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The Sketching Workshop Education Series:

Sketching with Markers: What Inspired This? With so many talented artists in the Sketchbook Workshop group, we thought it would be a great idea to tap into the expertise of those who spend many hours of their sketching time focused on illustrating with markers. In our discovery conversations, we thought there might also be some great perspectives on how some of them approach various textures and effects to augment their renderings. The intent of this project is to have them write about it in a “how-to” type paper and include some of their sketches as examples to help clarify the detail that is outlined in their article. A great first example of this kind of collaboration exists in the “Pen & Ink” collection and “The Living Creatures” collaboration, available as downloadable PDFs on the Sketching Workshop Facebook page (Files tab).

Don Carson, Disney Imagineers


To get the artists’ minds started on this topic of sketching with markers, here are some thought starter questions we posed. The really crazy thing is that few of these artists have ever met in person except through dialogue in the Sketching Workshop Facebook Group.

Frequently Asked Starter Questions: • What kind of artists use markers the most and why? • What are the best markers to use? • What are the benefits of using markers for sketching? • What are the drawbacks to using markers? • What markers work best for beginners? For experienced artists? • Is there a special kind of paper for markers or will any paper work? • What should I do if my markers bleed through to the next sheet?

Chip Foose of Foose Design and Velocity Channel’s “Overhaulin” television program.

• Do markers have a strong smell and is this dangerous? • How do I decide which kind of marker tip is best for my needs? • If my markers start to dry out, should I throw them out or is there a way to extend its life? • Are markers water soluable or permanent? • What is the best way to clean markers off of my hands? • How do markers compare to watercolor, pencils or chalks? • What are some cool stylistic techniques with markers? • Is there a way to create texture with markers? A huge thank you is due to Orna Aizenshtein, Lisa Flahive and Wes Douglas who have volunteered their time and talent to this project. Without their unique perspectives and experience this project would not have been possible.

Rotating the marker to different positions will create different lines and effects.


Table of Contents I. Introduction to Markers A. What Inspired This Project? B. Frequently Asked Starter Questions C. Markers Are Just Another Tool II. Beginning Marker Technique A. Marker Tip Options B. Anatomy of the Chisel Tip C. Introduction of the Chisel Tip D. Flat Run, Pull & Push Fade, Arch Fade E. Why Use A Fade? F. Importance of Pre-Testing Your Markers III. Marker Brands, Papers and Tools A. Review of popular marker brands B. Pros and Cons of Using Markers C. Review of popular papers for markers C. Q&A with Wes Douglas D. Advice for First Time Markering IV. Advanced Marker Technique A. Benefits of the Marker B. Different Applications for Markers C. Step-by-Step Demonstration V. Peeking Over The Shoulder A. “Working with Markers” Orna Aizenshtein B. “Keeping It Loose” Lisa Flahive C. Chip Foose, Automotive Designer D. Candice Olsen, Interior Designer E. Sketchnotes & Graphic Recording F. How to Clean Up Marker Stains VI. Good Reference Books on Markers A. Rendering With Markers B. How to Draw Cars The Hot Wheels Way C. Marker Rendering Techniques D. Sketching & Rendering Interior Spaces E. Marker Magic: Problem Solver for Designers F. Drawing Techniques for Product Designers


Basic Marker Techniques Location sketching is a crazy collection of whatever skills you can bring to the site. There are those who sketch with paints/watercolors, colored pencils, pen and ink, graphite, markers and even dry erase markers. It’s all good. As they say in the southern part of the United States, “dance with the date you brought.” I am one of a number of urban sketchers who has found comfort in the use of markers. Styles range from a tighter, realistic look to a loose energetic style and everything in between. For example, check out the range of styles between... Lisa Flahive http://flahive.fineartstudioonline.com/collections/48778 Donald Owen Colley http://buttnekkiddoodles.com Orna Aizenshtein https://www.facebook.com/orna.aizenshtein/media_set?set =a.662014843857624.100001473443079&type=3 Picking out markers are a lot like picking out paint brushes–there is a large variety of marker tip sizes and shapes available, from very fine pens and brush tips to chisel and calligraphy tips (also known as nibs in some places). The advantages of using markers is that they are fast-drying, blendable with other colors, and come in an assortment of colors and kits. For example, you can pick up a set of cool greys, warm greys, basic colors, earthy colors and pastel colors. These are great if you can identify in which color palette your sketches normally reside. Of course, you can always mix and match to create your own customized marker set.

