So, I'm proficient with colored pencils, pastels, charcoal, ink/gel pens, and graphite... but my skills with markers are lacking.
If anyone is really good with making smooth colors/textures with markers, I would appreciate some tips. I have a set of Prismacolor brush-tip markers that I love because they make a smooth line, but I'm not very good at handling larger areas that need to be colored in.
I'm not against using Sharpies, either, if they fill in colors well.
I ask for techniques because I like to do art nouveau style elves, and I want to do some on ATCs. I made one, and my technique with the marker just wasn't working. lol
Here's the ATC I did with a marker:
<img src="https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/319082_10151092812263091_828337442_n.jpg" img width="250">
I like the drawing, but not my shoddy coloring. I'd like to go back and rework it. Do I just need to sort of cross-hatch with marker to make the tone smoother? Or am I way off?
I use Prismamarkers as well, but I don't have the brush tips, just the standard large and small tips. When I'm working in a larger area that could easily end up being streaky, I usually color in one direction and work as fast as I can. It's kind of like the marker soaks the paper a bit so I find it's best to get that base flat layer down as quickly as possible. And I don't pick up my marker much because if I do, it overlaps and makes a darker spot than if I just keep going and maybe cross over a bit. However, if you want to attain flat, one colored sections that are larger, markers just aren't the way to go. They always have gradients in them due to their overlapping and just how markers are laid down. I personally enjoy they're "imperfectness". I have seen markers used beautifully for art nouveau styled work, so just keep playing around with them. Also, certain colors lay down beautifully and then some others don't.
In regards to textures, I like to lay down a base color first then layer it up with more colors for the textures/shadows/etc. I like to work with very light or sheer colors so it builds. Also, I've found that colors like "violet mist" when layered, actually kind of suck color out of the base color, so I love how it reacts with other colors. "Cool grey 20%" sucks color out too. I used to use the "colorless blender" but I ended deciding that it didn't really cooperate with me, but I know some people that swear by that thing.
I've found it's a lot of trial and error and just finding what works for you in a way that you like. I really can't say that enough. I just scribble about with them and happened over things that I'm now somewhat dependent on so to speak. And working with a limited pallet does wonders as well. You really have to figure out ways to layer odd colors to make a color that you don't have. Doing that made me think about my markers in a completely new way while I was making chibis for a convention a little ago. Don't give up. I never thought I'd be coloring with markers the way I currently am.
Also, paper makes a HUUUGE difference. If I use them on basic printer paper, they bleed like crazy. I know a lot of people that love using them on smooth bristol, but sometimes I feel like that sucks my color in too fast and I have less optimal working time for blending and such. I personally LOVE the Canson XL mixed media. http://www.utrechtart.com/Canson-XL-Mixed-Media-Paper-Pad--Spiral--60-heavyweight-98lb-160gsm-sheets-MP57470-i1009801.utrecht This paper holds every kind of media that I like working with great. I've been watercoloring in it lately and still love it. With markers, it really lets me lay down a lot of colors in concentrated spots without a lot of bleeding while still feeling really workable in a way that bristol doesn't feel for me.
Sharpies seem to always be streaky in my opinion. I love them, but I avoid them for large areas.
Best of luck! I hope something I rambled about helps.
Thanks, all of that is very helpful, actually! I may just end up ditching markers for my art nouveau stuff and go back to colored pencil and pen.
I'm definitely going to try the Canson mixed media paper. I've been contemplating buying some for a long time now, and I get to go shopping tomorrow.
I've only been using Stonehenge papers for printing, and that's what I always have left over so that's what I used for that particular ATC. I had a 24-set of chisel/fine double-tipped prismas, but found that they bled through EVERYTHING, including the extra heavy bristol paper I had. I ended up selling the set to a friend. The brush tip prismas haven't bled through anything though.
I'm going to keep experimenting
I'm glad I could help. You could try out doing some marker and colored pencil layering. I love doing some accents with Prisma pencils over the markers, when I'm not too lazy to go get them out. Fffffff.
Definitely buy some of the Canson paper. I bought it to make a book with for someone as a gift and I used the leftover paper I had and fell in love. I was always just being too cheap to splurge on nice paper.
And I'm not sure if their shipping is good or a rip off since this place is close to me, but I adore shopping through the Art Supply Warehouse because their prices are very nice to my wallet. http://www.artsupplywarehouse.com/ They had Prismamarkers on special the other week for $2 each or if you spent $50+, you got $10 off. I have an art seizure in that store every time I go.
I've definitely had them bleed through the paper. They hold of fairly well on the Canson. You can see the bleed on the back very brightly, but they don't usually get on the next page unless I really work heavy in one spot.
I hope you enjoy the paper and find something that works great for your art!
Thanks for all the ideas. I usually order thru Dick Blick, which I will probably do soon because I need a stack of good paper for lithography. Hopefully they have the mix media sketchbooks for cheap... I went to Hobby Lobby and it was going to be $15 for a 10x12 sketchbook with 60 pages... not quite worth it, lol. Blick usually has what I need for half of what Hobby Lobby sells it for, which is nice because one 40% off coupon at HL doesn't go very far when I need a lot of paper!
I am just a bit worried about the atcs on the Mix Media paper because it's a lighter paper than the Stonehenge and bristol I'm used to working on. But I suppose I can reinforce it with something at some point, like fixative or modpodge... or other paper!
Dude, I'm such a herpderp. I've been passed the Blick stores so many times and always just assumed they were normal list price kind of art stores. So, thank you very much for saying you order through them. I can't wait to go frolic and froth in their store now. I found they carry the silicone and bronze powder that I've been eying online but avoiding because of shipping fees. And they do have the canson paper for $7 something for the 10x12.
And all of this online talk about Hobby Lobby that I see from nearly every crafter makes me wish there was one near me.
Yeah, the Canson paper isn't thick like bristol. It's a nice thickness but not really ATC kind of thick, I guess. I think that reinforcing it with some other paper would be good. You could always cut the reinforcement just a little bigger so it makes a kind of frame/border look.
Hm, mounting it for a bordered look is a good idea!
And yeah, HL is okay, it's best if you're only buying one or two things and have the weekly 40% off coupon. I always buy newsprint pads there as I need them.
I have to get more printing papers from either Dick Blick or Daniel Smith soon, so I'll probably pick up the Canson sketchbook then!
I have a Canson Mixed Media sketchbook and I like it but it is definitely a one sided paper..Sound really odd but i find this distracting.The surface is different on the left open page to the right and it responds differently when using wet medium i.e watercolors pencils over Pitt artist pens my current media of choice.
I will try to look out which paper I use to rebind my journal as it's awesome stuff.
If you use a collage method and/or print labels on cardstock ATC's will be strong enough
I like you only use marker for line making and other methods to fill
Keep playing with the ATC's
Hm, journal talk makes me remember I have a huge stack of paper from one of the first sketchbooks I bought when I moved. I'll have to see if it's thick enough for ATCs or not. I feel like anything less than 90lb paper is too light because it's all I ever work with when I make litho prints. lol
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