Monday Art Tips- Be Careful with Oil Sharpie Markers

Greetings on this last Monday in December!

I am going to try and do an art tips blog on Mondays. This first blog is about the Oil Black Sharpie Markers.

There are great to use and when you use them in a painting, they add a nice glossy color. I painted a retro-inspired water-mixable oil painting using a variety of circles and I outlined each circle with the black sharpie marker. The sharpie was the final thing to add to the painting and it looks wonderful.

This blog is about what happens when you use additional layers of water-mixable oil paint over the marker. This painting has been a work-in-progress for a while. This is its third iteration.

I had first intended doing a painting with a red to orange to yellow gradient and then adding the oil marker in sweeping arcs over the oil paint. I decided I didn't like where it was going and gave it at least a week or so to dry. I then took gray, white, and some Prussian blue and swiped over the existing painting with a palette knife to add some texture and movement and to mostly cover up the first painting, but leave some traces coming through. Even though there was a fairly thick coat of paint, the oil marker started showing through as the paints began to dry. The second iteration didn't speak to me either and it had been sitting around the studio for at least 3-4 weeks.

This last iteration has been developing in the last 2-4 days. I took out some earth-toned paints and began to mess around and this time, I really like where it is going. It's not finished yet, but as the pink areas that I have circled suggest, neither is the oil sharpie marker. As the paint has dried, it has still begun to show through. Now, I don't mind seeing traces of the black because I am going for an antique, almost grunge-inspired look to the painting. In this case, the ever-persistent black marker is adding a nice effect and I don't mind its presence.

However, keep this in mind if you try and use oil sharpie markers underneath any layers of oil paints. Perhaps this is because my paint layers weren't thick enough, or maybe I used colors that were transparent (in the image, the light area is Titanium white mixed with a bit of Naples yellow), so I don't think that's the case. Maybe its because I am using water-mixable oil paints and this would not happen with traditional oil paints.

Whatever the reason, I wanted to share this outcome and give anyone using these markers a head's up. It looks like the oil black marker is an exceptionally strong and/or reactive color and does not want to stay hidden under multiple layers of paint. If you absolutely do not want to see traces of it, I recommend not covering it up.

Have you had any experience similar to this one? What are your thoughts? Subscribe to the website to comment on this on any other blog post.

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