Drawing with Markers: Create Fun, Simple, Fruity Characters | Jeremiah Rodriguez | Skillshare

Drawing with Markers: Create Fun, Simple, Fruity Characters

Jeremiah Rodriguez, I make things and draw stuff.

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17 Lessons (59m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Required Materials

    • 3. Finding Character Inspiration

    • 4. Drawing Simple Faces

    • 5. Color Blending Basics

    • 6. Initial Outlining - The Raspberry

    • 7. Pencil Cleanup - The Raspberry

    • 8. Picking and Planning Colors - The Raspberry

    • 9. Coloring the Body - The Raspberry

    • 10. Coloring the Extremities - The Raspberry

    • 11. Final Outline

    • 12. Picking Colors & Color Planning Tips - The Orange

    • 13. Coloring & Blending - The Orange

    • 14. Outlining & Texturing - The Orange

    • 15. Speed Draw - Grapes

    • 16. Speed Draw - A Glowing Avocado

    • 17. Class Project & Conclusion


About This Class


In this class we will explore drawing cute, cartoony characters based on fruit. We’ll sketch out the characters in pencil, outline them with multiliners, and color them using alcohol-based markers. Alcohol-based markers are a great art tool for using a wide variety of colors and allow for really cool gradient and shading effects. They can even be used to add visual texture to a drawing.

Since these pieces of fruit will be characters, we’ll also learn about drawing very simple, expressive faces.

We'll cover the best types of paper to use with alcohol-based markers and how to blend colors for smooth gradients and shading.

Alcohol-based markers are great for a wide variety of inked drawings and this is the beginning to help get you started.

Helpful Links:

