Marker Pen Sketches

Marker Pen Sketches, perfect for fast and bold graphic impressions

marker pen sketch of queequeg by rockwell kent
Marker Pen Sketches - My quick impression of a print by Rockwell Kent

A few months ago (Early 2011) I saw a mini-series on TV based on Melville's classic book, "Moby Dick". While I was watching it I was trying to remember the name of the artist/illustrator who did the book's illustrations.

A quick Google told me that just about every edition of the book had a different illustrator. Still I found the name that I was looking for. Rockwell Kent. If you want to see book illustration at it's very best look him up. The original prints from the book are known as woodcuts. That is they are a type of woodblock print that only uses the end grain of the wood, so that very fine lines are able to be achieved.

I decided to try a few sketches of them from my monitor. I needed to get bold areas of solid black so I looked around for something quick and easy. I let on some cheap water based marker pens that I had about my office. The sketch above is the result of a freehand copy direct from the computer screen. I sketched it in first with a fine pencil, using the eraser as needed to get it roughly right.

cheap marker pens
Marker Pen Sketches - A couple of sets of cheap water based marker pens that are sold in office supplies stores and supermarkets.

The pens above are not be be confused with expensive pens that are used by artists and graphic designers. These are the sort of things that I use in to mark out holes in laminate counter tops, sheets of melamine and cuts in ceramic tiles. The main criteria being that they are water based and so the residual marks can easily be removed with a damp cloth or sponge. DO NOT use spirit based markers on any of the above.

marker pen sketch
Marker Pen Sketches - The interior of L'eglise Saint-Eustache near Les Halles in Paris.

I added a few of these marker pens to my sketching kit when we had our recent European holiday. (July and August 2011).
This is the first "for real" attempt with them. I had intended to use a grey marker to fill in most of the white that you can see here, leaving the whole page dark with just a few white highlights, but for some reason I coudn't find it that day, so I had to try a bit of cross hatching to get some shading in there.
It didn't give the right effect though as I was trying to emphasise the vertical aspect of this late Gothic masterpiece. So what you see here is what you get, but.... there's always next time eh!

So these cheap pens are now the latest tool in my kit. Being cheap and water soluble they are also great for impromptu effects like when the inevitable European summer rain drips through a cafe awning to soak an unprotected sketchbook.

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Please Note! The information on this site is offered as a guide only!  When we are talking about areas where building regulations or safety regulations could exist,the information here could be wrong for your area.  It could be out of date!  Regulations breed faster than rabbits!
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