Easy Watercolor Paintings with Water-Based Markers | Kolbie Blume | Skillshare

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Easy Watercolor Paintings with Water-Based Markers

teacher avatar Kolbie Blume, Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (1h 26m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Watercolor vs Water-Based Markers

    • 4. Watercolor Techniques

    • 5. More Ways to Use the Markers

    • 6. Marker Review

    • 7. Project 1: Sunset Landscape

    • 8. Project 2: Night Sky

    • 9. Project 3: Galaxy

    • 10. Project 4: Sunflower

    • 11. Recap

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About This Class

Art is all about learning to create with what you have -- and sometimes, all you have is a box of cheap markers! But don't worry -- water-based markers and a paint brush are all you need to make fun watercolor designs. 

In this class, we'll explore different ways to used water-based markers as a substitute for watercolor. Hopefully, these tips, techniques, and projects will help you think outside the box and spur your creativity to even greater heights! 

Meet Your Teacher

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Kolbie Blume




Yes, even you!

Don't believe me? 

I bet I can change your mind!



I'm a full-time artist, writer, and online educator -- but up until a few years ago, I was working a 9-5 desk job and thought my artistic ability maxed out at poorly-drawn stick figures. 

In my early 20s, I stumbled on mesmerizing Instagram videos with luminous watercolor paintings and flourishing calligraphy pieces, and my mindset slowly shifted from "I wish" to "Why not?"

