How to Use Alcohol Markers for Beginners | Complete Guideline

Alcohol markers have always been one of the most desirable components to work with. The precision, blending, style, shading, etc. everything just mesmerize the whole work.

It provides a good assist in your work and beautifies your work by many folds. But to achieve that, you have to know the best way of using it.

Most people do it wrong at the beginning with the alcohol markers. They tend to use it as a usual color pencil on regular paper. Result? A complete massacre of a work.

That’s why it is essential to understand the selection of the alcohol marker pen with the type of paper you’ll be working on. When you get to make the strokes right, you’ll be able to make blending with them.

Handling projects will become more accessible, and you can go a step forward in becoming a professional.

Here is a directive on using an alcohol marker for beginners with every detail of the marker itself.

How to Use Alcohol Markers

What’s So Special About Alcohol-Based Markers?

 Alcohol-based markers are one of the most non-toxic alcohol ink-filled marker. They are permanent, suiting well with arts and usual writings.

One of the most crucial traits of using the alcohol marker is blending and shading. People have been making the best use of this marker in different places till now. The general people and the professional terms it as the best medium of making paper arts.

The alcohol marker being super versatile, has spread in production by many renowned brands in the world. Even the graphic artists and calligraphers do their job with this marker in the account. Copic markers are the most renowned and used ones at present.

Read Also: Why Are Copic Markers So Expensive?

How Do Alcohol Markers Work Actually?

The alcohol markers are very much suitable and compatible to use. Even at the very first usage, you’ll start to feel the urge to use it for the rest. It dries so quickly that you won’t have to wait to start using another color on it to blend and mix.

Moreover, layering with the alcohol marker becomes very easy and sustainable. The fluid consistency makes it a favorable one under the circumstances. With the vibrant colors available, you can make various shades and blend in your way.

When you are done finishing the inks of the marker, you won’t have to purchase another one. These alcohol-based markers come with an ink refill. You can persist using your own sets of markers for a long time without adapting to a new one.

Tips on Using Alcohol Markers for Beginners

When you have just started using the alcohol, you need to make sure you are using it for the best of purposes. That is, you must be aware of the fact that it is serving you well enough.

If you don’t know where to use it and how to use it, your marker and its ink will go in vain. So, make sure to set the goals of using the marker in the right way in the right place.

To make your work easier, let’s get to know the best tips for getting introduced to the alcohol marker and the way of implementing it.

1. Selecting the Right Tools

The very first thing to do is to select a set of markers to work with. This will assure you to find the most feasible marker to be compatible with.

There are different types of art markers suitable for different purposes. This goes on for illustration, art, sketch, bordering, etc. For that, you have to make sure that your marker does the right job at the very right moment.

To be precise, the tip of the alcohol marker is vital to serve you perfectly. It depends on your purpose in choosing the perfect tip marker. Let us say, for instance, there are four types of tips commonly used by people. They are:

  • Brush Tip
  • Chisel Tip
  • Fine Tip
  • Bullet Tip

Brush Tip

The brush tip markers are also known as brush pens. They act as a pen with a narrow end of the tip. For creating strokes, the narrow point plays the most vital role.

Being versatile, you can use the brush tip for different kinds of work that include poster making, graffiti, bordering, etc. They are comparatively more expensive and serve better than the other tips.

Chisel Tip

Chisel tip markers are unique. They come in a slanting manner at the top with a flat surface. The tip as a whole is narrower and provides correct precision in every work.

Being comparatively wider, the chisel tip marker is widely used for coloring. You get to fill most of the areas in quick time with its broad tip.

As they are not suited to fulfill all kinds of works, you get to see the usage of this pen in unique graffiti, calligraphy, vehicle arts, etc.

Fine Tip

Hardly you can find any difference between a fine tip marker and a regular pen. The fine tip marker comes in such precision that the tip of the marker is small as that of the pen.

Its tip holder is narrower, holds the tip, which exerts like a ball at the top. You can write with this pen in your daily life, whether at the office, school, or another place.

Bullet Tip

Bullet tip markers are the cheapest in the market. The usability of the tip is pretty much narrow but can be precisely used for specific purposes.

This marker is usually used for blotting large areas. Also, you can use it for writing calligraphies. Large areas can be filled with the bullet tip marker.

2. Choosing the Right Paper

Done with knowing about the variations of the alcohol marker. Now comes the surface where you’ll be implementing it, which is the paper.

The paper plays a vital role in uplifting your work with the marker. It is equally important to have a good paper that goes well and suits your marker. Otherwise, you won’t be able to make the best use of it.

As you’ll be using an alcohol marker, you must get the right paper because all papers are not suitable for the same pen as it requires a specific density and thickness.

To be fair and square, the preferable surface for an alcohol marker pen is the cardstock. Because of its thickness and sturdy nature, you get to have the best alcohol marker on it.

GSM of a paper is also important. It assures you the proper thickness you’ll be getting from the paper. On average, 200 GSM is said to be perfect for an alcohol marker. You’ll be able to bend the paper and use it in your usual arts.

Anything around that GSM figure can be well for your alcohol marker. Specific note pads come with the same GSM to serve you properly.

3. Practicing Marker Strokes

With the pen and paper ready, you are all set to apply them live. Ideally, to use the alcohol marker, you have to know the proper ways of using it, i.e., the strokes and ways of drawing with it.

Step 1: The first phase goes with selecting the paper. Get the thick paper suitable for your work and prepare it in the desired size.

Step 2: Then start by touching the surface with the marker. Whatever you do, go slowly and steadily. Make sure you don’t do your work in haste. Make the strokes slowly to get the most out of it.

Step 3:  Apply your tips to your work. Use the tips accordingly to where it is needed. For blotting, coloring, mixing, etc., get the correct tip over it.

