Sharing my Dot Coloring Technique | Altenew

by Alex

To draw, you must close your eyes and sing

Pablo Picasso

Today I’m sharing cards using a technique I have never tried before. I wanted to create something new, unique and spectacular. One of my goals has been to create in a way that I enjoy and feel my own style. So, I think this is “me” And I want to inspire you to create!

I intentionally used the “normal’ cardstock which doesn’t work for “wet watercolor technique”, I mean that cardstock is not suitable for blending colors with water. I used watercolor Zig “Art & Graphic Twin” markers without water to create cards in this technique.

I started with a piece of white cardstock and blended a bright background onto it using altenew inks. After blending was done, I added a few water splatters and left this to dry a little while. Then I did a bit of masking and stamped flowers and leaves using watercolor resistant black ink.

For these cards, I decided to place flowers in the center of the background. Meanwhile, I stamped flowers above and below of the background panel for the other ones. I wanted to color my images intensively because I just love bright colors.

I started from light to dark colors, leaving the “white” of the paper as my lightest lights. At first I drew strokes using soft colors. Then I added more finer strokes using more intense colors and I left this to dry and repeated my actions.

To achieve more attractive look, I decided to add some drops and spots of marker’s ink. I created these effects by touching the marker to the paper gently to avoid depositing too much color on the paper.  You can vary your strokes by working with the brush marker tip for a tiny stroke or applying more pressure for a thicker stroke or drop.

I left this to dry and then I repeated my actions with drops, but this time I used darker colors for creating more deep effect. I kept the flower petals centers lightly colored, and added more shades on the sides. After coloring was done, I stamped the sentiment. For some cards I stamped sentiment, die cut it and then glued it on the background panel using a foam tape.

There is shimmer on the cards, perhaps you can’t see it very well in the photo.

I used my favorite Wink of Stella brush pen because it gives a very delicate shimmer. Love it!
In the end, I added a few sequins for some extra chic look.


-for this technique don’t use water with your watercolor markers
-start with lighter colors then add details and darker elements
-work with the tip of brush marker to create tiny strokes/drops or thicker strokes/drops using more pressure
-try to use delicate strokes for coloring your images
-too many strokes will make the drawing dirty. Be careful!
-use contrasting colors to shade rather than black – it will give your work more depth
-Feel free to experiment with mixing harmonious colors together
-have fun!

I hope you enjoy these projects and are inspired to create!


Below you will find links to the supplies used to create this project. Click on the icons to get taken directly to the product. Where available I use compensated affiliate links which means if you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Any commission I receive is put towards the running of my blog so I genuinely appreciate your support! Thank you so much!


Thank you for stopping by!

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Nandini Karmarkar April 8, 2019 - 7:38 am

Very beautiful cards. Love the new technique. I came here through your post for the Altenew 5th Anniversary blog hop.

alex April 19, 2019 - 5:10 pm

Thank you for your kind words, Nandini!

Wendy Falk April 3, 2019 - 8:41 am

I absolutely love this technique!! The Altenew stamps make it that much better!! GORGEOUS!!! (& thank you!)

alex April 19, 2019 - 5:05 pm

Thank you so much, Wendy!

Marcie Bolt February 23, 2019 - 5:32 pm

These are so amazing. Would
Love to see a video of your technique

alex February 23, 2019 - 7:38 pm

Thank you so much for your comment, Marcie! I’m happy you like my technique! I’ll try to film a video.

Rosali December 17, 2018 - 3:01 pm

So interesting to read how you achieve this coloring look! I never thought of using my watercolor markers “dry” like that! Thanks for the inspiration, Alex!!

alex December 17, 2018 - 5:56 pm

Thank you so much, Rosali! I’m happy you liked my technique! You should try it! 🙂

Joanne Hoffmann August 27, 2018 - 8:53 pm

This is so awesome and I’m absolutely intrigued by your technique…will pin it for future!

alex August 27, 2018 - 9:06 pm

Joanne, thank you! I’m really happy you are inspired!

LauraJane August 4, 2018 - 6:38 pm

Eeeek! Thank you for all the tips! I have admired your style from the first card I saw of yours:) Been wondering how those Zig twin tip markers work thanks for the link to them.

alex August 4, 2018 - 8:52 pm

Thank you so much for your comment, Laura! I’m really happy you liked my technique! It means a lot! 🙂

Enna July 29, 2018 - 11:06 pm

I have been admiring your posts on Instagram and wondering how you keep the colors from blending! I have been trying to keep my strokes from blending for years. The only way that i can do it is by using color pencils instead of markers, which gives a completely different look. I am so happy to see this post, but I still don’t understand. Is that a special kind of cardstock? Please please share your secret!

alex July 30, 2018 - 12:29 pm

Thank you so much for your wonderful comment, Enna!

The first question is which markers do you use? I use Zig “Art & Graphic Twin” markers for this technique. They have highly saturated and bright pigments. You don’t need to add water to use them in this case. Just try to work with the tip of the brush marker to create tiny strokes or thicker strokes using more pressure.
If you want to try Copic markers I suppose you will have other results because of their alcohol inks. I didn’t try to use Copic markers for this technique (I should try). I agree that color pencils give a different look, but I love to use them with Copic markers to make accents and to add details to a picture, but this is another story.
The second important thing is cardstock, of course. I use no-name Italian white cardstock which is very well suitable for ink blending (altenew inks or distress inks) but it is not suitable for watercolor markers at all (if you use them with water). I can’t advise a certain brand of the cardstock. I buy it locally and the store doesn’t indicate a brand. You should try different options and find a good one for this technique. And I will try to buy and use Neenah cardstock (for example) and share with the results.
One more important thing is the ink blending. First, you should blend inks using your blending tools and after that, you can begin to color your images. If you use light shades you can make blending on the whole surface of your card panel. If you use dark shades then you should make masks for your images, but one of my cards was made without masks. (The blue card) As I said Zig markers have very bright pigments, so they can cover even your “dark blending”.

I hope this helps. Try to use different cardstock. It would be interesting to see your creations (you can tag me on IG)

p.s. Soon, I will try to make a video

Rubeena Ianigro July 21, 2018 - 6:26 pm

this is my favorite of yours!!! so beautiful! thank you for sharing the tips and techniques with us! I would LOVE a video!

alex July 21, 2018 - 6:31 pm

Thank you so much for your comment,my dear friend! I’ll make a video in near future 🙂

Tracy Hawkins July 21, 2018 - 12:34 am

Alex your technique is wonderful! Love this effect, very inspiring. Beautiful cards xx Tracy

alex July 21, 2018 - 3:03 am

Tracy I’m really happy you like it! I will try to make a video with this technique. Thank you so much for your kind words and continued support!

Priscilla Grasse July 20, 2018 - 9:26 pm

Beautiful projects and amazing blog!!! Congratulations my friend 👏👏👏 So proud of you ❤😘😘

alex July 20, 2018 - 11:04 pm

Thank you very much my sweet friend Priscilla! I’m really happy you like it 🙂

Maria July 20, 2018 - 8:29 pm

Dear Alex,
I love this technique and enjoys it so much looking on your masterpieces. You’re such a talented card maker and colorist.
Sending lots of hugs to you!

alex July 20, 2018 - 11:22 pm

Dear Maria,

Thank you so much for your kind words and continued support! I’m glad you like my technique 🙂 Thank you for leaving some love here! Sending hugs!


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