-- and the rest is history! ... See full profile

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1. Intro: Hi, My name's Kobe and I am a self taught watercolor artist. I'm sure we've all seen watercolor that comes in a palette like this, or we've seen it that comes in like a liquid jar or in tubes or dried little cakes you could buy in the store. Have you ever seen water color than just like this? If you're saying to yourself, but call me if those air markers. That's because this class is all about using water based markers as a substitute for watercolor way. We're going to go into different ways. You can use marker as a substitute for creating a watercolor effect, the different kinds of water based foreign watercolor markers that I have and which ones are my favorite. And then we're going Teoh practice using watercolor techniques and paint four different projects. That's right. Four. So if that sounds interesting to you and you want to learn to paint this for this galaxy, this sunflower, this classic radiant night sky, all using a water based marker. Then this is the class for you, and I would love for you to join me 2. Materials: before we get started, I just want to go over quickly. The materials that you will need for this class. First and foremost, you're going to need any type of water based marker. So in ah, later video, I'm going to go over all of the water based markers that I have and talk about the pros and cons. But for you, you you don't have to have all of these that I have here. You just need your own set of water based markers. So that could be Creole ola. That could be Karen markers That could be, um, equal line brush pen, watercolor markers, tom bows or water based. The important thing is that they have to be water based because that is what will allow them to activate and be a substitute for water color. So any kind of water based marker is what we're going to use for our Inc for our color. And then the rest of the supplies air pretty much what you would use in watercolor. So I have a mixing palette. Ah, palette for using markers as watercolor is especially important. So make sure that you have a mixing palette. This one is, ah, handmade ceramic palette that I have. But you can also just use any, like plastic pallet, Um, or even a a Ziploc bag sometimes works, or a plate, any kind of dish, something that is really smooth and will allow the ink to, like rest on the palate and let you pick it up and then a paintbrush. Any kind of paintbrush will be fine. I am using, um, I usually use Princeton paintbrushes. I may use a larger size than this. Also, this is around size six. I may also use around size 10 or a smaller size zero, depending on the projects and then some masking tape to tape down your paper and some watercolor papers. So and I want to make a note about the paper. Usually when I do watercolor classes, I use student grade paper to practice, and I use professional grade paper for my final project. But when I use water based markers for projects, I don't really I don't normally use professional grade paper ever. That's because professional grade papers made of 100% cotton on that makes it really textured. It makes it really rough, and especially if you're using brush pens that you might also want to use for lettering. Um, using these brush friends or any marker with like a felt tip on professional watercolor paper is, ah, fast track toe, ruining the tips. So if you don't care at all about ruining the tips of your markers, although I will say that it will probably dry them out faster as well to use 100% cotton paper. Then it's fine. But because I like to preserve these things, I use student grade watercolor paper when I'm using markers as watercolor because it is a little bit smoother but still starting enough to withhold the water. So that's my one note about that. I will also say, though, that when you if you're planning to use markers as watercolor regularly, you probably shouldn't use the same ones that you use for lettering or calligraphy. Just because, no matter if you're if you're using watercolor, any kind of watercolor paper at all, it's going to fray your brush prints at some point, probably soon. The best paper to use for brush prints is really smooth, like Bristol paper or laser printer paper or marker paper. Um, and any kind of watercolor paper at all will likely ruin the brush tip over time and make them less ideal for lettering. So I'm probably going to go more into that as I as I go over the pros and cons of all of these different water based markers that I have. But I just wanted to make a note of that while we're in this Ah, first materials video and then also, I have a white gel pen that I am going to use for one or two of the projects and two cups of water off to the side like I usually always do. Want to keep dirty and want to keep clean and then some paper towels off to the side as well, to blot out your paintbrush just like any normal water coloring session. So with that, let's go ahead and gather all of your materials. Even if you're using a water based marker that I don't have here, that's totally fine. I just wanted to say that again. The only important thing is that it's water based as opposed to like, alcohol based or archival. If it says archival on it, that means it's permanent and it will not be activated by water. So let's now move right along 3. Watercolor vs Water-Based Markers: before we get started learning how to use water based markers as a substitution for water color. I wanted to do a quick demonstration of the difference between watercolor and water based markers. Obviously, uh, you know, the difference is one is painting one, it's ANC, but just so that you can see, um, how the to stack up. So I'm going to use a one of my favorite colors, and it's, ah, color that's potent both in watercolor and in these markers. So this is Quinn Rose. It's like this deep, deep, raspberry kind of pink. And when you activate watercolor, right, you have, at least when I have these dried water color in my palette over here, I bring some water with my paintbrush and tap it into this little well and, um, pick up, activate the pigment and make it moveable and turn it into a liquid by adding the water over here and then just painting right along with it. Now, watercolor, um uses the magic of watercolor, really is with the wet on wet technique, right, using water color to blend and, um, create some soft and kind of magical textures and water based markers work to do that as well because they're also activated with water. But there are some things about water based markers that are a little, um, different. And, uh, for example, So if I try to use this eagle line brush pen first, I would activate it. I would draw on this pallet over here just to let the Inc sit on the palate and because of the smooth surface, it's not gonna, like, absorb into the palate or anything. And then I would take my brush, my paintbrush, and with water, just dip it right into the ink and use it like my own little watercolor. Well, but one thing about watercolor, um water based Marker Inc is that it dries a lot faster than watercolor does. And so where with watercolor, I can wait a few seconds and go back and, um, kind of like I did over here, extend this Grady int with water based markers. It, um, drives a little faster, and dried paint lines happen more frequently. So you do have to work a little faster or, you know, make sure that your paper stays wet longer with water based marker ink. That's something that is important to note. Also important to note is because if he especially if you're using a palette, UH, to activate the ink because you have to add water to it and the ink is already its most potent when it's on the palate, the color that you get is going to be lighter. It's gonna have a lighter value than watercolor typically, and that just has to do with you. Use more water tow. Activate the ink because it already has water in it. When you put it on the palate, it's already wet. That's what makes it, um, you know, that's what allows you to write with it when you have it in the marker is that it's already wet and activated with water. And so, in order to make it possible to paint with a paint brush, you need to add more water. And that kind of dilutes the pigment a little bit. So that's another thing that's important to note between as a difference between the two, um, and but other the other than that, I would say that probably watercolor markers also come in much brighter