Marker Sketch Tutorial: Luggage

process

Okay, here’s another sketch tutorial for you. We’ve received a couple requests for more marker demos with traditional media, so I broke it down for you in a few steps.

People always ask what’s the key to laying down some good marker or pencil – I think the answer is really simple. Relax, and have fun and PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!!! Never underestimate the value of always sketching. It’s like practicing a foreign language by speaking it often. Okay, enough of my rant about practice.

I tried to pick something fairly simple to work on. I know, it’s just a suitcase, but I chose this to show how a simple object can seem more exciting with some good perspective, some good linework, and some good marker application.

First off, I started out with a rough underlay of my suitcase, setting up the basic design and perspective of the scene. I’ve also outlined the shadow and some details in the object that will help guide my over-sketch.

By the way, I’m using crappy tracing paper to do my underlay and a little nicer paper for my overlay. This way, I can be relaxed when sketching my undersketch and not have to worry about how expensive the paper is. Remember to relax and have fun.

1

Next, I took some nicer Bienfang 260 Marker paper (Any marker paper or a smoother bond paper will do.) and worked on my overlay. Be sure if you do this with pencil to use sharp ones or have a bunch of sharp ones handy. A good electric sharpener helps as well.

2

Okay, time to pull out the markers. I’ll talk about marker selection a little bit more in a future post, but for now, what you need is 3 markers in three distinct tones – a highlight or light marker, one for the midtone, and the other for the shadows or dark tones. In this case, I am using three prismacolor markers in the brown family. If you’re not sure if there’s the right amount of contrast between your markers, then try squinting you eyes when looking at all three applied on a piece of paper. if they are too close in tone, then shift to another marker and keep trying.

I like to outline the areas I am shading before I actually commit to completely shading the entire sketch. Remember, it’s important to have a good quality sketch before you apply marker to it. I see too many times where people are hasty to apply marker to a sketch, only to be frustrated with the final result. Sometimes the problem lies in the foundation, not the paint on the building :-) .

Always try to identify your light source and use it as a guide when you are applying the marker. In this instance, I am assuming that my light source is at the top left of the sketch, causing my shadow to fall to the right of the sketch.

Because my light source is on the left, the darker surfaces will be to the right and the lighter surfaces to the top and left of my sketch.

3

If you’re not sure about how to apply marker, be sure to check out one of our earlier tutorials on marker application, perspective or any of our video sketch demos for tips on lineweight and quality.

I’ve applied my marker in one tone. I cheated – I applied my midtone first. Typically however, you will want to apply your lightest tone first. Why you ask? If you make a mistake with the lightest tone of your marker set, you’ll be able to more easily correct any mistakes you make that much easier. Fortunately, I didn’t make tooooo many mistakes, so I am good to go.

Again, relax, have fun and be confident with your strokes. It’ll all work out in the end. Right?

4

My next steps include adding some highs and lows to my sketch. I added some darker tone to my right side of my luggage sketch. Remember that the right side or far side is the one that’s pointing away from the light and will be the darkest toned.

As always, be careful, yet quick when applying your marker so that the sketch feels fresh and lively and not dead and deliberated.

a

Applying pencil to areas of the already markered in spots can also help bring out detail and add some more interest to things you want to being out in your sketch. In this case, I’m bringing out the stitches, piping and zipper details of the luggage bag by adding contrast with the pencil.

One more thing, don’t be afraid to lightly use your pencil to help push those values in your sketch. A few hatch marks in your dark areas can help punch contrast and help things pop even more in your sketch.

5

Adding detail and contrast to zippers and other elements will go a long way in making that sketch pop. Contrast is king.

e

Be sure to add a background for even more pop. because my bag is brown, I have chosen a somewhat complementary color – blue –  to fill my simple background. Don’t go tooooooo crazy with the background either. Backgrounds should complement rather than conflict with the object in the foreground.

6

Aaaaaaand we’re done. I didn’t mention too much about the shadow, but I figured you could figure out what I did.

If you have any questions, hit us up at info [at] idsketching.com or become a member of the forums to share your work with the growing community there!


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  • Miguel

    Hey guys, thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. As an ID student I really appreciate your help, and I’m working to apply some of your tips and techniques to increase my sketching skills. Keep on working as you’ve been. By the way, you should know you have lots of “pupils” here in Spain. Take care!

  • Miguel

    Hey guys, thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. As an ID student I really appreciate your help, and I’m working to apply some of your tips and techniques to increase my sketching skills. Keep on working as you’ve been. By the way, you should know you have lots of “pupils” here in Spain. Take care!

  • Mason

    very nice work! i might give this a try if i get some time!

    thanks for sharing!!

  • Mason

    very nice work! i might give this a try if i get some time!

    thanks for sharing!!

  • http://www.idsketching.com Spencer Nugent

    @Miguel – Glad to hear it. Keep on practicing!

  • http://www.idsketching.com Spencer Nugent

    @Miguel – Glad to hear it. Keep on practicing!

  • http://www.relativecreative.com.au Tristan Schultz

    Hey guys

    I have been stuck on your site for a few weeks now since i discovered it, your doing a really great job! As an industrial design graduate from Australia, i felt a little let down by the emphasis my degree did NOT put on sketch, sketch, sketch, we were taught to present too much 3dsmax i believe, which took too much time fiddeling and not enough time conceptualizing….hence now i feel my work lacks this crucial balance of quality ID sketch. I am currently in Japan on a working holiday, teaching English and doing some odd art and design over here, but mostly im here to refocus in solitude from Australian social life and get to sketching again. Your site has come at the perfect time to mentor me along. I was the head Accessories designer for 3 years for a major surf company in Australia, and looking back im appalled at the lack of sketching i did before i went straight into illustrator and develepment and communication with manufacturers, all be it my time restrictions noted! Anyway, thanks guys you are really inspiring me, please keep up the good work…from the lonely, but focused Aussie in Japan! Tristan

    • Koudee

      Hello!