Sangwon Seok


Basic Marker Techniques First, let’s get to know the different kinds of markers that are on the market. The diagram at right are the basic marker tips available with most larger marker brands. Extra Fine Point Pen The extra fine point pen is your detail workhorse. It is perfect for fine line work such as hair, fur, tiny foliage, and delicate facial details on animals and people. It is also the pen you will want to use when creating crosshatch shading and textures. If you color in large areas in a lighter tone, this fine point pen is great for finishing off a sketch. Popular fine point pens include Sharpie Fine Point, Micron, Uniball Vision Micro pen and Prismacolor Fine Point Pen. The Round Fine Point Tip The round fine point pen is also known as a bullet point tip and has the unique ability to bridge the gap between extra fine point pens and chisel tip markers. At its smallest tip it can color in very tight areas with a light touch and when laid on its side it will color in broad areas of color. The Versatile Chisel Tip The marker tip that I grew up on is the chisel tip. I used to think of it only as a marker that would be great for filling in large areas of color fast. Over the years, I have discovered that the chisel tip is like getting three markers in one. Take a look at the anatomy of the chisel tip (right). There is the broad side (the “base”) the “point,” and the narrower “front side” or “rise.”

The basic marker tips available with most larger marker brands include: Fine Point Sharpie Pen, Sharpie Fine Point Marker, Pointed Tip, Chisel Tip, Brush Tip, Calligraphy Tip, Calligraphy Split Tip and a Dual Tip combines a pointed tip at one end of the barrel with either a chisel or a brush tip at the opposite end.

The Brush Tip Marker The brush tip marker, much like the round tip fine point (above) has the huge benefit of a very small tip combined with a large broad side for coloring in large areas. The brush tip is particularly useful for creating very expressive lines that varies along the length of the stroke. Wiggly lines, wavy hair, cartoons and suggestive trees can all be accomplished easily with the brush tip. The Calligraphy Tip The calligraphy tip marker is very useful for fanciful lettering and light airy effects. It is similar to the chisel tip marker but it does not have the angled edges, so there are a number of different ways to control this marker that are unlike the brush or chisel tip. The split-tip chisel marker offers one more level of complexity to the line quality.

The anatomy of the versatile chisel marker is shown above. Because there are so many facets to this style of point, it can be used in a variety of ways to achieve different effects.


Basic Marker Techniques Here is a quick description of the various techniques used with marker renderings: “The Flat Run” Place your marker on the paper and pull your marker across with even pressure in straight lines to create bands of solid color. If you pull your marker from left to right and back again without lifting your marker, you can create a smoother color area with little to no banding. Banding happens when the marker solvent is allowed to briefly dry between strokes. If you keep the marker moving, this will minimize the striping that can happen.

The Flat Run

Push Fade

“The Push Fade” and “The Pull Fade” Place your marker on the paper at a starting point and push the marker in an outward motion, lifting at the end of the stroke. This technique is especially useful when the desired effect is a gradation or fade outs. The Pull Fade is very similar to the Push Fade. Place your marker on the paper at a starting point and pull the marker downward towards you in a picking fashion, lifting at the end of the stroke. This technique is especially useful when the desired effect is a gradation or fade outs. I have also used this to create blurry, ghostly representational objects in the distance such as foliage and crowds of people. “The Arch Fade” Place your marker on the paper at a starting point and push the marker in an outward, curving motion, lifting at the end of the stroke. This technique is especially useful when the desired effect is a gradation or shading effect on a curved surface such as a pillow, car fender, or a ball. “Combo Fading” is when you combine a Push Fade and Pull Fade by pulling your marker from the edges and fade inward. The highlight area, therefore, ends up in the middle of your shape as opposed to on one side or the other.

This diagram demonstrates the lifting action which creates the different “fades.” The fade keeps the pigment from soaking in at the end of the stroke and thus a softer edge.

