Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What to do with a Rainbow of Sharpies

Close-up of atc, using impressed line technique over sharpie markers, final layers in sienna and black coloured pencils.
Just before Christmas, someone dangled a giant 24 pack of multi-coloured sharpie markers right before my greedy eyes and exclaimed, “What the f#@x***!” am supposed to do with these?!?”. I kindly suggested that as I would figure something out, maybe he should give them to me. And he did, washing his hands of the entire dilemma.
And so here, I show you just one of the possibilities: abstract explorations using ‘impressed line technique’.  In this case, I first use primary (mostly) sharpie markers to create an abstract composition in sharpie marker (they have an excellent magenta, cyan and yellow). After I’ve completely coloured the surface (they dry instantly and smell great too), I used the point of a compass as a stylus and gently inscribed lines into the artwork, being careful to indent, but not scratch, the surface of the paper. This took awhile in spite of their small size (2.5” x 3.5”). This was followed by a layer of sienna coloured pencil, then more impressed lines, and finally followed with ink black coloured pencil. Where the lines are impressed, the original pure sharpie colours remain. This is a common technique in coloured pencil, although most often it is used to reserve whites for fine lines (cat’s whiskers, eye highlights, etc.).  You can also use it to reserve successive layers of coloured pencil although pencil colours will be more textured than those laid down with marker.
I posted all four images to Fineartamerica in high resolution (600dpi) so you could see some extreme close-up details, which is fun with this technique. If you click on the image at Fineartamerica, it will bring up a zoomed square. (a click on the image here, will bring you there—have fun)
For a more conventional use of this technique, you can check out a graphite landscape I posted previously:  http://kaslkaos.blogspot.com/2008/12/gift-that-lasts.html


Laurel said...

These are wonderful! I would never have guessed they were made with Sharpies. The black really makes the colours pop. I really enjoyed reading about the technique. I've got to try this. I have a collection of cheap markers which I like to draw with and then spritz with water and watch the colors run. Markers are so much fun!

Jenny Bennett said...

They glow like a stained window!

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

another thing to try added to my list :D the colours really stand out
its a good use for markers that you normally wouldn't use

Chrissy said...

You are always so inventive....they look great and so very colourful. I wouldn't have thought of spritzing them either ;)

kaslkaos said...

Yippers! Sorry so slow to answer all you fantastic folks. Sometimes I just go all quiet.
Laurel, let me know when you try it so I can see what you've done, and thanks for the tip.
Jenny, thanks, and yes, that glow is making them addictive. I may do more.
Jennifer, turns out rainbows of sharpies are sold at art stores, I guess they are in use for art, just never thought of them that way.
Chrissy, thanks. Actually, the sharpies are permanent, even when spritzed with alcohol (I did try it), but I haven't tried watersolubles yet. There really is always something new to try.


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