20+ Incredible Ways How to Use Watercolor Markers

If you just bought your first set of Watercolor Markers you will amazed at what all you can create with these gems! In todays post I’ll show you how to use Watercolor Markers in a few easy steps and set you up with 20+ tutorials for you to explore and learn more.

A Watercolor Marker can be a Brush Pen or just have a bullet tip. What is important is that the marker is filled with a water based ink that reacts with water and thus creates dramatic results! I have used mainly the Tombow Dual Brush Pens here today, but these tutorials will work with any Watercolor Marker you have!

how to use watercolor markers

disclaimer: affiliate links have been used below at no extra cost to you. Please read further here. I have been on the Tombow design team and have been provided these markers. My love for them and the ideas shared here are all my own 🙂

How do you use Watercolor Markers?

Since the Watercolor Markers have a water-based ink the colors react with water on the paper. So if you apply the marker to paper and paint with water it softens the marker color and create watercolor effects.

What paper do you use for Watercolor Markers?

Not all papers will work for the direct technique, check out all of the Brush Pen Papers and tips I share.

What paper do you use for Watercolor Markers?

For the indirect technique, since we are applying water you will still need to use a thicker paper, plain printer paper wont work. Let’s talk more about my Direct vs Indirect method.

How to use Watercolor Markers: Direct Method:

This method has that wow factor and is super satisfying!

  1. Apply your Watercolor marker color directly onto the paper. Add a small amount of color, to begin with.
  2. Working quickly spread that color by painting with a paintbrush dipped in water.
  3. You can try mixing two colors to create a new color- directly on the paper too.

TIP: The paper you use matters very much for this technique, Choose a mixed media or watercolor paper that is thicker and allows the marker color to sit on the paper rather than be absorbed right away.

How to use Watercolor Markers: Indirect Method:

The colors you create by watercoloring indirectly will be much lighter than the ones you can get from the direct method.

  1. Scribble your Watercolor Marker colors onto a Blending Palette.
  2. Dip a paintbrush into water, pick up the color from the blending palette, and paint onto the paper. You can mix colors on the blending palette to create new colors!
  3. This method is great to use your Watercolor Markers in Archer and Olive dot grid journals too!

TIP: If you don’t have a Blending Palette, you can instead use some kind of laminated surface, a Ziploc bag, or a ceramic dish too.

20+ Ideas to Use Watercolor Markers!

It’s as simple as adding color and painting with water and trust me the process is addictive.

1/ Paint simple florals:

Learn how to paint the simplest Watercolor Pen Flowers step by step.

watercolor pen flowers step by step tutorial

2/ Watercolor Quote art:

Use your Watercolor Marker to hand letter and decorate a quote in this Watercolor Quote art tutorial


3/ Watercolor Salt

This Watercolor Salt Technique give amazing results each and every time!

sea salt watercolor

4/ Watercolor Splash:

One of the coolest mixing of colors, this Watercolor Splash Tutorial is so much fun! The colors slowly bleed into each other with the water and dry to create a beautiful effect.

watercolor splash

5/ How to paint a galaxy

Pull out those Watercolor markers and let’s explore how to paint a galaxy!

How to paint a colorful Watercolor Galaxy using your Brush Pens4

6/ Mix with Gesso:

You can easily create opaque colors by mixing your Watercoloring and gesso!

watercolor markers with gesso

7/ Winter Watercolor

Learn to paint a simple Winter Watercolor scene. Perfect for a snowy day craft!

winter watercolor

8/ Watercolor Backgrounds:

Create Colorful Watercolor Backgrounds that make the perfect way to explore colors.

watercolor backgrounds

9/ Monochromatic Painting:

Create a Monochromatic Flower Painting using different hues of one color. This is a great practice in colorwork!

monochromatic flower painting using tombow pens

10/ Lemon Watercolor:

Paint a Lemon Watercolor page in your sketchbook following the step by step tutorial.


11/ Easy Watercolor Card:

Use your Watercolor Markers to create this Easy Watercolor Card ready to be gifted!


12/ Watercolor Raindrops:

A perfect rainbow to paint on a rainy day! This Watercolor Raindrop tutorial shows you just how.

rainbow raindrop watercolor

13/ Stamping with Markers

Using your stamping with Markers will always create stunning results!

Stamping with Markers Tombow Smitha Waffle Flower

14/ Watercolor Rainbow

Painting rainbows is one of my favorite ways to relax. You go in color order and a Watercolor Rainbow is always satisfying!

Watercolor Rainbow

15/ Pixel Art

One of the simplest ways to paint, learn how to create Pixel Art in your sketchbook.

pixel art heart

16/ Fall Watercolor Leaf Tutorial

In this Fall Watercolor Leaf tutorial video, I walk you step by step and show you how to easily paint a leaf!

Fall Watercolor Leaf tutorial

17/ Watercolor Poinsettia

Learn to paint a Watercolor Poinsettia in this step by step tutorial!

TOMBOW RED COLORS Watercolor-Poinsettia-Tutorial-step9

18/ Watercolor Christmas Card

Use your markers to paint special Watercolor Christmas Cards for the holiday season!

watercolor christmas card

19/ Watercolor Joy

Paint a whimsical Watercolor Joy using your markers!

joy watercolor

20/ Watercolor Mandalas:

Print these Mandala Coloring Pages and then enjoy watercoloring the design!

Watercolor Mandalas

The options are endless and there are so many techniques to try with these Watercolor Markers. I would say these watercolor markers are better than watercolors themselves- they are portable (no drips), super versatile and it is easy to control the amount of color you lay on the paper.

watercolor with tombow markers floral

How to Use Watercolor Markers Youtube

I have a whole playlist of videos on my channel demonstrating Watercolor Markers Technique. Enjoy this How to use Watercolor Markers Playlist.

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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