Besides highlighting and shading, texture can have a big impact on what your finished artwork looks like. But, contrary to popular belief, you don't need a hundred fancy pens to create the textures you need.
1. Furrowing in Fur
Depending on the type of animal or creature, fur can be created with long strokes, short lines and conjoined circles. Whether you want a cartoon bear or a real-life (looking) grizzly, you can create "fur" with these two methods below. And for a transfixing tiger, take a look at the third video.
For the teddy bear kind of bear, you can create the right texture with soft squiggles, carefully filling in your outline with curved shapes without worrying about filling in all of the white gaps. Then, you can use the Mixing Chamber to create highlights and shadows so that you create a cuddly bear. See how artist Dave Antram used this technique to create fur on Violet the Bear.
For a more realistic grizzly using just a handful of pens (like our Chameleon Skin Tones set of five pens), you can use the Mixing Chamber to create gradients and long strokes in different colors to create glossy, waterproof fur. You'll want to create careful layers of individual fur strands just as this artist, Nick Kakanis, does in this video here. Check out Nick's Instagram for more amazing content.
Another one of our amazing artists, Tyler Goodrum, uses his Warm Tones set of Chameleon Pens - with only five colors - to create this fantastic tiger. This artist uses long strokes to color in his tiger; however, he creates the look of fur with the help of clever highlights and blending. He relies on his Mixing Chamber in order to create a multitude of color tones from his set of five pens. Check out the video below and visit Tyler's official Instagram account to see some of his other work.
2. Whittling Wood
In this video tutorial, our very own Julia demonstrates how a single Chameleon Pen combined with a Color Top can be used to create a wood grain effect or texture. Color Tops give you more blending possibilities than ever, because they allow you to easily create color-to-color blends using just one pen.
In this video she does use both a Chameleon Pen and a Color Top to create a wood grain effect, but you can just use Chameleon Pens if you wanted.
3. Going for Grass
If you liked our tutorial on wood grain texture, you'll love this quick 30-second clip on how to create grass from one pen (with a second pen used to create a purple flower). A single set of pens can help get you started and allow you the freedom to create variety with fewer, higher-quality tools.
4. Foraging Fruit
If you want to create post-impressionist stylized fruit, a-la-Gauguin, then look no further than this three-pen stippling effect. Here, Dave Antram creates an orange using three Chameleon Pens, Summer Sun (YL2), Seville Orange (OR4) and Spring Meadow (YG3).
5. Creating Hair and Skin
Our pens can facilitate the creation of hair and skin for portraits, fashion drawings, animations, cartoons, general coloring and more.
In this video tutorial, Cathy Andronicou shows us how to create skin and hair in a stylized cartoon representation with just three pens - one for the skin, one for the cheek color and one for the hair. On the face, she uses small circular motions as well as her Mixing Chamber to create variations in color from the center of the face outwards.
For the hair, she uses a single Chameleon Pen. Cathy uses short strokes to add in the darker colors before infusing her pen and working in longer strokes to blend in the lighter and mid tones. It's amazing how all of this - the highlights, low-lights and shading - can be created with a limited range of colors.
To see more of Cathy's brilliant work, head over to her official Facebook page.
Devin Kurtz (aka "TamberElla") demonstrates the variation that can be created with our pens, using a gradient technique. She focuses on realism and semi-realism, but also occasionally dabbles in more of a manga approach. Take a look at this video showing how she creates variety in skin tones and looks. Her Tumblr and Instagram are pretty amazing too.
6. Folding Fabric
Kristy Dalman devises a simple way to create realistic looking fabric folds with a single Chameleon Pen - and her digital stamp. She uses the Mixing Chamber to create a range of color tones, from a hint of a tint through the mid-tones and back to the original/fully saturated color.
Kristy notes that the trick to coloring fabric with a single pen is to create the illusion of depth and dimension using a gradient. She begins by using the full saturated color to mark in where the folds will be, keeping the light source in mind. Then, she infuses her Chameleon Pen in the Mixing Chamber and begins to color around these fully saturated areas. This results in realistic looking folds of fabric.
Watch the video below and have a go yourself. So much can be achieved with one Chameleon Pen - and five minutes of time.
To see more of Kristy's work, click here to see her work on Instagram.
7. Myriad Methods
Did you enjoy the textures described above? If so, did you know we also have at-home online learning courses? Our Level 2 course specifically covers advanced blending and creating textures such as fur, fabric, wood, skin and hair.
Check out our low-cost courses here. We discuss shadows, shading, casting shadows and light sources to show you how to create realistic depth and dimension in your art.
Want to carry on being inspired?
So, whether you're an amateur who loves to create, a crafter who loves making beautiful things in your spare time or a professional artist creating art for a deadline, here are some marker pen texture drawing tutorials to try.
As you can see, Chameleon Pens work much like watercolors for painters but in the world of crafting, coloring and beyond. You can do a lot with a single pen - as you can see - but with additional pens, the opportunities are endless.
For more ideas and tips on how to get the most out of your Chameleon Pens, check out our guide.