Step 4: After you are done with the coloring and mixture, layer up your drawings well. For that, use the fine tip marker or bullet tip marker. It will provide you with enough precision and perfection in doing so.

Step 5: Combine the media with a glimpse of shading and blending the colors. This will make your work more lively and exciting to the viewers.

4. Blending and Shading Colors

One of the unique traits of the alcohol markers is their blending and shading. With these markers, you get to make the best mixture among the colors. Not only that, you get all the feasibility in using different brands of alcohol markers and blending them.

Now comes how you can blend the alcohol markers.  Usually, there are three main ways of blending an alcohol marker. They are by using a blender, by using rubbing alcohol, and without any blender.

Let’s get to know about them in detail.

Using a Blender

For alcohol markers, there are colorless blenders that execute well in mixing and shading your marker. No ink comes from the blender. It creates a platform or surface where you get to imply and mix the markers relentlessly.

Make sure to put the blender first on the paper. Then working with the markers on it, you can mix the colors of your choice. You can further use your finger or other materials to mix the color and provide your desired shades to it.

Using a Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is a great stain remover. But for markers, it acts well to blend the colors among themselves. It is also one of the most getable ingredients to mix the colors well.

Blending and shading your alcohol marker ink with rubbing alcohol is easy. All you have to do is make a streak of the colors you want to blend and apply to rub alcohol on the streak. You can do it with a brush as it will give you more precision.

Once you are done with mixing the colors, just stop mixing the alcohol. You’ll be done reaching your mission then. There are no chances of any spreading or damaging of your work with the rubbing alcohol.

Without Using a Blender

Here, a marker itself will act as the blender between the two or more markers. Seems fantastic, right? You’ll feel more of it when you do it by yourself.

Select a neutral light color that sums up well with the other two. Just make a streak with a bit of gap between the two colors you want to blend. Fill that gap with the third one and try to touch the shading point of the other two colors.

The shading can be done with multiple colors as well. Just make sure that you are choosing the right color with the proper purpose.

5. Working on a Project

You are done knowing the basics of using the alcohol marker pen. With the tips, papers, and proper implementation, you are ready to start your desired project now. Blending and shading bring and allow you to bring more perfection to your work.


  • Alcohol markers are not safe for kids. Consuming it will hamper the natural hormone of kids.
  • Make sure to remove the ink as quickly as possible from your hand. Otherwise, it will remain confined there for a long time.  
  • The smell of the ink can be hazardous for some. Wear a mask if you are allergic to it.


Q: How do you fix dried-out alcohol markers?

To revive your dried-up alcohol marker, get yourself introduced to some fantastic techniques.

Technique 1: Dip the tip of your marker in a pot of rubbing alcohol. After a few minutes, but the usual cap on the tip and rest it for 15-20 minutes. You’ll see your marker working like a usual one.

Technique 2: Separate the marker apart. Drop a few drops of alcohol in it. Close the barrels and shake well to use the marker pen like usual. You can inject rubbing alcohol in it as well.

Technique 3: Refill the marker with brand new ink. This will remove the old layered ink from the marker and replace it with the new one. The flow will become better, and you get to use it more precisely.

Q: Are alcohol markers hard to use?

Alcohol markers are easy to use with proper precision and knowledge. Knowing that the ink of the marker is permanent, you have to use it accordingly.

Just when you are using it to draw, know the proper ways of making the strokes. But first, choose your desired paper and pen. Knowing the basics of using the marker will lead you to use it like professionals.

Q: How do you color smoothly with alcohol markers?

To color smoothly with alcohol markers, you have to know the proper ways of blending and shading. When you get to blend your colors well, you are all set in making the best use of the marker.

But first, make sure you know how to blend the alcohol markers. You can do it with a blender or without a blender, or even with rubbing alcohol.

The blender is a colorless pen that creates a platform for the markers to mix upon.  You need to draw with the blender on the paper and then mix the colors on it.

On the other hand, the non-blender is where a third marker goes on to be the mixer. It is a neutral color that mixes well with the others and creates a good shade among them.

With rubbing alcohol, you just need to rub over your work to make the blending.

Q: What are alcohol markers used for?

Alcohol markers are used for different types of works, arts, projects, etc. With its high precision and accurate blending, you get to make any kind of art and shades with it.

Even for doing projects like calligraphy, graffiti, etc., the pen comes to great work. Selecting upon the tip of the marker, you can fulfill those works properly.

Q: What kind of paper do you use for alcohol markers?

The best kind of paper for alcohol markers is cardstock. Its GSM is more than 200. The more the GSM, the better you get to use the alcohol-based marker.

Apart from the cardstock, many papers come with the relevant GSM. You can use them too. The notepads and books with 180 gsm can also be considered for the purpose at times.

Q: Can you use alcohol markers on regular paper?

When you use an alcohol marker on regular paper, you don’t get the natural flow and precision. The marker tips don’t usually suit well on the rough and uneven surface of the usual paper.

Not only that, there are high possibilities for the ink to get spread and bleed. This will not only destroy your work but also will lower the credibility of the alcohol marker pen. Even drawing smooth lines will become more brutal as it might fray the nibs.

Final words

Never stop working with the alcohol marker. Because once you are done knowing everything about it, you already take yourself a step ahead of making the best use of it.

All the constructive and possibilities of using the marker for a beginner have been discussed. It is up to you to implement the discussions and make the article a worthy one.

Related Content: Amazing Benefits of Drawing with Markers

Loard Eva

Hi there! I’m Eva, artist, designer, photographer and mom of three little gentlemen altogether. When I’m not playing with my kids, you’ll find me researching and writing for ChooseMarker.

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