colors. They don't always come in the like neutral colors that are really good, often times for landscapes. And so just know that you're probably not going to get a very dense, dark pigment with water color markers. But that doesn't mean that you can't have fun with them, and you can't paint really beautiful things with them. And that's what this class is about. We're gonna learn how we can use watercolor markers as a substitution for watercolors, not an exact translation. Not like I could get rid of my watercolors today, but as an addition to your work as an artist, you can, you know, explore and expand and try other fun things as well. So that's just kind of, Ah, brief overview and side by side comparison of watercolor versus brush pens vs water cut, border based markers. And now let's move on to some more demos and techniques 4. Watercolor Techniques: now that we've talked about just the difference between watercolor and water based markers , let's talk about using watercolor techniques with these water based marker. The basic watercolor techniques are the wet on dry technique and the wet on wet technique wet on dry means you are painting watercolor on dry paper and wet on wet means you're painting watercolor on wet paper, and these two techniques look ah, little different. I mean, they look very similar, but approaching that, you can approach them in different ways when you're using water based markers and the first way that we're going to talk about. We've already kind of discussed in the previous video when we activated this one of thes markers equal line magenta marker on this palette. So the first way that you can activate water based markers is by coloring directly on some kind of palette. So now I'm going to use some art line sticks markers, and I'm just going to show you again. So you color directly on the palate, and then you take your paint brush and dip it in some water and use that water. Teoh Um, activate the ink and help it stick to your paintbrush, and then you can paint just like you would with normal watercolor. So the wet on dry technique is defined by these crisp, clear lines. And when you use your paintbrush, it's just like you would paint with watercolor. Except for the differences that we talked about. Ah, in the previous video, like ink from water based markers dries a little quicker than watercolor, and so you have to move a little faster if you're. If you want Teoh, manipulate it while it's still wet. But other than that, it's mostly the same as watercolor. The other difference is that if you try Teoh paint on top of it, glazing doesn't really work because it's water based, not pigment based, and so the ink will. If you put water on top of it. Even after it's already dried, the ink will disperse because the water is going to reactivate it. So that's using the wet on dry technique, with the's water based markers drawing on a pallet and then the wet on wet technique. Um, we'll also look pretty similar to when we normally use water colors with our paints. If we get the paint. If we get the paper wet first and then dip a wet paintbrush into some paint. Here we can paint right in this wet area, and it will be It's just like using watercolor. But with the wet on wet technique especially, it's important to know that the paint the ink is going to dry faster than water color paint would, um, and so that means with the wet on wet technique. If you want to maintain those blends, you need to move faster as well. So that was a quick run down of how to use these basic techniques, using a mixing palette and drawing on a pallet. And, you know, basically have using the markers as a direct substitution for paint just on a pallet. And then in the next video, we're going to talk about the second way. Um, how to use watercolor water based markers as a substitution for watercolor 5. More Ways to Use the Markers: welcome back In the previous video, we talked about using ah palette Teoh encourage and leave the ink from water based marker so that we can use it as a substitution for watercolor. And in this video, we're going to talk about other ways that you can use water based markers as watercolor. So there are basically there are two ways. One is. Instead of transferring the ink from your marker to a palate, you can transfer it directly to the page and then very quickly use your paintbrush, Teoh. Activate it even further. So this method is great. If you're like trying to paint Galaxies or you're trying to paint skies or Grady INTs and you want Teoh, have your color from the marker. Be really potent because, as we discussed before in a previous video, when you take the ink from a pallet and you need to activate it with water on the palate before even painting, adding that water is going toe, lighten the value of the color. And so it's going to make the colors not quite as bright as if you were able to paint directly on the paper. And so, using water based markers in this way, Teoh. Draw directly on the paper and moving very quickly. Using your paintbrush. Teoh Activate those colors together, helps to keep the vibrance of the colors and still use these water based markers as a substitution for watercolor. One thing I will know what about this and it's something I've kind of talked about before is it's going. The ink is going to dry very quickly. So if you don't, it's going to dry even more quickly when you draw directly on the paper as opposed Teoh using the ink from the palate. So if you waited, even if you wait even just a little bit too long, you're going to see dried paint lines. And so I'm purposefully waiting a little bit longer. And then when I go to try to activate this, notice how there's a faint it's faint. But there's still a dried paint line on here where you can see just the faint outline of where I initially drew with the marker on this paper, and I think that there are other papers you can use that helped to diminish this effect, where when you paint on where you use the marker to like draw directly on the paper and then use your paintbrush to activate it. There are different papers that alleviate that somewhat but every paper use. If you wait too long to activate the marker, you're still going to get this dried this dried outline of a paint line. And I have also found that the market the paper that, um, are sometimes is better at not leaving behind. Those paint lines are also worse for the markers. So on the whole, I would still rather stick with cancer in student grade paper or like Strathmore Stern, agreed paper. But just note that you're gonna have to move a little faster if you wants to avoid thes dried paint lines. You can also use the markers to draw directly on wet paper, so I have a little wet square here, and I can use this marker to draw directly on this wet paper. It's not going to act exactly like water color for the most part, but you are going to get these kind of blurry lines, um, the difference between watercolors instead of like blooming outward and like a nice water calorie kind of texture. I still have this draw like this line of marker like it's still drawing with the marker, but the lines are going to be fuzzy. So one thing to note about that is different markers or going to react differently with this effect. And we're going to talk more about that in the video where I do a demo of all of these markers that I have on that demo video is going to help you know and decide which markers you want to use for which projects things like that. So we're gonna discuss that more. But this is a way that you can, um, use water based markers as a substitution for watercolor just for going the paintbrush entirely and painting directly on a wet surface. I think that the best way to do this is probably to do like a mix like, if again with the other one, if you want, like a more vibrant or potent color. And um, you still want to have that like blurry edge effect, then to do both to paint to draw directly on a wet surface and then use your paintbrush to manipulated even further. If that's the direction that you want to go, and finally you can also, with very few markers. It doesn't really work with a lot of them. In fact, I think it really only works with these Karen with ease Karen brush markers. But sometimes markers are so wet and so, um inky, that you can use the wet on wet technique directly in the marker stroke that you've just laid down. So I've really Onley seen this happen with Karen Markers. Where, um, if you concede e I drew on, I drew this like blue streak right here, and