For this illustration I decided to use a tree frog as the subject because it’s a far more colorful subject than most of the work that I do. I used a variety of photo references to come up with the final drawing (no tracing, just reference for shape and color).
The process began with a pencil drawing on illustration board. I prefer BLICK illustration board because of the quality and price. Most of my COPIC marker work is now done on this brand of board.
I get asked about marker paper, but I just don’t care for it as a substrate. At some colleges I teach on marker paper, but that’s only because the curriculum specifies that I do so. I don’t care for how thin most marker paper is and prefer the tooth of illustration board.
The line art was done with a variety of COPIC and Pigma Micron pens. When working with COPIC markers I prefer to use COPIC pens because they ink remains largely unaffected by the marker ink. Pigma Microns are, of course, an industry standard and are amazingly resilient and widely available.
The line art is rather unappealing at this point. I decided not to do weighted lines on this piece and instead rely only on shading.
The response to the finished piece has been pretty positive. It turned out exactly how I desired. The illustration is about 14 inches wide. I used about two-dozen COPICS, some microns in black, grey, orange, and green, and a white UNI pen for highlights. I also cleaned-up the image in Adobe Photoshop for the final printing, which I did on an EPSON p800.