How to Use Felt Tip Pens

Updated July 20, 2017

Felt tip pens are easy enough to use and create simple, and often striking results. Felt tip pens create definite marks of one shade and must be used in conjunction with each other to create areas of light and dark. They are best used to colour in simple images that don't include a lot of details.

Take your pencil and draw your subject with faint pencil lines. Stay loose while sketching and avoid too much erasing. Avoid fine details at this stage also.

Draw over any pencil lines you want to keep with your black felt tip pen once your sketch is complete. Be careful with this stage as mistakes cannot be erased. Make sure your lines flow and avoid any "choppy" sketching.

Use a dark colour to colour in the darkest areas. Black will work well, but can flatten the image, so try using a dark blue or dark brown.

Work from light to dark when working with felt tip pens. Start off with colours that are lighter than you will need so that you can darken accordingly. Working the other way around is impossible.

Fine tune your drawing by adding in any missing details, always working from light to dark. Finally, erase any pencil lines that are still visible, allowing a few moments for the pen ink to dry so as to avoid any smudging.


Marker pens are a great alternative to felt tip pens Use a technical pencil for cleaner sketching lines


Avoid too much erasing when sketching Pen ink can leak so be aware of this

Things You'll Need

  • Pencils
  • Eraser
  • Pencil sharpener
  • A4 sized white paper
  • Felt tip pens
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About the Author

James Tennant is a freelance writer and artist. He works for the Sharedlog Project, Edit Optimisation, Pure Content and Prospect Solutions. He has been a freelance copywriter since 2008 and has worked for such prestigious companies as eBay and Gumtree. James graduated from Newcastle University with a Bachelor of Arts, honors, in ancient history.