Copic Blank Color Chart
Copic Color Match Chart
Copic Color Wheel


1. Introduction: Hello and welcome to my skill shirt class. My name is Jeremiah Rodriguez, and I like to draw in. This class will be drawing with alcohol based brush markers. We're going to use these to draw fun kind of cartoony fruit to explore. Some of the different techniques that could be achieved with alcohol based markers will do some color. Blending some shading different techniques for adding outlines and texture will talk about what types of papers work well for alcohol based markers and not all papers work. We'll look at a couple of different ways to add very simple to draw facial expressions to these cartoon character fruit. This type of drawing does not require that you be an exceptional artist. It just requires that you want to have fun drawing and maybe kind of reminisce with that eight year old version of yourself that like to watch Saturday morning cartoons. I think it really just requires the desire to learn a new medium. The subject is very simple. We're going to be using very basic shapes and forms and just experimenting with the different ways to use these markers to give those life. So if that sounds fun, join me in this class and we'll have a lot of fun. Drink fruit 2. Required Materials: So first, let's talk about some of the materials that you'll need for this class. You will need alcohol based markers. I'm going to be using co pick markers, but the brand really doesn't matter. There's several other brands that make really good markers. You have Chameleon Windsor and Newton Blick Prisma color, I think ending fabric. Castell. There's a lot. I'm going to the co pick just because it's the brand that I prefer and there are a lot of color options, there isn't gonna be a set number of markers that you're going to need. One thing you will discover is that alcohol based markers, regardless of the brand, can be a little bit pricey. A good place to start would maybe be a beginner set or just looking for individual colors that match the subject that you want to draw. Regardless of what brand of alcohol based markers you pick, you are gonna want a colorless blender. This can help to fix mistakes and add texture, and it can help you give kind of some cool color blending where you may not have necessarily all of the right colors to complete a certain grade hand. This can kind of help you fill in the blanks. We're also gonna need paper. Not just any type of paper is gonna work. You can get some decent shading with copier paper. The problem is, if you're trying to really saturate the paper and get a lot of color in their light away papers like copier paper and laser printer paper, when they really get saturated with think, they just start to fall apart and kind of pill up. So they're not a great option, Probably the most economical paper to use for this. It works well for practice because of how cheap it is, but it can also work well for final projects. Is this hammer mill? This is a hammer mill premium color copy cover in £100. It's a mouthful, but it's a really nice paper. You can get it in reams of like 250 sheets for about $15. An Amazon office supply stores can also get it for you. That's a lot cheaper option than using marker specific paper or blending card. These are both great options as well, especially if you're working on something that's maybe gonna be a gift or a commission piece, but there quite a bit more expensive. 25 pack of blending card by express. It is gonna run you about $20 it's hard to find. So for this class, really just gonna kind of focus on the hammer mill? You're also going to need a decent pencil. I like to use a mechanical pencil with a little bit harder lead than what you get in a regular number two, like a A to H is what I have in this pencil, and I find that that gives me a nice, crisp line but is also easy to a race. So I think that's a good option. Course I need to get a racer. I find it helpful to have some sort of a brush so that when you erase your pencil marks, you can use the brush to kind of brush away the little bits of eraser so that you don't risk getting dirt or oils from your hands on your nice piece of paper. And if you want to do a nice black outline of your character, you're gonna need some sort of ah, multi liner. I like to do a thin outline to start once. I'm kind of happy with the pencil sketch that I have. And I like to use a kopeck multi liner for that, mainly because this ink doesn't smudge. When you hit it with an alcohol based marker, A lot of these other pigment liners will smudge. So I used the co pick to get kind of the outline going first and then once I'm completely done with all of the coloring and the shading, and I've let that dry. Then I'll come back with one of these. These are just the pig MMA microns. I think they have a little bit better black. Then the coping does Either type will work for the finished outline. I just kind of prefer to look in the in the color of the black with Pigna Microns, and I think it's helpful to have one that's fair. Within on my kopek, I use a 0.5 and then for the final outline, I'll usually use, like a 0.8 or a 1.0, depending on how broad I want that out to be. Other than that, all you really need is some sort of inspiration, some sort of fruit that you want to draw, that you can visualize being some sort of a cartoon character 3. Finding Character Inspiration: So in picking your character, what I find really helpful to do is just to go to the grocery store and go through the produce section and then just grab your cell phone. I like to use the video mode rather than just a straight photo. Go through the produce, grab a piece of fruit and turn the