Bufo – buffoon – Mr Toad and the alcohol


This toad has been to the costume rentals getting himself a frog prince outfit (bling thing) and now says: “By the time she twigs I am a toad I’ll have hopped it!”

Amphibian in alcohol-based medium. No worries, no semi-terrestrial tadpole was harmed in the making of this post. Unindorsed by any manufacturer of art supplies, still, some praise has to be sung.

The beauty about alcohol based markers like COPICs, Letraset Promarkers and the like is their blendability, the layering and mixing of colours, and their sheer range of colour, obviously. The available shades and achievable hues make you feel almost like you are modelling the image on your page in a 3D medium.

If you feel comfortable sketching on paper already, you can use your linework or coloured sketches and concentrate on improving your digital inking skills by scanning in your images and taking them further.

Whereas we are now used to undo any mistake or to dismiss entire layers, even stages an illustration is going through on a computer using software, working with pen and paper urges you to work with your mistakes. There is a more of an immediate ‘relationship’ with your subject matter and materials.

What can be achieved using drawing tablets and software is utterly amazing. But seeing the magic happen on paper without the option to ‘ctrl-z’ your last move can make you actually more adventurous instead of timid as you might expect.

You can lay down flat colour and build up depth. Depending on the paper you are using – I prefer matte and toned papers – these markers also lend themselves perfectly to be combined with other pencils, gel pens, fineliners etc., for building up textures.

Scecialist papers keep your colours from bleeding onto the next page, but if that is of no big concern to you, you can use pretty much any decent sort of paper, even brown paper. Just give it a try and make sure the paper can hold a good  saturation of colour.

And there needn’t be the classical divide between traditional and digital media. Just as you can mix your traditional media so you can with hand-drawn and digital artwork. What matters is that you achieve your objective in a reasonable timeframe and that you keep learning while you are enjoying yourself creating and pushing your ideas.

Hoping for some ribbeting pieces of work!


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