Getting good blends with markers

Hey everyone,

Could anyone explain or demo how to get good, clean looking marker blends, like the kind you see in 1970’s era renderings? I’ve been in love with that style of drawing since I first saw it and would love to learn. I have the Rendering with Markers book but my stuff never looks similar to the demo’ed drawings in the book.

I’m decent with markers for quick sketches but usually my sketches can look a bit cell shaded, b/c every time I try to get a good blend all I do is make a mess of the drawing. Any help would be greatly appreciated… : )

I’ll post some examples later so everyone can see/comment/tear them apart…

I’m not sure exactly what you mean by the 1970’s style, but you may want to try different surfaces. You’re markers will look and blend very differently on different papers. I find you can get pretty smooth gradients if you do your linework on the front of some tracing paper, and then render the back. Drawing and rendering on opposite sides keeps from smearing your linework as well. Spray mount it on some white paper and it looks great.

Don’t throw away your older markers. Dry markers make nice gradiations.

A lot of those old style renderings used markers for solid block colors, then they use pastel w/ baby powder for the blended parts. Black + white color pencils for design lines other colored pencils for textures and white guache for hotspots.

Thanks for the info. Pastels and baby powder? Cool. That’s exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. I know that the Rendering with Markers book says to use black color pencil for outlining. I’ve found that sometimes when I do that it makes the rendering look a little “muddy” and not sharply defined. But when I use a thin black pen instead, it tends to overwork the drawing a bit and flatten everything out. I like the look of a ballpoint pen (I use those the most for sketching) but I know that they don’t tend to mix well with markers and will smear. I also tend to snap colored pencil leads A LOT. Can anyone recommend a good brand for doing outlines in black and white highlights? Something that gives a nice sharp look look without overpowering the drawing.

I’ve found that as much as people say that marker techniques are dying, interviewers still light up when you show them one, so I’m always trying to improve on them. Also, it’s fun.

I like the look of a ballpoint pen (I use those the most for sketching) but I know that they don’t tend to mix well with markers and will smear.

get yourself some AD/chartpak markers, they go over ink without smearing, it is amazing…

the inking pens used by illustrators are very good for creating nice crisp outlines