How to Draw With Alcohol Markers

Alcohol markers are used by professional artists all over the world for lettering and creative drawings. This is due to the range of vibrant colors that are available, as well as the fast drying times. 

Artists love using these markers to color and blend their creative work. Not to mention, architects use alcohol-based markers a lot too for drawing designs and planning.

If you’re interested in how to use alcohol markers, then this is the post for you. 

Basic Techniques for Drawing With Alcohol-Based Markers

  • Start by finding a place where you can focus, along with some marker paper and your set of alcohol ink markers. 
  • There are several brands available, including Copic markers, Sharpie, Shuttle Art, and more. We recommend choosing sets that come with double-ended features. Furthermore, a set that has a colorless blender marker is ideal for improving your blending skills. 
  • Thick paper that’s smooth and free from acid is best. 
  • Organize your markers into color groups and start drawing out small blocks of color on the page for each pen. You can then use two markers to practice blending between the gaps of the colors. 
  • During this process, be sure to experiment with the angle at which you hold the chisel tip and the amount of pressure that you apply. 

Benefits of Using Alcohol Art Markers

One of the main reasons why many artists use alcohol-based markers is because they have incredibly fast drying times. Therefore, you’re less likely to cause smudges, and you can work faster.

The layering and smooth blending abilities of alcohol pens make them popular among artists worldwide. They’re fantastic for adding texture and shade to your work. You can experiment with lighter colors and darker colors and create incredibly smooth gradients.

You can also use them to blend different colors and create defined lines to enhance your artwork. 

The dual-ended brush tip feature that’s available with most of these pens is another added bonus. This is because one end is thick and the other end is thin. Therefore, you have options when it comes to using thick and thin lines for your work. 

Also read: Best Alcohol-Based Markers


After you’ve practised using your alcohol markers for some time, you’ll be feeling more familiar with how they feel. Make sure to practice blending different colors together, as well as applying varying amounts of pressure to the fine nib to achieve different results. 

Once you’re more confident, you can pencil sketch out a design. You can then use your markers to start coloring in the sketch, adding depth, texture, and shades. 

Hopefully, after reading through our useful tips, you’re feeling more assured about how to go about using alcohol markers. As we mentioned, there are many different brands available. Be sure to use a set that comes with a variety of colors, as well as a colorless blender so that you can improve your blending skills.


Are alcohol markers permanent?

Yes, alcohol markers contain permanent ink.

Can you use water-based markers and alcohol markers together?

The brush tips from both of these markers produce a similar effect. However, most artists avoid using them together as water-based ink can interfere with alcohol-based ink.

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Written By Adam Rushton

Adam has made a name for himself in the illustration industry and is a passionate blogger and writer on the subject of art, illustration and graphic design.

His artwork has been featured in countless publications and used for very well-known media projects. As a professional illustrator for over 20 years, Adams media outlets, a wealth of knowledge, and experience enable him to consult and advise artists and illustrators in this country (from York and Manchester to Southampton and London) and all over the world.