Monthly Archives: March 2017

What We Need to Know Before Drawing with Markers and Ink

Learn to Draw with Markers and Ink like a Pro

Drawing with markers offers almost instant gratification—markers are simple to use, require little prep time and dry quickly. Because the marking material is fluid, the smooth marks are unlike those made by dry drawing mediums.

Drawing with markers will offer you a range of brilliant color that surely will excite your creativity. They’re ideal for creating loose lines, calligraphic designs and precise technical illustrations.

One drawback to using them is that it’s not easy to correct mistakes. To work successfully, you need a bit of confidence and some drawing experience.

The many different types of markers go by various names, such as art markers, marker pens, artist pens, brush pens and paint markers. Art pens and markers come in every color you can imagine and can be purchased in sets to save money. They vary in size and tip shape and are further distinguished by their colorant, which can be dye, ink or paint, and alcohol-, water- or solvent-based.

Different Types of Markers

When learning how to draw with markers, it’s important to consider the different types. Three common kinds of markers are listed below: alcohol-based, water-based and solvent-based. Knowing the different qualities of each will help you choose which markers are best for your drawing needs.


These markers are fast-drying and waterproof. They don’t smell as strong as solvent-based brands, but they can still cause eye or respiratory irritation. Make sure your workspace is well ventilated.

Because alcohol-based markers dry quickly, the paper you work on doesn’t stay wet and is less likely to be torn as you layer colors. Popular brands among artists and designers include Prismacolor, Letraset Tria and Copic, whose pens are refillable. Sharpies, the all-purpose permanent markers, are also alcohol-based.


Because they are odorless and safe to use, water-based markers are the best choice for children. But adults can obviously make good use of them, too.

Some have brush tips made of foam or dense fiber. Others are chisel-shaped or have nylon brush tips that distribute the color.

Water-based paint markers, such as Sakura Permapaque markers, are opaque, generally quick-drying and water-resistant when dry.

Most brush pens and markers are water-based and have flexible nylon or foam tips shaped like traditional brushes. They make marks similar to small round bristle brushes and have a similar feel in the hand.

Many brush markers are double-ended, with a fine point on one end and a wider tip on the other. Brush pens and markers often use acid-free ink, which is ideal for calligraphic work, art journals and book arts. Try Staedtler Marsgraphic 3000 Duo, Pitt Artist Pens, Pentel Brush Pens or Marvy Brush Markers.


This type of marker creates brilliant color and is waterproof and long-lasting. A popular solvent-based brand for design and drawing is Chartpak Ad markers, whose solvent is xylene.

The solvents in markers can be xylene, methyl isobutyl ketone or butyl acetate, all of which can cause dizziness, headaches and nausea. Markers with these solvents should be used only in studios with excellent ventilation. Solvent-based markers aren’t suitable for children.

Many paint markers are solvent-based and opaque. You can use paint markers on porous and nonporous surfaces. They’re generally waterproof, but not necessarily permanent.

Paint markers are most useful for craft or decorative projects and signage. Shake them to mix the paint inside, and ensure your workspace has proper ventilation. This marker type, which come in many colors including metallics, can be blended with Turpenoid or other solvents.

Using Dip Pens

Long before markers hit art store shelves, artists drew with pen and ink. Dip pens have been made from reeds or quills since ancient times. The simplest is a Japanese hand-carved bamboo pen that has its shaft shaped into a tip that can be dipped into a pot of ink.

A bit more refined is a pen with an interchangeable metal nib held in a simple wooden or plastic handle. Drawing nibs are pointed metal tips that are somewhat flexible so the lines produced are thicker or thinner depending on the pressure of the hand.

Similar nibs are also available in pens that hold a reservoir of ink inside the handle, like a fountain pen, obviating the need to dip the pen into a pot of ink. The reservoir can be a disposable or refillable cartridge.

Mechanical pens have a metal, needle-like tip instead of a nib and produce a controlled line of predetermined width from 0.13 to 1.4 millimeters. Mechanical pens can be used for precise drafting and technical work or for sketching, although the unchanging width can become monotonous.

Black India ink is pigment-based ink that is permanent, lightfast and waterproof. Colored inks are acrylic- or shellac-based and can be thinned with water. Some colored inks aren’t lightfast and shouldn’t be exposed to direct sunlight for long periods.

