Workshop 16: Sketching with Markers for Beginners

Instructor:  Wes Douglas


This workshop will focus on the different effects that can be achieved by sketching with markers. It is surprisingly simple to do and versatile as a tool for on-location sketching. Through demonstrations and hands-on exercises, learn how to create many of the same effects as watercolor, and without the messy clean up – just click the caps back on! Participants will receive handouts for marker papers and products on the market.

Learning Goals:

  • coloring for flat areas of color
  • blending of two or more colors
  • creating the illusion of shape, dimension and texture
  • rendering architecture
  • rendering landscaping
  • adding people or animals to your sketch


  • sketchbook (4×6″ or larger recommended)
  • pencils and erasers
  • black pen for line work (Sharpie Ultra Fine Point, Uniball gel pen or ballpoint)
  • starter kit of markers (Copic, Prismacolor, Blick or Pitt greys)

Wes’s sketches:

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 11.29.04 AM

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 11.29.19 AM

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 11.29.40 AM



8 thoughts on “Workshop 16: Sketching with Markers for Beginners

  1. Looking forward to the workshop! One question, it says starter kit of markers, any recommended color sets (primary colors plus grey)? Will any greys work (cool, neutral, warm, …)? Are you thinking a 6, 12, 24, … piece set? Just trying to narrow down the choices a little more.


  2. Hi Thaddeus, Great question. My suggestion is to start out with a set of grey markers. If I were you, I would first look at what kind of sketches you like to do or want to do. For example, I like warm grey markers because I do a lot of people and older buildings which look pretty good in warmer tones. Copic, Prismacolor and Pitt markers all come in sets of warm and cool grey and you can get a set of 12 that will give you a good range. Also if you’d like to save some money, check out the Blicks sets of warm and cool grey markers. The Copic and Prismacolor also have other color groups you can look at (basic colors, earth tones, pastels, etc.) in case grey does not excite you. Let me know if this helps or if you still have questions. Wes Douglas


  3. Markers ,
    I am as this workshop suggests a beginner to the use of markers for sketching. I am certainly looking forward to giving it a try. I do not have markers and do not want to invest $$$ as I am not sure where this will take me. As Dick Blicks is in Chicago near where most of our activities are taking place I thought my best alternative was to go there on Friday night and purchase what you suggest. Is there a type of marker (not make) that we are to have. Brush or original is what I am seeing and I think by your sketches – original. What kind of tip. Thank you for your time. Looking forward to the experience . We are coming from
    Canada where there is no Dick Blicks.


    • Hello Nancy! I’m looking forward to you in the workshop as well. I use chisel tip markers mostly but that is probably the same as original. The starter kits I refer to usually come in sets of 12 and they could run you about $40. If you would like to spend less than that, just buy individual markers and maybe pick out about 6 colors you like. That will give you a good feel. I will also bring some of my own for you to play with. I hope this helps you.


    • Hello Nancy! I’m excited that you decided to sign up for my workshop. If you are not sure if you will like markers and do not want to invest in them, don’t buy any until you take my class. I will have a few markers on hand so that you can try them out. Then you can purchase the kind of markers that you wish after you have had a chance to try mine out. If you do decide to purchase some ahead of time, pick out a handful of colors that you like and just buy those. You won’t need to get a whole set of 12 that way. I hope one of these options works for you. Wes


  4. Pingback: Sponsor Announcement: Faber – Castell | USk Chicago Sketch Seminar 2016

  5. Pingback: Meet Our Instructors: Wes Douglas | USk Chicago Sketch Seminar 2016

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