I love working with alcohol markers to create soft, gently blended skin tones. They were the first tool that I really mastered when I trained to become a Fashion Illustrator. They are quick, predictable, come in a HUGE range of colours and fun to use!
The MEPXY Brush markers are one of my preferred brands and I recommend the boxed Pastel Set of 24 as a great basic kit for creating contemporary portraits.
One of the things I adore using most with alcohol markers is watercolour. The way they completely ignore each other is fascinating to me. I finally found a paper that could cope with both of these very different supplies and wanted to dedicate a journal just to the markers, my Schmincke watercolour set and favourite pen.
But the thing that makes alcohol markers so wonderful is the very thing that makes them a challenge for using in an Art Journal. It's the way that the ink bleeds-through to the back of the page! So rather than continue to lament the bleed-through, I decided to use it as a kick start for another drawing.
In this image you can see the bleed-through from the girl in blue and where i used that to create a new drawing.
The gorgeous, highly pigmented Schmincke watercolours don't bleed through, so I am safe to use them back to back on my pages. Look at the way Transparent Orange and Brilliant Red Purple and Magenta mix!
Here is another example showing the progression of my artwork:
- i start with the skintones of the girl in MEPXY markers ( R00 Sun Kiss and W11 Nude and a touch of W02 Skinskin for the cheeks).
- Details are added with the Jane Davenport Epic pen
- Schmincke Indigo for the background
- Neutral tint for more shadows
- Alizarin Crimson for her dress, lips, freckles and emphasis lines.
On the reverse of the page i used the MEPXY bleed-through to start this loose little sketch of a bunny-girl.
- This portrait started with a pen sketch and then I added my alcohol markers. I finished with liberal swathes of watercolour . I have included a shot of the bleed-through.
- And this is what I did with the bleed-through. The patchy colour really suits loose pencil sketches!
- This Titian girl turned quite blue:
- And my sweet niece turned into a fairy:
- This blue haired goddess, turned into Frida Kahlo:
- I find that using the bleed- through of the markers was a freeing way to start a new page! I used to paint the back of my journal pages with gesso to hide the bleed through, but I like this new method.
- I hope you are inspired to look at the Bleed-through of your alcohol markers and make something new from it too!
- Supplies Used:
- The Jane Davenport selection of Schmincke Watercolours is available here: click
- MEPXY Pastel Set is available here: click
- Neptune Watercolour Brushes are available here: click
- Jane Davenport Epic Pen available here: click
- Blender Journal available here: click
Jane “Danger” Davenport is an internationally recognized artist, best-selling author and popular workshop instructor. Through her online Art Schools, publications and Escape Artist Retreats, Danger has enabled tens of thousands of people from all around the world to embrace their innate artistic selves.
You can see more here: www.janedavenport.com/workshops