Thursday, March 13, 2014

Cambridge 1987 marker drawing

I have been drawing with markers for most of my artistic life. I am always looking for new developments in art marker technology. When art markers first were invented, they were mostly in basic colors such as crayons might have, with no pastel shades or earth tones. By the 70s and 80s marker sets were made with a wider range of colors and marketed to people in the advertising business. You may remember my menu cards for Paco's Tacos which were done in 1979-1980. The markers I used, made by Pantone, included a wide array of more lifelike colors in lighter and more neutralized colors including greyscale. I recently found in my collection three of these old markers from 1979, that is, 35 years ago, and two of them were still usable! 

Later sets of markers were water-based, rather than alcohol or more toxic xylene based. Water-based markers are safer to use but do not blend or cover as nicely as the alcohol based ones. In the late 80s I invested in a big set of professional-grade markers called "StabiLayout," and I did a lot of on-site sketching with them. This is one sketch I did using them. They had the lighter colors and shades of brown and warm grey. This is the house across the street from where I lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I loved the way the late winter sunlight fell across the porch and the round turret to the right behind the tree. These markers had only chisel points, rather than the brush tips now available on the best markers.

Nowadays there are loads of markers  which have a great variety of colors and can be bought individually rather than in just the crayon colors. I continue to collect as many of the lighter colors as I can afford and hope to do some on-site sketching if it ever gets warm outside.

Marker sketch is 6 1/2" x 9" on sketchbook page, March 10, 1987.

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