Beginner’s Guide to Artist Alcohol Markers

Last Updated: December 10, 2021

Coloring with Artist Alcohol Markers

Artist Alcohol Markers Primary Essential Set

Alcohol Markers are some of the best markers you can get to create seamless blends on your handmade projects. The look that you can get with these markers almost looks like it has been printed. It can be one of the best investments you can make when it comes to investing in good arts and crafts tools. They can be a little expensive at first but when you use them you will see why, they are not like most markers on the market and are so easy to use to create amazing pieces of art. You may still be thinking on whether you should spend money on these kinds of markers, but a quick search online on the work of artists using alcohol markers can quickly answer your question and remove your doubts

Here are the basics on what you can expect and do with alcohol markers in general. So if you then choose to  add these to your crafty stash, you will have an idea on how to get started with them. 

What are Alcohol Markers?

So what are Alcohol markers and what makes these something I need to add to my stash? Well, Alcohol Markers are a marker that is filled with alcohol ink. Alcohol ink is great for coloring as the ink blends seamlessly and dries fast. Alcohol ink can also work on all different types of surfaces, as well as cardstock, it works well on a number of porous and non-porous surfaces alike.

Stamped images colored with alcohol markers

Altenew Alcohol Artist Markers

These are just some of the examples that other artists have created using alcohol ink markers:

  • Cartoon Characters, Manga/Anime Characters, Superheroes and Villains
  • Beautiful Colored Art in Coloring Books
  • Amazing Freehand Art
  • Animals with Highly Detailed Hair and Fur
  • 3D Art Shapes
  • Art with Detailed Shading and Shadows
  • Lifelike Backgrounds or Scenery

But like I said before this is just the beginning, try these to add designs to wood, home decor items and even glass.

How Do Alcohol Markers Work?

Altenew Artist Markers 36 Color Set

Artist Alcohol Markers Bundle (36 Colors)

Alcohol Ink Markers are quite different compared to other types of markers, especially water-based markers. You can shade and blend colors a lot easier when using alcohol markers.

You might be thinking that alcohol ink markers are so expensive and not worth its price, but they are actually a lot cheaper in the long run because of its refillable feature. You can also change their nibs based on the style or effect you want to have.

The Pros of alcohol ink markers include:

  • They are amazing for blending, the ink easily blends with each other.
  • Alcohol ink dries fast because of its quick evaporating solvent, which can save you time. 
  • There is less chance of smudging your masterpiece because of the quick drying time.
  • They are permanent which makes them work on other types of surface aside from paper such as metal, plastic, cloth, cardstocks, etc.
  • Handy Refillable feature so when you start running out of ink you can just add more into the barrel instead of having to by a whole new pen.

    It’s always a good idea to add scrap paper or a craft mat under your project when working with alcohol markers. The ink tends to bleed through cardstock so the scrap paper or craft mat will stop the ink going through to your table top.

    The brand depends on your preferences, but one of the best alcohol markers set to get right now are Altenew Artist Markers. Artist Markers come in sets, so you don’t have to worry about choosing colors that will work together, as this has already been done for you.

    Artist Alcohol Markers Set from Altenew

    Rock Garden Artist Alcohol Markers Set D

    The Best Ways to Use Alcohol Markers

    Unlike other types of markers, alcohol markers are easy to blend. It also helps to choose the right cardstock, it’s always best to use a smooth piece of cardstock which will then make your coloring easier.

    You should start by getting familiar with alcohol markers to find out how they work especially when using card type paper. The best way to do this is to practice. Firstly practice your stokes, the main stroke used when using alcohol markers is a flicking motion. To do this rest the nib of the marker onto your cardstock and flick your wrist. This gives a stroke with a thicker and thinner end. As the end thins out this also helps when blending colors. Once you have mastered your stroke then go onto blending. When you are happy with the result you can then start practicing on images. It’s always best to start with a large image as these are easier to work with. 

    Inked Rose colored with Artist Markers

    Inked Rose Stamp & Die Bundle

    Choose also whether you would want to start from coloring light to dark and then back through to the lightest shade to blend, or the other way around which is dark to light which saves a little time. Most artists go from light to dark but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try dark to light. You have to find out what works for you and not for others.

    The final tip is to always remember to enjoy and have fun. 

    Remember why you are investing in alcohol markers: to ultimately have fun creating arts and crafts.

    Alcohol Markers Set from Altenew

    Alcohol Markers Set from Altenew


    Alcohol markers are a great investment for your arts and crafts projects. Don’t be fooled by its prices on the market, it can last longer than you think. An alcohol marker set is a long-term tool that you can use for countless future projects that you work on. They are tools that are definitely worth having for your artist toolset.

    Also, just like what was mentioned earlier, don’t forget to have lots of fun. Crafting is all about having fun creating and passing that joy onto others when you give your little pieces of art away.

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