Marker Layering

by Karen Barber

Create beautiful shaded images with water based markers and blender pen.


  • Outline Stamp Image, stamp from Stampin' Up!'s Bordering on Romance used here

  • Black Stazon™ or other waterproof ink

  • Watercolor paper

  • Water based Markers, in gradient colors, Stampin' Up! Markers used here

  • Blender Pens


  1. Step 1

    Stamp your image in black Stazon™ on your watercolor paper.

  2. Step 2

    Starting with the lightest color, lay down a fair amount of color at the inside base of each petal, and then with a circular motion use a blender pen to spread the color out to the outside edge of your image.

  3. Then lay down some more of the same color at the base of each petal.

  4. Step 3

    Continue with this process but each time, go a shade darker.
    Add Poppy Parade marker to your Calypso Coral but do not cover up the whole petal, only go part of the way out to where it gets lighter, do not cover the light part. Use a blender to just take the line out between the two colors. Next add a very tiny amount of Riding Hood Red, at the very base and use the blender again to remove the line. Continue with all the flowers.

  5. Step 4

    Continue with this process to color your leaves. (Pear Pizazz and Lucky Limeade were used here.)

  6. Step 5

    This shows the different stages of what the flowers will look like as you continue to layer your colors.

  7. Step 6

    Continue until all your images are colored.

  8. Step 7

    Use a light gray marker to go around the entire outside of the image (Sahara Sand used here).

    Be careful not to over do this, just a very light halo around your image.

  9. Step 8

    Finish your project.


Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Marker Layering. Try this technique, then upload your artwork to the gallery. Show us your creations!

***Please note - Internet Explorer/Edge is not a supported browser, and will not allow you to see the videos. Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari to view our tutorial videos.

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

Very pretty & basically the same effect as w/Copic markers. I only have a few Copic's but many water based markers... Thanks!
Joanna Lessor  |  Wed Feb 8, 2012 at 3:48 AM
This looks fantastic. I will have to get my blender pens out and try this out. Very effective. Would the same result come from copic markers?
Annie  |  Wed Feb 8, 2012 at 3:53 AM
Great tutorial Dear Friend!
Michelle Zindorf  |  Wed Feb 8, 2012 at 5:45 AM
Beautiful the brilliant colors
Jaggs  |  Wed Feb 8, 2012 at 5:55 AM
lovely. Great result.
annie  |  Wed Feb 8, 2012 at 5:55 AM
Love how the flowers look dimensional, very pretty!
Pam  |  Wed Feb 8, 2012 at 6:23 AM
Karen, your colouring on these flowers in just beautiful. Thank you for sharing this great technique.
Annette  |  Wed Feb 8, 2012 at 7:01 AM
love it! beautiful card and so fun to watch you show it, even though it's probably the third time I've heard the lesson, I love to hear it;0) definitely not too boring as you said at the end. I think I even learned something new this time. Can you just tell me how to find the time to practice it now? Or the energy to stay up late??:0)
Love, Clairey
Claire  |  Wed Feb 8, 2012 at 7:10 AM
WTG there Miss Video Lady! Thanks for a great tutorial!
vicki dutcher  |  Wed Feb 8, 2012 at 7:45 AM
Not boring at all! I've admired your stunning creations for a long nice to see you do it! The patience you have is admirable. Thank you for doing the video.
Terri (blindstamper)  |  Wed Feb 8, 2012 at 7:48 AM
Great tutorial and beautiful result ! TFS
Joy  |  Wed Feb 8, 2012 at 7:48 AM
Karen your coloring technique is Gorgeous! Thank you so very much for taking the time to do this tutorial! I'm going to use this technique today!!!
Kris  |  Wed Feb 8, 2012 at 7:50 AM
What type of blender pens did you use? Are they alcohol based or water? Just love the technique. I have many of these pens just didn't know I could do the same thing as Copic pens. Thanks for a wonderful lesson.
Penny Hill  |  Wed Feb 8, 2012 at 8:04 AM
Thanks for this wonderful lesson, I've always admired the copic colored images, now I can try it with my markers. Did you use watercolor paper or regular cardstock?
Bonnie  |  Wed Feb 8, 2012 at 8:12 AM
Can you get the same effect on regular cardstock instead of watercolor paper?
Dawn  |  Wed Feb 8, 2012 at 8:24 AM
Great tut! I've been trying to practice w/ all kinds of coloring mediums and just keep getting stuck! I really needed a detailed step-by-step visual! Thank you so much!
Melissa Shea  |  Wed Feb 8, 2012 at 8:36 AM
Thank you! I loved the tutorial...Can't wait to try it!
linda  |  Wed Feb 8, 2012 at 8:53 AM
Wonderful tutorial Karen! Your technique is fabulous! I enjoyed listening to you today!
Peggy McCurry  |  Wed Feb 8, 2012 at 9:10 AM
Not boring at all...I enjoyed it...going to look thru my stash of stamps and try this method...but first go get some watercolor paper...
Carolyn Smith  |  Wed Feb 8, 2012 at 9:10 AM
This was amazing....thank you so much....I love your technique....and thank you for sharing it with us...
Gloria Westerman  |  Wed Feb 8, 2012 at 9:17 AM

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