Level Up Your Art Experience With Alcohol Markers!

Last Updated: January 27, 2022

Artist Alcohol Markers Bundle (60 Colors)

Artist Alcohol Markers Bundle (60 Colors)

Introducing alcohol markers into the paper crafting universe is a fabulous way to add color to your handmade projects. Every artist starts with a blank slate. A splash of color on that blank slate can make all the difference. The language of color is a crucial part of an artist’s vocabulary. Colors portray an  artist’s emotions. Furthermore, an artist can intentionally use colors to bring about certain emotions in their viewers. They use colors instead of words to emote and express. While blue can have a calming effect, or red can symbolize love, green can represent the beauty and life of spring!

Markers have always been a popular tool in the paper crafting industry. But the creation of alcohol markers has indeed been a game changer! Alcohol based markers are used to create shades, tints, and ombres by overlaying colors. These pens help to create gorgeous colorful effects to all marker crafts. The uniqueness of alcohol markers comes from their ability to not only blend well with each other, but also to layer on top of each other, while keeping their vibrancy and intensity. Altenew’s Artist Marker Collection has a fantastic range of colors that are any artist’s, illustrator’s or designer’s dream!

Peony Bouquet Stamp Sets with Artist Markers Set A

Altenew Alcohol Markers Release Blog Hop

What are alcohol markers used for?

Today, most professional artwork is done using alcohol pens. Why? Simply because alcohol ink markers enable illustrators and designers to create beautiful smooth gradients with efficient layering techniques. They have a variety of colors that may be used to create different textures and tones. Since alcohol markers include alcohol as their solvent, they evaporate quickly, while leaving behind vibrant permanent colors. Blending alcohol markers produces smooth, bold, dreamy colors. Many alcohol markers come with dual ended tips, and have various tip options (like chiseled or brush tips or fine nibs). This is why drawing with alcohol markers provides more flexibility to create cool designs and effects.To top it off, most alcohol marker inks are not only refillable, but their nibs are also replaceable!

Artist marker & Artist Watercolor pan set

How to Combine Different Mediums to Create Beautiful Textures

What are some basic tips for alcohol based marker drawings?

  • Pick the right paper. Cardstock is a great place to start!
  • Work slowly and in small sections at a time. 
  • Try holding your hand in different positions while applying variable pressure and notice how the appearance of the ink on alcohol marker drawings may be altered.

Sample card showing how to add details to flowers with alcohol ink

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Techniques for blending alcohol markers:

  • Create your own color swatch and experiment by overlaying colors.
  • Light to dark method: Start by coloring your shape with the lightest color. Then layer it with its medium shade before finally moving on to its darkest shade. This is a good techniques to use when coloring large images (like large flowers)
  • Dark to light method: Start with the darkest shade first. Then work your way to the lightest shade.This technique makes cool designs with markers, especially when coloring small spaces.
  • Feathering/ flicking technique: Apply the lightest color first to color in your image solid. Then apply a flicking/ feathering motion with the brush tip or the fine tip, and move on from darker shades to lighter shades gradually.
  • Tip to tip method - Take the lighter color marker, and touch it to the darker color marker tip. Pick up a little bit of the darker color, and then add it to the paper.

Sample card using tip to tip method

Video: Learn How to Do the Tip-to-Tip Method With Artist Markers | Creative Coloring with Erum

Fun Fact: Coloring on your medium with a glass mat or a non porous surface under it helps the alcohol ink to stay wet longer, and therefore lets you blend longer.

 Sample Card using Spotlight Technique


Would you like to know how to use alcohol markers?

 Here are some valuable marker art ideas and techniques:

  • Color in your stamped images with alcohol markers. Sometimes just coloring in solid is a great look, while other times blending makes all the difference.
  • No line coloring effect - Stamp your image (solid/ outline) with a light color (any neutral tone works well) so that when the coloring is finished, the outline is no longer visible.
  • Dot coloring technique - Add touches of colors with marker dots to give a unique look to your stamped image.
  • Color Spotlight technique - One cool alcohol ink art idea is to select a small section of the coloring image to highlight with a bold color from an Artist Marker and color the remaining parts gray, to really make the image pop.
  • Scumbling technique -  This technique involves moving your marker around and around in a circular motion to without lifting the marker off the page
  • Blackout Technique With Markers - The idea behind this technique is to color in the background black once all the solid images have been colored. The black background helps the colored images to pop.
  • No blend coloring technique - This gives a layered image look. Break your image down into sections with a pencil. One section is one color. Once colored, erase the pencil lines. Start with the lightest color section. Let it dry. The whole purpose of no color blending technique is to avoid blending. Therefore, let the ink dry before moving on to the next color, to get the layering effect.
  • Stamp, Color & Heat Emboss - Normally, heat embossing resists ink. Amazingly, that is not the case with alcohol markers. Alcohol based inks allow heat embossing. To get this beautiful look, firstly stamp your image using a light color, then color your image using Artist Markers. Then when the coloring is complete, stamp the image again on top of the original stamped image using Embossing Ink. After that, heat set using your chosen embossing powder. If you like, before you stamp, you may prepare your medium by ink blending on it with a blending brush, to create a nice background.

 stamp, color & emboss with 3D embossing folder technique

 Altenew Paint-A-Flower: Clematis & Artist Markers Release Blog Hop

Sample card using the Stamping and coloring on vellum technique

Two Different Looks Using the Same Stamp Set

Alcohol Markers can level up your art experience!

Color plays an important role in our everyday lives. Each color, visually, broken into pure hues, tints, shades and tones, is full of limitless beauty. Alcohol markers are definitely a unique tool that help us to build and blend those colors in the paper crafting universe. This article merely scratches the surface with a few drawing ideas with markers. Not only are they permanent, they are vibrant with a humongous range of color options. They may be used in a variety of projects, including but not limited to paper! The colorless blender marker even allows you to erase or correct mistakes! 

Alcohol based markers help to facilitate creativity and enhance art. Think of all the things to draw with alcohol markers! By applying a darker shade of a color to a lighter shade of the same color and using the tip of the markers to mix the two together, just imagine all the possibilities!


  • Altenew

    Aww thank you, Debbie! So glad you found this content super useful and inspiring. Happy crafting!

  • Debbie Baez

    This was super! Always looking to learn something new! Always looking for great ideas, tips and technics. Thank you so much for sharing your tips, technics and talent with us!

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