I am constantly striving to hone a method of illustrating that works best for me. I used to work with colored pencil. Then wanting a softer, blended look I began experimenting with watercolor. That just hasn’t seemed to work for me. My drawings became a hybrid-watercolor and pencil.
Then it all changed. This weekend I discovered markers. I know where have I been?……illustrating under a rock? To be more specific I discover Copic markers. After all Arturo Elena uses them. I think I am in heaven. I love color and they have plenty to choose from. This allows me all sorts of options for blending and shading.
With markers I found I could create the saturation I was after. It allowed me to be more precise in application and build up the color and create depth in shading. Now mind you I can often overwork a piece to death. I have not mastered subtly or the art of using negative/white space as Anna Kiper so perfectly illustrates in her book.
There is definitely more refining to do as I develop my technique further. I am still using a light flesh tone watercolor base for the skin and colored pencils with the blend tool for texture. I love the warm and cool grey tones and pale yellow for a touch of highlight.
Armed with my new find I revisited two of my early sketches Tatiana and Knuckle Punch bringing them color. I still have more practice to do on leather since negative space seems to be a key. Remember not my strong suit. But for a first go I am really pleased. I think I have finally found a medium to work in.
The markers are on the pricey side for me. I (Totsy, that is) baby oil to blend the color pencils. Much more economical right now. Love your illustrations though. Inspiring.
OMG I am so going to try that! Awesome suggestion. I use colored pencil over my marker and often on it’s own but want a smoother more blended look. This is perfect. I am all for economical despite my ridiculous sho……marker collection.
Yes, try that. I think you’ll still manage the effect you’re going for. Use Q-tips for blending. I used to hate color pencils until I tried this method.
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