I have to admit that I am highly influenced by YouTube artists. I stumbled across a channel called “Fun2draw” where the artist works with art markers and shows how to draw various cartoon/anime styles. I noticed how the art markers worked so smoothly and had the ability to blend with each other.
My only experience with markers were with those cheapo Crayola markers or those scented Mr. Sketch markers (anybody remember those?) I was fascinated with art markers and jumped the gun and bought a kit of Prismacolor brush markers. Now what makes art markers different from other markers you may have used is that they are alcohol based. This allows for them to seamlessly blend and the pigment to be so wonderfully vibrant and spread across the paper. Streaking isn’t as much of an issue compared to water based markers. I would recommend to get the right marker paper as they do bleed through regular drawing pads.
At first, it was indeed a learning curve when I started experimenting with these materials. I have to admit that I was a little turned off in the beginning since it required a lot more finesse than I expected. But practice makes perfect, eh? The biggest challenge was how I layered colors. As an oil painter, I can pretty much get away with layering light colors over dried layers of dark colors. That is not the case with markers. I had to be very aware of the areas I was coloring and the shades that I would need to blend. Pretty much the complete opposite of what I am used to doing. It also made me very aware of how I’m not very good at coloring in between the lines. If you mess that up, it is very difficult to fix (even with a blender marker).
So my husband and I are currently working on a web comic together. I design the backgrounds while he draws in the characters and writes the dialogue. What I thought was a cool concept was the juxtaposition of our styles. I draw using traditional methods, scan the finished piece into the computer and then send it over to my husband. He then uses his tablet and uses SketchBook Pro to add in the characters that he created. It just ends up working.
I design and color in the backgrounds of the web comic with art markers. It saves a lot of time considering I’m an oil painter. Also, with my experience with colored pencils, a big pet peeve of mine was that the grains of the paper always showed through. Also, if you had drawn and then erased an area of the piece, when coloring over the area you had erased, a phantom of the unwanted devil of a line will still show up. No matter how much you colored over areas, the space was never the nice opaque color you were aiming for. That’s why art markers were a godsend. I will talk more about our web comic in future posts.
I’ve further expanded my art marker collection to the high quality Copic brand and Shinhan Touch markers. For Valentine’s Day, my husband took me to our favorite art store and let me go to town on Copics. In addition to creating my web comic, I love using them to make custom greeting cards. I highly recommend trying them, they will change your life!