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.

OMG! This looks great! I'm going to try this tonight. Your creation is awesome.

bonnie hackney  |  Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 2:15 PM
The markers I used are waterbased from Stampin' Up!, my watercolor paper is also Stampin' Up!
reneejul1  |  Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 2:15 PM
Thank you!! I'm practicing tonight.
Margaret Pesicka  |  Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 4:17 PM
The way you laid out the tutorial was great. Sometime people show you how but it is really hard to understand what they are doing!!
So off I go to start using this technique! Thanks for your hard work.
Ruth  |  Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 4:58 PM
WOW!! For years now, I've put off buying the SU Markers. After seeing this technique, I realize that I've procrastinated long enough... It's time to put in my order! I'm LOVIN' it!! Thanks for sharing your ideas Julie!
Annette  |  Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 6:10 PM
Thank you this was so helpful. I could not get it on my own.
Suzanne Burkey  |  Wed Apr 16, 2008 at 6:46 PM
This is wonderful!!!! I am definitely going to try this technique with some of my HM stamps. I suppose it is time to place an order for the SU markers and watercolor paper:) Thank you so much for the awesome tutorial!!!!
Carolyn  |  Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 4:18 AM
it is so beuatiful.love it,
but were can i get stamp like that.
yolanda  |  Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 4:19 AM
julie, i live in puerto rico and i love your work
plesae let me know. whay site can i buy stamp like that me email is [email protected] you somuch
yolanda  |  Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 4:22 AM
Thanks for a fabulous tutorial! Off to get that aquapainter!
Anne Ryan  |  Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 5:39 AM
Excellent tutorial. I never thought of watercoloring with markers. Fabulous idea!
glenda s  |  Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 6:37 AM
Great tutorial Julie! You make it look so easy! I am definitely gonna try this!
Carolyn King  |  Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 7:46 AM
Yeah Julie! This is one of my favorite techniques, and I am so excited that it is this week's tutorial! Congrats!
Dorothy Cates  |  Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 8:39 AM
This is fantastic! I never heard of doing watercolor this way. I cannot wait to try it. Your tutorial is perfect...to the point and very easy to follow...plus you make it look possible and it makes me want to try it! Great job Julie! Thanks for your time to teach us! Muchly appreciated!
teresa  |  Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 7:41 PM
I am contacting mu SU demo to order watercolor paper!!! Thanks.

Bizzy Bee Creates
Dianne  |  Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 8:25 AM
Thanks for this great tutorial! Tried it out today and had trouble controlling the flow from the AquaPainter. Are some brands better than others? Mine seemed too wet and there was no apparent way to slow it down.
Lisa Trombitas  |  Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 9:15 AM
Hi Lisa,

I use the Stampin' Up! Aqua Painter. When mine get's too wet, I dab the brush on a piece of paper towel. That takes the excess water off and it will work perfectly again.
beate  |  Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 9:18 AM
Great tutorial. I have done watercoloring like this, but I think I will get better results following these tips.

I don't have the aqua painters, but have used Blender pens. Do you find those work as well?
Sarah  |  Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 1:14 PM
I love this tutorial. Thanks!
Michelle  |  Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 5:34 PM
Wow, that looks amazing. I have Su markers and have had them for 4-5 yrs now and have hardly used them. I really need to try this technique. Thanks for sharing with us. I am going to try it.
Kimberly  |  Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 6:36 PM

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