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How to Blend Alcohol Markers? (3 Effective Methods)

how to blend alcohol markers

If you are a beginner at using alcohol color markers then you are probably wondering how some artists can make realistic-looking illustrations. You can do just that by learning how to blend alcohol markers properly.

If you want to learn how to blend Copic markers, you should practice with cheaper brands first to avoid spending too much money. Copic markers might have brighter colors but they are also quite expensive.

Practicing your ink blending with cheaper markers will allow you to perfect your craft without having to spend a fortune on markers.

Step-by-Step Guide to Blending Alcohol Markers

Blending Using the Included Blender Marker

What to prepare:

  • A set of alcohol markers
  • The included colorless blender marker

Detailed steps:

Step 1 – Apply your two colors

Apply the colors like you normally would and allow them to overlap slightly. Be careful not to muddle the two colors too much.

Step 2 – Apply the blender marker

Grab your colorless blender marker and then proceed to apply it on the streak between the two colors. By gently rubbing the marker over the overlapping colors, you are making the perfect medium shade that sets the transition between the two colors.

Step 3 – Put the blender marker first

Another method of using the colorless blender marker is to lay it down first before you put the colors in. Just apply the blender first on the paper where you want the transitions to happen.

Step 4 – Apply the colors over the blender

You will need to work quickly when applying the colors over the blender; otherwise, they will get too dry. You can apply the markers in whatever manner you like. You can even put a bit of space between colors.

Step 5 – Watch the colors blend together automatically

Almost like magic, you can watch as the color markers begin to blend with each other even without you smudging them together. If you are unsatisfied with the results, you can add more colorless blenders on top of the streak if you want.

Blending Without Using Colorless Blender

blending without using colorless blender

Step 1 – Pick your colors carefully

Choose and arrange your colors based on their shades – from dark to light. To create a good blend between the two, choose another color that is a shade in-between the first two colors.

Step 2 – Lay down the first two colors

Start coloring as you normally would but leave a small gap in between them. This is where you will be transitioning between the two colors.

Step 3 – Apply the blending color

In the gap that you left between the colors, apply your third, blending color marker. Fill the gap between the two colors first.

Step 4 – Blend the colors

If the gap is small, the colors will automatically blend together. However, if you left a large gap between the two primary shades, you need to blend the edges slightly.

Use the lighter color to blend towards the center of the middle color. Go from the darker shade and gently work your way toward the middle of the transition color.

Blending Using Rubbing Alcohol

What to prepare:

  • A bit of rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol
  • Some cotton swabs (Q-tips)
  • Detailed steps:

Step 1 – Apply your initial colors

Use your alcohol markers like you usually would. You can choose to leave a bit of a gap between the colors, or you can have them overlap slightly.

Step 2 – Apply the alcohol

Dip the cotton swab into a bit of rubbing alcohol. Rub the cotton swab over the markers gently and wait for the colors to mix on their own. If needed, rub the alcohol between the colors. If you find that the alcohol is a bit too strong, dilute it with a splash of water.

Helpful Tips and Advice

You can also use the colorless alcohol marker blender for making color gradients. Start with the base color, and then apply the colorless blender starting at the bottom third of the swathe and work your way down to the marks until clean.

Make sure that the markers you use are alcohol-based. The reason is that using an alcohol blender with water-based inks will not look quite as good. Some markers even get erased when alcohol is applied to them. For water-based markers, you will only need clean water for blending.

What makes alcohol markers better or worse compared to water-based? For one thing, alcohol markers have brighter colors. In addition, when you blend alcohol markers, they are almost seamless.


Alcohol markers are obviously easier to use compared to most paint mediums but they do have their own set of intricacies. For instance, not everyone knows how to blend alcohol markers properly. However, by following the tips mentioned above, you will immediately notice a significant improvement in your artwork.

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