Colouring Hints and Tips #2 – Markers As A Base

One of the things I like to do when I would like a really vibrant colour is use my markers.

Now, as a general rule, I’m not a big fan of markers – they’re hard to control, hard to blend (I’m not talking about Copics or the like!) and they have a propensity for bleeding. 

This technique is super simple, and has a great reward for little effort! 

I’ll be demonstrating in green, just a simple sphere so you can see the effect! There are links to the tools I’ve used at the bottom of the post, although any pencils and markers will work of course! 

Grab the following tools

• A marker, in the colour you want your picture to be. 

• Three pencils in your chosen colour. A light, a mid tone and a dark. 

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• Colour the area, space or figure in the marker. Try not to go over the marker too much, as too much saturation will show through the pencil (although the clearly I’m not very skilled at this!) 

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• Colour over the marker in the light pencil, all over. This is to ‘even’ out your base area

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• Use the dark pencil to create your shade, using circular motions. Don’t be too heavy handed. 

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• Colour the area you want as a mid tone in the mid pencil, again with circular motions and a light hand. 
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• Once again, use the light coloured pencil to cover the entire area. 
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This is the finished product! 

The picture below is a sphere, using the same technique, minus the marker base. See the difference?  

When used within a picture or drawing, this effect can add depth and vibrancy to any shape, area or figure. 

To see some examples of this technique in action read this review for two examples!



• I have used this technique with waterbased markers only, so I can’t comment on the effectiveness with alcohol markers 

• This can be done with all coloured pencils, both wax and oil. 

• I used a neon colour marker for this demonstration, but experiment with darker shades, lighter shades, brighter shades and see what comes out! 
The tools I used in this tutorial are –

• Strathmore Sketch Paper (Amazon) – I’m not artist (as you can tell by my circles!) but I keep sketch paper around to try new mediums and techniques for colouring.

•  Faber Castell Connector Pens (Amazon) – very popular waterbased children’s markers in Australia. I like them for this technique and they come in an outstanding 100 colours for a very reasonable price! 

• Faber Castell Classic Pencils (Amazon) – an accompaniment to Connector Pens, these are amazingly popular amongst children and adult colourists. A nice mix of soft and firm, they are a great, reasonably priced pencil. Often my go to pencil.

I hope you enjoy this photo tutorial, please let me know what you think and subscribe to keep up to date on new ones! Check out the list of reviews to find your next book!

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