How to Use Alcohol Markers for Beginners

Last Updated: September 24, 2021

Alcohol Markers for Beginners

If you want to level up your coloring game, alcohol markers may just be the thing you are looking for! Alcohol markers are a great way to create beautiful, realistic, and seamless coloring on your handmade card or any paper crafting project.

Alcohol markers art may seem daunting at first, but you can create unique masterpieces with a little practice in no time. Artist Markers Sets are great for beginners as they are in sets of handpicked colors that work well together, so you don't need to worry about getting the right colors. Choosing the right colors can be tricky and can become expensive if you don't get it right.

What is the Best Alcohol Markers For Beginners?

First, let's take a little look at how alcohol markers work and what you should look for when choosing the best Artist Markers Set.

There are many brands of markers on the market, and some work better than others. With so many marker colors, types, and brands to choose from, it might get overwhelming for a beginner. 

Here are some essential tips, reminders, and facts:

  • To create seamless blending with these markers, you will need at least two colors with the same color tone (or from the same color family) but different shades.
  • It is highly recommended to use 3 to 4 markers from the same color family to get that polished and professional look. 
  • It may be expensive to invest in alcohol marker sets to start with, but it’s better to practice with high-quality ones.
alcohol marker sets
  • Having trouble finding colors that match? Here’s a pro tip! Artist Markers Set can be purchased in sets of 4 colors in the same color family! 
  • Having four similar color markers with different shades can cut out the task of working out which colors will blend perfectly with each other as this has already been done for you.
  • Not all alcohol marker brands offer refills, but these Artist Markers from Altenew have refills available. As you start doing alcohol markers art, you might find yourself out of ink. 
  • It’s super easy to refill markers, and they hold a lot of ink. But using them on a daily or weekly basis will, of course, make them dry out. 
  • There are also nib replacements available, which are handy if you ever need to change one. There’s no need to buy a new alcohol marker every time.
  • Alcohol markers usually have two different nibs, one on either side. This is typically a brush nib on one side and a chisel or bullet nib on the other. 
  • Altenew’s Artist Markers have soft brush nibs that make blending a breeze, while the bullet nib on the other side is great for adding small details or even hand-writing. The brush nib’s softness makes it easy to create different size brush strokes depending on the pressure you use.

Marker refills
Now that you know a little about how
alcohol markers for beginners work let's move on to some tips and tricks that will have you coloring like an artist in no time!

1. Practice Your Strokes

The best piece of advice given to any beginner is 'practice makes perfect.’ This doesn’t mean you won't get excellent results from the get-go, but the more you work with alcohol markers, the better your results will be.

The first thing you may want to do before you start coloring any images is to practice your strokes. You can use alcohol markers as you would do any other marker, but a way to get more professional results is to use the 'flicking' technique.

Here’s a quick step-by-step on how to do the flicking technique:

  • Place the brush nib on your page.
  • Start doing a flicking motion away from you. 
  • This will produce a stroke with a fatter end at the bottom and a thinner end on top. 
  • Once you get this stroke down, try using a lighter shade over this. 
  • Blending will eventually be a breeze.

alcohol markers art
flicking technique is the most used brush stroke when doing alcohol markers art because it makes blending easier. With constant practice, you will have this basic stroke down to a T! Don't get discouraged if you don't get it straight away; remember, everyone has to start somewhere.

The next step is to practice coloring images. Here are a few quick tips on how to easily color images using markers:

  • The best place to start would be to pick an image with large areas to color. Large images are easier to color and blend compared to smaller images. 
  • If you’re working on a floral image, try coloring it petal by petal. As you work petal by petal, you will see the floral image come to life before your very eyes. 
  • Take your time! Don't worry about coloring the whole image right away. 
  • There are two different basic ways to color with alcohol markers: light-to-dark, then back to light, and dark-to-light. 
  • PRO TIP! It is easier to blend colors when working light-to-dark and then back to light, but this takes a little longer than the second method. 
  • Both methods will render the same results in the end, so it’s always best to practice both and see which one works best for you.

2. Use The Right Materials

Here are a few things to consider when investing in alcohol markers

Type of paper. It's always best to use a smooth white cardstock for the best results. If you are finding it hard to blend your colors, it may be that your paper is too fibrous, and it is just capturing the ink too quickly. If this is the case, try investing in smoother cardstock. This may seem a bit pricey, but the better the cardstock, the less ink you will use, so it will work out cheaper in the long run. Altenew’s White Cardstock is high-quality and much more affordable than most cardstock in the market.

Pigment Ink

Type of ink. An alcohol marker friendly ink is necessary to stamp images for alcohol markers art. This ink is usually water-based and will not run and bleed when colored over with alcohol markers ink. The last thing you need when creating fantastic artwork is for your stamped images to bleed.

Choosing the right paper and ink is vital when coloring with alcohol markers. These materials can go a long way and are worthy investments for beginners.

alcohol markers craft

3. Have Fun With It!

This has to be the most important rule when using alcohol markers for beginners! One of the main reasons that people craft is to relax and have fun. When you start your crafting journey, there may be times when you are not happy with the results. It would get frustrating but don't dwell on it! 

Here are a few important reminders for beginners like you:

  • Take a little break and come back to it. Sometimes when you go back to a project that you have completely put aside, it's a lot better than you remember it. 
  • Having a fresh set of eyes can spark your creativity! 
  • Remember this: you are your worst critic. 
  • Sometimes you just need to loosen up a little and not get too bogged down in creating something 'perfect.’ 

Having fun is one of the best parts of creating. The recipient of your handmade creations will see the time and effort that went into making it.

alcohol markers set

We hope these tips and reminders on using alcohol markers for beginners have helped dampen some of your fears when using alcohol markers. Once you get the hang of alcohol markers art, you wouldn’t want to put them down!


  • Sylvia Seymour

    I truly love alcohol markers and have wondered how much a complete set of every color would be and also
    the reinkers. I am seriously considering getting the whole set so I will have all colors available and then
    be able to add new colors when they become available. Could you help me with this answer

    Thank You Sylvia

  • Peggy Pride

    These are instructive ideas about alcohol makers. I like that the website is aiding us with great instruction. Thank you.

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