Sam learns how to use markers

Hey Guys!

For my first “official” blog post, I thought I’d share the process of creating my latest drawing – one of Agent Dale Cooper from the show Twin Peaks. I’m in the midst of watching Twin Peaks (after being told 1,000 times that I would love it) and I just had to draw Cooper – because he’s so weird and awesome.

I wanted to go with something a little different for this piece, and not my normal traditional style. So, I started sketching a more cartoony version of Coop, within a circle. For some reason the circle seemed right to me. Then I used pens to draw over the lines I made and to fill in the circle – I use a Fudenosuke Brush Pen for finer details and a Pentel Arts Pocket Brush Pen to cover larger areas.


I can totally draw a circle, what are you talking about.


I wasn’t sure whether I wanted it to be just black and white, or have some shading.  Or what I would use to create the shading.

Then I decided, at that moment, that I really needed to learn how to use art markers and it was SUPER IMPORTANT that I learned how to do so right away.

My new prized possessions

So I went to the art store and bought several different grey shades of Prismacolor markers – from Warm Grey 20% to Warm Grey 60% (I couldn’t find a darker grey option than that) and a black marker as well. You can get a set of greyscale Prismacolor markers on Amazon, but I wanted to just get a few first to see if I even liked working with markers (spoiler alert: I did).

I was super stoked to get my markers and learn how to use them! I learned a bit about working with art markers from watching Youtube videos by cartoonist Will Terrell, who is an amazing artist! His people sketching videos are my favorites. He uses markers a lot for his illustrations, and gives advice on how to use them and how they work on different types of paper.

A bit of progress…

With markers, as with a lot of other media, you want to shade from light to dark. So I laid down a layer of warm grey 20% over almost all of the drawing, and then layered the 20% over itself several times in places to see how deep I could get the shade just by using that one marker. Then I started adding in the 50%, and the 60%, and layering over and over again in places that needed to get darker. I will definitely need to practice with the markers a lot more to get to a point where I feel proficient with them – but this was a great and fun way to introduce myself to them. Also, a great way for me to spend more money than I can afford on more markers!

Damn fine coffee, Diane

Once I was happy with the shading, I went over the black ink background with the black marker, which smoothed out the texture of the background very nicely. Then I used a white jelly roller pen to add a few highlights and even out the white outline around Coop. As a side note – I have used white gel pens waaaay more than I ever expected I would. They are an awesome tool for artists!

I’ll be selling this as an 8×8″ original piece soon, and will hopefully make prints of it for my shop if anyone is interested in purchasing it!

Thanks for reading – I’m hoping to post a few blog entries each week, mostly similar to this format. I’d love hearing feedback from people on what kind of content they’d like to see from my blog (more “walkthroughs” like this, commentary on art, or just finished pieces with less commentary). I’m still getting the hang of this!



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