fruit in your hand and record that with the camera. The reason I like to do that, rather than take a picture is then you're able to kind of see how the colors and the reflections of light change as the fruit rotates. And it gives you a better view of all of the different colors that might be in that fruit. And some of the different textures, Obviously you can do is many types of foods you want will probably do three or four different fruit in this class and picking the fruit. I think it's also helpful toe use your imagination a little pretend you're you're that six year old watching Saturday morning cartoons, and whatever the the emotion is that you're gonna try to show on this fruit pick a type of fruit that might seem more, uh, it seems to fit that emotion. There's no right or wrong answer there. It's going to depend on the face that you give it and what it is you're trying to express. For example, if I wanted something to be very happy and smiley, I'm probably gonna go with a brighter fruit, something like a raspberry or a watermelon. If I want something that's a little snarky, maybe a little sarcastic or angry, probably something that's a little more tart, like a lemon or line, but really any of them can work. 4. Drawing Simple Faces: Okay, so here I've got a piece of just scratch paper where I've been testing out some colors and things. I'm gonna use this to dry out some different faces. I try to keep these really simple just because I feel like just cause they feel like that kind of ads, I don't know, I feel like it adds something to the character. - And so with these few that I've drawn here, you can see there there really basic. I mean, we've just got to dots for the eyes and a liner occurred for the mouth, but they can. They can be still fairly expressive. And there's just kind of this cartoony Q quality of them that I really like whether and it can be for just about any emotion. We've got angry. We've got maybe a little bit of sad or disappointed. Several different half be laughing, just kind of pleased. There are a lot we can do with just these very simple shapes. And in the files for this class all provide a pdf that will have a whole bunch of different faces that you could just download imprint if you wanted toe, have some ideas of different faces that you can you can draw 5. Color Blending Basics: to demonstrate this technique for blending and shady. And I've got three earth tones here, an E 31 E 34 in an E 39 and just a piece of expressive blending card. Just a scrap piece. I'm gonna start with the 31 and then I'm gonna come in with the E 34 go back to the 31 and then I'm in a command at the end with the e 39. Just gonna be quite a bit darker, but it's still in the same family. Now I will come back to the 34 and you'll see now we've got a pretty good blend from this lightest marker all the way through to this darkest marker. The most important thing to remember here is always start out with your lightest color, moved to the dark and as you're going from one color to the other lightest color first, then the darker and then back to the 1st 2 kind of force those together. And that's where you're generally going to get your best blends. Here's another one I've got on our 32 now. We're going with a 35. Let's go back to the 32 and you're able to see how easy that is. And it's it's nearly a seamless transition. Let's try a little yellow. We've got a wide 35 a 38 start with the lower number, your number back to the lower you Go Blues, a B 41 in a B 45 start with a lighter, darker back to the lighter one. And as you practice this, one thing that you'll probably notice is some colors blend together better than others, even if they are in the same blending group. This one is. It's not bad, but there is a little bit more of a line there that's visible than with some of these others. Green G zero to You're fine. Back to the drill to that one seemed to blend pretty well, and that's the basic concept for blending here. I've got a white G 00 This is a mostly yellow This is my favorite for drawing the flesh of an avocado. For this one. I'm gonna use the neutral gray, see what we get with that. So this is a neutral three back to the 00 and it does give it a bit of a darker color. There 6. Initial Outlining - The Raspberry: Okay, so here I have a raspberry that I've just sketched out on a small piece of blending card. I like to take the full sheets of blending card and quarter them, especially for practice things like this just cause that I'm cheap in that paper's expensive. So this way and get a little extra mileage. So since I've got this one traced out a and pencil, I'm gonna take my co pick multi liner 05 and just on the face, I'm gonna just very lightly trace that in. And now I'll start working on outlining all of the other features and one tip that I find to be really helpful if you have an idea of the type of fruit that you want to draw. But maybe you're having difficulty coming up with a cartoony shape for it. If none of my examples help, none of them are really what you're looking for. Just google it. I just throw in the name of the type of fruit that you're thinking about and just type by like cartoon or something. And search for that. And you'll be surprised how many types of fruit people have imagined as cartoon characters so that could be really helpful to get maybe, uh, an idea for a shape. And it can also be helpful to figure out how you want to color your fruit. Okay, Now, we'll let that dry for a minute, and then I can start erasing. 