Drawing Techniques for a Felt Tip Pen

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Felt-tip pens make excellent tools for drawing. The variety of tips and inks available in felt-tip markers allow artists to create dimensional sketches with rich shadows and crisp lines. Drawings done in felt-tip marker can be black and white or color, or a combination of the two. Learning to draw with a felt -tip marker takes a little patience, since the ink in these markers is harder to control than the ink in a standard pen or the lead of a pencil. Here are some techniques you can use to create stunning drawings.

Drawing Supplies

  • There isn't a lot you'll need to get started drawing. An assortment of felt-tip markers with various size tips and a sketchpad will do the trick. You might want to add a set of color felt-tips to your arsenal as well. When you choose a sketchpad, look for a thick paper that has a little texture. This will help prevent bleeding and spreading when you draw. If you plan to do any lettering, look for a set of caligraphy markers. They have tapered edges that make it easier to shape lettering.

Setting up for a Drawing

  • Setting up for a felt-tip marker drawing is similar to the underpainting done by painters. Use a light pencil to render the outline of your drawing. This allows you to set the composition for your drawing first, since there is no way to erase felt-tip once you've applied it. Add the shadows to your drawing at this stage as well. Having this preliminary sketch will lessen your chance for error. If you want to add an undertone that will show through, make the lines and shadings darker. Consider using a graphite pencil. This will add an extra dimension to your final drawing.

Application Methods

  • There are several ways to apply your felt-tip to paper. You can use common strokes such as cross-hatching, which involves making short strokes horizontally and then going over those strokes with vertical strokes. This will add color and texture to your drawing. You can also use the sweep technique to color in sections of your drawing while leaving room for the graphite beneath to come through and give your drawing a little shine.

    Dotting your drawing is another felt tip marker technique used to create texture and depth. Dotting is a time-consuming process whereby the artist places little dots all over a section of the image until they begin to come together, creating the illusion of colored surface while leaving behind a textured look.

Suggestive Color Application

  • Felt-tip marker drawings can be black and white or color. Using a combination of the two is a technique that allows for the suggestion of color while using the stark contrasts a felt-tip marker projects. You can do this by finishing a drawing with a black felt -tip and then adding suggestions of color as highlights.

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