Learning versatility of every product is a skill each artist must have

I enjoy looking at the stuff I have because I can use them in a different refreshing way.

Copic marker brush nibs are fun to use!

After my mama passed her art marker stash down to me and my sister, I excitedly sketched with the coveted brush tip. It was fun. I just didn’t like the color bleeding and the smell.

They also aren’t archival meaning the colors will fade over time — a not so good thing if you sell original artwork.

I have been painting outside during my walks. I enjoy painting flowers from life.

But there have been...

several days where I would show up to my painting site only to find that I forgot my jar of water!

Horror and panic would ensue! I wouldn’t be able to paint at all thus leading to a very sad plein air session.


I felt buying some water brushes would solve this problem. They store water in the handles. So you never have to worry about forgetting your water.

Then I remembered:

I have refillable Copic markers that have a brush tip! I can get various lines and shapes using one. I had never heard of a marker that had refillable ink until I discovered copics.

I will admit that I’m not turning all of my copics into water brushes. Don’t worry, i have other plans for the rest of my collection. 😉

I removed...

both the brush and fat nibs using my fingers. Be gentle with them. After I did that, I put the nibs into rubbing alcohol so that all of the alcohol ink dispersed out of the nibs.

While those nibs were washing out,

I went to my sink and washed out the barrel of the marker. Just use warm soapy water. Make sure the soapy water works its way through one part of the barrel to the other. Rinse, check to see that all the alcohol ink is gone, then add water to the barrel to make sure it is juicy.

Back to the nibs...

Once the colored ink in the nibs is gone, place them into a jar of warm soapy water. This is to remove the alcohol.

After an hour or so, you can reasemble your marker.

Now that your marker...

is juiced up with water, why not try your first watercolor?

I created a card using one of my Strathmore Watercolor Greeting Cards. These are the cards I add as a gift in your purchases so that you can send some artistic love to someone else. They’re made with real watercolor paper, so I knew it would be able to handle my new “water brush”.

I was pleasantly...

surprised. Using this new brush made me feel like I was painting. I even used the fat nib and was able to make more wide brush strokes.

My bird nest was made with Faber-Castell watercolor pencils. I don’t think the particular line of pencils I have is still being sold (they’re from 2012), but I do highly recommend their Albrecht Dürer pencils. They’re as fancy as the artist himself.

Then I experimented on other paper...

Keeping up with the bird theme, I sketched out a hummingbird on regular sketchbook paper. My first attempt was… a hot mess.

But I didn't give up!

I walked away from my painting for a few days. Upon my return, I was ready to use my pan watercolors and a whole lot more water.

I like the impressionistic look it gives off. It also is leaning a bit into the abstract realm. Never be afraid to experiment and work through a painting.

I hope this article inspires you to use your own art supplies to make something you really want but can’t afford. I personally am so happy to be able to paint stuff I see on my walks.

In my next article I plan to talk about how I changed my copic marker using yarn to make it match my personality. 🙂

Watch my Youtube video about this whole process

Feel free to look at all the photos I took below. Click on them to make them bigger!

Disclaimer: None of these are affiliate links. The links are just where I recommend buying the materials. Also, I am not a marker artist, so I prefer altering my copics to fit my needs.

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