How to Create a Watercolor Look Using a Waterbrush or a Blending Pen

Do you love the look of watercolor painting, but you yourself are not a painter? Well, you’re not alone! I, too, love the appearance of watercolor paintings and I would not consider myself a painter by any stretch of the imagination. But, you know what? You’re in luck. There are a few simple tools that can help you easily create this appearance without the fuss.

The first tool is called a Blending Pen. In my opinion this is the easiest way to achieve the watercolor effect. It is a water-based pen that helps merge colors. Think of it like an invisible marker. You are able to pick up colors from either an ink pad lid or from a small amount of re-inker and color in images using this marker. It blends the color beautifully.

You can also use watercolor pencils to first color in images and then smooth out the look by coloring over the pencil with the Blending Pen. The look will be more fluid and watercolor in nature.

The second tool you can choose to use in order to create a watercolor look is called a Waterbrush. This is similar to a paintbrush in that it has a brush tip with a plastic barrel handle that you add water to. You gently squeeze the barrel to release some water into your brush tip and follow the same process as described above with the Blending Pen.

I find that this tool has a little higher learning curve (but not much) to it because you control the amount of liquid by squeezing the barrel, whereas the Blending Pen stays consistent throughout. This means you need to get a feel for how much pressure you should apply to achieve the look you want. The Waterbrush will give you a slightly softer, more muted look than the Blending Pen because of the larger proportion of liquid released through the brush tip.

Both tools will give you great results without needing a lot of experience or knowledge of watercolors. Plus, you have a lot of versatility–you can choose to work with several mediums to achieve this watercolor look. You can use ink, chalk or watercolor pencils. But perhaps one of the best benefits and strongest selling points of both tools is the low-cost. So it’s a very small investment to get such stunning results. You can find both tools at most craft stores or online for around $3 (for the Blending Pen; sometimes called Blending Marker) and around $10 for the Waterbrush.