March 31, 2013

Tools of Doom episode 1 - Sharpie markers



A quick review of stuff I use for traditional drawing and sketching.

When I was in a high school I was a big fan of pencils. I used all kinds of them - automatic, graphite, solid graphite, charcoal. Then I discovered other media - pens and markers. I fell in love with them almost immediately and I use them all the time since then.

I prefer pens and markers over pencils because somehow they make you think quickly about the design before making a mark on the paper. Once you put a mark on the paper, it stays there, forever. Each line has a meaning. Yes, it is more difficult to get what you want and it's easier to ruin the drawing with even one bad line. But if so, you have to start a new sketch, which results in lots of design variations and there is always chance of "happy accidents". With pencils, you would just erase bad line and refine the drawing until it's done, but you end up with one design. By keeping all steps and evolution of a design, permanent media help my design process a lot.

In this first episode of Tools of Doom, I'll talk a bit about Sharpie Markers, the basic tool I use for sketching.

Sharpie Permanent Markers

1. Sanford Sharpie markers.

Sharpie's are quick drying permanent (on most surfaces) markers with awesome ink, that doesn't have that metallic gloss which other black permanent markers have. They're produced by Sanford and have Art & Creative Materials Institute certificate.

Sharpie sizes and line weights.

There are 3 sizes that I use - Ultra Fine Point, Extra Fine Point and Fine Point. Each one gives you a different line weight, so usually I combine them all while sketching. But actually you can use Ultra Fine Point for all sketch work. Extra Fine and Fine Point are good for filling larger areas with black. Sometimes I use Extra Fine Point for drawing quick thumbnail sketches like in the next photo.

Sharpie thumbnail sketches - Extra fine.

Here's a sketch using Ultra fine and Fine for heavier lines that help to indicate the form.


Sharpie thumbnail sketches (Ultra fine + Fine).


I use black Sharpies for sketching, but there are other colors available. Sometimes i use green, red or yellow for some notes and indications.

Here are a couple of more examples of Sharpie sketches.

Sharpie Ultra fine.

Sharpie Ultra fine + Fine.
Lefties (sketches with left hand) - Sharpie Ultra fine.
Quick sketch note - Sharpie Ultra fine + Fine.
Sketch note - Sharpie Ultra fine.


Since usually you can't get Sharpies in any kind of store in Poland, I have to order them from online distributor in 12 pieces packs. I use them a lot anyway and that way I always have a fresh ones on my desk.


Coming next - Copic Markers.