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Sketching with Sharpies

A few weeks ago my roommate came across a few large plastic bags on the side of the road, full of pens and markers – discarded office supplies that were up for grabs.  He stuffed them all in his backpack and brought them home.  When I saw the stash I knew what my focus was going to be for the next week – sketching with the sharpies found in those bags.

The timing worked out well because I’ve been reading Scott McCloud‘s book Understanding Comics, and I wanted to try my hand at the style of drawing that McCloud uses.  So as I read I tried sketching a few of the images that were particularly appealing to me.  I also started adding in some sketches of objects that were around me at the time.  Here is the set of images that I ended up with:


I enjoyed sketching with sharpies for a couple of reasons.  One is the permanence. I had to be careful with each stroke because there was no erasing.  Another is the large format.  I was using standard sized sharpies, which meant that in general my sketches were larger than what I am used to doing.  This exercise was a good companion to reading McCloud’s book, and makes me want to try my hand at making comics one of these days.