color. It usually dries to a pale tone close to my skin color. Using brown also provides good shading options like this:

* This technique is really fun and once you get started you'll want to paint a whole bunch of stuff. I usually make up a sheet of images and color them all at once so they're ready when I am.

* You can mix colors on the paper. If your yellow is too bright go over it with a swipe of brown, the colors blend beautifully.

* If you add too much water or make a mistake, quickly blot up with paper towel. It won't remove all the color but it does take off a lot. This is also a terrific way to make clouds.

* When you're done, wash the CD in the sink. For stubborn dried on marker use a soapy sponge.

Here are some examples of projects I've used this technique on. In the past few posts I've also shown cards painted with markers. Click to enlarge:


Karen said...

very cool! Thanks for sharing! btw, I love your layouts.

Claudette said...

Excellent tutorial...learned a couple of things I never knew or tried. Must go and play now, love retirement no schedule to follow. :)

Fabulous layouts, another week area of mine.

Anonymous said...

:: To make caucasian skin tones you are better off using a watered down brown than shades of pink. ::

*falls over laughing* Ahem. Sorry. It's just that Some People would hate that. Which makes me laugh. You subversive, you! :-D

More seriously, though, as best I understand the genetics of skin tones (not my forte), that's what makes the Caucasian pallor -- several-to-many of the "brown" genes being broken. Ergo: "watered down brown."

Oh, and cool to see that CDs are being used as palettes nowadays. We always used to use the melmac plates from microwave dinners when I was growing up. Like AOL CDs, something that was this close to being garbage, but not quite.

just jennifer said...

cute! thanks for all the information - I'm sure my girls will love trying it!

Heather said...

great idea!! I wish I was as crafty with a pen as you are:) Love those layouts. Talk about an original!

Laura O'Donnell said...

thanks for sharing this. I have alot of markers myself.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for this tutorial and for keep it on your sidebar for easy nav. I will be trying this very soon!

coco said...

Hi Nicole, thank you for this great tutorial, very interesting !! I note also that it is also applicable to our kids, without being too messy Lol ! Warmly, Coco (from France)

Lynn Gibson said...

Nicole, I just purchased a set of your markers (watercolor) not opened, and the yellow had a big black smudge on it! I cannot use it at all. I was so disappointed, as I just began my coloring craziness! Lynn Gibson

Nicole Maki said...

Hi Lynn,

I don't know if you'll see this but sorry about your yellow smudging black. Sounds like there was some issue with the manufacturer.

I don't have any markers... I'm just a crafter/mom/artist - not a product designer. Sorry I can't help.

But when a marker of mine gets dirty I rub it on something absorbent like paper towel or water color paper until it comes clean again.