Watercoloring with Markers

by Julie Buhler

Create beautiful watercoloring with water based markers and an Aquapainter™.


  • Water based markers

  • Aquapainter™ or watercolor brush

  • Line art stamp

  • Stazon™ or other waterproof ink

  • Watercolor paper (140 lb cold press is best)


  1. Step 1

    Stamp image with Stazon on watercolor paper. We've found that on paper lighter than 140 lb, the colors to not blend properly.

    Start coloring with lightest colored marker first, leaving some lighter areas. It is easier to add more later than to try to take color away.

  2. Step 2

    Blend the ink with an Aquapainter. Make sure to leave some areas with less ink.

  3. Step 3

    Now add a darker color where shadows would naturally be. Pay close attention to lines, creases, and underneath things.

  4. Step 4

    Blend the two shades with the Aquapainter.

  5. Step 5

    Move on to another section of the stamped design and repeat Steps 1 - 4, making sure to put the darker color on the shadow lines.

  6. Step 6

    If during blending, you find there is too much color, it can be removed.

    In this picture, the color under the Aquapainter is being removed.

  7. Step 7

    After lifting color from the image, rub the excess off between your fingers or on a paper towel.

    This is also helpful when there is too much water built up in the bristles of the brush.

  8. Step 8

    Some areas were purposely left white for highlights and dimension. A white gel pen accents her cheeks to draw the eye and create more dimension.

  9. Step 9

    Embellish as desired.


Your Turn

You've seen the tutorial, now you try it! We've got a section of the gallery set aside for Watercoloring with Markers. 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.

You are so talented it's wonderful! Thanks for your hard work & sharing. :0) Mel
Mel M M M  |  Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 8:02 AM
WAY too cute!!! Have played with this idea before, but didn't get such wonderful results!1 Will definetly try it on wc paper!!
Pamela  |  Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 8:07 AM
You rock, Julie!! Your coloring looks amazing, as does your card! Thanks for the wonderful tutorial!!
Rose Ann  |  Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 8:13 AM
Absolutely gorgeous! Will definitely be getting out my markers and water color paper today.
Eileen  |  Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 8:35 AM
what is the name of the little Girl stamp??
I love her!! So Cute
shary  |  Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 9:01 AM
The name of the stamp is Little Missy and she is from High Hopes : http://www.highhopesstamps.com/

These are some of my favorite stamps to watercolor, since they leave a lot of room to play!!
reneejul1  |  Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 9:09 AM
Thanks Julie! I love to colour like this! Your card and colouring are FABULOUS!
Dawn E.  |  Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 9:20 AM
Great looking, wish I could do as well. is ther a step 8
cym6  |  Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 9:28 AM
Julie, thank YOU for this awesome tutorial!
Charlene (LilLuvsStampin)  |  Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 9:40 AM
I enjoyed this tutorial. If you use alcohol instead of water does that change the effects?
Nicole  |  Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 9:45 AM
Thanks Davin for rhe name of the stamp and he website..I will be ordering for sure!!
shary  |  Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 9:47 AM
Thanks, Julie! This is awesome!
kahoogstad  |  Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 9:55 AM
Thanks for sharing this with us! I'dlike to ask what markers you used and /or reccomended?
Jamie Corpus  |  Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 10:11 AM
Looks like fun--anxious to give it a try. Have a question re: paper -- would the stampinup paper work ?
Debbie Siegel  |  Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 11:53 AM
Julie...I wanted to come here (also) to let you know I really enjoyed this tutorial. It helps alot!
jules  |  Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 12:00 PM
This is gorgeous Julie! Thanks for showing once again how great your technique is!
Sarah.Jane  |  Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 12:08 PM
You are so right about the paper weight. I was anxious to try the technique, but only had some cheap, lightweight watercolor paper on hand. My piece is OK, but I did have a lot of trouble with the blending. I'll get some better paper and try again. Thanks for the good info.
Eileen  |  Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 12:11 PM
Thank you Julie! You bring beautiful results! I know what I'll be practicing the rest of the day!
Jody  |  Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 12:20 PM
Great tutorial, Julie! I love this technique and I plan to teach it to my customer next month. Thanks again for sharing!
Kay Kalthoff  |  Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 1:21 PM
GREAT tutorial- many thanks, but I have a question.

How do I know if markers are "water based"?
tchk  |  Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 1:28 PM

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