How to use copic markers tutorial 3 | using the blending marker

by Michelle Houghton

This is the 3rd article in a series by Michelle on copic markers. See the first: An Introduction to Copic Markers and the second: Blending with Copic Markers.

My first question after I saw someone demonstrate how to blend Copic markers was: “What is the blending marker for then?” I got my answer and then played, researched, and discovered a little more.

Copic article 3 image 1

The standard answer is that the blender is for “pushing” color.

To a person who knows the bare minimum, this means you can use the blender as an eraser of sorts. If you are having a terrible time with bleeding or you make a small mistake outside the lines you can “push” the ink back into your image. You do this by literally pushing the nib of the blender marker over the mistake in the direction you want the ink to go. On my example I used too much ink and it bled outside my image lines. I used the blender to clean up the edges. It is not a perfect fix but if I was trying to get a dark color out of an area where I wanted to put another color this would be a help. The other problem I see with this technique is that the moisture from the blender comes back in and stains the color with a water mark. I could fix this by coming back with color again.However the key here is small mistakes. It is definitely not a fix all.

Copic article 3 image 2

Copic article 3 image 3

The fun answer is there are a lot of possibilities if you want to play and experiment. For example, I personally cannot afford all the colors, so I am using the blender to try to soften some of my darker colors. This takes A LOT of experimenting but I was so thrilled with the results. I wanted to create very soft shading for my sheep but didn’t have any of the really light grays or other colors. I used two of my lightest colors to create bands of color and then scrubbed them for quite a while with the blender marker. I just kept going over the two bands of color in small circular strokes. The moisture from the blender marker went well beyond the borders of my image, but I was planning on cutting it out so I was OK with that. Here is what I ended up with, I used B00, V91, and the blender marker to create the sheep face, along with a couple of brads.

Copic article 3 image 4

Copic article3 image5

Hope this gets you thinking of the possibilities.There are certainly more to be discovered. How about highlights, or creating a marbled look? Yep the blender could do it.

Bio-shot-2011-150Michelle Houghton is a wife, mother and artist living in Iowa. Even before she began scrapbooking, she was a lifelong artist, majoring in Fine Arts at the University of Oregon and then teaching high school art for 7 years. Michelle has been scrapbooking for more than 15 years and she enjoys adding her own art, doodles and handmade elements to her pages for a one-of-a-kind look.

Michelle teaches doodling, Copics, handlettering and more at workshops throughout the country. She writes tutorials at Get It Scrapped and is an instructor for Imagination International Inc., the US distributor of Copic products. The best way to learn more about Michelle is at her website,

17 Responses to How to use copic markers tutorial 3 | using the blending marker

  1. Brenda April 7, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    Thanks Michelle for another great lesson on copics!

  2. Lori S. April 12, 2010 at 2:20 am #

    Very interesting – so much to know. I see why Copic offers certification.

  3. Jodee June 1, 2010 at 12:54 pm #

    Just wanted to say that the blender could be used to make polka dots or stripes in a color too.

  4. Michelle Houghton June 3, 2010 at 6:07 pm #

    There are a lot of ways to use it, patterns are so fun. Thanks so much for posting Jodee!

  5. Heyentah June 4, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    Michelle, PLEASE contact me privately! Heyentah

    • Michelle Houghton June 4, 2010 at 10:29 pm #

      just sent you an E-mail let me know what you need OK? Talk soon!

  6. Crys June 9, 2010 at 1:12 pm #


    Just getting into the Copics and these instructions are worth their weight in gold. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Nana Crys

    • Michelle Houghton June 11, 2010 at 11:31 pm #

      So glad you are liking them Nana Crys, send up a red flag with any specific questions!

  7. Joan Dirmyer March 22, 2011 at 10:53 am #

    There is a tremendous amount of wasted printer paper when trying to print these tutorials. Is there any way you can have a printer friendly version? I like to keep them in a notebook for reference.



    • Debbie Hodge March 22, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

      Hi, Joan, Good point. I’m thinking we’ll collect these in a pdf that can be a bonus for copics class members.

  8. Carol October 13, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    Hi ,Michelle, I was wondering if you have used Copic markers on fabric ? I need to make a rainbow on a quilt and would like to do the blending technique. Is this possible ?

    • Pam October 13, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

      The trick to using Copic markers on fabrics without wicking is to work on fabric as warm as possible. I have used a heating pad on high with an embossing gun at the ready, then color in small sections. I’ve worked with very thin fine cotton, linen, and blends without wicking problems this way. You can also color synthetics. It’s all about getting the alcohol base to dry as fast as possible.

      Another technique is to melt paraffin and outline your picture with liquified wax and let it cool. This will contain the Copic colors from wicking. Then iron between sheets of Kraft paper or newsprint (without any print) the paraffin will be absorbed by the paper.

  9. Beinta Egholm January 21, 2015 at 7:07 pm #

    I can’t find tutorial 4 :c

  10. bernath January 22, 2017 at 2:11 pm #


  11. Pammie February 19, 2018 at 3:53 pm #

    The secret to pushing color back so it does not re-bleed, is to let it dry completely then come back with your blending pen and push more color. You can repeat this process until the ink your trying to push back is gone,

    Good luck, Pammie Lehto

    Copic Standard and Intermmediate certified.


  1. 6 Tips for Getting Started with Copic Markers - November 3, 2010

    […] My first question after I saw someone demonstrate how to blend Copic markers was: “What is the blending marker for then?” I got my answer and then played, researched, and discovered a little more. The standard answer is that the blender is for “pushing” color. Learn more in my lesson: Using the Blending Marker. […]

Leave a Reply