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Get Started in Art and Colouring

  1. Read time: 7 minutes
  2. Written by: Crafters

Welcome to the wonderful world of art and colouring! If you’re a beginner looking to brush up on the basics, dip a toe into watercolour or enjoy some mindful colouring – you’ve come to the right place. 

With so many shades, materials and effects to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. So, today we are using Spectrum Noir materials to take you through the foundations of essential art and colouring techniques. Read on to master the basics and get started in art and colouring!

An Introduction to Spectrum Noir Pens, Markers & Pencils

Alcohol Markers

Alcohol markers are packed with alcohol-based dye ink. This means the colours will apply incredibly smoothly. It is also slightly translucent which makes them perfect for layering and blending.

  • Classique Markers: The perfect all-rounder, this dual-tipped marker offers the classic combination of broad-chisel and fine-bullet tip. Making it a go-to pen for illustration, sketching and so much more.
  • Illustrator Markers: Another dual-tipped marker! Choose between a fine nib for detailed work and a brush tip to create more expressive, artistic effects with sweeps of beautiful colour.
  • Tri Blend 3-in-1 Markers: The name might have given it away, but this pen offers not one, not two but three carefully chosen related colours that will blend seamlessly and that you can return to time and again.
  • TriBlend 3-in-1 Brush Markers: These markers also offer three blendable shades, designed to layer and combine perfectly. The Tri-Blend 3-in-1 Brush Marker features three Japanese fibre-nibs, for a more expressive feel.

Watercolour Markers

  • Aqua Watercolour Markers: Aqua Marker’s quality water-soluble dyes deliver smooth bright colours that diffuse away effortlessly with water. So they’re perfect for watercolour-style sketching on the move. Their dual-tipped design features an ultra-fine nib for detailed sketching and a flexible brush for more expressive work.
  • TriColour Aqua Markers: Each 3-in-1 pen holds a trio of water-soluble colours to mix and blend effortlessly to create beautiful artwork. The co-ordinating colors are ready to mix and blend with water, so you can enjoy watercolour effects with three colours in one pen. Each colour is brush-tipped for an artistic feel,  perfect for outdoor sketching.

Colourblend Pencils

  • Colourblend Blending Pencils: With a thick 4mm core made from lightfast artist’s quality pigment, ColourBlend pencils give a professional yet affordable performance. Their colours are wax-based and blend and layer wonderfully, with huge variations in tone and intensity for shading.


Spectrum Noir alcohol markers are an amazing way to achieve beautiful seamless blends of colour. Here’s how to make that happen with a couple of easy-to-master techniques!

  • Basic shading:
    • Alcohol marker ink has a translucent quality so with every stroke you make the shade darker.
    • Add depth simply by layering the same colour over itself!
  • Enhanced shading:
    • For deeper shadows and enhanced dimension use a selection of darker shades in the same colour
    • Gradually layer and blend your shades to form natural, realistic graduations. All Spectrum Noir alcohol markers are grouped and graded from light to dark to make this easy when you’re just starting out!
  • Blending:
    • Alcohol inks blend best when the ink is still wet, so apply liberally to the page and try to work quickly for a smooth transition from one shade to the next.
    • Layering wet ink on dry will give a more pronounced step-change in shade that can also be effective depending on the look you want.


Spectrum Noir Aqua and Tri Colour Aqua Markers are a fantastic way to get started in watercolour. Here are some hints and tips! 

  • Just add water! Use your fibre-tipped Aqua Marker to add colour directly onto your paper. Then apply water using clean brush to create a stunning watercolour effect and blend so many different shades and hues! 
  • You can also use the pens colour onto acetate or a plate, and use a brush and water to mix a palette of stunning blended colours 
  • Each pen is packed with stunning, rich colour – the amount of water you use means you can choose between a palest pastel shade or a vibrant and vivid shade 
  • Use good quality watercolour paper that will withstand repeated wet application and reworking 
  • If you want to create detail or shade to your design, use a Classique or Illustrator marker to do this before adding the watercolour wash or colour 

Glitter, Sparkle, Outline and Acrylic Markers

There are so many different effects you can have fun with in art and colouring! To add some razzle dazzle to your colouring projects, lustre to your lettering and pizazz to your projects why not take a look at some of these innovative products from Spectrum Noir? 

  • Glitter Markers: Each marker is absolutely packed with glitter and gives a rich and opaque swoop of shimmering colour. With versatile rounded tips for smooth, accurate lines they’re ideal for lettering, journaling and cardmaking
  • Sparkle Brush Pens: These pens are packed with fine glitter micro-pigment, in a range of vivid and blendable water-based colours. Each pen has a flexible brush tip for accurate, mess free application. Perfect for  lettering, embellishing, colouring and more!
  • Outline Markers: Each pen holds two colours, an intense and opaque silver with a vividly coloured outline. With each stroke, a shimmering sweep of silver is outlined with a clear and bright shade – no need for fine-liners!
  • Acrylic Paint Markers: Spectrum Noir Acrylic Paint Markers offer opaque coverage on canvas, ceramic, glass, wood, porcelain, wood, fabric, card, paper and more. Perfect for putting your stamp on home decor projects or getting colourful with creative hobbies

Essentials for your Art Kit

  • Brushes: We stock both synthetic and hog hair brushes for a range of tasks, all designed to provide you with a smooth application and blend
  • Paper: Alcohol-based ink will bleed through thin paper so make sure you use a heavyweight, smooth and uncoated paper. Spectrum Noir’s Premium Marker Paper Pad has been designed to work perfectly with Alcohol Markers
  • Watercolour Paper: This 300gsm paper is strong enough to withstand repeated blending, mixing and reworking with watercolour mediums 
  • Craft Mat: Non-slip and heat resistant the Spectrum Noir Craft Mat is the best way to keep your worksurface clean
  • ArtLiners: When adding colour to a sketch or drawing, you’ll want your line work to appear clean and sharp. The water-based pigment ink in Spectrum Noir Artliner Pens is ideal to prevent your lines from blurring or merging with the alcohol-based marker ink

If this post has encouraged you to get started in art and colouring,  we’d love to see your finished projects on social media.

Share your photos with us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram using the hashtag #crafterscompanion.

  1. Art & Colouring
  2. Colouring

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