I’ve been working on this picture, squeezing in ten minutes here, ten there to test out how blending with a marker works. I tried a Letraset Promarker Blender here, it’s a dual tip blender, one end is a bullet point, the other an angled one. I’ll show you the result first and then I’ll tell you more about how I think it went:
Image from Sommarnatt by Hanna Karlzon. The main part of the image is done with Caran D’Ache Luminance pencils and the background with Derwent Drawing in the color Chocolate.
A blender marker turned out to be quite fun. It’s different from a blender pencil in a lot of ways but at places it definitely beats the pencil. There’s a lot less elbow grease involved since you’re not blending by physically scrubbing. It also creates an effortless no-white-showing smooth look. You still have to be careful, it won’t move around the pigment all THAT much, don’t expect smooth results if you’ve been messy to begin with.
On the Caran D’Ache bit it worked a LOT better then on Derwent Drawing, probably has to do with the wax content. The more layers and buildup there is, the streakier it gets. The marker works best on lighter layers, if you get too much on the paper and try to blend it, the result is streaky. The Drawing pencils are so waxy and soft that there is only the setting of “too much” for the markers, thus the background is a miserable failure as you can see. The marker skids around and creates a streaky mess, specially on the left side where there’s more pencil laid down.
If you do a really really light layer and blend with a light hand, you can totally work more layers on top so in very specific cases, that is indeed an advantage over a blender pencil that flattens the tooth and you can’t add more. But yes, I couldn’t really work in a successful third layer, maybe you can.
Overall, marker blending is fun! I will definitely keep this handy little tool in my repertoire, it has its definite bonuses for sure but I do recommend adding a blender pencil for heavier layers and bigger areas.