In this tutorial, Mark will show us a sketch rendering using traditional markers and pastels. In many of today’s studios, the computer and software such as Photoshop have replaced these techniques. They have undoubtedly moved things on leaps and bounds and there are many talented designers out there pushing new digital techniques further every day, but sometimes its good to take a step back and have a more “hands on approach” to a sketch.
The starting point is as always a good line drawing. This sketch started as a simple biro and marker thumbnail enlarged on the photocopier and used as the underlay. At this stage, I put the ellipses in for the wheels and sketch out the wheel design and other details. Do not be afraid to do several versions at this stage if you are not happy with the perspective or layout. I tend to work in quite a clear style so I try to keep the sketch tight at this stage, but these techniques can apply to more freeform styles as well.
Once you are happy with the line work, its time to put down some colour. I use Chartpak AD markers because I like the fluidity of the ink and the blending capabilities to achieve tonal variation. At this stage, it is very important to consider what it is you are rendering, remember you are trying to describe form as well as make a cool sketch! I start by establishing a horizon reflection and filling in below this; I then add colour in areas of shadow, this stage should be very quick otherwise, you will end up bogged down in to much detail work and the sketch will look overworked and lifeless. Note that I do not fill in the colour completely but leave the rear of the car empty. This is to give the sketch some depth and to draw focus to the front. I also left some blank areas in the side to give a hint of some reflection. Let the ink dry and then go over some areas again to give some tonal variation, this is most notable in the shadow under the air duct scoop on the body side.
Next, I add the shadows and the wheels with a combination of cool grey markers nos. 1, 3, 5 and 8 I have also filled in the screen area and the headrests. I used cool grey 8 for the dark areas of the front tyres and cool grey 5 for the same areas of the rear tyre to0 further enhance the depth. Again, tonal variations can be achieved by going over areas again; I also added some cool grey 3 to the darkest red areas to boost contrast.
Now for the messy bit! For this sketch I used I used 4 pastel colours, a red was a close match for the red marker, a sky blue, a deep blue and a little black. Each scrapped with a scalpel onto a spare sheet of paper. Depending on the quality of your pastels, you may need to add a small amount of baby powder to each pile to smooth out the pastel in to a fine powder. The aim here is to get the pastel to go on the paper as smoothly as possible, this is where the baby powder comes in, shake a small amount over the entire page and using a cotton pad or tissue pad spread it all over the sketch, unless you now cant see your sketch don’t dust off the powder. Using a clean tissue pad (tear off approx a 50mm square and fold it 3-4 times to get a good folded edge) dap the folded edge in the red pastel and apply to your sketch. At this stage, I am not to worried about the intensity more trying to get colour in the right place, I have also added some blue to the screen and a touch of black to the shadows and to give some depth to the wheels. Try not to use too much black as it can make a sketch look muddy. When you are done use a putty rubber to carefully erase any unwanted pastel, for example in the headlights or wheels.
To increase the intensity of the pastels it is necessary to build them up in layers, fixing each layer as you go. I prefer to use letraset 103 (green tin) as it fixes well and gives a good surface for further pastel layers. Gently blow or shake of the excess pastel and baby powder and away from your workspace lightly spray an even coat over the sketch. Allow it to dry and then repeat step 4. At this stage, I added some blue to the headlamps and the deep blue to the screen area. The only black I used was under the air duct scoop on the body side. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you get the desired intensity, it should be possible in 3-4 layers any more than this and the paper starts to become over loaded.
The final stage is to tidy every thing up and add highlights. For this I use a black and a white prisma colour pencil and for extra crispness or detail a black biro. Highlights are then added with white gouache and a fine paintbrush.