7. Pencil Cleanup - The Raspberry: Okay. I've let that sit for a few minutes, so I'm gonna take my eraser and now try to remove all of my pencil marks. One thing I like about this style of drawing is it's not vital to be extremely precise and extremely consistent in the shapes of things. Like you'll notice the shoes here are not the same size. The hands are shaped and sized a little bit differently. But to me, that kind of adds to the kind of cute see cartoony effect here. Okay, that's ready to go. 8. Picking and Planning Colors - The Raspberry: So, this being a raspberry, I think I'm going to use these three colors here. We've got in our 29 lipstick Red RV, 29 crimson and are 59 Cardinal. Before I take any of these two are fruit. I'm gonna grab my scrap blending card again to start with the R 29 now the RV 29. And now there are 59 time, and these two are 29 in the RV. 29 are actually really close to me. This one feels a little less, uh, like it's not quite as dark. It doesn't have as much of that darker tone these to do. So I'm going to use this one is my base, and then these will be my other colors. 9. Coloring the Body - The Raspberry: All right. So for the er v 29 I'm gonna I'm gonna pretend I've got a light source coming from the upper left. So this is the part I will keep the lightest have kind of filled most of that in, and then this is gonna be my kind of transition area up in here. Give that just a little bit more. Come back to my RV. 29 kind of one, those in And then now, on this lower area, I'm gonna come in with my AR 59 back to the next lighter color kind of work that in and where raspberry is made up. Of all of those small segments, you could come in and actually try to define those. But I find that that it can be difficult to pull that off when you have this simple of a face. Sometimes the face kind of gets lost in that definition. So for something like this, I try to just treated almost more like it was a solid fruit instead of all those little segments, and used the outer shape to give the suggestion of what the fruit actually is. And of course, the colors and then you can kind of do the face however you want. Okay? And then to add a little more, Uh, I guess you could say texture to this. We're gonna go to are colorless blender and up here in this area where the light would be striking. I'm gonna go over it in just a couple spots. And what it's gonna look like the colorless blender. It's kind of like it. It's not really a racing couple. I guess it is lifting a little bit of color, but it doesn't really. It's not an eraser, but it will lighten the color, Okay, And one thing I find helpful. When you use the colorless blender, especially over strong colors like thes, it can pick up a little bit on the nib. And so it's going to go back to a piece of scrap paper and just bleed out that extra color and you'll see now, R Neb looks just fine, so we're not gonna contaminate something else 10. Coloring the Extremities - The Raspberry: Okay. Now for the top for the leaves. There were the stem would be I'm gonna use a G zero to G 05 Okay. And I'm gonna use the G 05 just here where it's it's close to the body. Maybe on the outside edges of these leaves, opposite where the light would be striking. And then I'm just gonna come back if the lighter green tryingto blend those two together. Okay, so for the fruit itself, we've basically got it. I'm gonna use my toner. Five, my toner. Agree number five to fill in the sole of his shoes. I don't know that it's really here, is she? That's just to have it for the tops of issues of me. Is this our 32 peach? Obviously, the shoes could be whatever color you want. I just I don't know. I kind of like having the body of the shoe the upper of the shoe be a color that's related to the body color. Give him some blue socks. Okay. For me, a big question is always What do we do with the arms and legs? Should I leave them white? I fill them in black, though I go with some other sort of complementary color. In this case, I'm actually going to go for a little bit of a flesh tone. Like a human flesh tone thistle is called E 11 Barley beige. Okay, the gloves. I am gonna leave white. 11. Final Outline: Okay, Now we need to do the outer border on this one. I'm gonna trey a pig. My micron is your five. At least four. The body. I don't know about the arms and legs yet. I might leave those thinner. I think I'm gonna thinking up the arms and legs a little. I drew those with the 05 0.5 kopeck. I'm gonna use a 03 micron, which is a little bigger, but still smaller than the It's your five that I used for the body. And I don't think there's really any right or wrong for this. It's just a matter of what you feel looks best for the character that you're working on. But the shoe laces. I'm gonna leave as the original 0.5 but I am gonna go over them just once more. Get them a little bit darker. All right. And now we have a raspberry 12. Picking Colors & Color Planning Tips - The Orange: okay for the next one, we have this very plump orange and I've picked an orange for this one for a couple of reasons I've ever ready, sketched him out and done my initial thin outline. But the reason I'm going with an orange for this one is it's gonna be one giant radiant We're going toe. Really Try to show a movement from light to dark. And so it's going to give us a lot of practice on that of basically trying to make it look spherical, really, with just color. But on top of that, after we're done coloring and outlining, I'm gonna come back and I'm gonna add a a little bit of a dimpling effect just using the co pick multi liner and the face is just kind of roughed in. I'm going to make the eyes quite a bit thicker. E think that's gonna have more of a more of a cute kind of hug me effect. So just like we did before when they grabbed my scrap paper and I'm going to experiment with one of the several orange