Tips and Techniques for Working with Sharpie Markers on Fabrics

Aug 4, 2010


Shelley Minnis is an artist and fine art consumer specialist for Sanford. Click Here to find out more about Shelley. Here are some tips and techniques to help you create your Body of Art!

Getting started:

If you are going to draw on a T-shirt, it is best to cut a piece of corregated cardboard 18? by 22?. (Approximately) This is to slip inside the shirt for support as you draw.

You will need to lightly spray the surface of the cardboard with 3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive and then slide the cardboard inside the t-shirt. Smooth out the wrinkles and this will keep the fabric in place and not stretch or move around as you draw.

Drawing with Sharpie Markers and Adding Rubbing Alcohol

One of the most fun ways to work is to lightly sketch your design in pencil on the T-shirt and then then start to add lots of Sharpie marker to the design. Depending on the design, you will want lots of Sharpie colors with varying size nibs. You may scribble or sketch in a quick rough manner?..because the next thing you will do is to add Rubbing Alcohol. You will apply the alcohol with a brush, a dropper or you can even fill a small plastic spray bottle to spritz. Keep in mind that once the alcohol hits the Sharpie color?.it will begin to bleed out?.and everywhere you have wet with the alcohol will cause the bleeding to continue?..Remember?.don?t panic?.your lines will be gone?but you can add more color and detail lines later. Be Brave?..bright fun colors even coming through your design will give your design a fresh, fun look.

Once the alcohol has dried?.you can go back and add more layers of line in the form of hatching or cross hatching?..(strokes that cross each other). You could even treat this a bit like a painting?.and layer anther layer of Sharpie color on an existing color and add more alcohol?it will bleed together and make a new color?..It is fun!

Add lines to create the detail and contrast to make your piece have more interest and drama.

Sealing your finished Fashion Artwork

  • After the Alcohol has dried, you will need to spray your entire work with the Prismacolor Final Fixative?..I prefer the Matte Finish. Let that dry.
  • Iron on a medium setting to allow the colors to set.
  • You are ready to wear your Work of Art and get lots of compliments??.!
Creating Art on fabric with Prismacolor Premier Double Ended Art Markers

Start the project in the same manner as the Sharpie by putting the sprayed cardboard inside the T-shirt to keep the project from slipping. Work quickly, beginning with lighter shades of Premier Double Ended Art Markers. Keep the wet edge moving and add layers of color for a smooth finish and to minimize streaking. Then layer in the darkest color to build shadow and depth.

Storing Prismacolor Art Markers

Always keep caps on the markers when not in use, making sure that caps are snapped on fully. These are alcohol based markers and could dry out if they are not properly closed. The Premier Art Markers can be stored in any direction.

Creating Art on Fabric with Prismacolor Illustration Markers

Working with Prismacolor Illustration Markers

The Premier Illustration Markers contain pigmented ink and are best stored horizontally. If they?re stored for a long period in a vertical position, the Premier Illustration Markers may need some time to recover in a horizontal position for a short period for best performance.

Use the Different Tip Sizes for a Variety of Projects

5 different tip sizes allow you to create unique art with parallel lines, dots of pointillism or squiggles in a variety of line widths.

The lightfast and archival qualities make the Fine Line Illustration Marker the ideal choice for working on this Fabric Art.

Mixed Media

The Prismacolor Double ended markers are great in combination with the Sharpie Markers?..since there are 156 colors in the Prismacolor Markers?.this allows for lots of variation of coloring.

As with any skill?.Practice?.the Best Advice for any artist!

Use the grey Double Ended Art Markers to practice before you begin your actual piece in marker.

As with the Sharpies?..you need to spray with the Prismacolor Final fixative when you are finished and heat set the design with a medium hot iron.

Wear and Enjoy!

Art Work on Blue Jeans

The best advice is to find a pair of jeans that are pretty ?faded? and not as dark denim. The reason is primarily because the colors won?t show up like they did on the white T-shirt. If you can?t find a pair that is light enough?.you may want to bleach your jeans. Just be careful and seek adult supervision since you are dealing with bleach?..and you ONLY want to bleach what you intend to bleach?..and nothing else! This must be done in advance and left to dry. You may proceed as before and be sure to follow all the steps.

Get creative???and enjoy!

You may be the next ?sought after designer! Have fun!!!

Filed Under: Technique and The Art District


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