I've seen this recipe for homemade liquid watercolours online and have been wanting to do this for awhile. The main reason, is that I have a bucket of markers which are probably 10+ years old, but which I just couldn't throw out because some of them still worked (yes I am an art teacher). Well now I don't have to-yay! I also have new drawing class coming up, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to create some lessons that involve using watercolours (I'll put the lesson in a future post).
My markers-I love the colourful swirl of this top view
Start by sorting the markers by colour. Don't worry about separating darks and lights of the same colour. I did however do this with the blues since I wanted to see if I could get a really inky blue watercolour.
For my markers I used pliers to pull of the caps on the bottom of each one. Depending on what type of marker you have you may need to use a box cutter to cut through the plastic tube. Once the bottom caps are removed, what you want to get is the ink reservoir inside the marker. Most of them easily slide out, but for some I had to bang the marker down on the table top to loosen it.
(On a side note this photo kinda creeps me out, since the caps look like a bunch of teeth.)
Now its watercolour making time!
I filled a variety of glass jars almost full with water. The amount of water you use depends on how many markers of that colour you have. For example, I had a lot of green so I used a large jar of water, and only a few yellow so I used a small jar.
Once your jars are filled with water, go ahead and put in the marker ink reservoirs, one colour per jar. Don't worry if the ink reservoirs stick out of the water. Leave the jars for 24 hours for the colours to deepen before taking out and discarding the ink reservoirs.