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Illustration with Markers and Color Pencils (drawing an apple)    (Released in 2009, November)
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About the Video- This video shows my process for making an illustration of an apple. I use illustration markers for the first layer and color pencils and a wax blending stick for the second layer.

Watch the video (above) in its entirety and then see me break the steps down below.

Layer 1 Prismacolor Illustration markers

Layer 1- Illustration Marker


After I sketch in the general shape of the apple, I observe my reference image and try to notice underlying colors in the different parts of the image. I sketch in the underlying colors with the Prismacolor illustration markers. Some hues are simple and some are complex and layered. Watch me work on Step 1 in the video above from the beginning of the video until 1:32 (one minute, thirty two seconds in to the video).

About Prismacolor Illustration Markers (The markers I use in step 1)- Illustration markers are a lot like watercolor paint. They are strong in color, transparent and can be layered. But there is one HUGE difference; It is impossible to blend illustration markers in the same way that one can blend paint. Ironically, there is a product called the "colorless marker blender" but it makes the colors "bleed" or spread some, but NOT mix (at the same capacity). I LOVE them and USE them because they are portable, last a long time, and require no effort for setup and clean up. They have a huge range of colors. All you have to do is mix and match. With a little bit of creativity, you can overcome their only drawback (lack of mixability). I will show you what I mean in step 2.  



Layer 1 in Pictures and Words 

reference image of apple

0:13 Take a second to observe the colors lying beneath the surface.

1.)Yellow/green/orange at the top

2.) Orange top/middle

3.) Brownish purple in the shadow on the left.

4.) Strong red on the right side. Everywhere else (but the red) is lower in chroma (intensity of color) meaning that it is "greyed down". 

 Prismacolor Yellowed Orange

0:20 I start my drawing with the "Yellowed-Orange" marker from prismacolor. I try to match the undertone.

 prismacolor markers instructional tutorial

0:38 I use marker color Apple Green at the top of the apple next to the stem.

how to use prismacolor markers to draw an apple

0:48 I use the color Mahogany Red to add the general shape and color of the shadows.

 prismacolor illustration markers poppy red

1:02 I use the marker Poppy Red to create the high chroma red on the area next to the highlight.

Tuscan Red Prismacolor Marker Drawing Apple Shadow Colors

1:20 I added a layer of Tuscan Red to the shadow on the lower left corner.

End of Layer 1: My Drawing does NOT look like an apple yet, but the markers enable me to succeed in getting the undertones to set up the second layer. (continued below)

layer 2 Colored Pencils prismacolor
Layer 2- Is created with color pencils. Color pencils are mixable / blendable and I mix the color pencils directly above my marker drawing (layer 1). I use the wax stick to finish the surface and tie everything together.

Prismacolor Color Pencils

1:38 I use the Colored Pencil: French Grey 30% to drop the intensity of the color for the highlight. Highlights are NOT intense in color.

1:45 I use the colored pencil Goldenrod to get the yellow values towards the top of the apple.

carmine red color pencil

2:15 I use the colored pencil White to create the bright highlight.

2:25 I use the color pencil Carmine Red to get the beautiful bright "fire engine red" hue on the side of the apple.

tuscan red color pencil

2:37 I alternated between the colors Canary Yellow and White to define the top of the apple.

2:54 Tuscan Red is one of the most important colors that you could get in your palette. It is strong (intense), dark in tone and purplish brown in hue. It is great for portraits as well!

canary yellow color pencil

3:06 I am using the colored pencil Carmine Red again. I am using it to start my blending so that my drawing does not look segmented.

3:10 I am using the Tuscan Red again and for the same reason as the previous color. I am trying to blend and make smooth color transitions.

Prismacolor Art Stix Colorless Blender Wax Stick Blending

3:20 For the first time in this illustration drawing, I am using the color Olive Green to do the shadow of the stem.

3:26 The colored pencil Magenta is a purplish red which makes a great bridge between the Tuscan Red and the Carmine Red.

goldenrod color pencil colored

3:31 Now, I am using the color Black Cherry which is a bit darker than the Tuscan Red. This color will help me define the edges a bit more.

3:42 The Prismacolor Art Stix Colorless Wax Blender is a very handy tool to finish an illustration. All it is, is the wax (the binder) for the colored pencils without the color. It is an incredible tool for colored pencil artists. Notice that I blend in the opposite direction as my cross hatching.

Draw a realistic apple step by step
4:13 I use a variety of color pencils such as Black, White, Goldenrod, Carmine Red and Olive Green to finish my drawing.


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