How to Create Watercolor Backgrounds with Karin Markers

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Here are 3 easy ways you can use Karin markers to create watercolor backgrounds for lettering, line drawings or other art.

Skill level: Beginner

Time to Learn: 30 minutes

watercolor paintings with karin markers flat lay

You can create a watercolor background using MARKERS! Yep, you read that right. Use Karin brush markers to create these fun watercolor backgrounds you can use for lettering pieces or line art. I’m showing you three easy methods in this blog post.

The 3 methods of creating watercolor backgrounds with Karin markers are watercolor smoosh, wet on wet and direct blending. If you don’t want to read the instructions, you can watch the video below.

How to Create Watercolor Backgrounds with Karin Markers

Supplies Needed:

Read also: Karin Brushmarker Pro Brush Pen Review

three watercolor backgrounds flat lay

Watercolor Smoosh Technique

For this method, you’ll start with a piece of watercolor paper. I’ve cut mine down to about 5″ x 4″ for this example.

Use a plastic bag or plastic wrap and place it face up over the watercolor paper. Next, using Karin markers, color in blocks on the plastic bag. Make sure you do not color in more than your paper width or the ink will run off the edge in the next step.

marker on plastic bag

Use a small spray bottle or a water dropper to add some drops of water to the plastic. Don’t overload the plastic with water.

Flip the plastic over on top of the watercolor paper. Use your fingers to smoosh the colors around.

watercolor smoosh in action

Keep rubbing your finger around to make sure that all of the ink gets transferred to the paper. When you are satisfied, gently peel back the plastic. Voila!

Looking for Supplies?

Check out my Amazon Storefront where I’ve saved all of the products I use in my projects. These are all supplies that I use and would recommend!

Wet on Wet Watercolor Technique

This watercolor background method involves creating a watercolor “paint” with the ink from Karin markers. You’ll need a clean piece of watercolor paper and a plastic paint palette for this step.

Use each marker to color in a separate well of a paint palette. Then add a drop of water to each to create a watercolor paint.

adding marker ink to paint well

Take a clean paint brush and use it to add a clean water wash to the paper. Don’t overload the paper with water, just use a light wash.

Next, use the brush to add watercolor paint you made from the markers to the paper. I just “blob” it on the paper and let the water from the paper feather the color out.

creating watercolor background wet on wet

Repeat until you are satisfied with the look. This method will produce a lighter, less saturated color story than the other two methods.

Direct Watercolor Blending Technique

The final method for creating watercolor backgrounds with Karin brush markers is a direct blending method. If you’ve watched my Tombow watercolor blending video or read the post, you may notice that I do not use this method with those markers. Here is why:

The Karin brush markers have a nylon tip, which makes them sturdier and more durable than felt tips. That means I can use them on watercolor paper (as long as it’s not crazy textured) without worrying about fraying the tips.

For this method, you’ll need another piece of watercolor paper, clean water and a paintbrush. Start by adding some color to the paper. Use a paintbrush and clean water to directly start blending the color around on the watercolor paper.

directly blending colors karin markers

Keep adding marker and blending with water to create your desired look. This method will not feather out as much like in the wet on wet method, and the colors will stay more saturated this way too. It’s also easier to control the blends with a direct method.

coloring karin markers onto paper for direct blending

So there you have it! There are three ways I use to make watercolor backgrounds using Karin brush markers. Remember that none of these methods are an exact science and that is the beauty of it. You cannot “mess up” because no two watercolor backgrounds will ever look the same!

Watch the step-by-step tutorial video below to see the 3 ways to make watercolor backgrounds with Karin brush markers.

Check out these other watercolor tutorials:

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