Marker Experiments

This last convention at Phoenix I decided to give another stab at using markers for commissions. Something my wife has been asking me to do for some time now. I've been putting it off because I wasn't happy with my process. Either, I would put in too much detail, defeating the purpose of a commission, that you cam do it quickly or I wouldn't have the the image go to black or white enough. Now I will try to resolve my issues.

After spending the weekend doing commissions with markers in Phoenix I have come to enjoy the technique as I've figured it out so far. One reason is I stumbled upon what I call forced dry brushing. A technique where you"throw" the marker at the end of the stroke. Meaning you purposely and quickly pick up the marker off the page as you finish your stroke. This allows for happy brush like accidents, and gives you a fade off kind of an effect. Allowing for adding simple gradations of grey. This facilitates modeling with markers. This also gives you an overall brush look.

What's also fun about this is you can get interpretive strokes with it. So you can get a lot of expression in abstract types of backgrounds. Useful for adding energy glows and energy blasts. You must be careful, but this also helps you to decide on certain paths to follow in your work. I find when I am undecided on what to do next in a commission, I can take the broad tipped marker and throw a general broad stroke and use that stroke to dictate or suggest what to do next. This is important because it gives spontaneous energy to the piece and potentially gives you many variations on your work.

Because of this I am very happy with modeling with markers, I am now very comfortable shading with markers. Where I need work is the highlight area. I think I can occasionally hit the highlight correctly. But because this is a technique where you must "leave out" white of the paper for a highlight, creating highlight areas is not a natural process and requires a lot of forethought. I like shaping the highlights as I like shading.

Rafael Kayanan recently tweeted a tribute to James Bingham. He mastered a technique where I can take how I model with markers onto colored paper, instead of plain white paper, and then come in and work with maybe a white pencil and workout the highlight areas. By starting with colored paper I am from the beginning eliminating all white. I can then go in with a white pencil and control all of the white of the image. I'm thinking of using a white pencil because of the control I can exert with it, also this allows for quick execution. In the next few days I'll post my test.

The other side is going to black within the image. So far in my expedients I've been able to go to W7. That is, warm grey number 7 with Copic markers. W7 is dark but not exactly black. Going all the way to 100 black seems too many steps to take. Too much work. This is one thing I like about oil painting. Using burnt sienna and burnt umber is dark enough and allows you to actually go all the way to black whenever you want for effect.

So after I figure out the white thing, I will attack the black problem. I want to eventually be able to do blacks with thrown in highlights within the blacks like in a Frazetta painting.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.0


Bill said...

I love to see artists talk about tools and techniques they've tried and used. Must be the Sketch Magazine editor in me...things like this are educational and instructive to others who might benefit from cool stuff like this, Whilce. Thanks for sharing.

Whilce Portacio said...

Thanx Bill, gathering my thoughts for that school I keep talking about.

Pug Grumble said...

Great stuff Whilce! I also love to see artists talk technique and approach.
And a school would be great!!

city said...

thanks for share.