watercolor pens tutorial

How to Use Watercolor Pens (Watercolor Tutorial) + 3 Best Watercolor Markers

Watercolor pens are a fun part of watercolor art and using them is not very difficult. You can do a lot of beautiful watercolor techniques with these utensils. 

In today’s tutorial, we will review how to use watercolor brush pens with Chromatek. Follow along as you will and at the end you’ll be able to paint a beautiful watercolor flower! Stick around until the end and we will let you know our favorite watercolor pen.

(By the way, it is important you note that watercolor pens, brush pens, and markers are all the same thing. You will hear us use them interchangeably from time to time.)


How to Use Watercolor Markers Tutorial

Watercolor supplies needed

  • Watercolor brush pens
  • Jar of clean water
  • Paper towels
  • Small pallet or plate
  • Watercolor paper or sketchbook

** Remember, the colors of the brush pens you use are entirely up to you. Every step is up to your discretion. If you’d rather express your creativity differently, just skip to the next step for guidance.

This tutorial was created by artists who have handpicked supplies just for you.
Click below to shop with a 30% discount.


Step 1: Sketch a flower design

If you need flower design watercolor ideas, we’ve done a tutorial with 12 different flower designs you can see here.

Lightly sketch in pencil over your paper. 

Watercolor pens: brush pens flower sketch

Can you see it? Look closely.


Step 2: Begin with the petals

Use a light red (not dark) and carefully follow your sketch lines to outline your first petal. Be delicate. The brush pens tend to be sensitive and don’t need a lot of pressure. 

The more pressure you put on the pen, the more it will bleed and our goal here is thin lines. 

Trace about halfway down the petal in red, color it in. Then, use an orange pen to carefully blend the two colors.

This practice will take patience. It doesn’t always look perfect your first time, but we promise if you keep practicing, it will get easier. 

Do this same process with three of your petals. See how the orange fades as you move down the page?

Let that paint dry (use a hairdryer if you’re impatient). The colors will bleed and blend even more when drying.


Step 3: Use a darker accent pigment

On the fourth petal, use a darker accent to begin with. We’ve chosen red. And then blend it with the lighter red, orange, and eventually use a fourth pen (we call it a blending brush). This is how you achieve a really nice fade at the end of the petals.

Watercolor pens: brush pens dark red pigment blend

Step 4: Add contrasting colors

We will paint the next petals with cooler tones. We’ve used a royal-ish blue at the top of the petal and slowly transitioned to purple and then dark blue. Use the same technique as above.

And for the fifth petal, we’ve added an even lighter cyan shade followed by blue to blend.


Step 5: Painting the stem

First, we’ve added cyan to the middle of the stem. It is important to always start with your lightest color. 

Followed by a bottom-up approach, starting with dark blue at the bottom of the stem. Next, add a little purple, and then blue.

If you can handle this touch of green, go for it. Though, we still think it looks cool without the green. It’s all experimental, remember!

Watercolor pens: brush pens green stem

Step 6: Add water

Now, the fun part. Before it dries, add just a few droplets of water to the cyan in your stem. 

Use the blending brush to carefully guide the water to the edges of the other colors. Guide it just long enough for the colors to start blending with each other. Once they’ve been activated, you can stop and watch the magic happen.

Don’t overwork the colors or it will end up darker and not what you desired. If you’ve done it right, it should look something like this:

Watercolor pens: brush pens add water and blend/ bleed

Well done!


3 Best Watercolor Pens (Our Short Reviews)

1. Arteza Real Brush Watercolor Pens

We love that this set came with numbers and names on the markers. These have very nice, real watercolor brush tips with fine enough ends to allow for careful control and thin lines in small spaces. The colors are gorgeous and bright. A+ watercolor pens which is why we’ve picked them as our favorite! https://www.amazon.com/Flexible-Professional-Watercolor-Painting-Coloring/dp/B078MLF649?th=1


2. Ohuhu Watercolor Brush Pens

This watercolor set is great for beginners. We can’t really tell a difference between these and a more expensive set. Some pigments can come a little dry, however, Ohuhu was quick to send me another set when they saw my complaint. Excellent pens for beginners! https://www.amazon.com/Watercolor-Ohuhu-Coloring-Flexible-Calligraphy/dp/B078Y7SW2H?th=1


3. Magicfly Watercolor Markers

The brush tip, in our opinion, is the worst part of this product. It is soft with little to no spring and can begin shredding if the cap is put back on less than perfectly. However, most other features of this set are quite good. https://www.amazon.com/Magicfly-Watercolor-Fineliner-Highlighters-Calligraphy/dp/B06XHYZ3G8#customerReviews


Painting with Watercolor Pens is Fun!

If you love painting but hate dealing with the mess to clean up afterward, watercolor brush pens will be your best friend. Still with all the same effects and vibrance of watercolor paints, brush pens can provide tons of creativity at a fraction of the set-up and clean-up stress. 

If you would like more watercolor ideas, feel free to check out our other watercolor tutorials so you can get inspiration for your next watercolor art!

We want to see your watercolor flower! Take a picture and leave it in the comment section below.

This tutorial was created by artists who have handpicked supplies just for you.
Click below to shop with a 30% discount.

About the Author: Watercolor Classes

Hello, and welcome to our site. We've been passionate about watercolor for years and have learned a lot along the way. We hope our tutorials and tips will help you out on your watercolor journey. Let's make art together!

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