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Making art and ornaments by drawing on wood with markers

By Chameleon Art Products
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There might be a wooden item you’d love to decorate, or you’re looking to develop your talents by practicing on a new kind of material. Either way, wood is fantastic to draw on and is often overlooked by hobbyists and artists alike. We’ll cover what you need to get started with wood drawing and a few amazing examples to give you some inspiration.

Tips for drawing on wood with markers

It’s always worth practicing your designs on paper before you make the transition to wood. This gives you plenty of time to make changes and decide on the color combinations you like best.

If you’re coloring onto an ornament or gift, there isn’t really room for mistakes so take every precaution necessary.

The type of wood

Finding the right type of wood is important. You want to achieve a smooth finish without any bumps or gaps. Pine, birch and maple are all popular choices as they’re easy to work with, thanks to their smooth surface.

Oak is more difficult to color on because of the porous material. It’s hard to create a consistent design that isn’t interrupted by gaps.


How to prepare the wood

  • Sand it down
  • Clean it up
  • Treat it afterwards

When it comes to getting your hands on the wooden materials you’ll use, you should consider whether or not it needs sanding or if it has been pre-treated. There are sealants available that can prevent your design from fading or bleeding.

Make sure to brush away any debris from the wood with a lint-free towel. Anything on the wood can affect your coloring and cause you to make mistakes. If you plan on using sealants or primers, remember that they'll need to be compatible with the alcohol ink used in our pens.

If possible, acquire extra wood that you can practice on. It might be the first time you’ve tried drawing on wood with makers, so get a feeling of how they respond to the texture. This can help you to make any adjustments if necessary.


Using the right pens

  • Use professional-quality tools
  • With alcohol based inks

Once you’ve prepared the wood, you can think about the markers you’re going to use. Choosing the wrong kind can lead to poor quality work that looks unprofessional. Avoid the temptation to reach for your children’s pencil case as you need the very best.

Chameleon Pens are perfect for coloring on wood, paper, fabric and just about any other material you can think of. The two nibs, Super Soft Japanese Brush Nib and Japanese Bullet Nib, give you total precision and control over your work.

We'd recommend mostly using the Bullet Nib on wood as it's more durable, perfect for the rougher wooden surface. That's not to say you can't use the Brush Nib at all and if there is any slight damage, all of our nibs are completely replaceable. 

The cutting-edge Mixing Chamber allows you to create gorgeous color gradations, perfect for adding depth and dimension to your work. From just 50 Chameleon Pens, you can create hundreds of tones and blends.

If you're feeling inspired and want to color your very own wooden box, then make sure to check out this video below from Cathy Andronicou

How to Color a Wooden Box - Teaser from Chameleon Art Products on Vimeo.

If you'd like to try your hand at creating a wooden box like the one featured in the video, then make sure to check out the full tutorial from Cathy Andronicou by clicking here

Looking for ideas and inspiration?

You have your wood and the tools you need to create an amazing design. The only trouble is you’re not sure what that design should be. We’ve found a few amazing examples from the Chameleon Creative Community that can help you to get started.

The incredibly talented @xrmmrxgram on Instagram uses Chameleon Pens, wood and all kinds of other materials to make amazing mixed media creations. Their work shows that combining materials and styles can lead to truly beautiful designs.


Image by Mr X

They’ve experimented with different color combinations on skateboards. Amazing work!


Image by Mr X

Feeling creative?

Don’t stop there. Chameleon Pens give the same professional quality results on all kinds of surfaces.

Try your hand at coloring cushions, ceramics or create a homemade greeting card. However inspiration strikes, Chameleon Pens give you the tools you make something amazing.

Whatever your ability, you can always improve or learn a new technique. That’s why we’ve put together a handy guide that’s packed with tips and tricks to help you develop your talents.

Unlock Your Potential With Chameleon Pens Guide CTAMain title image by Cathy Andronicou.

Tags: ornament, Wood

Pick up your Chameleon products from our website here!


What have you been working on recently? It would be awesome to see what inspires all of you so, send us your creations. If you do then, keep your eyes peeled on our social media – we love to feature our community’s’ work on our pages.

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