In my last blog post, I talked a little bit about coloring and blending with Promarkers and how artist markers in general have a steep learning curve. It’s taken me some time to get the hang of coloring with them, specifically blending with them, so I decided to share the most helpful tip I’ve learned!
Letraset Promarkers are alcohol-based markers like Copics or Prismacolor Markers. They are cheaper than Copics (which run around $5 apiece, compared to Promarkers, which are about $3.50 per marker) but are not refillable. I use them mostly because they are the only artist marker readily available in Egypt; I can easily grab them from my local art store any time and not have to ship them halfway across the world.
In any case, this tutorial works for any kind of alcohol-based marker!
For this tutorial, I have used the markers listed above (they are listed top to bottom from the darkest to the lightest color used). I find that 3 colors is usually enough for a nice gradient in a simple picture, but went with 5 to show a more complicated blend. I went with a standard dark-to-light gradient but you could play around with the colors and be more adventurous!
Markers can take a bit of trial and error and the key is in working quickly and confidently. It’s a good idea to decide before you being coloring which colors you plan to use. If you work slowly, letting the colors dry as you decide which shade is better, you’ll end up something that looks like example below.
Think of the ink as being made up of pigment and liquid (the alcohol). When you apply it on the page, the liquid rapidly evaporates, leaving behind permanent ink with a hard edge. However, if it is applied on a wet surface, the color will leak and spread. So what you want to do is prepare all the colors you plan to use, then work from the lightest to the darkest color. Use the light color as the base, getting the paper wet. Then, apply the next shade on top. Grab the previous color once more and blend the place where the two colors meet. Go to the next color, bend with the previous color. And so on.
Blending with Promarkers
It’s easier to understand if you can see it, so I’ve added in this little video so you can check out marker blending in action! And that’s about it! It’s all about working somewhat quickly while the markers are still wet so they can bleed into each other, and blending the pigment with the marker tips.
Over time you can work out what colors blend together well . You can also try more interesting color schemes, like a yellow gradient fading to green, or a blue blending to purple. It’s handy to keep note of gradients or color blends that worked particularly well so you don’t forget! I use my copy of Color Charts XL for just this purpose!
Hope this is helpful! If you try this tip out and it works, let me know! Would love to see. 😀