Pull Fade

Arch Fade


Basic Marker Techniques With all fades, the darkest or most concentrated color should be the side farthest away from the light source and the lightest side closest to the light. When blending a second color into an existing fade, do so at a slightly different angle (as if cross-hatching) to smooth out the color and avoid dark banding. Why Use A Fade Instead of Flat Color? The use of fades adds interest to a sketch by adding dimension to a surface. • It is more interesting and expressive than all flat colors. It gives the suggestion of lights and darks. • It keeps color from welling up or over-saturating at the stopping point. • It is best for blending colors because it lets colors share the space without getting to heavy. • It gives the suggestion of highlights and shadows. • It is similar to when singers hit a high note and then pull the mic away from their mouth to avoid sounding too flat, a fade keeps the color full of life without too harsh of an ending. Importance of Pre-Testing Your Markers The quick answer is “no, all markers do not fade the same way.” A big reason for this is because while most markers are made with similar materials, the solvents used with the pigments varies between manufacturers. It is highly recommended that you always test out your markers before you sketch. There are two reasons for this: 1. You will want to get to know how your markers will behave on a certain type of papers and under certain conditions. A very good technique is to draw out stripes of each marker color and overlap them with other colors. You will see the pure color on a particular paper as well as the blended color. Some artists like to write the name of the marker color off to the side so that they know which color blends with another color to attain the desired effect. 2. If you test out your marker ahead of time, you will also find out which ones have dried out and need replacing.


An assortment of the most popular marker brands


Introduction to Chisel Tip Markers Chisel markers are types of markers that come in a variety of colors and are designed for use on many different surfaces. The name comes from the shape of the marker tips, which is usually angled to provide different widths for use while writing or drawing. These markers are often used for writing on glass, mirrors, or white boards, though permanent chisel markers can also be used for making posters, writing on metal or plastic, and drawing on fabric. Chisel markers are used by a number of different professionals and may be used for artistic works as well. Also called chisel tip markers, chisel markers are used in a number of different ways, often depending on the type of ink or pigment found in the marker. These markers take their name from the shape of the tip used to apply pigment. The tips are usually shaped with a tapered edge, somewhat similar to a chisel, and are often angled as well. This provides the user with a number of widths and line densities that can be applied, based on how the markers are held and moved along a surface. Chisel markers are often made using a number of different types of pigments, allowing them to be used in a wide range of applications. Dry erase markers, also called white board markers, are often made with a chisel tip. This allows them to be used in as many different applications as possible, from simply writing instructions or lessons on a dry erase board to drawing subtle and complex pictures using a variety of colors and line widths. Chisel markers are, therefore, often found in boardrooms and classrooms for use with whiteboards. Some chisel markers can also be used for more utilitarian and practical purposes. Permanent markers can be made with chisel tips, often providing sturdier tips that do not bend or fray through use. These types of markers can be used to create signs and posters or to mark boxes for packing, moving, or storage. Since chisel markers are often permanent, they also work well for various artistic endeavors. These markers can typically draw on a wide range of surfaces, from glass and plastic to metal and fabric, making them ideal for artists working in a number of different mediums. Such markers are frequently used to make lines or marks where different materials are going to be cut, joined, or otherwise altered, in which case the color of the marker is not important and may even fade over time.


An assortment of the most popular marker papers


Q&A with Wes Douglas Getting Started

Where did you learn how to sketch with markers? Was it through experimentation or did you learn from a senior artist? I was first introduced to markers when I enrolled in a series of classes at the community college called “Advertising Rendering with Markers.� We began with ten shades of grey plus black. I believe the marker brand that was recommended for the class was Design Markers made by Eberhard-Faber. As I recall, these were very potent, aromatic markers that limited your exposure to the odor before you started to get a headache. The brand of paper we were recommended to use was Graphics 360 by Bienfang. There are many, many different types of papers you can use for marker renderings and it largely depends on what finish you desire that determines which paper is best. The benefit of Graphics 360 is its translucency, which means that it is a white paper but you can see through it. This is especially useful if you rough out your sketch in pencil or pen, then place it underneath the top sheet. Now you can color in the areas on the top sheet that you see from the rough sketch underneath. Then you can finish off the sketch with a black fine line pen. Normally you might not want to sketch out your linework with a pen, then color it with markers right away. The issue of bleeding arises as the lighter color solvent mixes with the pigment of the black pen and the result is a blurred line and some contamination of the color area. How long have you been working with markers? I have been working with markers pretty consistently throughout my 30 years in the graphic design field. I started out with Design Markers and switched to Prismacolor markers after I started my own company--about 7 years after I took that first marker class.


