Markers are great tools for field sketching. They lay down an even area of tone. With a small set of shades of gray, you can produce fast value studies. The markers will quickly bleed through thin paper so either put a blotter sheet behind the page you are working on or sketch on heavyweight paper.
There are different types of grays such as cool, warm, French, or toner. Choose one type and use them consistently throughout the drawing. I like the warm and French grays. You do not need every value that they sell in the store but get yourself a selection of values.
I like to start with lightest values and build up to darker values. Remember that you can never go backward, once the ink is down it is down. If you do not like it just laugh and go on to another sketch. You also can add whites back in with a jell pen or a sharpie paint marker.
Click on an image below to read the details for each step and see the full size drawing.
Start with the light values… With the sun on the left side of the bird, I sketched the shapes of the highlights and filled the shadow areas with a light gray “0”toner gray Copic Marker. Leave the highlights and sunlit areas white.
Add the water… Using the chisel tip of the “3” Copic Marker, add the water with overlaping horizantal strokes. The solvent in the ink will stay wet for a moment and blend the strokes together, reduceing streaking.
Distant vegetation… Using vertical strokes, add the background vegetation with a “5” Copic marker. Be careful around the edge of the egrets neck. Add a few horizantal strkes in the water to represent the reflection of the vegetation and the foreground wave shapes. These waves were created by using the brush tip to create a stroke that starts lighty, increases in pressure, then becomes light again. Try it on a seperate piece of paper before adding it to your drawing.
Foreground vegetation… Using the brush tip of a “7” Copic marker suggest the shape of the foreground vegetation. Vary the lenth, angle, and spacing of the strkes so it does not look mechanical. Add a few dark shapes at the base of the grass where you might look deep into the spaces between clumps of grasses.
And a little highlight… Using a white jell pen, add light edges to spme of the grasses. Do not overdo it.