Saturday, 9 August 2008

Promarker Tutorial

As promised I have tried to put together a promarker tutorial using this image I coloured yesterday:

I took photos as I went and have tried to edit them into slideshow below. If you hover over the photos it will pause it and captions will come up (but I was limited by the amount of words I could fit in.

I will add more detailed instructions and general tips later tonight/tomorrow but thought I'd post this for now and see what you think or what more you would like to know.

Must dash, have a good day!

Edited to say:

Right for anyone who wants step by step to go with photos and the colours I used as I couldn't fit it all in the slideshow:



  1. colour roughly round edges with IVORY
  2. Then repeat with BLUSH but only where you expect the shadows to be (usually round the edges will give more examples later) and also with DUSKY PINK where the deepest shadows are.
  3. Blend it all in by colouring over WHOLE of face with IVORY the once. It will look very dark but once the alcohol evaporates all the edges will look more blended together.
  4. If the shadows look like they've been blended too much just add a little bit of DUSKY PINK to where you want more shadow again.
  5. for the rosey cheeks add a little bit of PASTEL PINK then blend again using IVORY


colours used for brunettes: UMBER, WARM GREY 4, WARM GREY 2 (for blondes I use MUSTARD & SANDSTONE)

  1. colour dark bits with warm grey 4 then darkest bits with UMBER
  2. blend by colouring all hair with WARM GREY 2
  3. If it looks a little flat add shadows back in with UMBER or take a bit off with the blender pen


  1. colour dark bits with colour then go over all of it with the same colour.
  2. If a bit flat take colour off with blender pen or add shadow with WARM GREY 2

HAT & SCARF: colours used ROSE PINK, WARM GREY 2 same process as jumper & boots.

BOOK: colours used: COOL AQUA, COOL GREY 2 same process as jumper & boots



  1. colour where dark bits are with RUBY then the whole thing with RUBY again
  2. Deepen the shadow by colouring with BURNT UMBER then to soften the edges colour over whole thing with RUBY
  3. to add extra depth to the shadows add a little bit of WARM GREY 2

This is basically the process I use for most of my colouring, starting with the lightest, then adding deeper colours and using the lightest colour again to blend them in together. I use the lightest colour to blend rather than the blender pen as I find that takes away too much colour and gives a 'mottled' look which is great if that's what you want but not if I just want to smooth out the edges of colours IYKWIM

So the main thing is getting a couple of colours in various shades for each section you want to colour before you start as once you start colouring you want to be fairly quick as it dries so quickly and they blend better whilst still wet. If there aren't similar shades you can use or if it's only a small area then either:

  • just go over areas with the same pen to create a deeper shade and you can also dilute/take away some colour by using the blender pen
  • If it still looks a little flat try adding shadows by using one of the grey shades.

As for how to decide which bits to colour darker or where the shadows should be I use the image itself to help me as many of them have dashed lines or dots to indicate shadow or the other trick I do is to imagine where the light is coming from. So in this example I took the light to be coming from in front of her and top right. Then if you imagine that light coming down on to her, whatever it 'hits' first will be the lightest and the furthest away will be darkest. So middle of her face will be lightest, the bits next to her hair and hat will be darker as they will cast a shadow. Not really an exact science, but it works for me :)

Oh, the final way for extra dimension is using white gel pen on the 'sticky out' bits or the light bits and I like to add blue line all the way around my images as it helps it to 'pop' off the page a bit more.

O.K think I've waffled enough and that's about as much as I can extract from this brain for now :) Hope it has been of some use to some of you and apologies if it's too basic for others. Think the main thing is to practice and just have fun.

One final thing; someone asked where I got my promarkers from. Art shops should sell them but the best place online & best price (anywhere) I found was Silly Monkeys. Great service too!


I knew I'd forget something - so for those asking about paper and ink;

I use the same smooth card that I use when colouring with my prisma pencils. I find, the smoother the better. I get mine from Rymans stationer's, it's called 'Bright White coated card' 200gsm pack of 50 A4 sheets but they do do other sizes. I know other ladies use the Creative Smooth card and others swear by the Stampin Up card but I think main thing is they are all a SMOOTH card.

Inkwise, you can't use Stazon as it's alcohol based like the markers so will react with each other and smudge. I did use Versafine which if you left it ovenight or heat set it you could get away with but it did sometimes leave a bit of smudging. I have since started using the Palette hybrid ink pad in Noir black and that is working fine. Think it's a case of trial and error and the main thing is to find a WATER based dye ink and as long as you leave it to dry long enough or give it a quick blast with your heatgun then you shouldn't get any smudging.


Kuka said...

Fran, this is excellent.
Now, I'm not saying I'll ever be as good as you but at least I'm in with half a chance if I follow your tutorial. It's so clear nd precise.
Thank you - hugs -x-x-x-

Rach said...

Fabulous Fran....
very clear and easy to follow...just what you want....well done Hun. hugs rAch.xx

Suzanne said...

Oh Fran this is fab now I have half a chance of getting some shading into my images. I really struggle with this but this has made it a lot clearer. Thanks Sue :o)

cats whiskers said...

Oh wow Fran thanks so much so easy to follow, need to go and ractise now, Well done and thanks again
Hugs jacqui x

Anonymous said...

Fantastic tutorial helpful...thank you so much for sharing and taking the time to do it for us all!
Carole ;o)

Anonymous said...

Very easy to understand, I do have Pro Markers and use them from time to time, I don´t fancy them very much but after reading this, I might LOVE them...

Brocéliane said...

great tutorial thanks for sharing :)

debby4000 said...

Absolutely brilliant Fran.

Sonia said...

Great tutorial. Can i ask what paper or card you use for promarkers?

Jill said...

oh thank you Fran, I read this a couple of times and watched the slide show, it was so helpful, of course I am short of the colours you listed so I will have to purchase those. I'm really gratful for your fab tutorial Jill xx

craftyscot said...

this is fabulous Fran, thanks for all the info

Glitter Monkey said...

Brilliant tutorial Fran! Lol Lynn x

Sallyh said...

thank you so much for this, I didn't realise that using the same colour twice would make it darker!! I will have to go and play

Andrea, said...

This looks fab Fran, I'll have a proper look when I get back home. Thanks!

Taniaj said...

Thanks Fran this helped a great deal, I think I know where im going wrong Thanks Tx

Heather said...

Wow - thank you so much! This was really helpful! I'm looking forward to trying these out. (I just have to buy some now!)

Stacey said...

I'd been thinking about getting somw of these but was dithering whether copics would be better. But, you're great tutorial has helped so much! Promarkers it is! Now....roll on payday! ~x~

Alex said...

Thanks so much for this detailed tutorial, I can't wait to have a play now!

Thanks for sharing.

Alex x

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