in yellow variations that I have, This is part of the reason I wanted to draw on orange is orange is my favorite color, as evidenced by the large number of orange markers that I have. So we're just gonna drought some quick marks. I've already done that here for a previous drawing, but I didn't bother toe to write down which color codes went with each one. So I need to start that over. That was when I was drawing this miracle old another little trick or tip that you can do that. They can really save some time and actually some ink when you're trying to figure out which colors you want. Teoh, which colors to use, is co pick, and I think the other brands do this as well. They have these Swatch books that you can buy where you go in, and as you get certain colors, you can add those to your book. And so you have just the thing index of all of your available colors. Another way to keep track of your colors is on kopecks website. They have this pdf that you can download and print, and I recommend printing it on the paper that you use the most so that it's a true representation of what you're actually gonna get It's a free download. All supply the link in the notes for this class. But I like having one of these on top of having one of the one of these flip books I would like to have both. This I find to be a good reference to just keep in my desk or close to my pens. So it's right there. But as I'm drawing, I find it easier to have a chart like this where I can see at a glance all of the colors that I have One thing some people do that I think can be a good idea. With some of these really dark colors, it can be hard to read the color code. And so they'll either right the color code to the sight of it or just not color in that little bit like I did right here with the black 100. So I would recommend printing one of these and whatever colors you happen have get those filled in. And then you've got a nice handy reference for this one. I don't want the fluorescent. That's just a little too out there for this. Uh, we'll take these three and probably, let's say the 14 12 I think the 35. So this is gonna be a little bit more complex of AIG radiant because we're gonna be using six different colors to do that. And we're gonna use basically the same techniques that we've used before with a couple of small changes, especially since we're doing such a large I a large space. So what I'm gonna do, I'm gonna start with My light is to my base color. But I'm not gonna fill in the whole thing, especially because I'm going from this to this. I'm gonna fill in probably this upper left third with the base color and then start to kind of branch out from there. 13. Coloring & Blending - The Orange: and just like I did with the raspberry, I'm gonna pretend my light source is coming from this direction. So this will be where the lightest color is. I think this is actually the first drawing that I've used this particular marker on. Go ahead and move into the next color. And I think I'm gonna treat kind of something like something like this here is gonna be the the lightest spot everywhere around that. I can go ahead and come in with this next darker color are lightest. One was white. 35. This is why 17. Okay, come back to the first color, start trying to work those two together a little bit. - And then this area where I'm going to trade Teoh blended. I'm gonna saturate that a little bit more back to the previous color. Same as before. Right over that transition line. Gonna try to smear almost back and forth between those two colors. I might need to add a little more in here. Okay, Now we'll move into the white 14 the caramel, And for this one, I'm gonna keep it a little bit more to the edges because it does add just a little bit of a reddish brown to the color. Can we take a step back? Okay, now that we've got kind of the upper half done, start filling in this area. So for this lower half, basically, I'm treating this like there's two base colors, one for the upper lighter side, and then one for the more orange lower side. Something to start working in this chrome orange. Why are 04 and sometimes when you're trying to, depending on the shape that you're trying to have your fruit be the If you kind of use these pointed strokes, it kind of, I don't know. It's almost like it helps toe make it blend a little more. Even if the inks themselves don't necessarily specifically blend in that area. Probably take this color down to about here. Actually, instead of feeling that all the way up, I don't think we're going to meet it. And then, since this is gonna be a transition area up here, fill that in a little bit more saturated a little more heavily back to this previous color and saturate a little more in here and you'll notice that some of these areas start to dry . That big radiant is already starting to kind of show that the blend between are different colors is really starting to come through. Move up to why are 68? This is just plain orange, and this is what I'm gonna use to fill in the rest down here. So I guess you could almost say we've got three base colors for these three different sections of the orange back to chrome orange right over the regular orange. And just like before tryingto almost bleed these together. Hi. And finally coming in with my darkest one. This is Chinese orange. Why are 09? This is gonna be my darkest shade. Now, I'm just kind of stepping backwards progressively from dark to light, making when a way back, the other direction kind of really get these color is blended together and finally back to her lightest color. Okay, just gonna touch that in everywhere. So now, as far as our Grady and goes, I think we're about done there. I'm