then I tapped in some of this light blue that you can see and it's blended right in there. It doesn't work exactly the same or as long as actual watercolor, but it does work and is useful for blending. So those are just a few short ways that you can use water based markers as a substitution for watercolor. Some techniques for the different water car techniques that we already know. There's another way that I want to talk about. That's not so much for watercolor. I don't know that you're really going to use it for illustration that much, except maybe to make radiance. And it's so It's a method you likely already know if you do, you know lettering or, um, work with brush markers. It's a pretty fun and easy way. So, basically, if you just draw right on the palate on a pallet, um, just leave some ink directly on your palate and then take a different color brush pen and basically lift the ink from that different color right onto your a different color brush pen. Then you can mix those colors directly on the pen and create this like natural radiant. So because water based markers are water based, they can lift and blend directly on the Nibs. So I've not really found this super useful for painting watercolor landscapes, necessarily, although you could paint like many landscapes to dio little radiance like us, Um, but I would classify this more as an illustration technique generally rather than a watercolor technique. Still, it was worth mentioning that you can use this method to create Grady INTs without needing a paintbrush or water at all. So that wraps up this video on using markers and watercolor techniques, and now we're going to move right along 6. Marker Review: Welcome back. Now let's take a look at the seven different kinds off water based markers that I have on hand. Teoh. Just see what what the pros and cons are of each of them. Before we get started, I want to say that for most for the projects that we're going to dio after. Mostly I am going to use Karen markers because they are my favorite. So if you don't feel like going over all of the rest of them and want to just know my best recommendation, it would definitely be Karen markers. But let's dive into why, that is, and all of the other markers as well. I think when doing side by side comparisons, it's always most helpful if you can use the same color. I don't always have the exact same Hugh of all these colors, and I couldn't find my purple carrot talkie marker. Um, so most of these are like a typical violet purple. Some of them are more on the blue violet, and some of them are more on the red violet. And but I thought that it would be helpful toe look at mostly the same Q because it's important to note that even different hues within the same brand react differently based depending on the situation. So as you are doing your own experimenting, I would look into that as well. How different colors are either stronger, ah, pigment wise or, if they dry, faster, those air important things to look at. Um, but for now, let's take a look at these seven different brands of markers and how to test their ability to replace watercolor. First, let's take a look at Karen markers. So I already said that they were my favorite. But we're still going to dio the four tests that I recommend you do for any of the water based markers that you have if you're trying to determine what you should use. So first, let's test the pigment strength when we, um, draw on appellate versus when we draw right on paper. So first I'm going, Teoh, transfer some of this ink to my palette, and then I'm going. Teoh, take my paintbrush, activate it and just make a little radiant right underneath where I wrote the word Karen eso We're making this Grady int by painting with the ink first and then washing off my paintbrush and then using clean water. Teoh kind of meet where the ink where I left think so that I can have this subtle shift from dark delight. So this kind of light radiant. Um, this is what Karen marker, this is plumb the plum color Karen Marker. Looks like after I have diluted it with water and activated it with the palette. So it's pretty light. Pretty delicate. And then, um so that's the first test, and then the second test is to create ingredient by drawing directly on the paper first. So I'm gonna draw, just scribble directly on this paper about halfway, um and then take my paintbrush and continue it. So I'm gonna activate the water first and then take clean water and meat it like I did before, just so the I can spread the Grady int out a little bit and see how light it can go. So that is the Grady int that is the Karen marker when we draw directly on the paper and activate it on the paper and as you can see, the places where it was untouched by water, and I'm even going to just add a little bit more link to it here. It's much more vibrant and potent when you draw directly on the paper and me at my Adding Inc directly to this wet spot is, um, a technique that Karen Markers does do particularly well because they're so inky and so pigmented. Ah, lot of other brands don't do this quite a swell where I can take the marker and tap it into a wet space, and we're gonna look a test that technique with other markers as well. So we first tested making ingredient by using the ink that we transferred directly from a pallet and then making ingredient that we made by first drawing on the paper and then activating it as you draw on the paper and activated. It's also important to look for I want to do this one more time. It's also important to look for whether or not your marker leaves behind a dried paint line . Um, and typically you contest the best way to test that, or to see you just offhand is to see how wet your markers are, how wet the ink is, and Karen markers are really wet, so the more wet they are the longer they're going to be able to stay on the paper, um, without drying and leaving staining the paper with that dried incline. And then finally, we're just going Teoh, test how well the marker will activate via the wet on wet technique if we draw directly on a wet piece of paper. So this is the fourth and final test of, um, I'm going to do for all of these markers. And Karen markers passes this test with flying colors. Um, they still don't expand quite as much as if I was using riel watercolor, but they bloom and blend so nicely and well right on this wet spot of the paper. And that's one of the reasons why I prefer Karen markers if I'm using markers as a replacement for watercolor over just about any of the other ones. So we're going to do these four tests making ingredient, uh, by using the ink transfer making ingredient by using the marker and testing the dried paint line and testing the marker in via the wet on wet technique painting directly in a wet surface. We're gonna do all of these tests for all of the markers, so that was Karen. And now let's move on to Tom Bow. Okay, so I hope you enjoyed that little time lapse of how I tested all of these different markers . And now I'm going to go over the results. So first, let's take a look at how light all of the markers are when we activate them with water and what happens to them? It looks to me like the lightest when activated with markers are Windsor Newton ego line and current talky. And I think that incredible. Probably in there, too. And Tom Bo, all of them are pretty light. Maybe I should do the reverse. The, um the most, the most vibrant. I think even after using a palette are art line sticks and Karen markers. And then all of the other ones are definitely dampened, um, much lighter when you add the water. Another way to test that to test the vibrancy is to see how dark the second, um, Grady INTs are where I drew directly on the paper, and I feel like this test also confirms our theory that art line sticks and Karen are the most vibrant of the seven markers that I was using. So that's important to note if you are looking, if you're trying to paint things that have ah, high hi vibrance or maybe a high contrast like if you're trying to paint a night sky where the top of the night sky is really dark and vibrant and pigment e and the bottom is more UNM, much lighter than the contrast is what makes that possible. And so you want a marker that will go really, really dark and vibrant as well as really, really light and airy. And so from the tests that we did, the limited tests keep in mind because, like I mentioned earlier, different colors react differently. But the tests that we've done so far it looks like Karen and