Friday, October 8, 2010

Illustration Friday: beneath

I know they have moved onto a new prompt but here's my illustration for beneath. My son and I read an old favorite this week, Hug by Jez Alborough. I must have never looked at how the illustrations were done before and I was surprised to see that it said Prismacolor markers, a medium you do not see much anymore in books. So this week in my studio before I left I wanted to play around and here's the result.

Sarah, I tried to blend them with the pencil blender (because I don't have a marker blender) like you described but it didn't work, you're going to have to refresh my memory next meeting.


  1. I still use those markers, I find the best way to blend is layering on a lighter color. Then slowly moving in with the darker color, then a little more light and back and forth until you are happy.

    This is cute, really like the wind lines :)

  2. It's fun to try out different mediums. I have used a marker blender, but only for transfers. A book making instructor showed me how to do it. I'll bring it to one of our meetings so you can see what it looks like.

    I like how the tree creates interesting negative shapes!

  3. Nice composition! I agree with Ann Marie that you've got some great negative space here.

    Unfortunately the colorless blender pencil only works with the colored pencils (it's essentially clear wax that mixes in with the pigmented wax on your paper). The colorless blender marker, on the other hand, works to both bleed out your marker strokes and to break down the wax of the colored pencils making the colors blend together -almost- like watercolor. Casey suggested a great way to get a similar effect with using a lighter colored marker to blend instead of the colorless blender. I have found that I have to have two or three blenders on hand because using them with pencils can gunk up the tips a bit. I used to work this way: Pencil/ink drawing > Light colored marker to fill in broad spaces > Colorless blender marker to smooth out marker strokes > Colored Pencils > Colorless blender to breakdown wax buildup > More colored Pencils > colorless blender pencil for final touches and burnishing.

    I might also recommend marker paper, like Bienfang Graphics 360 Marker Paper (available at I used this when colored the illustrations for "Ugly as Toad". When you color with markers on this paper it doesn't soak in or bleed like regular paper and it's very easy to avoid stroke lines.

    I'm personally a huge fan of Prismacolor. I used my first real-world tax refund to get the 72 count marker set.

    Phwew. Apparently I got a little excited about your choice of medium! Nice work, Miss Jennifer.