Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sharpie Week!

Ever since I picked up a few sets of the new Sharpie Pen at Staples big "back to school" sale a couple weeks ago, I've been breaking out the markers in a big way. I'm a HUGE fan of Marvy's line of Artwin markers but I am adoring the new Sharpie Pen, and it has inspired me to do Sharpie Week here on my blog. Of course, using the Sharpies has also led to my breaking out the Marvy Artwin markers as well, so you may see a week devoted to Marvy markers coming up as well!

Drawing with markers is a really good creative exercise for me. I go through periods where I can't imagine starting any drawing without an initial pencil sketch first. The thing that's so cool about working with markers is that it forces me out of that box, big-time. I don't like to 'muddy' up marker lines with the pencil lines underneath them. No matter how well you erase at first, you leave a slight line as a guide, and then that line inevitably gets mixed in with the marker ink. I don't like it.

I think drawing freehand and free-minded, without a map on your paper and NO way to erase, is an EXCELLENT exercise to maintain creatively quick-witted and sharp. Additionally, it keeps you from thinking too "precious" about your work. And one aspect which is hugely important to maintain as an artist is the letting go of habits of restrained thinking and restrained drawing. You HAVE to allow yourself to make mistakes. In fact, I think it's really important to train yourself to work WITH mistakes, almost as if they are another tool in your tool box! Yes, you heard me right. When I was a kid and I would draw, I would play this game with myself. If I made a "mistake" in my drawing, I would force myself to work it into the drawing, NO erasing allowed. Sometimes I was successful, and sometimes I wasn't. But I really, really forced myself to try and make it work, before ever throwing in the towel. I had to be really, truly beat before I gave up. This exercise was so important to my growth as an artist. I believe that working with markers and working without an underlying sketch really fosters building those muscles! And believe me when they are sharp,  those muscles really come in handy in your everyday professional creative life. Like anything, you have to use it or lose it -- you get rusty if you don't use it. So, when it comes to working with markers, I basically just hit the gas and go. I may have a plan, but it's in my head only, not mapped out on the paper.

Hope you have fun checking out my sharpie art this week!

9 comments:

Sarah said...

I have been addicted to sharpie pens since they first came out. I had to buy a huge box because I keep them everywhere. Have fun!

taralazar said...

I only just learned about the Sharpie pens. Must. Have. Them. But I will have to hide them from my kids...

When are we going to see a Shar Pei Sharpie drawing? ;-)

Loni Edwards said...

Love Sharpies! Have fun! Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Kathy Weller said...

Tara, Hee hee I need to get on the stick, on that one!! :)

BJ Lantz said...

I can't stand the smell of Sharpies. When I was in college, I was bent over a project that I was coloring in with a fat Sharpie and I ended up tossing my cookies. So, I guess that might be why I really don't like the smell...kind of like a margarita for me, LOL However, I do like Staedtler pigment liners that come in a variety of sizes and use them for my ink drawings. What I like about drawing with ink rather than pencil (which I still love to do also) is that often when I sketch in pencil and then render in ink, I feel that I lose some of the charm of the original sketch in the translation. So, drawing it in ink to start with sometimes captures that charm...

Ann Marie said...

Excellent post, Kathy. I referenced it in my blog today. Thank you for this!

Kathy Weller said...

BJ-I totally hear you on Sharpie gross smell! I haven't used Sharpies in a long time because of the smell. in fact last year, I bought a nice set of colored Sharpie liners. (I guess I'd forgotten about the smell.) Well when I got them home boy was I mad - they reeked! Good thing my memory did not kick in when I saw these pens at Staples or I never would have taken the chance on them. They do not smell, at all. (Not even a little.) The line is cleaner and the ink is deeper. They bleed Les into the paper fiber. (They still do, but more comparable to a finer pen, more like a Pitt pen but the nib is a little thicker, I think.) Anyway, I have a mind to mail you one just to get you togive it a chance, but I don't want you to have a psychosomatic reaction ( which, given how bad Sharpies can smell, would be fully understandable!!) :)
Kathy

Kathy Weller said...

Ann Marie -Wow,thanks!! :) I will check it out!

Jamila said...

I've often heard that it is good to draw in pen to force yourself to draw without the thought of being able to erase. At first, it was a frightening thought, but when I have done it, it is freeing and fun and it is neat to try to see how you can incorporate your "mistakes." Thanks for sharing this. and for sharing your Sharpie artwork. All of those colors the Shapries come in are inviting and fun! Thanks, again! :)