Crafters Companion > Blog > How to blend with Spectrum Noir Alcohol Markers

How to blend with Spectrum Noir Alcohol Markers

Crafter's Companion – 16/06/21

It’s easy for the classic trio of pens, pencils and paints to become a bit of a creative comfort blanket. If that feels familiar, it may be time to think outside the paintbox and take a closer look at the amazing effects, techniques and colour combinations that Spectrum Noir‘s range of premium markers has to offer!

Today, we’ll be looking at Spectrum Noir’s range of alcohol markers and taking you through how to achieve smooth colours and beautiful blended effects!

What are alcohol markers?

The clue is right there in the name, alcohol markers are packed with inks created using an alcohol-based dye. This ink has a translucent quality, which allows you to build up and layer the same shade for vivid colour or use with different shades for a beautiful and seamless blend!

Every Spectrum Noir marker is fitted with premium, Japanese tips which offer amazing durability as well as peak performance and stunning sweeps of colour – so your markers will stand the test of time!

And they’re eco-friendly too! With Spectrum Noir markers you can stock up on Alcohol Reinkers to recharge your markers – so you don’t have to throw your pens away!

Which Alcohol Marker is for you?

Spectrum Noir offers a choice of three types of alcohol marker, each perfect for different styles and artistic disciplines, let’s take a look:

Classique The perfect all-rounder, this dual-tipped marker offers a choice between broad and fine nibs – making it idea for colouring and design.

IllustratorAnother dual-tipped marker! Choose between a fine nib for detailed work and a brush tip to create more expressive, artistic effects with sweeps of beautiful colour.

TriBlend 3-in1 The name might have given it away, but this pen offers not one, not two but three complementary shades so you can create a seamless and easy-to-achieve blend.

Your blending toolkit:

The right tools are as important to blending as the right ingredients are to whipping up a delicious cake!

  • Paper: Alcohol-based ink will bleed through thin paper so make sure you use a heavyweight, smooth and uncoated paper to keep your colours bold, punchy and easy to blend! Spectrum Noir’s Premium Marker Paper Pad has been designed to work perfectly with Alcohol Markers
  • ArtLiners: When adding colour to a sketch or drawing, you’ll want your line work to appear clean and sharp, which is where the fine liner comes into its own. The water-based pigment ink in Spectrum Noir Artliner Pens is ideal to prevent your lines from blurring or merging with the alcohol-based marker ink

How to blend colours using Spectrum Noir Acohol Markers

Spectrum Noir alcohol markers are an amazing way to achieve beautiful seamless blends. Here’s how to make that happen with a couple of easy-to-master techniques!

  • Basic shading:
    • Alcohol marker ink has a translucent quality so with every stroke you make the shade darker.
    • Add depth simply by layering the same colour over itself!
  • Enhanced shading:
    • For deeper shadows and enhanced dimension use a selection of darker shades in the same colour
    • Gradually layer and blend your shades to form natural, realistic graduations. All Spectrum Noir alcohol markers are grouped and graded from light to dark to make this easy when you’re just starting out!
  • Blending:
    • Alcohol inks blend best when the ink is still wet, so apply liberally to the page and try to work quickly for a smooth transition from one shade to the next.
    • Layering wet ink on dry will give a more pronounced step-change in shade that can also be effective depending on the look you want.
  • Light colour blending
    • You can also overlay a darker colour to lighten it. Every colour formulation contains some clear solvent and this is especially true for lighter colours.
    • This higher solvent level means lighter colours can effectively be used to soften and lighten darker colours.

Hints, tips and tricks to help you create picture perfect results!

Here are a few extra tips and tricks to help you achieve the best possible results!

  • Consider Colour Theory
    • The translucent effect of alcohol markers means you can experiment with colour gradients, overlapping and transitioning seamlessly between two colours. Getting to grips with Colour Theory will help with your creative decision making. Shades that sit next to each other on the colour wheel will create a natural transition, whilst colours that sit further apart will combine to form a new colour. Take a look a this guide to Colour Theory for a more in-depth explanation
  • Swatch your shades
    • Once you’ve decided which shades and blends to use. It’s a really good idea to swatch your colours onto the same paper type that you’ll be working on. This is a great chance to see how the colours will appear on paper, and how they react when blended and overlaid
  • Organise your markers
    • Tidying is boring, but it can be worth it! Taking the time to arrange your colours by family, or following the order of the colour wheel can really help when choosing a colour scheme

Spectrum Noir alcohol markers are available in just about every colour under the sun – why not browse through the full range and get thinking about your next creation?

And if you’re keen to learn more about what Spectrum Noir has to offer, and craft along with our fabulous community of makers, why not tune into the below episode of The Craft Class on Crafter’s TV?

For a warm welcome to all sorts of craft techniques, join us for more episodes of The Craft Class on Crafter’s TV to unlock your creative potential!

If this post has encouraged you to try blending and shading with Spectrum Noir Alcohol Markers  we’d love to see your finished projects on social media. Share your photos with us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram using the hashtag #crafterscompanion.