Work in Progress

Colouring owl with markers and media summary

Owls coloured with 3 different media. See their separate posts: AcrylicsWatercolours – Markers (below)

So I finished the third and the last version of my little owl, which, this time, I coloured with alcohol-based markers (and coloured pencils). Finishing the project makes me really happy but I also feel kind of… empty? I think it’s because I was very excited to see each version finished and then all the versions next to each other, but now the excitement of anticipation is missing. I guess it’s a sign that I should make more arts with the experiment’s techniques (not necessarily 3 versions of the same drawing though 😀 ).

Back to the last version of the owl though. As I said before – this one was coloured with alcohol-based markers and I enjoyed the process a lot – it was quick and fun. But even though I specifically bought some additional marker colours that I thought would be great for this project, it still felt like they were not exactly what I wanted. I think with some adjustments (an additional marker layer changing the hue of the main colour and coloured pencils on the top of the markers colouring) I could get the right colours but it obviously was taking more time than using the right colours from the start would have been. Even so – I still have a feeling that the whole process was a bit faster or about the same time as the watercolours were and definitely faster than acrylics.

Below you can see the steps of markers (and pencils) colouring or you can SKIP directly to the media summary:

The experiment and media summary

I think it was a great idea to try colouring a simple lineart with 3 different media and mimicking the colours of my original, digital drawing. I didn’t only learn a lot but, because I tried media or techniques I don’t use often, I’m now less scared of them – on the contrary, I’m looking forward to trying them again so I can learn even more.

Watercolours were almost a completely new medium for me, I use them very rarely, mostly because I know they are difficult. Now after I made myself use them we are not complete strangers to each other anymore and even though I still have a lot to learn about them I can say I enjoy colouring with them a lot.

Colouring with markers was a nice learning experience, especially that I had a reference image that I was trying to mimic and before markers I’ve done 2 types of paints colouring so I could compare them all. Conclusions of the comparison came to me pretty quickly: with enough paints you can mix them until you get the right one colour, and with markers – you have to buy the exact colours you want or use some tricks to change the marker’s hues, which, in comparison to just getting the right colour of paints through mixing, is much more effort. On the other hand, the alcohol-based markers were definitely the quickest medium to use of the 3 I tried and they work great with coloured pencils, so there is that.

I normally use acrylics for my paintings so I just may know this medium better than the other media used in the experiment, but for me, the acrylic paints do feel easier than both markers and watercolours. I love the fact that acrylic paints are opaque – any mistakes can be easily covered. Also because of the opaqueness – the finished acrylics painting on paper looks like a print. It’s definitely worth mentioning that you can use them like watercolours too and you can (fairly) easily mix them to get the exact colour you need.

I think my observations of the media I’ve used during the experiment will be the easiest to summarise in quick Pros and Cons form:




  • Relatively quick
  • Look awesome
  • Infinite colours
  • A lot of possible special effects


  • not easy to use
  • pretty much unforgiving[/one_third][one_third]



  • Infinite colours
  • Look like a print
  • Mistakes are easy to cover
  • Diluted can be used like watercolours


  • Slow process





  • Very quick process
  • Work great with dry media
  • Easy to control
  • If done well look like a print


  • They bleed through paper
  • Limited amount of colours
  • Mistakes are hard to fix[/one_third_last]

So these are my thoughts on the experiment and media I’ve tried out (watercolours, acrylics, markers). Do you have different experiences with them? Have you ever done a similar experiment? Or maybe next time I should compare something else? Let me know what you think!

Leave a Reply