It’s tulip week in my world – yesterday was colored pencil tulips, and today I got out some liquid markers (for lack of a better term) to compare to “regular” water-based markers. So I’m calling it a water soluble markers tulip fiesta to encompass both!

 My studio was FLOODED with sunshine the morning I worked on these, so even though it’s not optimal for a video, I just sat and enjoyed the warmth streaming in. We still haven’t reached any consistent nice or warm weather – so I’m celebrating what we DO have!

Tutorial: Draw simple tulip gardens in Water Soluble Markers

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Start with practice

The back of an old painting is a great place to just play around with making tulip shapes, mess around with colors – and if you’re using Arches like I am, practice drybrush edges and decide if you like that or a more pure shape. I tested out three brands of pens – Altenew’s brush markers, which are more like a traditional “ink” inside, vs artist-grade Faber Castell which won’t fade in sunlight, and the crafty Sketchmarkers that have the Copic-style nib on them.

Tear up some paper

I tore 3″ x 4″ rectangles from my scrap sheet to turn into tiny practice paintings that are perfect for cards. I got to test out alll the colors in the marker sets.

The differences between these pens

The Altenew crafty liquid markers seemed to perform more like an ink – they did stain my fingers pretty badly, but oh the color! I only needed a tiny drop of that liquid to make a whole tulip. (Note: these are not artist quality, no matter what the company says. That doesn’t mean they’re bad, I just can’t find any actual evidence that their products have been tested for lightfastness, color consistency, etc. They also give colors names that don’t correspond to names in the art industry – they’re more craft-friendly.) (But I do love these pens, I’m glad I found them and got them out again!)

Second-strongest in color were the Faber Castell; which is to be expected, they’re an artist-grade pen. My only complaint? Not enough colors for me. lol.

Then the most affordable option that I actually LIKE is the crafty Sketchmarker Aqua. 72 colors is a better range, eh? They’re not as pigmented as the other two but still very nice.

Acetate cards

These packs of Hero Arts acetate cards have been in my stash for a while – and it was time to get them out! I was making these for a final meeting of my Toastmasters club, and with all this happy color they’d make great “table decorations” to cheer us all up.

It did work! Our meeting did go quite well. One of our club members delivered a “Demonstration Speech” teaching us how to do a line dance – and oh how hilarious that was! We had great table topics, which is impromptu speaking…answering a question on-the-fly. The taco Tuesday potluck after went on for hours as we all visited.

Closing remarks I made at the meeting

I’d been stressing out all day wondering WHAT I could say at the end before the final bang of the gavel. I didn’t want to cry, but wanted to leave everyone with some encouragement and an admonition to keep growing even if we’re not together weekly.

The inspiration came just hours before I left; I was listening to an interview of Erykah Badu, one of my fave musicians. She’s a completely unique person – musically, her style, her dress, her attitude. (She was wearing a hat during the interview in which half the brim was removed. Yes, only half.)

The interviewer asked her how she came to be the unique person she is. Her answer: I don’t have I choice. I’m me.

So my commendation to my club was to continue being who they are. During our years together we got to know each person’s quirks, habits, passions, pet peeves, and in many cases deep dark secrets. Our unpopular opinions and the places we are in need of grace. All that makes each of us what and who we are – and if we’re using our authentic voice, which is what Toastmasters teaches us to do, we have no choice but to be who we were created to be.

That’s the same message I deliver to you today. Be unashamedly you. No one else can do that. 


Some product may be provided by manufacturers for review and use. Compensated affiliate links are here at no cost to you. I appreciate your support of my work with your purchases! Full affiliate and product disclosure | My trusted partners in art

  1. Altenew Watercolor Brush Markers, Spring Garden Set 
  2. All other Altenew marker sets 
  3. Sketchmarker Aqua 
  4. Faber Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolor Markers  Blick • AMZ 
  5. Arches Cold Press Pad
  6. Arches Cold Press sheets

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  1. Gab

    These are beautiful Sandy
    How sad that your toastmasters club isn’t meeting any more though

  2. Elayne Catey

    I adore these tulips!!!

  3. Karen Longanecker

    Beautiful! Thank you, Sandy!


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