Art Line are both more vibrant than the other ones. Other things to look for is the wet in wet test that we did. So I'm looking for, uh, whether the ink reacted in like a really blooming, cloudy kind of way similar to how watercolor reacts and not very many of the markers. Really. Did you get these kind of more like blotted textures? Tom Bo did a little bit, but then had this weird, like back run drawing effect. Um, and most of them just kind of look like blurry, blurry dots that still hold the form of when I dot at the marker. And so But I was expecting that, and I was preparing you for it. So most of these markers don't really work very well wet in wet, but, um, they can still be activated and used as watercolor. And then the other thing that I wanted to look for was dried paint lines. And so some of these Grady INTs, like I waited longer to reactivate them with water to see where, how and where the dried paint lines would form. And some of them, most of them do. Current Taki has some pretty defined dried paint lines underneath the wash Um, art line has a pretty defined dried paint line right there. Windsor and Newton does as well, although I will say that Karen also does, and I think that dried paint lines is something that is difficult Teoh Avoid when you're using water based markers, unless you're moving very fast or you're willing to cover it up. So one way to come back to the dried paint lines is to just to make sure that you are covering up with darker or another layer of water color. Um, where the paint lines exist. So we're gonna talk about that as we move on to the projects as well. But I just I wanted to show you, um, thes four tests that I do testing the water, testing the ink from a pallet, testing the ink when you draw directly on the paper and testing it wet on wet. Um, And if you have any other tests that you discover or experimenting with, um, feel free to share them with me or, you know, do your own experiments. But this is really helpful when I'm determining which marker I want to use. And, um, as thes tests indicate, when I'm using water water based markers as watercolor, I almost always either go with Karen or our line because they're more vibrant. And, uh, that's kind of what I'm looking for. The thing that surprised me most about this was knowing that Equal Line and Windsor Newton , which are both marketed as water color markers, are less vibrant. And that doesn't mean that they're bad. It just means that if you want, really, like a vibrant, potent pieces, then maybe these brands aren't what you want to go with. But these air really great for like, more subtle soft pieces. And I really love like in. Conversely, I'll really love love, love, Windsor Newton and Eagle Line pens for lettering way more than I like art line for lettering. I like these two thes air. Some of my very favorites for lettering and Karen is probably just my favorite overall. So anyway, there's that run down. Um 01 last thing. Creole is by far the cheapest of all of these, and I want to say that it held up really well up, even up against these more really expensive markers. So if Creole is all the only one that you have on hand, it's pretty vibrance. It did pretty well with the wet and what technique. And, um, I think that there are some dried paint lines, but not more than any of the other ones. So Corolla is definitely a viable choice here, especially if you're not wanting to invest in anything more expensive. So okay, that wraps up this markers round up video. And now finally, let's move on to the watercolor projects 7. Project 1: Sunset Landscape: welcome to Project number one. In project number one. We're going to use water based markers, Karen markers and a palate to use thes markers as a more traditional substitution form of watercolor, meaning I'm going to every time I use thes colors. I'm going to draw directly on this pallet and use my paintbrush on the palate, activating the ink with my paintbrush as opposed to drawing directly on the paper. And for this piece, we're going to draw paint rather a quick little Sunset Mountain piece. So first things first, I'm going to, um, just scribble a few of the colors that I'm going to use right on my palette here. So I'm using sky blue, canary, yellow, rose pink and pale orange for the sky to create, kind of like a colorful cotton candy sky kind of effect. So there are my colors, and now I'm going to get my paper wet. This is traditionally how I start almost all of my landscape paintings, regardless of what kind of water color I use. So I'm going to get my paper wet, noticed that I'm using student grade paper and I taped it down with masking tape just to keep the paper as taut as possible. And so I'm using some clean water. Teoh, get this paper wet. And now I'm going, Teoh, take my brush and start with the sky blue and just kind of paint along the top. And as you can see, I'm gonna paint in these kind of jagged strokes. Leaving behind some white space is so I can add more colors in later. And as you can see as we practice with Karen markers, Karen, uh, the ink from Karen markers is pretty vibrant. So you can get some really cool, um, and beautiful colors by using the ink from these markers. Now I'm going to take the canary yellow and start from the bottom and paint upward from the bottom. And this is just to kind of create that time of day in the sunset when the sky is still blue. So if it's a sunset, it hasn't quite started yet. Um, but it's just starting to shift colors. So the bottom is going to stay this yellow color, and that is going to kind of just bleed a little bit into the blue sky. And then, while this is still wet, I'm going to use the pale orange and the rose pink to create some little clouds in the white spaces that we left behind here. So I'm going to start with the orange and with orange and blue. You want to be careful not to make them too much. That's partly why I left behind these white spaces, because orange and blue are complementary colors, right? This is pale orange, though, so it's not going to clash as much as, like bright orange would. Still, it's important to note. And then just right on top of the orange, I'm going to put top on some pink. And because of the what on what technique? The the colors were just going to kind of blend together. If they don't blend together, if it looks like they've dried, that's because your paper has dried too quickly. And so that's it's important to move fast when you're trying Teoh pain to the other wet on wet technique like this, and then really quickly. I'm just gonna take more pale orange and kind of blend the two colors together in all of my cloud so that I have this nice, cloudy blend instead of some, like stark or harsh bleeds in the clouds. So I'm just kind of tapping along, and I'm moving very quickly and you'll notice that as I'm moving quickly, I'm not trying to be perfect. I'm not trying to make, like, perfectly formed clouds. Um, and if I did try Teoh do that If I tried to make my clouds, uh, you know, shaped a little quote unquote better. The ink would dry before I got a chance to even do anything. And so here I'm just really embracing the doesn't have to be perfect philosophy in an effort to avoid dried paint lines and to just really love this loose watercolor style that I already know is pretty cool. So, um, there are some of my clouds, and now I'm going to let this layer dry and paint some mountains okay to form the, um, little mountain ridge that I'm going to paint. I wanted to be pretty dark, and so I'm going to use Ah, this Karen marker it is. This color is usually, though, right, sapphire blue, which is the darkest blue that I could find. And then I'm going Teoh directly on my mixing palette. Add some black to it. And normally, if you know anything about color theory, adding black to a color turns it into a shade of that color. And that's kind of exactly what we want. So because I want this to be tinted blue, uh, but darker than that, So I'm going to get it really, really watery and then use it. I'm going to get it really, really watery and then using the flat, making sure my brushes flat. So I'm using getting a lot of paint on there. I'm just going to paint like a jagged mountain ridge all the way across here, and then I'm gonna act quickly and fill in the bottom so I don't have any dried paint lines on here. So I'm trying to fill in the mountain by either painting with a wet paintbrush just with water or grabbing more ink so that I don't leave behind any dried paint lines. And