So you’ve just finished reading my post about brush lettering for beginners. You’ve got your thick and thin strokes down pat. You’ve perfected letter formation and flourishes. You’re really on a roll with your brush lettering adventure. But now what? You want to add some pizzazz to your lettering. Some dimension. It needs to look more exciting. How do all those lettering artists on Instagram get such seamless and beautiful color transitions? Well, hopefully, this post will get you well on your way to understanding exactly how they go about blending brush markers.
Blending colors in your brush lettering pieces is such an amazing way to bring uniqueness and life to your piece. A quote that looks like a sunset is much more fantastic than something that’s done in one color.
My favorite brush markers for blending are by far the Tombow Dual Tip Pens. They come in 96 colors and are super easy to blend! If you can’t afford the full set I recommend getting the Galaxy Pack and the Pastel Pack. These are the two packs I started with and it gives you a good set of light and dark colors for blending.
Because these markers are water-based they’re super easy to blend together and are self-cleaning! This means you don’t need to worry about your markers getting ruined or changing colors when you’re using them with other markers!
When it comes to blending your markers successfully paper is probably the most important thing. If you’re using low-quality paper or if it’s not thick enough your blend won’t be seamless. My personal favorite paper to use is this mixed media pad. This paper is extremely sturdy, doesn’t ruin your nib, and my markers blend like a dream.
Choosing Colors to Blend
When choosing colors you want to try and stick to colors that are in the same color family. So light purple to a dark purple. Purple to blue. Blue to green, etc. Say you want something to go from purple to green. I would suggest doing purple to blue to green to get the most appealing transition.
Blending Brush Markers: Watercolor Technique
So this technique isn’t exactly blending with only brush markers but it is blending colors using a brush marker so I’m going to include it. My favorite watercolors for this technique are the Ecoline paints. They’re super pigmented which makes the effect even more dramatic!
- Dip your pen into the watercolor – remember the markers are self-cleaning so this won’t ruin it!
- Start writing! – You’ll see your design start out with the color of the watercolor and transition into the marker color!
- Because these are so pigmented if you’re doing a short word make sure to not put too much watercolor on your marker otherwise the color won’t transition properly by the end of the word.
- On the other hand, if you’re doing a long quote or phrase make sure you fully dip your marker into the pigment to get the most out of your color transition!
Blending Brush Markers: Using Multiple Markers
This is my personal favorite technique when it comes to blending brush markers. This technique allows you to blend vertically instead of horizontally and is a much more extreme color change.
- Start off with your lightest color and write your entire phrase.
- With your darker color, fill in the top of the first letter (about 1/4 of the way down for a tall letter, and just the very top if it’s a small letter). Make sure you are using short and feathery brush strokes with the tip of your pen.
- Then take your lighter color and start dragging the darker color down until you get about another 1/4 of the letter.
- Clean off your lighter marker and do the same thing until you get to the bottom.
- Make sure you blend each letter individually because if you fill every letter in at once the ink will dry and your transition won’t be seamless
Blending with Three Brush Markers
- This is basically the same steps as before – write your entire phrase in your lightest color and fill in the top with your darkest color filling in the top of your first letter.
- Now, instead of blending in with your lightest color start blending down with your medium color and then blend that out with your lightest color.