Ohuhu Brush Markers (120 and Pastel Ohuhu Brush Marker Sets)
A white dish to use as a palette
Stamps (Animals:Penny Black, Circles: Waffle Flower)
In this article I will explain the many ways you can use a colorless blending marker to enhance your alcohol marker art. I will be using the colorless blending marker that is provided in the assorted Ohuhu brush marker sets.
A colorless (clear) blender is the same as a regular marker except instead of a colored ink it only has the alcohol blending fluid in it. Calling this marker a “blender” is really a misnomer because it can do much more than blend colors and often beginners are disappointed that it doesn't behave like the name suggests. The first time I used a blender I did not get the result I wanted…
...I thought that all I had to do was lay down the two colors I wanted to blend next to each other, overlapping slightly and then I could simply color over when the colors met to blend them together like I would with colored pencils. As you can see from the above photo, it did not work! So then I tried two other techniques that worked much better. The first technique is called Priming (see figure A.)
Priming is when you completely color an area in first with your clear blender and then you color over it with the colors you want to blend, overlapping where they meet. In this series of examples I am blending G4 which is a mid to dark teal blue color with GY4 which is a lime green. These colors have a large jump in tone and value to make the demonstration easier to see. Generally you would be using colors that are closer together. That said the priming method is helpful if you don’t have colors that are close to each other. Pre wetting, or priming, the paper with the clear blender allows the ink to stay wet long enough for you to work the colors together. The other method (figure B) is laying the color down like I did in the 1st example but instead of only using the blender where the colors met I colored over the entire rectangle with the clear blender.
As you probably noticed from the “don’t” example the colorless blender not only blends but it actually lightens the area on which it is applied. That is where the true magic of the colorless blender happens!
In the example below you will see how the colorless blender reacts on wet ink vs dry ink using a variety of techniques. In the top row I allowed the ink to dry before using the colorless blender on it and in the bottom row I used the colorless blender immediately while the ink was wet. Let’s see the different effects!
Handy hint! If you want to know if your ink is wet hold your paper up to the light, if the ink is wet your paper will be translucent.
Working left to right on the above diagram I will explain these techniques. The green circle is an example of creating texture with the colorless blender. Using the brush end I stipplied on dots. This is a great way to create fish scales or pebbly textures. You can flick your brush to create fir. If you do this over wet ink you get a softer look great for fluffy fur like in the Mouse on the Moon example. In the next two examples I used the chisel end of my colorless blender to create a striped and plaid pattern. To do this draw stripes over the area you want the pattern. The more you repeat the layer the lighter the stripes will become. I recommend letting the ink dry before you do this for a crisper line as shown in the top row of examples.
On the next set of brown circles you can see how the colorless blender and “erases” mistakes. I sloppy colored each circle in brown, on the left circle I let the ink dry before cleaning up the bottom exterior of the circle and on the right circle I did it while the ink was wet.
As you can see I was able to erase nearly all of the mess on the left circle because the ink was dry first but on the right going in over the wet ink actually left a stain. I recommend letting the mistake dry and then using the chisel tip to do the erasing. Also, have a clean sheet of scratch paper under your work to absorb any extra ink you push through your paper.
the last pair of circles I wanted to create a ball effect. On the left circle I blended 3 shades of yellow (YR5, YR2, Y3) and let it dry
completely. Then I used the brush end of the clear blender to lift out
the highlights. These hard edges make it look shiny.
On the right example I first primed the area with the clear blender, then I used the same 3 colors to color the ball, darkest on the outside and working lighter as I got the highlight. Then I went back into the highlights with more clear blender while it was wet. If you start to see a hard edge around the highlight then reblend the other colors.
A similar technique to this is called “Blending to White” and I used it in both the hedgehogs tummy and on the cupcakes frosting. Again, you prime the area you want to blend with your colorless blender, then add your shadow, then the midtone overlapping the shadow and finish with the clear blender.
One note of caution with this method! You must be careful not to oversaturate your paper with the clear ink, I try to stay about 1/16” inside my drawn or stamped lines to prevent feathering (ink seeping outside the lines) when I am priming.
Sometimes you want to blend to white but either the space you want to color is really small or your markers are too dark to get the blend. Don’t worry, the colorless blender will save the day!
For this you will need a white dish or some other non porous surface, a clear blender and the colors you wish to blend. Scribble the colors out on the dish and then use the brush end of the colorless blender marker to pick up the color just like you would with paint.
Then starting at the shadow area use the blender to color. The tone will get lighter as you go so work from shadow to highlight. You will probably need to reload your marker depending on how large the space you are coloring is. This technique is called palette blending and is best suited to small areas of coloring.
Here is one more card using the tips we learned above! Did you notice the other techniques I used here?
I used the clear blender to highlight the moon, use the chisel end when you want a thin line!
I also used the clear blender to clean up the stars.
I textured the fur using the texture method I showed on the green circle above. Since the colors were light and the ink was wet I got a soft and fluffy look!
I decided I wanted a background so I used B340 (Lavender Mist) but it looked too pale and streaky so I gave it 3 layers but it looked a bit boring. Colorless blender to the rescue! I used the brush end to draw and lift out clouds and I love the dreamy look
So there you have it! There are so many things you can do with your colorless blending marker! I hope you give these a try in your next project and if you have any other ideas for a clear blender be sure to let me know. Happy coloring!