Q&A with Wes Douglas Marker Brands

Do you work in other mediums too, or are you pretty faithful to markers? I have worked in a number of different mediums including watercolors, acrylics, oils, pen & ink, and even sketching with different apps on the iPad. I would say that I am more of a generalist with most of these (meaning that I am happy with my proficiency but I don’t think I have reached a level of expertise or style). Markers have been an important part of my work for 30 years. Do you have a marker brand that you prefer to use? What brand and what drew you to this particular brand? Have you tried other brands and what did you like or dislike about other markers? My marker brand of choice has been Prismacolor® markers as well as Sharpies® (Sanford Corp.) Prior to this, I had used Design® Markers (Eberhard-Faber) but I had to stop because the odor is pretty strong and it gave me headaches. An art supplier introduced me to Prismacolor with its barely detectable, subdued odor. I have also become a big fan of the way these markers lay down color--even when they start to loose their juice. I think I had a brief encounter with Letraset markers many years ago because they were pitching an airbrush system that used the pigment from markers instead of an ink cup. It was a novel idea at the time but I never got hooked on using the markers for anything besides the airbrush feature—which lost its magic after the markers (which have air blowing across its tip) dried out pretty quickly. Copic is a brand of marker pen made in Japan by Too and distributed in the United States and Canada by Imagination International. These are very popular and if I didn’t already have so much invested in my Prismacolor and Pitt (Faber-Castell) markers, I would definitely give them a try. The nice thing about Copic is that they are refillable which is unique and efficient for this industry of disposable markers.


Q&A with Wes Douglas Marker Paper

For paper, which brand or type of paper do you recommend to use? Why? For many years, I have been a frequent user of the Graphics 360 marker paper. I was introduced to it in my marker rendering class and continued to use it in my design profession. Graphics 360 is a 100% rag, non-bleeding, translucent marker paper. It retains true color with permanent as well as watercolor markers. Graphics 360 is also suitable for pencil, charcoal, pastels, and pen & ink. 13.5 lb (50 gsm) bond weight. I especially like to sketch out my rough sketch on a separate piece of paper, tape it down to the table and then add a clean sheet over the top of my sketch. This way, I can lay down my marker color with all of the special effects I want, then clean up the sketch by adding black line work, tracing my rough sketch below. I highly recommend that you always work from lightest to darkest so that your lighter colors are not contaminated (or dirtied) with the darker color. For the last 10 years, I have adopted a new workflow where I make a nice clean black & white sketch, scan or photocopy the sketch, and add color to the photocopy printout. Printer toner is not effected by the solvents in the marker and will let you add color without incident. This also allows me to try out several different color combinations if I am not sure which palette is going to work best. Is this a paper that is specifically suited for markers or is it a general purpose sketching paper? Does it come in a pad form, loose leaf or sketchbook style? Graphics 360 is also suitable for pencil, charcoal, pastels, and pen-and-ink. When I use copier paper, I try to use high-quality paper that is designed for use with color inkjet printers. The surface is super-smooth and is good for a nice clean line. It does soak in the marker color with some bleed-thru but the opacity of the white really pops the color. The biggest concern for markers that bleed-thru is that it contaminates the clean surface of the next sheet underneath. On the Graphics 360, drawing on both sides of the sheet is not recommended because the paper is so thin. Coloring on both sides, however, really helps strengthen the color.


