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Hello everyone, my name is Zinia Redo and I’m a designer, illustrator and avid crafter. Today I’m back on the Tonic blog to share tips and tricks about another one of my favorite coloring media, the Nuvo Alcohol markers.

As the name suggests, these markers are solvent/alcohol based which makes them really easy to blend without damaging your paper.

For optimal results and bright colors, make sure to use them on good quality paper. There are tons of options but the samples here, I’m using Tonic Craft Perfect Ultra Smooth cardstock.


Basics/Anatomy

Each marker has two nibs. A chisel the nib to cover large areas (I love using this one when I want to colour backgrounds or sentiment strips) and a bullet nib for details and colouring small images.

I personally prefer the chisel nib as it releases a generous amount of ink and makes it easier to blend but sometimes, I need a smaller nib to colour small details in stamped images.

Colour Range

The markers come in packs of three and each set has a light, a medium and a dark shade of a specific color family. This makes them super easy to blend and take the guess work out of selecting colours.

As I mentioned before blend-ability depends on the paper quality, as well as the colours themselves. Some colours, like reds, have the reputation of being difficult to blend. However, you can see in the chart the smooth gradient you can get with the “Rich Reds” set.

Top Tip

If you are on a limited budget, I suggest you start out with a few sets that can give you the most versatility. Sunshine Yellows, Marina Blues and Rosy Pinks are an excellent starter combination.

In this swatch card you can see how you can get additional colors by simply layering your markers.

If you want to have more values of your colours for shading, you can add in a pack of Stormy Greys. You can use that to colour your image in black and white and then apply a layer of colour on top of it. This will keep the shading of your first layer and add a tint of colour.


Colouring Techniques with Alcohol Markers

Colour Layering

This colouring example is created by layering marker colours to create new shades. Specifically the colours I used were the three sets I recommended earlier: Sunshine Yellows, Marina Blues and Rosy Pinks.

You can see the various shades of greens, oranges, and purple I got just by using a couple of markers.

Colour Blocking

This is a great technique for beginners as you do not need to worry about being precise. Just cover large areas with colour in simple shapes without worrying about the artwork lines.

This is a very quick technique and it creates a very modern look.

Gradient Colouring

This is probably the most popular colouring technique with alcohol markers. Because these markers are blend-able you can create smooth gradients of colour to add shading to your images.

There are many ways you can approach this technique, starting with the darkest colour, filling the whole area with the lightest colour, and then building up the shades, etc. However, when colouring stamped images these techniques feel like an overkill since the areas are generally small.

My favorite technique to quickly add gradient colouring to an image is to touch the tips of my markers. I take the lightest and darkest colours I want to use and connect the tips of my markers vertically (dark tone on top) for a few seconds. This way my marker starts colouring with the darkest color while slowly transitioning to its original colour.

This is a fantastic technique to colour small areas as you don’t need to switch back and forth on different colours and the gradient effect is smooth and seamless.

Don’t worry about the tips of your markers, this technique won’t damage or contaminate your colours.

Stippling

Another fun way to create the impression of shading in your stamped images is stippling. This is basically adding dots on your image using a darker colour. The density of the dots will signify the level of shading. More dots, darker shading. Less dots, lighter shading.

In small areas, I prefer using colours that are close together. High contrast can make things overwhelming so consider only using high contrast dots in one or two big areas of the image.

Colour away from the lines

You most likely heard the terms “colouring inside/outside the lines” before, but I want to introduce you to a different idea. Colouring inside the lines can feel too uptight and overused but going outside the lines can get messy.

So how about colouring inside but away from the lines. This way you can take advantage of the white colour paper and use it for highlights.

This style of colouring is a fun and interesting twist to the more common techniques and it adds character to your images.


These were just a few ideas to get you started with alcohol markers. There are many more ways to use them in your craft projects so make sure to have fun and experiment with them.

Thank you for stopping by!

Zinia


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