How to Blend With Prismacolor Markers

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Professional art markers are better for artists than the small packs often used by children.
Professional art markers are better for artists than the small packs often used by children. (Image: Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Drawing with markers is not just for children anymore. In the hands of an artist, professional art markers, such as Prismacolor, can produce pictures as beautiful as those done in watercolor, acrylic or colored pencil. Detailed drawings and creative techniques help an artist avoid childlike pictures. Those techniques, such as blending, require continuous practice to master, but can help an artist generate spectacular images in a richly colored medium.

Things You'll Need

  • Marker paper
  • Prismacolor art markers
  • Prismacolor colorless blender marker
  • Scrap paper

Use marker paper, as it is specifically made for markers and will hold moisture longer to allow easier blending.

Lightly sketch a square on your paper. Practice blending inside a basic shape first to learn the technique before attempting to blend a detailed image.

Gather at least two Prismacolor markers, both a different intensity of the same color, such as a crimson red and terra cotta. Also do this for the other color that you wish to blend into the first, such as canary yellow and deco yellow.

Apply a few strokes of the deepest intensity of the first color using the broad side of the marker, followed by a few strokes of the color's lighter intensity. Directly beside that, apply the lighter intensity of the second color, followed by its deeper intensity. The pattern should be several strokes of each shade, going dark-light, light-dark. For example, apply crimson red, terra cotta, deco yellow and canary yellow, in that order, making sure that the colors touch.

Apply your Prismacolor colorless blender marker. Swipe the blender in descending rows from left to right and then repeat from right to left. The marker will pick up some of the applied color, blending all of the shades together.

Wipe each side of the Prismacolor blender on some scrap paper to remove the residual color. It should be removed completely so that it is clean for the next use.

Lightly sketch another square on your marker paper to try a different blending technique and gather two markers of different colors, such as crimson red and canary yellow.

Apply the red marker to three-quarters of the square, starting on the left and moving right. Then, starting on the right and going left, fill three-quarters of the square with the yellow shade. The colors will overlap in the middle, creating an initial blending of shades.

Quickly apply your colorless blender, swiping back and forth in descending rows, to further blend the two colors.

Compare the two squares, once they are completely dry, to determine which blending results you prefer and which was easier. Practice the chosen method in a variety of shapes until you feel comfortable and confident enough to use the Prismacolor colorless blender marker on a complete marker piece.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not throw away fading or dying markers. They can often be used to make blending possible without a blending marker. Experiment with the different tip sizes of Prismacolor art markers. Blend strokes of varying widths to see the results.

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