Q&A with Wes Douglas Marker Paper

I am a big fan of paper that is bound together by some means, whether it be a glued paper pad or wire-o method. I have even resorted to a clipboard for loose-leaf paper but that is usually short-lived and I end up binding it somehow, even if I have to temporarily use a stapler. What are the advantages and disadvantages for these three styles of paper forms? For on-location, or urban sketching, there is a nice feeling to know that your book is a record of what you have observed or how you reacted to something that you saw. I once read a great quote that explains why I like to draw and why it is important to keep all of my drawings together in a book:

“To draw something is to own it. You take home a sheet of paper with an image filtered through you, and you have an intense experience of the subject that can’t be taken away.” I know a few artists who like to draw on both sides of every page so that the sketchbook reads like a visual journal. One artist calls this “visual literacy.” Great term. Spiral bound sketchbooks are especially useful to me because I like to keep my drawing pen or pencil with the sketchbook at all times. If I cannot clip the pen to the sketchbook, sometimes I will put the sketchpad inside of a notebook binder because there is a loop to hold the pen. I tend to be a bit of a “pen snob” which means that I look for a certain level of flow from the pen that I use and my biggest fear is that a pen will run dry halfway through my sketch or note taking. Because of this, I now have developed a bad habit of having spare pens available so that I never have to stress out about pens dying on me mid-sketch.


Q&A with Wes Douglas Marker Paper

What advice do you give to artists who are interested in starting to sketch with markers? 1. Find a marker that you like that fits your style and your budget. 2. Start out trying a few markers and make your decision which one works the best or has the best feel. If a marker smells too strong, you do not have to stick with it—in fact it is unhealthy to keep using markers that have a strong odor. 3. Not all markers have that bad smell. Ask your art supplier which ones do not smell and they will help you find the right ones for you. 4. Never jump right in and buy a big set of a marker brand that you do not know. Even if your friend loves this marker, it does not mean that they will work the same for you and the type of work you will do with them. 5. Be honest with yourself. Markers do take some practice because they are different than what you have been used to using. Try them out, if they don’t work, put them aside and try again later. 6. There are no dumb questions. Always ask someone whose work you admire how they achieved their effect and which pens they like best. 7. Most artists love to share information that they have discovered, especially if they are having lots of success.


Q&A with Wes Douglas Tricks, Tips and Making Mistakes

Are there any tricks or techniques that you have picked up either on the job or through mistakes and experimentation? 1. Whenever possible, use the power of the paper to achieve your highlights and light source. Adding in white is more difficult because you have to build up color, but it can be done with white paint or white pencils (but it is never as effective as page white). 2. Twirling your chisel tip markers while you stipple works especially well for making random patterns such as ground cover, stones, foliage, leaves, and textured patterns in fashion. 3. Making photocopies of your linework allows you to do two things: • adding marker color without dissolving your line work. • you can try out different color palettes without ruining your original sketch. You can also try as many color combinations as you wish. Speaking of mistakes, what was the biggest mistake you made using markers? Was it something that didn’t work out the way you wanted and were you able to fix it or not? I ruined a lot of sketches when I discovered that markers dissolve other areas where marker color had been previously applied. This has become a nice way to make soft color blends and gradations, but it can also have undesirable effects when a lighter color is dirtied by a darker color. As a rule, always work from your lightest color to your darkest colors with black being the last color that you apply. You really should embrace mistakes. It is really the most powerful, effective way to find things out about your markers and how they can work best for you. Play around, test out your ideas on scrap pieces of paper and learn new ways to use your markers. They will continue to surprise you in good ways.


What are the benefits of using markers over any other medium for your style of sketching? • Portability: Fits in your pockets, backpack coat pockets and your purse. • No clean up needed • Durability • Convenience: Some markers have dual points for the same color. • Consistency of color with dual tip markers • Good range of colors from pastel and warm greys to bold colors, cool greys and black • Colors last a long time inside the sketchbook • You can blend colors for an iridescent effect or deepen the saturation of color. In what ways are markers used? Here are some different applications for markers: Loose Sketch: (Least detail) Gestural sketch, rough ideas, Pictionary, and quick communication of idea Memory Sketch: (Less detail) A quick capture of a thought, a vision, a dream, or a fragment of an idea Observational Sketch: (Medium detail) Diagrams, how-to visual descriptions or processes, explanations, sketchnotes, botanical recordings, science experiments, field notes, cutaway views, courtroom sketch artists, consumer behavior patterns Conceptual/Imaginary Sketch: (Medium detail) Science fiction, creative development, product design, automotive design proposals, theme park and restaurant theme designs, mood boards Planning Sketch: (More detail) Storyboards, planograms, interior designs, landscape designs, fashion, architectural proposals Presentation Sketch: (More detail) to leave a positive impression with the audience to pitch an idea with the goal of alignment or approval (such as a real estate development) Fine Art: (Most detail) Gallery quality and framed pictures. Most marker renderings fade over time.


