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!