Blending Markers 5 ways + Blender Pen vs Water Brush

I use 5 simple methods while Blending Markers and I will walk you through them all today. I’m also answering a common question I get asked when blending markers – What is the difference between using the Blender Pen and the Water Brush?

While blending Brush Pens such as the Tombow Dual Brush Pens, there are 5 easy methods. I use the Blender Pen at times and the Water Brush at times. Both of these are great at blending Watercolor Markers, but give very different results!

Personally, the Water Brush is my favorite way of blending markers as it is quicker and easier to use!

blending markers

Blending Markers 5 ways:

1. Blending markers by touching tips:

how to blend tombow markers tip to tip

Simply touch the two brush tips together and transfer the color. There are so many new hues you will create by doing so. I used two vibrant colors- Yellow and blue. When I letter with the yellow now you will have notes of green from the blue and yellow mixing.


BUT here is a trick! The blue pen also gets a bit of yellow transferred onto it and when you letter using that you will have a nice teal shade of color instead of the blue. The color transfer works both ways!

You will not permanently damage your brush pens by doing so. To clean of the brush tips, scribble onto a scrap piece of paper till it writes in it’s original color again.

2. Blending MARKERS with ziploc bags:

how to blend tombow markers without blending palette

You will need any kind of slick surface for this- I am using a ziploc bag from my kitchen, you can use a Blending palette, wax paper, an acrylic stamp block or a ceramic dish instead.

Scribble your darker color onto the ziploc bag and with a lighter color marker pick up color from the ziploc and letter. You will create a blended mix of colors.

Again, this does not harm your pens at all. Those tips will go right back to their original color if you scribble off the darker color onto a scrap paper.

You can use the colorless blender pen N00 to pick color off from the ziploc too. This creates softer color versions of the Bright palette.


3. Blending Markers with Paintbrush + water:

how to blend tombow markers with water

I chose two contrasting colors of Brush pens- one lighter (yellow) and one darker (red). With the lighter color letter the entire word first. Then with the darker color, color just the bottom 1/5 of the letters.You just need a little of that darker color, don’t add too much. If you add too much, that color will dominate and color everything.

Blend everything with a paintbrush dipped in just water. First paint over the light color- yellow here- and then slowly moisten the darker color and let the water meet and blend. Try not to overwork it (or it will turn into a muddy color) and let the water do the blending.


4. Blending Markers with a Blender pen:

The Blender pen is often referred to as Colorless Blending pen, Colorless Blender, Blender Marker or simply as color number 00. It has a white tip and when you write with it, it is actually colorless but the magic can be seen when you use it to blend colors.

You can write with the Blender Pen over two colors to blend them, or use it to pick up color off a palette and blend that way too!

Smitha Katti Colorless Blender Pen

How to clean a Blender Pen:

After you are done using your Blender Pen the previously white brush tip will be stained and have some color left over.

To clean the tip, simply scribble the color onto a blank paper till the transferred color runs out. I recommend using this smooth paper to avoid brush tip fraying.

The tip will remain stained with color but will go back to being colorless.

how to clean a blender pen

5. Blending Markers with a water brush

This is exactly similar to No 3 where we use water and a brush to blend- but this time the Water Brush is more convenient.

Simply add your marker color onto paper and blend the colors slowly with the Water Brush. You have more control over the amount of water you add this way.

Blender Pen vs Water Brush

water brush vs blender pen

Blender Pen

  • The Blender Pen has a brush pen tip and a marker tip.
  • The Blender Pen is not refillable and comes with water-based colorless ink in it.
  • Upon usage, the brush tip will retain color and needs to clean by scribbling off onto a waste paper
  • The finished artwork will look like a marker on paper
  • Multiple back and forth required to blend colors properly
  • Blends color streakily
  • Paper will pill if you use the blender pen on the paper too much

Water Brush

  • Paper will not pill, but could warp and bend if you use the water brush too much
  • The Water Brush tip has bristles move just like a paintbrush
  • The Water Brush comes with a removable barrel that you need to fill with water.
  • Upon usage, the bristles will need to be washed- you can either wipe onto a paper or rinse underwater.
  • The finished artwork will have a watercolor look and feel
  • Easier and quicker to blend colors with
  • Blends colors evenly

Watch my IGTV video: Blender pen vs Water Brush 💦

When should you use the Blender Pen?


You want to reach for the Blender pen when your illustration needs to have a Marker art feel to it. Your Blender Pen art might have color variations and nuances but the lines will remain crisp. In the end, it will look like a marker on paper.

When should you use the Water Brush?


You want to reach for the Water Brush when you are painting to create a watercolor look. The colors will get super watery, move and mix to create that airy watercolor feel. Your Water Brush art will dry and look like watercolor on paper.


I have a YouTube Video showing all these 3 methods of Blending Markers.

Which method of Blending Markers is your favorite to use?

Smitha Katti creativespace e1577349763159

Hi I’m Smitha! I live in Minnesota with my husband and two daughters. You’ll always find me painting florals in my sketchbook. And I love the sheer joy of making something with just my hands! But my bigger love is capturing it all on camera Read more.

Thanks for stopping by today! If you learnt something from this tutorial, do share this post with a friend or on social media! Tag me @smithakatti #smithakatti I’d love to see what you create!


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