Simple Tombow Tutorial


So simple to use your Tombow dual brush pens to make beautiful watercolor backgrounds! Absolutely no talent at all is required! Hahaha! I promise! Anyone – yes, even you – can make beautiful backgrounds to tangle on or use in your art journals or to make wonderful gift cards. Here is how:

Very few supplies are needed. A plastic – think non-porous – tray or surface, a few Tombows in your favorite colors (any non-alcohol marker should be fine) and a spray bottle of water. Oh! You need some kind of paper, too.

Take a marker and scribble some color on the plastic tray. And that is all the talent you need! Ta-da!

You can add a couple extra colors, if you want. And it doesn’t matter if you scribble back and forth or in circles. It is all good.

Then take your bottle of water and spray the whole blob of color. I really like that you can see the colors blending already in this picture. See where that blue and pink are starting to make purple?

Then, while your color is all wet and smooshy, take a tile and . . .

. . . plop it right down in all that wet mess. Tap it down with your fingertips so the tile makes good contact with the color.

Then lift it up and turn it over. Boom! Awesomeness right there and no talent required! You can either lay it on a paper towel to dry . . .

. . . or you can use a heat tool to dry the tile. I don’t always use a heat tool. Many times I like the patterning of color – like in the next photo – and I just sit it aside to dry naturally.

That splotchy texture would probably get lost if I used the heat tool. The hot air pushes the wet around and those splotches would most likely get pushed into the surrounding color.

Let’s try that again. One color and I left a hole in the middle. I know, rebel. Right?

A little more color and spray water on the whole thing.

Place your tile down face first and tap it into the color.

Flip it over and set it aside to dry. I love that dark purple edge at the top.

But I still have a decent amount of color on my tray. Do I waste it? I could wipe it away with a paper towel, but I decided not to. I don’t like to be wasteful.

So I took a paper I tore out of an old journal and put it down onto the color. I didn’t add any more color – I just went with what was leftover on the tray.

And this was what I got. It still needed more color but I set it aside for the moment.

Next project. Three colors that are close in range. Spray with water.

And place the tile in and tap it down. Notice how there was still color all around on the tray? I had a plan for that.

But first, here is the tile. I held it at an angle and let that yellow/orange color make a few little runs. Awesome! Then I went back and grabbed the rectangular piece of paper from up above and used it to soak up the rest of that orange. No photo here, sorry. But you will be able to see it in a minute.

Four colors this time. No idea why. That’s just what I went with. Hahahaha!

I sprayed the color with water and placed a piece of watercolor paper into the puddles.

And here it is. Isn’t it beautiful? And look at the paper just above it. Lesser quality paper so it is a little warpy-looking but I don’t mind. That is the paper I used to clean up my tray with two different sets of color. Cool. It has since been cut up into ATCs.

Here are a few more I did. Apparently my colors are blue, teal, pink and purple. In case you didn’t already know.

It was a super productive day. I made these tiles awhile back. I have never shown these particular steps in photo form. Some of you will have seen a video that Facebook built for me using these photos. I have no idea how they did that and I do not know how to make it happen again. Hahahah! But I did figure out how to take that video and put it on my YouTube channel. If you missed it, here it is again:

Thank you for reading and watching. If you would like to subscribe to my YouTube channel, here is a link.

18 thoughts on “Simple Tombow Tutorial

  1. this is one of my favorite ways to add color to a tile… especially with Letraset’s fluorescent markers! I love brights. And these tiles are fabulous.

    • ooh! I may have to get some of those! I may need you to send me a link 🙂

  2. Thank you for posting this. I like the idea of using less ink from the pens, and then stamping the paper into the watered down ink. You get a surprise every time.

  3. What a fun and easy technique for creating randomly colorful backgrounds! Thanks for showing us how.

    • you’re welcome. it truly is something everyone can do <3 and it is so much fun!

    • color helps break up all this snow! hahahaha! may have to make more color today

  4. This technique is just amazing and I would never have come across it without you. Thank you

    • Aw! That’s so awesome! This is why I do the posts. I hope you try it ❤️

  5. I love all those happy colors. I’m going to try it with my new Ecoline watercolor markers
    Thank you alice

  6. I love the way you do it!!great technique thanks for sharing!

    • I hope you try it out. You already make beautiful color. This will give you one more way to do so.

  7. Excellent – I was just thinking about this technique with the Stampin’ Write markers I’ve just unearthed from the cupboard. My favourite is your yellow & pink one with those orange dribbles. Now how to tangle such a thing, where do you go first & how to choose which tangle????

    • sometimes I just pull them out and look at them. hahahaha! no tangling involved, but when I do tangle – you know I always start with printemps

  8. I love this, but do you think it would be possible to use wax paper instead of the tray?

    • I think so, try it and see what happens 🙂 any non-porous surface should work. even a plastic page protector should work if you have one of those

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