then I'm going to wait for this mountain layer to dry. Okay, so this mountain layer is dry and something interesting that happened is this mountain layer looks dark green rather than the dark blue that we painted. And that's because ink just like watercolor. Or there's like the water based ink has the trance, same transparent qualities that watercolor does. And so by painting with the blue on top of this really vibrant yellow sky, it turned it green. And that has to do with glazing and using layers. So an earlier in an earlier module, I talked about our lesson. I talked about how some forms of glazing doesn't really work with water based markers because the it won't really always hold it shapes part. Some part of ink will always reactivate, and that's true. So, like if I were to paint this whole thing over again with water, um, some parts of the sky in the mountain, like the pigment, would lift up and blend and bleed into the sky, making all of this a big, muddy mess as opposed to If this was pigment based watercolor, if it were completely dry, I could wash over again with some water, and mostly it would stay. It would hold its form, Um, so trying to glaze on top of already like formed layers or objects in a layer underneath wouldn't always work. But if you're just trying to use the colors and the transparency underneath. And you're glazing not necessarily trying to hold some kind of shape in a previous lier, then glazing really and glazing and layering works really well. So that is, um, just a little note that I have about that using watercolor markers as a substitution and how in the differences there. So Okay, so we have this mountain layer, and now I'm just going to finish off this, uh, painting by painting one more mountain layer Onley using black. And I'm going Teoh do the same thing that I did before activating it with my paintbrush. And then I'm just gonna do it like a really thin, small little mountain layer right at the bottom. Here, maybe have a little peek that comes up on this side. And then I'm going to take some more of the black and just paint a few birds that are coming out of the mountain just to add a little bit of complexity and contrast in the sunset. And there we go. That is a landscape Ah, sunset painting with some cotton candy sky with the pink clouds in the blue sky that we painted on Lee using Karen markers and a watercolor palette. So let's take off the tape and see what our painting looks like. - Okay , Uh, here we go. We took off the tape. It caught a little bit on the top here, so it ripped off a little bit of the paper. But that has more to do with the paper than it does with the tape. So if you're ever using masking tape for painters tape or washi tape and it like tears, your paper, it's probably because you're using not good quality paper. And I know that we're not this time in student greed, which I did on purpose to use with these markers. So I'm fine with that. I also want to note that when you doing these little projects, I'm doing all of them on small pieces of paper. I took a nine by 12 inch sheet of cancer in student grade watercolor paper, and I just cut it into quarters because I knew that working with water based markers, you have to move fast or else you're going to get some dried paint lines. Working on a small piece of paper is going to be the best way to practice that. So this painting is on a small piece of paper. I think it looks pretty cool. Even if it was on Lee used on Lee painted using only the ink from markers, it still looks like an awesome watercolor painting. So this is Project number one, and now let's move on to project number two. 8. Project 2: Night Sky: welcome to Project number two in our exploring water based markers as a substitution for watercolor class. So in this project, we're going Teoh usar Karen markers to paint directly on the paper most of the time for going the palate so that we can get a more vibrant effect. And, um, the reason I want to do it is because we're painting a night sky is one of my very favorite projects. Um, one of my very favorite designs. I've done it lots of times over the years, as I've taught, and it's a fan favorite. So I thought that I would use this project as a way to demonstrate how to use Karen markers in their full potency by drawing directly on the paper in order to capture that kind of stunning radiant effects. So, first of all, I am using my marker at an angle, these airbrush markers ultimately, So I still want to maintain the tip as much as possible, and then I'm going to go about maybe a little more than 1/3 down the paper and just kind of put like one or two layers of ink on here, and then I'm going to move quickly and grab my paintbrush with some water and paint just directly in the pigment that I've already created. And I can go right from the top and, um, keep moving down. I'm continually adding water to my brush and washing it off. And then, as I'm going down the page in order to maintain ingredient, I'm washing off my paintbrush and using clean water to paint upward to meet this watercolor Grady int that I've created. If you want to know more about this specific, like my night sky techniques, I have a night sky class. That's where I go over all of my favorite Grady in techniques for creating this kind of night sky. So I'd recommend checking that out if you're interested. Um, and this just uses those same techniques, but with the's Karen markers. So it started with painting down, and then, because of the wet on wet technique, the water helped to make the pigment lighter. And so it's gets lighter as it goes towards the bottom, and then, in order to keep the bottom as light as possible and maintain the contrast between light and dark. Then I take a clean brush and paint from the bottom upward because, um, you and you need to paint from light to dark so that you don't accidentally get to the bottom to be too dark. So now that we have, um, this nice look ingredient, I'm just gonna draw directly again on my page with the Karen marker to make the top slightly darker. And that looks pretty good to me. So I was gonna blend that right in to the page, and now I'm going to let this go. Radiant. Dry. Okay, So here is our dried Grady int. It is a pretty rock ingredient for Onley using this sapphire blue Karen markers right where I just drew directly on the paper and then used water to activate the marker's ink and push it down a little bit so I can create this nice, radiant from light too dark. And now we are going Teoh, use a black Karen marker. Teoh, draw paint directly on the paper to draw some trees. So similar to the way that I do, I paint trees. I'm going Teoh, um, use very little pressure. Teoh draw out a thin line for a trunk and I'm starting from a little below that line underst going to paint some blobs on either side of this trunk to form my tree and brush markers make it helpful to mimic my painting tree process this way because they have the flexibility to utilize the different pressures, right. So I'm actually going to change the angle so that you can see these trees a little better. Okay, I'm back. And so I'm just gonna paint a few trees along the horizon here. And the trees are supposed to act as a contrast against the night sky and help make the nights guy look even brighter. So they're just silhouetted against the sky and thes inky. These really inky Karen markers, uh, make for excellent brush watercolor brush substitution ins when painting trees like this I have found. So I'm just painting little blobs on either side of the tree. Gonna have one tree that goes all the way up here because that's kind of my signature move to have one really tall tree and maybe have it a little thicker as well down toward the bottom, just adding more blobs on either side. And I'm gonna have that tree. And then I think one more kind of going into the side like this, and that wraps it up for my trees. The last step to this night sky painting using Karen markers is to draw in some stars. I am using this sucker a jelly roll, Joe Penn in white to just kind of manually draw in my stars. Usually if you've taken any of my other classes. Usually I recommend getting some white wash and splattering stars, and you can still do that. This time I would just you would splatter them before you paint the trees. But because we're going for, you know, non traditional non paint methods here, I decided to use my Jell pen to draw in the stars. The trick withdrawing and stars manually is that you need Teoh. Draw the stars in like