3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Drawings

Now that we have covered the basics, here are three easy tips for drawing with markers and ink.

  • Line and wash: First do a line drawing in pen or ink. When it’s dry, add light washes with markers, watercolor or brush and ink. If the initial drawing is done in water-soluble ink, the wash will soften the ink lines, creating an interesting fusion of line and tone.
  • Layering: Markers lend themselves perfectly to blending and layering color. Start with the lightest colors, building up rich layers of color and texture. Colorless blenders, such as those from Prismacolor and Chartpak, can be used to soften edges and combine colors.
  • Combining media: Watercolor brush markers can be blended and lightened with a brush dipped in water or can be used in combination with traditional watercolor

Try Transferring an Image

Another great drawing technique is to use solvent-based colorless blenders to transfer laser-printed images to paper. Run a wide tip colorless blender over the area of the image you want to transfer.

If You Are Ready to Sell Art Online Read below

You Don’t Have to Be a Business Mogul to Make a Living from Your Art

I love the fact that we live in a day and age when artists have so much control over their careers. Making a living through creativity and artistic output is not only possible, but it is very likely if you do a few things right. Even more, I’m especially thrilled to see how we can sell art online. Putting artists in the drivers seat!

Know Your Price Point–Or Points

If you want to sell art online, industry standards tell us that $5,000 is a cap for the high end of what collectors and buyers are willing to pay to buy a work online. That’s not to say you should mark all your works for sale at this price. I recommend offering several different price points. That way you begin to groom young patrons who may not have a lot of money–but really like your art. More affordable price points or purchase plans are a great way to do that and, with the latter, you can set up online options that make this relatively secure and easy.

Imagery Is Key

Granted, looking at art online is not the same as viewing it in person. But the fact is that thousands more eyeballs can view your work on the web and that means you have to put presentation first. Get good photos of the work you plan to offer as well as a variety of shots. A shot in situ, a photo that is tight to the image, and several close-ups if possible–so patrons can get a real sense of the surface and any possible texture that exists on the surface.

Often Is Key

If you decide to offer art for sale online, try to give your audience–whether through email or through your social platforms–a schedule they can get familiar with. If you offer a landscape painting every Monday, patrons will start to anticipate seeing a landscape–and that builds excitement and interest for you.

Your Personality Is Key

If you sell your art online, your work will stand for itself. But you as the unique artist is a big part of the equation and not to be underestimated! Show your personality and slices of your life. It allows your patrons to get to know you and excited about you–and your art. Artists often think collectors just want to make the transition and go, but collectors often really respect the artists they follow and are curious about them. If you are comfortable sharing of yourself, I guarantee your audience is going to really respond.

And Don’t Forget the Paperwork

I know. We all hate it. That’s why I left it for last. But when you sell art online, you definitely want to consider insurance during shipping and a contract that protects you. Wherever you sell art online–whether through your own eCommerce store or an online art selling hub–make sure you are protected and you consult a legal professional and or CPA beforehand.

Make Your Next Move!

If you want to sell art online, you definitely can! But do you feel like you need to know more to confidently take the next step? Good! That means you are on the right track. ArtistsNetwork is in a position to offer you exactly what you need to accelerate your art career. Take our 60-second survey and sound off about your unique situation and interests. That way we can best equip you to make your art career a success starting now–and on your own terms. Everyone who answers the survey will automatically be entered to win a free $50 Gift Card to the North Light Shop. Click here to take the survey and let us start tailoring your art career for you!

Gale was confirmed for the ninth Abu Dhabi Art fair

The new director of the Abu Dhabi Art fair, Dyala Nusseibeh, is making changes to the Middle Eastern event, including a new curated section organised by the high-profile museum curator Omar Kholeif. The ninth edition of the Modern and contemporary art fair,  which launches later this year at Manarat al Saadiyat (8-11 November), is due to include 48 galleries, up from 35 last year. These include regional dealers such as Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Modern Art Gallery and Lawrie Shabibi of Dubai. Notable international names include Sprüth Magers, which run spaces in Berlin, London and Los Angeles, and Sean Kelly Gallery of New York.