      First of all awesome website! I look forward to becomeing a part of the community here one day!

      @ Tristan Schultz: Man, what are the odds we could get in contact? I’m going to take the EJU next year, so I can apply for an art school of design in Tokyo, and I was really curious if I could ask you a few questions if you are there right now doing some design work. My e-mail is Koudee@live.com, You don’t have to message me, but I at least had to try =)

      -Cheers
      -Cody

  • http://www.relativecreative.com.au Tristan Schultz

    Hey guys

    I have been stuck on your site for a few weeks now since i discovered it, your doing a really great job! As an industrial design graduate from Australia, i felt a little let down by the emphasis my degree did NOT put on sketch, sketch, sketch, we were taught to present too much 3dsmax i believe, which took too much time fiddeling and not enough time conceptualizing….hence now i feel my work lacks this crucial balance of quality ID sketch. I am currently in Japan on a working holiday, teaching English and doing some odd art and design over here, but mostly im here to refocus in solitude from Australian social life and get to sketching again. Your site has come at the perfect time to mentor me along. I was the head Accessories designer for 3 years for a major surf company in Australia, and looking back im appalled at the lack of sketching i did before i went straight into illustrator and develepment and communication with manufacturers, all be it my time restrictions noted! Anyway, thanks guys you are really inspiring me, please keep up the good work…from the lonely, but focused Aussie in Japan! Tristan

    • Koudee

      Hello!

      First of all awesome website! I look forward to becomeing a part of the community here one day!

      @ Tristan Schultz: Man, what are the odds we could get in contact? I’m going to take the EJU next year, so I can apply for an art school of design in Tokyo, and I was really curious if I could ask you a few questions if you are there right now doing some design work. My e-mail is Koudee@live.com, You don’t have to message me, but I at least had to try =)

      -Cheers
      -Cody

  • http://anuarportugal.blogspot.com Anuar Portugal

    Nice tutorial!, really helpful, I really like how does a sketch looks with markers and pencils. Really nice work. And also good advice, by practice practice and then practice. Every single line we sketch works 4 something.

    The success of a final design is directly proportional to the number of sketches it required.

  • http://anuarportugal.blogspot.com Anuar Portugal

    Nice tutorial!, really helpful, I really like how does a sketch looks with markers and pencils. Really nice work. And also good advice, by practice practice and then practice. Every single line we sketch works 4 something.

    \The success of a final design is directly proportional to the number of sketches it required.\

  • http://www.designisdark.com Will Usher

    Nice site! And marker stuff! The perspective on the top left of the handle is wrong though. Not that it’s really noticeable.

  • http://www.designisdark.com Will Usher

    Nice site! And marker stuff! The perspective on the top left of the handle is wrong though. Not that it’s really noticeable.

  • http://www.idsketching.com Spencer Nugent

    yeah . . .

  • http://www.idsketching.com Spencer Nugent

    yeah . . .

  • AC

    haha

    • http://www.idsketching.com Spencer Nugent

      :-)

  • AC

    haha

    • http://www.idsketching.com Spencer Nugent

      :-)

  • Luber

    Hey Spencer, thanks 4 the tutorial, is really cool your sketching & rendering tutorials, i hope you’ll continue making more marker rendering technique tutorials, greetings from Colombia!!!

  • Luber

    Hey Spencer, thanks 4 the tutorial, is really cool your sketching & rendering tutorials, i hope you’ll continue making more marker rendering technique tutorials, greetings from Colombia!!!

  • Mowgli

    I’ve never used markers on a level like this. Always wanted to. Now I can confidently give it a fighting shot. Thanks Spencer!

  • Mowgli

    I’ve never used markers on a level like this. Always wanted to. Now I can confidently give it a fighting shot. Thanks Spencer!

  • Frank

    Saw you using stuff that I just learned in my perspective class. Shadows! Cool.
    Yeah…I’m the nube. =)
    Thanks man!

  • Frank

    Saw you using stuff that I just learned in my perspective class. Shadows! Cool.
    Yeah…I’m the nube. =)
    Thanks man!

  • Mónica

    Boss. Like Miguel, said, there are ‘pupils’ everywhere. I’m always looking to be influenced by other people and pick up new techniques. Thanks so much, man.

  • Mónica

    Boss. Like Miguel, said, there are ‘pupils’ everywhere. I’m always looking to be influenced by other people and pick up new techniques. Thanks so much, man.

  • http://www.myurbanartstudio.com Stephanie

    Excellent this is the exact type of breakdown I was looking for. Thanks!

  • http://www.myurbanartstudio.com Stephanie

    Excellent this is the exact type of breakdown I was looking for. Thanks!

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  • http://purple-haze-design.blogspot.com/ sagar

    hey i love your tutorials and m a starter in this field. m a PRODUCT DESIGN STUDENT.
    http://purple-haze-design.blogspot.com/ HERE IS MY BLOG

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  • Kuniko

    This is awesome.  I’m going to use this to make marker renderings of spaces (I’m studying Interior Design and Architecture). Thanks:oP

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  • Ben

    wow

  • Subhradip Numismatist Bose

    thnks