clusters or clumps instead of just one of the time, because when you draw them one of the time, you're more likely to create a pattern I have found. So if you draw them in clusters that look slightly more realistic, I left this pen open accidentally overnight, and so some of the dots aren't coming out quite as well as I want to because, uh, some of the ink from the pen has dried along the rims, but that's okay. So I'm just kind of dotting a bunch of stars here, and you can even kind of, like, give them some kind of movement or rhythm. I know that some people like to draw like a wave of stars, kind of just to maybe that makes a Milky way a little bit. Um, either way, it's going to look the best if your stars kind of have some semblance of chaos and randomness to them. Um, just cause that's how stars look. That's why normally I like to splatter in the first place, but it is fun. Teoh test. You're drawing ability, uh, and just to kind of stretch yourself in different ways, even if it's something as little as drawing stars a different way than you normally do. So you could also make some of the stars bigger, or you could even drawn a little constellation. But then I'm going to to finish this off, just kind of flick my wrist and draw a shooting star off to the corner, which is something that I usually dio also and have done for years. So that completes this night. Sky, Let's take off the tape to see what we're dealing with. All right, that's pretty darn good. I think that, uh, considering we didn't use any water color at all this water color night sky looks pretty awesome. Okay, this was project number two now on two projects, number three. 9. Project 3: Galaxy: Welcome back. This is Project number Three of this using water based markers and the substitute for watercolor class, and we're going to paint a galaxy. We're going to paint this galaxy by paint by drawing directly on the paper, and we're also going to use a pallet Teoh enhance the color blends that were going to do so let's get right into it. First, make sure you pick colors that will blend well together. So yellows and blues always blend really well together. And so I'm just going to take my colors and I'm going to draw directly on this piece of paper and on sometimes leaving behind white space. So leaving white space in between the colors, sometimes not. And eso I'm just going to take thes Karen markers drawing at an angle and draw all over this paper right here. I'm trying to move quickly so that I can activate the colors in just a minute with the water. Okay, so now I'm going to take my paintbrush and with a bunch of water, I'm just going to kind of am circles. Activate all of these colors and note that because if you do it with this method where you , um, do all the colors down at once. You are going to have some dried paint lines from the brush strokes. And that's OK, because we're going to use the water colors after on a pallet to kind of try toe hide and cover up some of those brush strokes and make the contrast between the colors even greater . So for this first stuff is to just get the pigment down, get the colors down and activate them as soon as possible, with water continually washing off your paintbrush and coming back with plenty off water. So now that we have activated all these colors and we have our paper wet and we have this cool blend of colors together now I'm going to use the edges of my masking tape as a kind of palate and draw directly on the masking tape with the colors so that I can pick them up again. And while the painting is still wet, um, used the wet on wet technique. Teoh add even more. Drop in even more color into this piece, and especially if you see a place where there are dry to paint lines from the brush strokes . So, like, they're definite lines. Um, that look like from where you originally colored in on the paper. Then that's where I would focus your efforts to just kind of tap your paintbrush. Tap the pigment that you're picking up along those dried paint lines so that you can cover them up. Um, and you might not be perfect out that you might not cover up all of them, but that's okay. Uh, this is actually perfect. This is mostly an experiment and having fun with watercolor. And, ah, if it doesn't look exactly like normal watercolor, that's totally fine. So you may have to use re apply some ink to the outside of your makeshift pallets here because as soon as you add water tow, activate them, right, it turns them lighter. And so, if you want more potent colors as you're painting in here, then you're gonna need to get more of the colors directly from the marker. That's just kind of how it goes. So notice how we're all mostly putting the light colors here. I do have that dark blue. Um, we're going to add black and dark blue and just a little bit to really turn it into that space. He kind of galaxy. But first, just keep adding color. Re wedding things as necessary. Covering up dried paint lines where you see them, Uh, keep going until you feel like you have a decent amount of color blending going on and then let that layer dry. Oh, now that this layer is dry and we're gonna do something that I told you not to dio um, But it's OK, because we want these colors to blend together. We're going to re wet it completely. And then once it's wet again, we're going to add even more color on top of it. And this time more, um, black and darker colors along the outside to complete our galaxy. Look, So I am just re wedding my page with some clean water and trying to move fast, and we're gonna do basically the same thing we did before. But this time I'm going to start with some black, and I'm gonna use this poet instead of the masking tape because I kind of ran out of room and take this black and just along the outsides here while, um, my painting is still wet paint some cloudy wet on wet a cloudy wet on wet border around this galaxy, and I may need Teoh See even student grade paper. Does this in sodas? Watercolor paper, Watercolor Marker Inc. It's already dried, uh, really quickly. And so I want to go back in with some clean water and re wet. Make sure to blend in this marker with the paper so I don't get tons of dried paint lines and some of that. Sometimes that might mean even picking up ah colors from before and blending it right into the black edges that you've created here so that you don't have as many dried paint lines so that you can avoid them as much as possible. And so I'm just going. Teoh uses palette even more. Teoh, pick up some more colors and continue painting as quickly as possible. So let's pick up some yellow here and just like tap it blended into the dark color. And over here I noticed some of the black dried into kind of not a naturally shaped paint line. So that's where I want to add more black to cover up that paint line and keep going until I feel satisfied. So the thing about watercolor Galaxies is that it doesn't have to look perfect. We're not, really, I mean, unless you're working from a reference photo that you've taken from NASA's website or something. It doesn't have to look exactly like what you might imagine something in space toe look like. And that's generally my rule when it comes to painting with loose watercolor, especially when you're experimenting. Like when we're experimenting with water based markers as a substitution for watercolor. Um, so just kind of feel free to be loose and paint and blend as you like, and then stock at some point and have that be okay. One thing before you stopped, I would recommend trying, especially if you're using Karen markers. This might not work if you're using other markers, but especially if you're using Karen markers. You can also go ahead and just like use the black right on the wet paper and blend it in to the peace. That way, I wouldn't do the whole way around, Um, I would go in pieces so I would paint right on the paper and then blended in and then paint on the paper and blended in because otherwise it could dry before you get a chance to blend it, and you could end up with some again dried paint lines that you don't really want. But if you just use the marker to draw right on the edge and use, allow the wet on what technique to work its magic. You can get some really vibrant and dark results that way, and it doesn't have to be on the whole thing, even if you do it in pieces. You don't have to dio all the way around unnecessarily. But that is a method that you can use to get some even more vibrant pigment, and you don't even have to only do it with the black you can. Also, while it's still wet, paint directly on here with other colors. You just want to make sure to blend them in with your paint brush so that you don't end up with, you know, marks that look like you have actually paint like drawn in with the marker. But you wanted toe blended, so it has that nice, naturally cloudy look. So I'm just going to, um, paint with some yellow in here. Just add even more contrast. And there that looks pretty good to me. So I'm going to let that dry and then we're going to draw in the stars. And there we have it. So I drew in some stars and I took off the tape. And here is a watercolor galaxy that we painted using Karen markers. It looks pretty cool. It looks a lot like a normal watercolor galaxy would look like. Um, so I hope you enjoyed this project and let's head on over to the fourth and final project in this class. 