Oh My Markers - Color a realistic portrait with copic markers

Oh My Markers - Color a realistic portrait with copic markers - student project

Hi fellow teachers to be!!

Somewhere around 7 years ago I found a set of Copic markers on the art supply list my school had set to be mandatory. I didn’t know them at the time and thought they were pretty expensive. But boy they are nice to work with!! We were tought to sketch and brainstorm on a marker pad with our markers. And I have been working like this the whole graphic design school long. Later on I started creating more detailed work with these markers. I always have a lot of fun with this. Everyone deserves to enjoy working with markers as much as I do so I’m turning it into a class.

I’m thinking about making this into a series of classes about drawing with alcohol based markers. Each with another aspect or theme. That’s why I called it ’Oh My Markers’. My classes will be all about how you can use markers as a fairly forgiving medium.

But I’ll start with the subject I’m most passionate about; portraits. In this first class I will show how you can create detailed faces and what you should take into consideration in this proces.

I’m already looking forward to see what the students make!


Your assignment is to make a realistic looking portrait using copic markers or any other alcohol based markers.

Canson XL marker paper
Copic classic markers
Copic sketch markers
Stabilo fineliners (optional for the eyes etc.)
Sakura gelly roll white (optional for highlights)

Photo reference
Drawing (without color)
Colored portrait

STEP 1 (Optional)
Find and pick a photo from a portrait that appeals to you and post it to your class project. For the best result this photo needs to have enough dark/light contrast and color. 

Make a drawing from the photo you have found or my reference photo. Just draw how you would normally draw, this class is all about the next step. If you don't like to draw the portrait sketch yourself you can even use the drawing I'll provide. 

With the drawing we can start using the markers to fill in color! Use the tips from this class to your benefit and make a portrait with the markers you have. Be sure to post your artwork to get feedback!



I'm excited to announce that the class is published! http://skl.sh/2eU8Z2o

Emma Niemans
Graphic Designer