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Drawing/Calligraphy/Cartooning/how can I prevent markers from smudging?


Hi Elgin! I've watched your videos, you do great work.  So I was wondering, when it comes to drawing caricataures, have you ever had the problem of the marker not drying fast enough, then accidental smudging occurs? I can't stand this! I have this problem frequently.  Any tips, suggestions, ideas? Thank you so much for reading and your answer, if you can get to it.

Yeah, I've had that problem happen! LOL!  It's just one of the annoying things that happen in this business. Sometimes you get a marker that puts too much ink on the paper, and other times you're just drawing so quickly that you unintentionally smudge your drawing as your arm,or hand passes over a line you've just drawn.

One solution is to use a paper that absorbs the ink quickly. I useto draw on a semi glossy paper because I loved the way the marker wouldn't drag over the paper like it would on a paper that had a little more "tooth". Only drawback to using glossy paper is that the ink wouldn't dry fast and it would smudge.

I now use card stock and cover stock paper sold at STAPLES.  The paper is very absorbent and seems to resist smudging IMO.  I also learned to be very conscious of where my arm and my hand is while I'm drawing. Sometimes if you get lazy or tired, there's a tendency to rest your arm/ hand too heavily on the paper.   You want to draw quickly, but relaxed. Take your time, but don't rush.  This is something that only comes with a lot of practice.

Hope this answers your question.

Glad you like my work.



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Elgin Bolling


Can answer questions about basic sketching and drawing, caricature drawing, and cartoon character creation and techniques. I cannot answer questions concerning 3D character creation and modeling.


Professional cartoonist, and caricature artist since 1990.

Member of the National Caricaturist Network

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