10. Project 4: Sunflower: welcome to the final project in this class, we're going Teoh usar Karen markers. Ah, as paintbrushes once again and we're going Teoh paint a watercolor sunflower using no paintbrushes using no pilots, just the markers. So first, let's get started with, um, pulling out colors I'm going to be using sepia and copper brown gold and lush green with Karen markers. So I'm going to get started with painting the center of my sunflower, which is brown, right? And so I'm just gonna paint, uh, concentric circles leaving behind some white space off this circle of this center because I want the center of the sunflower to have a little bit of texture to it so that you can see all of the at least kind of see, like what? Your mind trick you into thinking you're seeing all of the small, little, uh, details that make up the center of a big sunflower. So one thing to remember with sunflowers that at least when I'm painting them, is that the center, the brown center, is almost always bigger than you think it needs to be. So I'm just kind of tapping on dots Ah, in circles around to paint this big centerpiece. And then once I have it down, I'm going to take my gold Karen marker and draw using a thin, thick, thin brush stroke. Ah, draw in a pedal. And so I do this in, like, three motions, one pedal, one side of the pedal like that, one side of the pedal like this and then just kind of coloring it in and making sure to, uh, have the pedals sick outward. They're all coming out from the middle of this sunflower, and you don't have Teoh. I like to do my late my layers of petals, like in two rounds. So I'm gonna do one layer, uh, where there's some space between the pedals and then another layer after that, and then I'm probably gonna even at another layer of brown. But we will get there when we get there, so you can also turn your paper. I didn't notice I didn't tape it down this time. And I did that on purpose so that I can turn my paper. I'm also not using, like, a heavy wash, so it's not super necessary. Um, so we have this one layer of pedals down before you move onto the next layer, take your copper brown and I'm just going Teoh, using the wet on wet technique. Um, add just a little bit of like texture from the stem from the middle into the pedals. Just so thes pedals can have just like a little bit of movement and details on there, Not a lot. And it's okay if it doesn't look perfect. Also, it's also okay if you don't really like this style, Um, but I'm just adding a few lines onto the pedals just to add a little bit of depth to those pedals. And then I'm going to go again. And this time, because thes pedals are water based, some of them might bleed into each other. And that's OK. It's not a big deal if, um, the layers of if you can't see every individual peddle if they kind of blend together, Uh, that is an effect that I am definitely okay with. So But as I'm finishing painting these pedals, I'm just kind of going in between the ones that I've already made and forming the pedals in the same way. And then I'm gonna go back and out a few details you don't have to add these copper red details toe all of the pedals. Definitely not. Ah, you can do it to just a few of them. And that is okay, too. And then finally, uh, this kind of looks more like a daisy to me. I do still want to look like a sunflower. So I'm going to go and add and even more brown around the edges because that is the biggest difference. I can see that the center of this sunflower isn't quite as big as it should be. And so that's why I'm going around and adding even more of these brown edges. And then I can go back and add more yellow too, if I want some spaces in between the pedals and the brown, just to add more color almost always means more texture. And that is hardly ever a bad thing when it comes to, um, watercolor. So I'm just adding in more yellow, more brown so that this sunflower actually looks more like a sunflower with that giant um, brown center. And that looks pretty good to me. Definitely not perfect. But perfect is not what I was shooting for. And so to finish this off. I'm just going to draw in a stem. Some flour stumps were pretty thick, Uh, and I'm going to use some watercolor techniques that I know. So I'm going to use leave behind on purpose some of these white spots white streaks just to kind of showcase the texture of this sunflower stem. And ah, and embrace that kind of loose watercolor style. And then I'm gonna have one big leave That is, uh, kind of coming off of here like this, and I'm gonna leave the middle white, so I'm gonna leave a little white space in the middle of this leaf and just paint around it . Similar to how I would do if I were painting a leaf in, uh, with a paintbrush. And then I'm gonna do one more small one in the same way, leaving behind just this small white strip and coloring in around it. The reason why you can use Karen markers to basically color. Like I essentially just drew this with markers and still have it kind of looked like a watercolor flower is because Karen markers air so inky there, so watery. And that makes them really excellent. for mimicking the watercolor effect while using markers. So this doesn't necessarily looked like I I drew it with markers. Right? It I think it looks like I painted it with watercolor. And so, Karen markers, A really fun for that reason. Um, okay, that wraps up this final project. Um, where we painted the center of this flower with petals coming out of it and drew in the stem and the leaves. It's definitely looks illustrated, Not like super realistic. But I still think it looks really cool. And it's amazing that we were able to paint this just using these markers. So thank you so much for joining me for this class. I hope you liked it. And let's, um, head over to finish up with some final thoughts. 11. Recap: Thank you so much for taking my class on how to use water based markers as a substitute for watercolor. I had times of fun creating this content for you and painting the four different projects that we created just to recap. These are what we made in this class. We made this colorful sunset and we did this mostly, using a palette and a paintbrush and lifting watercolor water color marker ink from the palate. And we also painted this galaxy where we drew right on the paper and activated the markers with water. And we painted air quotes painted this sunflower where we drew right on the on the paper as well. And we use such inky markers that it looks like water color. And then we painted this watercolor night sky where we did kind of a mix of both painting right on, drawing right on the paper and using a paintbrush activated. So I hope you enjoyed this class. I hope that it helps to get you out of your out of a creative rut. Maybe you're think outside the box and even better would be is if finding a way to use markers like this is a substitute for watercolor help spur you to experiment even more with art supplies on the different ways that you could use them. If you really loved this class, one of the best things that you could do to support teachers like me is to leave a review. I would love to see any of your feedback. I would love to see uh, what you thought of this class. And if you have suggestions for future classes or ways I can improve on this class, I would love to hear that too. Um, also, if you're interested in posting Teoh Instagram posting your work that you've done from this class Instagram, please tag me my name. My handle is this writing desk and I would love to see any of the work that you've done. So thank you once again for joining me. And I will see you next time.