But it's Christmas time so I'm able to open my heart a little bit. I bought Adam Hughes' fantastic book, Cover Run, a few weeks ago. I love his design and draftsmanship, but I find myself charmed by his skin tones -- they have this wonderfully grayed-down, pink/purple hue. I knew that he drew and inked his artwork via traditional means, and then colored it with Photoshop, but what I didn't know was how extensively he used markers. I conducted research and found online video lessons where he demonstrated how he used the markers. His results were fantastic. I became intrigued.
For Christmas I asked for marker sets. Santa must have received my letter in time because sitting at the base of the tree on the 25th were my requested markers. I got a 24 color set and a 12 (warm) gray set.... and voila... one of my first marker pieces....
I was impressed with the markers. I could work wet-into-wet and create soft edges. The gray set contained 10 markers of different gradient values with each marker set at a 10% value interval from light to dark (there are two additional blacks for a total of 12 markers). This made some of the decisions easier since I only had to determine whether an adjacent shape was lighter or darker than the previous and by how much. Taking Adam Hughes' advice, I reduced the number of skin values to the four lowest available markers. This made for a more attractive looking person and gives the background more values to play with (if I were to do a background). It was an interesting exercise, made easier by the monochromatic nature of the gray set. I played around with the multi-color set and well.... let's just say it's going to take some time for me to not hate them.
Tamara Sitting In Chair (Marker on Bristol board, 5x7").
[UPDATE: 12/28/11] Can't... stop... tinkering.... A little more marker in addition to colored pencils and gouache (for the buttons on the chair). I only wish I could get a reproduction that shows the subtleties better. It's all much softer than it appears.