Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Mykill on Markers.
mykill at 9:00PM, Nov. 13, 2006
posts: 194
joined: 1-11-2006
Okay, it was many ages ago when I was 20-something that i discovered a revelation with Brol Prismacolor markers.

I was inspired by Liberatoré's work on the oversexed and hyperviolent RanXerox comic serialized in heavy Metal long ago. It was beautifully and fully painted in Berol prismacolor markers. That's how I figured out my crayola markers were crap.

One of my strengths as an illustrator is my instinct and understanding relating to light and shadow. I had already learned to use ink to spot blacks effectively.

I've only worked with grayscale sets of berol markers. Working with the markers felt like working with ink. I was able to spot grays naturally as I had learned to spot blacks.

But what was GREAT about the set, was the that the range of grey markers allowed for great control over intermediate tones. Compared to water color on a scale of one to ten, the ability to control midtones is a 10 for the narkers and about a 2 for watercolor. Or such has been my experience.

What this meant for me: For the first time I was really able to produce work that was approaching photo realism (using photo referance naturally) - and EASILY. The markers allow for ease in carefully delineating even the most subtle shading, and the markers BLEND seamlessly.

Some tips:

I worked with a set of 10 berol prismacolor grayscale (cool grey) makers, black magic ink with kolinsky brush and pro- white (or white goache - opaque white water color).

Here's a reccomended approach that mirrors my own back in the day:

Step 1, pencil the drawing / page lightly and as fully and completely as possible.

2. paint the pencils with the markers

(To bathe a drawing in light and shadow, determine where the light is coming from and which shapes are positioned to catch light and cast shadow. Keep the light source consistant. Light bounces off light color and creates lesser “bounce back light” often opposit the light source and inside of shade and cast shadow. Generalizing, cast shadows have hard eges that are not softened, Forms catching light DO get soft or gradual shading. The better you understand your drawings as existing in 3 dimensions, the easier shading becomes.)

3. Erase the pencils completely.

4. ink the page as necessary, pen/brush can accent and suggest fine detail.

5. use pro-white or white goache to add “specular lights”, suggest details and adjust shading.

6. Let dry, scan and share online at
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:09PM

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