Mermaid Markers & Gouache

 In American Crafts, Davenparty


Easy Shading with Mermaid Markers and Gouache

Late night journaling is my passion and I love spending ages on shading and blending while watching a favourite TV-show. I find it to be so relaxing and rewarding! But with gouache adding layer after layer can be a bit difficult… A new layer might activate the layer below and leave you with ugly lines and stains that are hard to fix. So I thought: “If adding layers over gouache is tricky, why not try putting Mermaid Markers underneath?” 🙂

For this page in my small watercolour journal I quickly sketched a cute girl using a purple mechanical pencil (picture-1).


Then I went in with Jellyfish Mermaid Marker (my favourite!!!) and added some shading around the eyes and the hairline, under the chin and mouth and on the nose. I also added a bit of diluted Starfish on her cheeks, her nose and her shoulders (picture-2).picture-2

Time to add gouache and look how pretty the Mermaid Markers shine through her peachy skin (picture-3). picture-3

Easy peasy shading right? Her eyes, her hair and the flower in it were done in exactly the same way, using gouache, Bluebottle and more Jellyfish (picture-4). picture-4I added some final details with Deep Sea, my purple pencil and a white paint pen (picture-5). All done!picture-5

Bonustip 1: You can mix beautiful soft colours using white gouache and your favourite Mermaid Marker (picture-4)

Bonustip 2: Don’t open a Mermaid Marker over your journal page… Had to give my girl freckles to fix a few tiny Deep Sea-drops… 🙂 (picture-5)

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Showing 6 comments
  • Penny

    Love the softened colors you got from the mermies. I usually use them when I want supersaturation – because I know they do that. I use watercolors all of the time and know what you mean about activation and “ugly” lines and blow out areas. I don’t really know what gouache is… Will watercolors react similarly. Can you comment for a sec about gouache vs watercolor – for those of us not in the know?


      Hi Penny! Gouache is watercolour too but more or less opaque and the soft tones were made mixing white gouache with mermaid markers. Some watercolours are (semi-)opaque too. That might work but I haven’t tried yet. 🙂


    Marielle – always love your art thanks for sharing this step by step, might have to give this a try oxoxo


      Thank you so much Kate! I had so much fun and YES, you should try it too 🙂 XOX

  • Zandra

    She’s so pretty and love how you colored her.


      Thank you Zandra! And don’t you just love Jane’s Mermaid Markers! XOX, Mariëlle

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