Kholeif, the Manilow senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, will oversee Beyond Territory. “The focus is artists who work with landscape in the broad sense: the formal, social and political landscape,” he tells The Art Newspaper. “I wanted to not limit this to artists from the region but to create an inter-generational and global map to show that there were connections across geographies, subjects, sites and forms.

“We will most definitely be introducing lots of new artists to Abu Dhabi for the first time: Sprüth Magers, who have never before exhibited at any fair in the Middle East, will be doing a beautiful solo booth of Otto Piene, the German Zero artist; Jhaveri Contemporary will be bringing a prized and unique installation by Nalini Malani and Iftikhar Dadi (Bloodlines, 1997); Isabelle Van den Eynde will be showing early works by Hassan Sharif, the incredible UAE artist, which have not been seen before,” Kholeif adds.

Another new section, Solo Projects, follows other fairs, bringing curated presentations of solo artists. The artists Manal Aldowayan, Magdi Mostafa and Nasser Alsalem will create new public works located in Manarat al Saadiyat and other sites as part of the Beyond programme.

Meanwhile, a series of images by the Kuwaiti photographer Tarek Al-Ghoussein, which document the development of the Saadiyat Island cultural quarter in Abu Dhabi over the past seven years, has been used by the fair for its advertising and branding campaigns this year. Seven of Al-Ghoussein’s works will be used across print and digital platforms; the photographs will also be displayed at the fair.

Nusseibeh was appointed last November; she was previously director of the defunct Art International fair in Istanbul. Her father, Zaki, was an adviser to Sheikh Zayed, the founding president of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi Art is run by the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, a government body. Meanwhile, the exact date of the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi museum, a major draw for collectors and galleries, has yet to be fixed.

What Artists Are Wrong About Fearless Girl Statues

This past weekend NYC artist Alex Gardega added a third sculpture to the Charging Bulland Fearless Girl works near Wall Street in Lower Manhattan. Titled Pissing Pug, the bronze-painted papier-mâché work features a petite pup with its hind leg raised, urinating on the feet of the Fearless Girl. Gardega created the crude sculpture in response to what he sees as “fake feminism,” or corporations co-opting an empowering message that has very little to do with empowerment in the end, and everything to do with positioning their brand in a better light. “This is corporate nonsense,” Gardega told the New York Post.

Gardega also remarked that the Fearless Girl statue detracts from the Charging Bull, the iconic gargantuan statue crafted by sculptor Arturo Di Modica. The bull has been a symbolic fixture on Wall Street since it was first created in 1989 by what Gardega considers a true artist. While Gardega’s artistic intentions were for the pug to invade the Fearless Girl’s space, just as he views the Fearless Girl to be invading the Charging Bull‘s space, his critics are calling the work misogynistic. Pissing Pug remained on view for only a few hours before it was taken down by the artist himself due to the public backlash.

While the Fearless Girl sculpture IS a pawn within a corporate chess game (the piece was quietly commissioned by asset manager State Street Global Advisors), the statue’s status as a beacon of empowerment for young girls transcended its original calculated message and really did inspire young women.

On the morning before International Women’s Day in March, a bronze statue of a young girl was erected directly in front of Wall Street’s famous Charging Bull sculpture. The statue shows the girl with her hands placed defiantly on her hips, staring at the bull straight on.

The statue was created by artist Kristen Visbal, who told The Wall Street Journal, “I see it as a piece that every woman can and should relate to… The bull is symbolic of every issue coming down the pike, that they can stand firm and hold their ground and deal with it.”

State Street Global Advisors, the world’s third-largest asset manager, is responsible for installing the statue. The image accompanies a new campaign by the business to pressure companies to put women on their boards. According to Business Insider, State Street Global Advisors has promised to vote against boards unless corporations take measures to increase women members. It notified 3,500 companies of its intention on Tuesday.

The statue is called Fearless Girl, and the plaque affixed to it reads: “Know the power of women in leadership. SHE makes a difference.” According to Lori Heinel, State Street Global Advisors’ deputy global chief investment officer, the new statue is a way of reopening conversation about traditional, male-oriented Wall Street conventions, Business Insider reports. “One of the most iconic images on Wall Street is the charging bull. So the idea of having a female sort of stand against the bull or stand up to the bull just struck us as a very clever but also creative and engaging way to make that statement,” she said.