How to draw with sharpies

Written by sarah streitwieser
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How to draw with sharpies
Sharpie pen (marker image by Rich Johnson from

Drawing is a pastime that many people enjoy and can be done using a variety of instruments. Some people enjoy using pencils, others prefer markers or Sharpies. Using a Sharpie can be fun and make your drawings more colourful. They also give your art a pop art twist. When you use a Sharpie, it is impossible to shade as you would with a pencil. With a few tricks, you can learn to doodle almost anything with a Sharpie.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Sharpie
  • Pencil
  • Thick paper
  • Cardboard

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  1. 1

    Start sketching with your pencil, just to warm up your hand. Alter your speeds to see what kinds of things happen. When you draw quickly, your marks and lines will look different than when you draw more slowly.

  2. 2

    Get a thick sheet of a paper and place it on top of cardboard so the ink does not bleed through.

  3. 3

    Uncap your first Sharpie and copy some of the strokes that you did with the pencil. When you draw slow, you will notice that the ink bleeds out a little from your strokes, creating a fuzzy effect. When you draw more quickly, this fuzzy edge will dissipate, but it still will bleed a little.

  4. 4

    Practice drawing circles, squares, lines and other shapes. You should begin to grow more comfortable the more you practice.

  5. 5

    Notice where your lines are too thick and not thick enough. When you stop moving the Sharpie, it will bleed heavily in a small dot on your page. Avoid this when you begin to draw.

  6. 6

    Find a reference for something you'd like to draw. When you draw with a Sharpie, you cannot shade as you would in pencil. Most Sharpie drawings are done with only outlines, making them a better medium for pop art and cartoon-styled art.

  7. 7

    Draw the outlines of your object first, followed by the interior. Remember to use the techniques you practised. Do not hold your Sharpie pen in one place for too long or it will bleed.

  8. 8

    Go over any lines that seem unfinished. You can make lines thicker by tracing them again in the same colour.

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