Back in school I did most of my renderings with colored pencil and airbrush. I only used markers very sparingly, they were expensive and didn’t seem as forgiving as I would’ve thought. I remember though seeing a lot of beautiful drawings rendered with markers, but I never put the effort to learn to use them extensively. Around a year ago I decided to get a set of markers and learn for good.
Nowadays with the internet you can do a lot more research before purchasing a product than before. I had only used Prismacolors before, so I “googled” for recommendations. With all the vast resources the internet can offer I was surprised to find out that there is much less information than for other media, watercolors for example. There are very few websites on this subject. A friend of mine told me his favorites were the Chartpak AD, because they were very juicy and you could color very evenly with them. I tried his, but frankly the odor is unbearable.
I actually like to see the strokes. It’s very difficult to control to show those strokes and for them to look good, but I believe it’s the charm of the medium. Based solely on reviews I found online, I decided to get myself a set of Copic Sketch markers. I am extremely happy with them. Yes, they are expensive, but they are refillable. They have replaceable nibs, so if you wear them out, you can easily get in back as new. So I figured that they were more an investment. In fact, my favorite color has already almost dried out, so I will be purchasing the refill this week. Here are some of my sketches with them from early last year.
I really enjoy sketching with markers… the only problem is the paper. I haven’t found the perfect sketchbook yet. I’m looking for a paper that doesn’t bleed too much and that doesn’t bleed through and damages three pages underneath. I’m thinking of making (rather, asking my wife to make me… I trust her more with that kind of jobs) my custom sketchbook. I am still trying out different types of paper; until the moment, my favorite has been Hammermill Laser Print Office, 32 lbs. If I can order it heavier, that will be my first choice; I simply love the tooth of it. I hope their 60 lbs or 80 lbs cover stock surface feels the same.
For several months I only sketched with markers, until I decided to learn watercolors by September 2010. I really miss them, they are a wonderful sketch tool. So I’ll have to go ahead with the custom sketchbook project and practice a lot more.