Sharpies Pt. 2: Lions and Tigers and Zebras (Oh My!)

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I decided to up my sharpie game by using highlighters to add some color. I saw this style of animal drawings on Tumblr (of course) with watercolor, and it looked SO cool. Since I don’t have water color though, I resorted to highlighters for my accent colors. I have to say, I really like the contrast between the dark sharpie marks and the bright shading of the highlighters. It’s a new type of shading for me that I wasn’t used to, so I had to practice a few times so I could get a feel of which colors to use.

When I draw with a pen, the shading is usually more straight forward. Since there is no color scale, I usually use varying distances of hashmarks to create a gradient shading. With highlighters, there is no gradient – shading is created by distinct colors (orange, green, blue, and yellow) to show light vs. dark.

I wish I could say that I did these in one try, but I admit I did practice runs for each to make sure I got the coloring right. Once I got over the initial perfectionist barrier I usually get when starting a new drawing, this project became really fun, especially with all the colors. The Zebra was actually the most difficult for me because of the sharp black and white stripes (to put color in the black or white area? that is the question…). It’s kind of exciting experimenting with such bright, bold colors.  because they aren’t something that can be erased or covered up if you make a mistake. They force you to make every mark with confidence, and just roll with whatever comes out. Look at that! another life lesson. I’m on a roll with my art-self-discovery.

Xx Carissa


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