Something New to Play With

One thing that’s definitely fun about learning mixed media techniques is that it’s an opportunity to learn about and play with lots of new art supplies. I consider myself fortunate to have a husband who agrees that an artist never has enough art supplies.

I love art supplies — especially when I can get them for next to nothing. That’s exactly what happened on Amazon’s recent Prime Day. I received an e-mail telling me that Amazon was giving me $10.00, and I was off and running, straight to my “Must-Have Want-to-Buy” list.

Between the $10.00 coupon and the Amazon credits I’d saved up, I was able to grab the first item on the list — Mermaid Markers —  for only a few dollars.

Mermaid Markers

I was excited to buy them, and delivery was promised for Saturday. I was ecstatic when the delivery showed up on my doorstep on Wednesday!

What are Mermaid Markers? Good question. They’re markers, yes. They’re much like watercolor brushes except that instead of filling them with water, they’re already filled with highly pigmented inks. The inks are watercolor inks — which I’d never heard of before — and they are very water-reactive, all of which means you can create some spectacular effects with them.

The set — as shown above — includes 12 markers, and I know I’m going to love playing with them and learning how to use them.

I first saw Mermaid Markers in a beginner’s art journaling tutorial. As soon as I saw them, I paused the video and added them to my Amazon shopping list. Here is the tutorial, so you can see for yourself why I’m so excited about these markers.

I spent a little time earlier playing around, just getting a feel for these markers. They are bright; they are brilliant. I find them somewhat unpredictable when I squeeze out a drop or two of color, but that’s part of the fun, for sure.

Here’s a little playtime practice to give you an idea of the beautiful colors.

Ink Blobs (2)

I will definitely be playing more with these markers as I create new pages in my art journal.

Oh, did I mention that they’re refillable? Yes, they are, and that means these watercolor ink markers will probably be frequently-used items in my art tool-box.

Have you ever used watercolor inks? Have you tried markers like this? Any tips on how to use them?


  1. It’s great that you are experimenting with various mediums, but there is a reality which you should confront at some point in time, and that is whether you want to be a “jack of all trades, but master of none” … or whether you want to be really good at a specific medium.
    By way of an analogy, if John Doe musician started to learn acoustic guitar because of an interest in folk music; then split his time with vocal training; then discovered electric guitars; then discovered electronic keyboards; loved the sound of a piano etc etc., he may well develop a competency at everything … but could be so much better if he had focused on one specific skill.
    It would appear that you are currently in the experimental stage, which is very good. It is also necessary to enable you to decide whether or not you wish to specialize later on. Keep it up! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comments. I have more or less “specialized” now as a landscape oil painter. If you’d like to see some of my paintings, you can visit my “Landscape Art” blog.

      When I’m not painting, it’s fun to do other things. As you know, I love graphite drawing. Recently I began exploring mixed media, and yes, it is fun to play with different techniques. I believe “the more we know, the farther we go”, so I’m continually seeking to broaden my artistic knowledge. Unlike a lot of artists, I haven’t been at this for most of my life, so maybe I’m just trying to cram a lifetime of fun into a few years.

      I’m not trying to “master” every medium. My main goal as an artist is to achieve proficiency as a landscape oil painter, and I currently have a nice collection of awards I’ve won for my oil painting, so I feel I’m on the right track there.

      Maybe my approach seems frivolous to you, but to me, it’s fun, and that’s an important part of art. It’s also a very important part of the learning process.

      So, yes, I’m having fun. Yes, I’m learning. Yes, I’m trying dozens of different things and as a result, I’m becoming a better artist, I think. Even if my art isn’t improving, I’m still having fun. Nothing wrong with that. 🙂

      If you do visit my Landscape Art site, let me know what you think of my paintings.


    1. The colors are so bright! I want to learn to do the sort of embossed stenciling shown in the tutorial and then add color the way she did. It looked like so much fun, I knew I had to buy these. When Amazon gave me $10.00 for Prime Day I figured that was a great opportunity. I’m so glad I bought them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Most artists like to switch up what they’re doing from time to time. I’d do pottery but I don’t have the space. I might never master making pottery. It doesn’t matter. I’ll never limit myself to one medium or subject or style. Try whatever interests you. It’s good for you to have more possibilities of media to choose from and have fun with. It makes you a more well rounded artist. I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with the markers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. I recall reading once (I don’t remember the book or the author) that every artist should venture outside of his/her primary genre from time to time. I probably wrote about it in a post at one point. The author went on to say that playing with portraiture or still life isn’t necessarily a ‘waste of time” for a landscape artist, nor is landscape painting a “waste of time” for a figurative artist… and so on, and so on. We’re not necessarily setting out to “master” skills in every area, but simply to become familiar with the techniques used. We then take that knowledge back to our primary field and become better, stronger, more knowledgeable artists. I truly believe that. So, indeed, I have a lot of fun playing with art supplies. I’m never going to be a gifted watercolor artist, but that’s all right. I can still play and learn. I’m never going to an abstract expressionist, but I can have a lot of fun splattering and dripping paint. Again, I learn from it. At least, I hope I do, but even if I don’t, I’m still having fun LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

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