gonna take the colorless blender and kind of touch up couple spots here that I don't think the pigment liner is going to be able to cover. Okay, All right now, while we let this dry, Let's concentrate on the little no above the stem appear on the top. And before this, since we've already done a stem on the raspberry, I'm in a reference my same little color chart from before. I think I'm just gonna stick with one, though. Just a G 17. And this is for a couple of reasons. One this stem is is really small, and I don't have a lot of darker greens, but one thing you can do, though, you feel this in with the green and then that toner gray that I was talking about for the shoes before I can use this to come in and just add just a little bit of a darker, uh, edge to some of these spots on. And I think that has a very similar effect to having a few more colors of green, a few more shades of green rather than what I actually have 14. Outlining & Texturing - The Orange: um See, I'm gonna go ahead and fill in the soles of his shoes again with my toner gray. And because he's an orange, I want to give him some sort of Ah, yellow for his shoes. Try. This was this year. Why is euros Six plain yellow? It's a little too. Should anything. I'm gonna come in with this. Yeah. Use this. Golden yellow on the shoes. Leave the socks and the globes for the arms and the legs. Going to use this caramel. Why are 14? And because I was a little more careful this time on the arms and legs, I'm not limited to just filling them in with the black. I can. Do you have more complimentary color? Okay. All right. Color wise, I think we are done. So now I grabbed my 08 pigna micron, and we're going to make these eyes a little bigger and a little darker, A little more and dark in in the mouth. Okay. I'm actually pretty happy with that face. So now we'll just do the outline of the rest. Like I said, these outlines they can really be is thick. Ariston, as you like, definitely comes down to personal preference for mine. I end up going pretty heavy on these lines because a lot of times when I do characters in this style, I end up using needs to make sticker packs for iPhone and with the darker, thicker outline. If I were to take this image, scan it and then shrink it down to 400 pixels, it just it looks a little better at that smaller size with the slightly thicker border. Gives it a little more definition, I think Time gloves going to try to be very careful. Do not mess them up shoe laces. I'm gonna leave at the 05 Okay, so overall, we're done with the color, the outlining. But there's another texture in trick. I want to work in here, and this will work really for any type of ah, mostly for Citrus, I guess because a lemon, lime and orange they have that kind of bumpy, pitted outer skin that that husk. And so what I'm gonna do is draw just a bunch of kind of like little use, like little little swipes kind of in the shape of the letter. You and these are to mimic that pitting that you would see on the actual fruit. And I'm gonna try to give this ingredient as well in that here at the top, I'm only gonna do just a couple of them. But as we move down into the darker portions of the fruit, so add a few more, try to keep him random. I think that works. So here's our orange. A couple different things we did this time we've did one giant Grady Int using six different colors. I think that came out fairly well. And then we've experimented with a little texture ring, using one of the fine multi liners to come in afterwards and just kind of add a little bit of that orange shape. 15. Speed Draw - Grapes: 16. Speed Draw - A Glowing Avocado: no. 17. Class Project & Conclusion: OK, that's basically it. We've covered the basics of alcohol based markers. We've gone over how to select an appropriate paper to use with these types of markers got into a little bit of it. The theory, I guess, of drawing very, very simple faces and how to get expressions out of those wandered through a grocery store , taking pictures of fruit. So what next? Well, the next thing is the class project and for the class project. Basically, what it is is to take what you've learned in this class. Pick a piece of fruit dry, turn it into some sort of acute cartoony character to help with that in the attachments for the class, I have attached a pdf that has about 20 different faces that you can reference from if you're having trouble coming up with a facial expression that you'd like to use, and I have four outlines of fruit so those you could print off on whatever type of paper you're going to use, and basically the sketching would sketching, and the initial outline would be done to be able to go right into coloring that in and then at the end, just go back around that with whatever lane or you're going to use for your final your final outline. Once you've got that old drunk, take a picture with your phone uploaded to the class project session. I'd love to take a look at whatever you guys come up with. To me, this is just a really fun way to practice drawing and coloring and all of these things, and my kids get a kick out of it. Date. Well, my teenagers, not so much, but my little kids. They think it's hilarious to see on apple or whatever with just this ridiculous face, and it's a lot of fun. And, of course, alcohol based markers are an amazing tool or so much that you can do with, um, I've got several other classes that I want to make about different types of art that could be done with ease. Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed this class. This is This is all I have for you for this particular class. So grab some paper, grab some markers and draw something cool. We'll see in the next class. Bye