Marker Process: Step-by-Step Demonstration Step 1: Create The Sketch Creating the sketch is the nearly the same as any other rendering style. Pencil out your scene and then ink it with the pen of your choice. Here is a tip: test your pen with the marker of your choice by drawing a line first on a scrap piece of the paper you have chosen. Then scribble the marker over the line. You want to find a pen and marker combination that will not smear or dissolve the line work. Step 2: Add Color After you have found a pen that will not be dissolved or smeared by the marker, add color in the fade style of your choice. Always start with the lightest color first and gradually progress towards your darker markers. Also, make your strokes go in the direction of the light source by lifting your marker as you reach your highlight area. You should also make your marker strokes go along the length of the panel or shape. Imagine if your object had a grain, like wood does, your markers should move in the direction of the grain. Step 3: Blend Colors As you start to progress to your darker colors, overlap each color layer at a slightly different angle. The reason for this is to prevent the little overlap lines from getting too dark and detracting from your sketch. A slightly different angle or cross hatch with your marker will start to dissolve your previous color and help to smooth it out.


Working With Markers By Orna Aizenshtein

About Me I have been drawing since I can remember. My professional field is pretty wide. I worked as a 3D artist for TV Commercial projects, in the Computer Graphics gaming Industry, and I have experience as a character and environment supervisor for a CG feature film. For the last few years, I thought more and more about getting “back to the roots” meaning to return to a traditional medium. These days I work as a team leader of concept art at a gaming company and I mostly work in Photoshop. Markers as a technique I discovered several years ago. Unfortunately, I don’t even remember who was first that inspired me. But it took time. It’s like a puzzle where every part you get from somebody or somewhere, layouts, drafts, sketching and very popular for Manga illustrations. One day I got three markers as a gift. “Wow, that’s how it looks, the markers!” That was my reaction. I can’t call myself a marker expert but I can share with you my experience and conclusions after about a year or more working with markers. Why I Like Markers Markers dry very quickly. They are comfortable and compact which you can carry with you always and everywhere. They combine well with pen, pencil, ink and colored pencils. The transparency of markers reminds me of watercolors. Markers blend well and make it easy to create a variety of tone and shading effects.


Working With Markers What Kind of Markers? There are a lot of different kinds of markers which you can find in art stores and on the internet. The markers I use are ProMarkers from Letraset—I started out with the neutral tone set. Why? Without too much thought or making a global search about it, it just happened. The ProMarker is a fine marker for any type of coloring, be it about filling areas of color or creating gradients. It does not matter if you are making a sketch or coloring an illustration.

http://www.letraset.com/products/2208ProMarker-6-Sets/4705-ProMarker-6-Set--Neutral-Tones/ My latest purchase is a set of Copic Sketch markers and it is my favorite because of the flexible Super Brush nib (also know as Super Brush tip) on one side and the medium broad nib on the other. If you are looking for a greater control over gradients and colors which fade out softly, or you wish to create distinct details in hair such as hair strands, the brush nib makes it much easier. Paper Choice Ordinary Sketching Paper: For quick sketching, I use an ordinary sketchbook 120 GSM A4. Its super smooth surface is perfect for inking and coloring. But beware, it also allows for bleeding. So it’s a good idea to put a scrap piece of paper underneath your sketch to act as a blotter. It is cheap and you can have fun without worrying too much about how expensive it is. Normal print paper can be used too but the color spreads and stains everything underneath. On the plus side, some techniques work for this kind of paper which do not work as well on papers suited for marker use.

