The style and quality of markers are constantly improving. Henry C. Pitz, in his book Sketching with the Felt-tip Pen (1959), referred to the felt-tip pen as "the new tool." At that time it was a new invention and was certainly a novelty to artists. The marker has since evolved into one of the most popular drawing media, replacing pen. pencil, and other color media. It is widely used for a number of good reasons: it is simple to work with; it dries fast and it usually does not smudge; it comes in numerous pre-mixed colors and a variety of tip designs; its nib is often soft and penetrating; and, above all. the marker is convenient.

The marker also has its drawbacks. It is not an inexpensive medium. It also has a relatively short shelf life. The penetrating effect of most markers requires special paper, and bleeding is extremely difficult to predict and control. The convenience of premixed color eliminates the creative possibilities of color mixing. Over all, its ease in handling is welcomed by most students, who think of it as a lazy man's tool.

The marker should be looked upon as a unique medium. It is neither pen nor pencil and should not be used as such. It has a unique tip that responds to pressure, surface conditions, and fluid characteristics. These features make markers excellent sketching tools. Therefore an intimate understanding of their characteristics is vital to successful sketching.

Title: Tall Ship

Original size: 11x17 inches Medium: felt-tip markers on white tracing paper

Technique: line drawing, textural shading

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Learn to sketch by working through these quick, simple lessons. This Learn to Sketch course will help you learn to draw what you see and develop your skills.

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