As I’ve been discovering my love for markers this past year I realized something; the number one reason I didn’t touch markers in High School is because I didn’t know how to shade.

When you think about popular mediums such as acrylic paint, watercolor, and colored pencil you can easily find tutorials on how to shade and make artwork look incredibly realistic. Markers are a lot harder to work with when you’re going for realism, or so I thought.

So I want to pass on the knowledge I’ve learned about shading in marker and a particular tool that helped me achieve realistic marker drawings, my Prismacolor blender.


For this tutorial I’ve chosen to draw a rose because it’s simple to initially sketch and looks beautiful when fully rendered.

First start by coloring in each petal (just like you would do with a coloring book) I like to use the Bic Marking Soft Grip markers because they naturally blend together, but you can use any brand you like.



Next, outline each individual petal with the same color marker (in this case a light peach tone) and shade the corners of each petal so you can see the natural highlights. Continue this with all the petals of the rose.


Now, in order to add more color and depth, take an orange marker and repeat the process. However this time, you’re going to use your Prismacolor blender to gently blend in the highlighted areas. This will give the petals a softness that makes them look more realistic.

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Repeat this step again with the original pink marker for yet another layer of color.









To finish off this rose I drew in some leaves, a stem, and outlined my petals in fine point sharpie. (The sharpie outlining does not at all lend itself to realism but goes with my style of drawing and is completely optional!) This is how it turned out.

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I’m trying to up my filming game because I think that will be really helpful for some people but until then I’ll be working with photographs. Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions in the comments below!

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