Archive | June 2014

Elf Prince – Work in Progress

Elf prince. Markers on very smooth paper.

As you can see I am still working on this piece. What I find interesting is the way the markers leave their marks (!) on the paper. Due to the amount of smoothness of the paper you can see the single strokes of the brush or the ball point. The painting does not look flat at all.

When I was painting I could compare the markers with a brush tip and the markers with a ball tip, and I must say, that I prefer the ones with a brush tip. My Delta Markers made by the German company Rotbart are far less expensive than the copics, but they only have a ball tip. That’s why I am looking forward to get some Shin Han Touch markers which come in two versions – one with a ball tip and one with a brush tip.

Elf Prince – work in progress

Elf prince. Markers on paper.

As you can see I’m now colouring the background of the sketch with markers in various shades of green. The smoothness of the paper makes it possible to lay down the strokes in a way that makes them look like painted with a brush. (Actually some of the markers I’m using do have a brush tip – the copic ciaos. For a long time copic ciaos or sketch markers were the only markers with brush tips – now you can get Shin Han Touch Markers with brush tips as well, and they are far less expensive than copics. In the meantime their colour range is also quite big.

However, up to today I only have managed to look at their colour charts, thinking about the colour which would go nicely with my other markers. My free time is filled with other things at the moment (including continuing with this piece!), and I seem to manage without having to buy a new marker. But  I still enjoy looking at the colour charts…

Another fantasy creature

Portrait of an elf. Sketch done with pencils and ink. June 2014

I did this on some scrap  paper. Obviously I’m fascinated by fantasy characters – I just love to draw them over and over.

I intend to trace that drawing on my marker paper, using my handmade light table or – a very simple tool – the window pane. The format is DIN A5 again. I think that’s a nice format for marker illustrations. The good thing with having the lineart on an extra sheet of paper is that you can have more than one coloured version.

I don’t know how it is with you, but looking at the drawing makes me looking forward to the colouring process. Do I need more markers? What colour combination will be best? How should I do the background? I wish I could work on it more during the week, but that’s not realistic. I’ll be happy if I get the tracing done the next days, and maybe can show you the first colours on Friday, but I am not sure.

One of the reasons why I am not sure is that I am a soccer fan, and on Thursday the Germans will play against the United States in the FIFA soccer worldcup. The game will begin at 6pm, and depending from the result there might be no time for drawing and painting after the end of the game…

Green elf – Finished

This is the finished version. I used copic ciaos and Delta Markers on a very smooth paper. The advantage of this paper is that you can blend very easily on the paper; the disadvantage however is drying takes its time, and even then it has a bit of sticky touch.

The format I chose is DIN-A5 or the half of a usual copy paper size. (DIN A4). This is a bit of an unusal format for mattes and framing; however I found out that Boesner, a very big art shop in Germany, sells DIN A$ frames. So I could put the painting on a DIN A4 piece of cardboard and then frame it.

I don’t know about you but I always have a funny feeling when I’ve finished one piece. On one side I am – at least in this case – quite glad about the result, but on the other hand I’ve no idea what to do next. Okay, I’ve got some ideas in my head, but nothing concrete. The only thing I know is that I would like to do a real painting again – that means, with a background – and that leads to the decision to keep the smaller format.


At the moment I am juggling and trying to keep the balls froum falling down to the floor. I am still dealing with the consequences of plaster falling down from the ceiling when I had my hall painted. I am also very busy at work, and just now it is soccer world championship, and I simply enjoy watching teams from all over the world playing against each other. All this leads to the fact that I haven’t been done much on my last marker piece that is worth showing.

At first I felt rather ashamed, bur then I decided to give myself the permission to have days without doing art or artsy things. Not that I am not looking at the work in progress, the Green Elf, thinking about possible colour combinations. But I won’t be able to put a new stroke on the paper till the weekend. That’s it. I definitely will show you something new on next Monday!

Copic Coloring Tutorial on YouTube

I found this tutorial when I was looking for copic coloring tutorials on YouTube. There are lots of tutorials about colouring hair or skin with markers, but only a few which show how to colour flowers. In this video you not only learn how to colour a beautiful red rose but you also get information about the right paper.

Plant fairy – work in progress

Plant fairy. copics and other markers on paper. June 2014

This time I wanted to experiment with my greens. I’ve got several shades of green, and the very smooth paper makes it possible to mix or blend the greens even on the paper itself. As you can see here, I focussed on the upper half of my sketch, I had two reasons for that:

  • I wanted to fill in the background and therefore preferred a smaller format (half of a DIN A4 page)
  • I considered the upper half of the sketch with the plant fairy’s head to be more interesting as the lower half. The leaves around her head would provide me with the opportunity to go through all my greens. In the process of doing it I found out that I actually don’t need any additional greens although I had been playing with the idea of buying some.

It doesn’t look like it but the background consists of warm grays, with some spots of red between. I might as well add some “real” browns here and there.

Plant fairy

Plant fairy. Drawing done with Staedtler ink pen. June 2014

I plan to trace that line drawing on my marker paper and the paper I use for my coloured pencils. It will be fun to see the difference between a painting done with markers and a painting done with coloured pencils!

Grumpy Red Flower


This is another marker version of a digital painting. You can see the digital painting here.

You can see the work in progress painting on my tumblr.

Digital Art Journal with tumblr

I’ve opened a tumblr account many years ago in 2008. Some of my web acquaintances had one, and were very excited. But I never really knew what to do with it. I had this blog, I had flickr.

In the meantime however, tumblr has become the home of many artists. It is so easy to upload images, and often it is just images which are uploaded. So I thought I might as well use tumblr as a kind of digital art journal.

I am just working on a new piece painted with markers. I have used the lineart for two digital pieces, one of which you can see here, and I now want to do a “traditional art” piece (Some people may doubt, whether you can describe a marker painting as “traditional art”.). The first thing which I am noticing is that I’m far more careful in selecting the colours. You can’t just wipe the colours off like you can with photoshop. The other thing is that it is a nice feeling of doing something with your hands, one stroke after the other. Painting even has a kind of zen-like quality- soothing and relaxing. I don’t feel like that when I am painting digitally. But both ways to paint have something in common: They take me away from reality. I can spend hours without noticing how the time rushed away!