Blending your Promarkers can be very satisfying but difficult, so I share some of my tips for a more successful blend. I use the exact same colour palette of 6 markers that I used last month with the ‘layered’ method and on the same paper. I did this so you can compare the finished drawings but also the approaches for getting them completed. Read on to find out more…
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So, I’d never really had markers that could blend together before I got Promarkers and even though my first few go’s I worked in layers (see my last Blog Tutorial,) once you get the hang of blending, it becomes a bit addictive. Basically I try to work quickly and blend while the colours are still wet on the paper. I work from lightest to darkest with my colours and use the lighter colours to blend along the edges. I demonstrate this using my drawing of a Pink Rose…
1. OUTLINE the drawing with Letraset Fineline pens:
I always go over my pencil lines with fineline ink and then rub out the underlying pencil lines. Here, I used a 0.1 and a 0.7 thickness of nib; thick for the external lines and thin for all the interior ones.
The fineline ink doesn’t run when you go over it with the Promarkers which is the main reason I use them. I used 250gsm Bristol Board paper too, as it gives me more time to blend on and time is important when blending.
2. PINK PEARL first and lightest colour:
I start with a small area to build my confidence, which is easy when drawing flowers because you can work petal by petal. The Pink Pearl goes on and I cover the petal with it so it will be wet when I add the other colours.
I find this important for blending because the colours seem to bleed and blend together better when they are wet – so work quickly!
3. BLOSSOM my 2nd colour:
I work upwards from light to dark colours when i’m blending, so Blossom, my next colour is a bit darker than Pink Pearl. I cover 2/3 of the petal with Blossom, and as the Pink Pearl is still wet, they blend together without my having to do much. So it should look like a small edge of Pink Pearl and then the darker Blossom taking up the rest of the petal.
4. PEONY, my 3rd colour:
When I add Peony, my third colour, I make sure that some of the Blossom and the Pink pearl are still showing. So i’m achieving a sense of depth and light-to-dark as I try to blend.
As I finish putting the Peony on, I quickly go back to the Blossom marker and go along the edge of where Peony meets Blossom, while they are both still wet, to encourage them to blend.You might be thinking, ‘why doesn’t he go over the edge of Pink Pearl/Blossom too?’ but they are so close to each other in tone, I don’t really need to. The ‘jump’ in tone from Blossom to Peony needs that extra bit of blending along the edge or when they dried there would be a noticeable line where one colour changed to the other! This is about blending your colours after all, so you do not want what I call a ‘drying line’.
5. TRICK OR TREAT getting darker still with my 4th colour:
Okay, Trick or Treat is a real step up in terms of darkness – it’s a lot darker than Peony. So after I add it (making sure that Pink Pearl, Blossom & Peony are still showing…) I get in there straight away with the Peony, along the edge of where the 2 colours meet. So I work Peony over the edge of where it meets Trick Or Treat, trying to ‘work’ the 2 together and get a smoother blended edge where they meet.
You might have guessed that this means that I have to work back through my markers; using Blossom to go back along that edge of Blossom/Peony as I’ve used 2 layers of Peony there now and that will make it darker… Basically this process means a constant flow of going up your markers (from light to dark) and then back down them (from dark to light) until you are happy with the blended effect
6. RED for stronger shadows:
I use Red for my dark shadow areas. This works well, as it is really close to Trick Or Treat in terms of how dark it is, so as I add it on top of Trick or Treat they seem to blend really well anyway. I can see some nice blended depth in the petal I’m drawing and if I’m not happy with it, I can just work back down through my markers from Red to Pink Pearl in order to achieve a better blend.
So, there you have it; colouring in a ‘blended’ style. It can be difficult to explain in words but I’ve done my best the accompanying video shows it as well as describes it so just click on either of the picture-links to watch it.
I like this style because:
1. It gives the picture a smooth, realistic look.
2. It’s quicker than working in ‘layers’
1. Try to Blend while your colours are still wet
2. Use a good thick paper or one designed for markers or your colours will saturate the page and bleed as you add so many of them.
NEXT BLOG: Drawing with Letraset Fineliners…
- Just watch the Tutorial Video below, leave a comment ON THE VIDEO including the word, ‘GIVEAWAY’. I’ll draw the lucky winner out of a hat next month