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How to: Blend backgrounds using Tombow Dual Brush Pens


The air is getting cooler and the nights are getting darker- there's just something so fun about Fall! I especially love the month of October. All the Halloween festivities in full swing, people decorating their porches, kids getting excited for their costumes, apple picking, sweaters... Oh I could just go on and on!

Today I'm going to show you a simple way to create some fun artwork.

I love decorating my house each season and like to switch up my decor.

With 2020 being an insane year, I haven't been into stores as much and find it hard to buy decor online.

So instead I thought I'd make a few of these instead to decorate my house this year.

For this project I used Tombow Dual Brush pens. They are water based, which makes them perfect for blending! Blending is one of my most favorite techniques. Watching the ink swirl, the colors combine and settle is very cool to see.

Step 1: Draw your outline

I decided on some simple bat outlines, and had some leftover bat decorations, so I stenciled the outline from those.

You'll also need a round brush, and either watercolor masking fluid (a liquid rubber latex that you apply to paper and the paper underneath is protected while you paint) or contact paper.

Step 2: Apply your masking fluid/contact paper

If you're using masking fluid, allow it to completely dry. I like the masking fluid because you can use a paint brush and really have control over where you want to put it.

Good to note: Don't leave it on too long or it will discolor the paper over time. One time I laid it down, then my daughter woke up and a week later I went back to painting and the paper had turned off white.

Step 3: Color

I wanted a lot of color on this, so I really made sure to cover as much of the page as possible.

If you want less color, separate the colors further apart and blend the water to connect. Definitely try both techniques to get a feel of what you prefer!

Step 4: Water time!

Get your round brush good and wet and apply it to the paper. The ink will immediately start to blend. Pull the colors towards each other with your brush, stopping to add water to your brush as you go. Try to work quickly so that your whole page blends in together (I'll show you what happens at the end if you don't).

Step 5: Remove masking fluid

Wait for your painting to COMPLETELY dry. I know this is hard, I get impatient waiting sometimes. But there's nothing worse than not waiting and then having the paint drag all over the paper. Trust me, it's worth the extra few minutes. Once your painting is fully dry, remove the masking fluid (or contact paper), gently using an eraser to pull up the masking fluid. It will come off easily and quickly.

Step 6: Add color to your outline


I decided to color in my bats, opting for a single orange color.

Step 7: Add bats

Using some double sided tape, I attached the bats to the outlines. This makes the painting more 3D and gives it a fun, unexpected surprise.

The bats are folded, so their wings stick out and give a nice little pop!

And there you go! It's super easy to make your own artwork- I can't wait to see what you create! Show me yours in the comments!

P.S. Oh, right, one more thing- You see the top portion of the middle picture? That little blob? That's what happens when the ink has time to dry before you're done blending... not the end of the world but definitely something to keep in mind while you're painting!

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