Learn how to get a watercolor effect with marker drawings. This watercolor technique is easy and effective for kids of all ages.
You can paint with watercolors, it’s true. And there are watercolor pencils and watercolor crayons (have you tried them?) but did you know that you could use washable markers the same way to get a watercolor effect?
You can and it’s easy!
Simply draw with washable markers, then run a wet paintbrush over the top.
The key is using washable markers that are water soluble. This won’t work with permanent markers (although there are plenty of cool things to do with those!). Since water will slightly dissolve the marker, using water over a marker drawing will blur the line and spread the color around the paper, giving it a watercolor effect.
How to Get a Watercolor Effect with Markers
- Washable markers*
- Sturdy paper such as watercolor paper or card stock
- Paint brush
*We used the Faber-Castell duo tip washable markers shown in these photos and video, but you can use any washable marker.
Step 1. Draw with markers
Draw a picture with the washable markers.
Step 2. Add water
Dip a paint brush in water and use to “paint” lightly over the marker drawing. The water will dissolve some of the marker, allow the color to spread, and blur the lines. Giving you a watercolor effect with markers!
Optional: Add salt or water droplets
Sprinkle salt and/or more water on top as Daphne did, if you like. The salt absorbs the marker watercolor, leaving interesting patterns on the artwork. And the water droplets add extra dissolving action to the marker artwork.
More Ways to do Watercolor with Markers
- Spray your marker drawing with water from a spray bottle (perhaps experiment with a fine mist versus a harder spray)
- Try rainy day process art by letting it rain on top of your marker drawing (on Pink Stripey Socks)
- Make your own liquid watercolor paints with markers (on Picklebums)
Want more creative marker ideas? Here are 12 Marker Art Ideas for Kids!
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