Ordinary sketchbook 120 GSM A4


Working With Markers How To Start:

Line Sketch– You can start your sketch using ink, pen or pencil. Be sure to test out if your pen or ink will smear when marker is applied on a scrap piece of paper first. Then you can add color with your markers on top of the line work. There is one more way to start your drawing correctly with markers. I applied my lightest tone of markers–a Number 1 or Number 2 value first. Why you might ask? If you make a mistake with the lightest marker, you will still be able to correct any mistakes more easily by sketching a corrected line over the light tone. It might be a benefit and you can get a different/ softer look without the outline. Building Up The Value: Build up your scene value by working from lightest marker to your darkest. You can apply layer after layer of tone as much as you need until you reach your desired effect. By slightly overlapping your marker strokes your tones will be smoother too. For a dry-brush effect, use less layers or apply your colors at the end. For smooth gradients, you need to flood the area with marker quickly or to put down the colorless blender and again work quickly until the paper stays wet.


Working With Markers Building Up The Value: Sharpness– Apply pen, ink or pencil to already colored areas to help bring out detail and add some more interest to parts of the sketch you wish to highlight. Contrast and Highlights– One more thing: don’t be afraid to lightly use your pencil to help push those values in your sketch. A few hatch marks in your dark areas can help punch contrast and help things pop even more in your sketch. If you are working with a neutral marker set, it’s a good idea to add any type of tone with colored pencils, blue in the shadow for example. Final touches can be added in the highlights with a white pencil. Summary– Markers are a great tool but they are not generally meant for creating permanent pieces of art. Use markers to create quick sketches. They are faster and more convenient than any other medium. They dry quickly and work well on any surface (but smooth is best). But even archival markers are not necessarily lightfast so if you want to save it, scan it. Draw, experiment and most importantly have fun! Thanks for letting me share my experience with you.

Orna Aizenshtein Tel Aviv, Israel


Keeping It Loose By Lisa Flahive

You won’t end up with a loose sketch if you start out rigidly seeking perfection. You must let go and freely scribble. Allow emotion, rather than knowledge to guide your pen. Easier said than done. I prefer not to sketch from photographs. I find that sketching jazz musicians while they are performing is the deepest way to feel the groove and that’s what I like my artwork to express–how it felt to be there listening to the music in the club. For this demonstration, I started with my Copic Multiliner pen, very loosely getting a sense of the bassist’s movement. Despite the fact that I use permanent black ink, I am unafraid of making a wrong mark and instead use the loose line to give a sense of movement and energy. I continue the loose feel when I begin to work the values. I’ve been told that I actually sketch with the beat of the music and that I can feel that beat in these energetic vertical marks (made with a warm grey Pitt Big Brush marker. I try not to get bogged down by unnecessary details as I add darker values to bring out the highlights. When I paint in the studio, I use these sketches, rather than photographs, as reference material for my watercolors. In fact, that is how I started drawing in the first place–no one would allow me to set up my easel indoors and paint live music so I started carrying a sketchpad with me in my purse wherever I went. The only reason I began to work with markers was that I needed materials that would not smear or get all over me.


Keeping It Loose Once I had the sketchpad with me I began to draw wherever I went. I found that the quickest way for me to grab enough detail to be able to paint from later on was to use Pitt Big Brush grey scale markers to quickly block in some values. Plus, I find this to be more representational of the energy and emotion of a place than if I worked from photographs. I have tried other paper but keep going back to an 8.5” x 11” Bee Pen Sketcher’s pad. I enjoy the weight of the paper (70lbs.) and find the markers do not dry out as much as on other papers. I wish it came in a larger size but this size does fit perfectly in my purse. These days I find more businesses willing to allow me to set up my easel indoors so I can paint chefs and café scenes. I also paint on the bandstand at least once a week and try to employ these same loose techniques to keep my watercolors fresh. You can see more of my work at www.flahive.fineartstudioonline.com

Lisa Flahive Traverse City, Michigan


Chip Foose, Automotive Designer Chip Foose is an American hot rod shop owner, automotive designer and fabricator, and star of the reality TV series “Overhaulin� on Velocity. Chip and his wife Lynne started their Huntington Beach, California based company Foose Design, an automotive and product design development company. His company specializes in illustration, graphics, ideation model making, surfacing and complete construction of automobiles and automotive related products. These products are available to private individuals, television, film and the automobile manufacturers.


Candice Olson, Interior Designer Canadian interior designer Candice Olson was born on October 27, 1964. She was educated at the University of Calgary, and later studied at the school of Interior Design at Ryerson University in Toronto. She worked for many of Canada’s interior design firms, later using her skills to build her own practice called Candice Olson Design in 1994. Candice Olson is best known for hosting a number of home-makeover shows. She was on “Divine Design” in 1991, which aired on Canada’s W Network and later on HGTV. In 2011, she was cast in her own series: Candice Tells All. She has also written books, namely “Candice Olson on Design: Inspiration and Ideas for Your Home” and “Candice Olson: Kitchen & Bathroom.”


Sketchnotes & Graphic Recording Examples Wes Douglas

“Sketchnotes” are rich visual notes created from a mix of handwriting, drawings, hand-drawn typography, shapes, and visual elements like arrows, boxes, and lines (definition from Mike Rohde, author of “The Sketchnote Handbook”). “Graphic Recordings” are very similar to Sketchnotes except that they are created on a much larger format than a sketchbook. Typically the graphic recordings are done on large foam boards or paper scrolls that measure somewhere between a 6’ x 4’ board to a full wall-sized dry erase board. Here are some examples of my sketch notes and graphic recordings created live during various presentations or cleaned up immediately following an event. Markers are used to add color accents because they dry quickly, have brilliant color and and there is absolutely no clean up--something that will slow down a “sketchnoter.” Dry erase boards and dry erase markers can also be used with the distinct benefit of quick erase/edits on the fly.


How to Remove Permanent Marker From Your Clothes & Hands Whether your child is drawing with permanent markers or the marker slips out of your hand and onto your clothes, it doesn’t mean that your outfit is bound for the trash. If treated soon after the stain, even permanent-marker stains can be removed from clothing. Read the tips listed below and learn about how you can get permanent marker out of clothes.

Hairspray Believe it or not, hairspray is a fantastic way to remove stains from clothing. Moisten the stain with water and then blot away at it with a paper towel that has been sprayed with non-oily hairspray. You should begin to see the color from the marker transfer from the fabric to the paper towel [source: Mrs. Clean USA].

Rubbing alcohol Your household rubbing alcohol is another effective way to remove marker stains. Place the stain face down on top of a piece of paper towel. Dip a cloth in rubbing alcohol and dab at the stain. You should see the ink transfer to the paper towel underneath the stain. Change the paper towel often so that the paper can absorb the color. After the stain is removed, wash the clothing in the washing machine [source: Good Housekeeping].

Milk You have to see it to believe it. Milk is a great way to remove stains from fabric. Fill a bowl with milk and soak the stained area of the garment in the milk. The milk will begin to turn the color of the permanent marker. When the milk has significantly changed color, refresh the bowl with new milk and repeat the process until the stain is removed from the clothing [source: Learn How to Remove].


Thank you for allowing us to share some of our tips and tricks for the sketching medium we love to use. Our hope is that we’ve inspired you to try out markers (if you have not already done so) and that with these techniques that are you too will discover how wonderful of a tool markers can be. Enjoy and have fun.

Orna Aizenshtein, Lisa Flahive, and Wes Douglas


References and Books “Rendering With Markers” by Ronald B. Kemnitzer

“How To Draw Cars The Hot Wheels Way” by Scott Robertson

“Marker Rendering Techniques” by Dick Powell

“Sketching and Rendering Interior Spaces” by Ivo D. Drpic

“Marker Magic: The Rendering Problem Solver for Designers” by Richard M. McGarry, Greg Madsen

“Drawing Techniques for Product Designers” by Koos Eisen and Roselien Steir

Marker tech book sketchingworkshop  

Collaborative Publication from the Facebook group Sketching Workshop - compendium of member's personal techniques.

Marker tech book sketchingworkshop  

Collaborative Publication from the Facebook group Sketching Workshop - compendium of member's personal techniques.

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