Thursday, March 6, 2014

Markers and such...

With the completion of big project I always seem to have need some time away from the shop.  I've spent some time cleaning up but there are plenty of tools to sharpen and some small shop projects that I should take care of at some point.  Instead I've been playing with markers.

Natalie is leaving for a few weeks of training soon and I've decided that I need a project to work on while she is gone.  I want something that I can reasonably complete (at least mostly) in 3 weeks.  Once she gets back we plan to start on a major house project and I want to be at least close to wrapping up any shop projects before then.

I have been compiling a list of pieces that we need for the house and have been working on designs for several of them.  My goal is to eventually get far enough ahead on my designs that I can pick and choose what to work on based on the time I have available and which project is motivating me.  Separating the design and construction of the projects also allows me design a lot more pieces than I will have time to build and will hopefully help me develop my sense of style for furniture into something a bit more cohesive.

I have been doing a lot of sketching lately and have been experimenting with different media for creating renderings of designs.  There isn't much information that I have been able to find specifically about rendering wood for furniture design.

The best results so far are a mix of markers and colored pencil. Below is a collection of sketches and renderings of a few of the pieces that are in the works.

This is an end table design that will go with the recently completed TV stand.  

It will be built mostly from cherry, likely using curly cherry for the drawer front and side panels.

The idea is to use a 16" marble or granite tile, set into a bridle jointed frame, for the top.

I experimented with more of an Arts and craft feel, though that was not received too well. This and the previous image are water color images.  I really enjoy working with water colors, but they are tough in a sketchbook without really heavy paper.

This is the current design of this piece.  I am finally getting a feel for the markers and am having pretty good luck with them.  

This might be the project that I end up building over the next few weeks as I already have the lumber for it and I should be able to complete it in three weeks.  It is small, wall hanging book shelf intended to hang in the kitchen and hold cook books and recipe cards in the drawers.  It will be mahogany to match the whiskey cabinet I built last year.

Kind of a mixture of Greene and Greene and Krenov. 

Tonight I worked on a color rendering of the shelf with ambrosia maple drawer fronts.  i think this is pretty close the design I will go with.

I have a mix of Prismacolor markers and a few Staedtler ones.  I just ordered a small selection of Copic markers which I look forward to trying.  Most of my renderings tend to be sketches that get inked with a black drafting pen and then colored.  The last sketch above I did the underlying sketch with a light colored pencil and then went straight to the markers.  Once I had the main color blocks established I began to had some detail with colored pencils.  Using a white colored pencil for highlights and a couple brown pencils for details such as grain seems to work quite well.

If anyone has any experience or suggestions with regard to rendering wood textures for furniture design I would love to hear it.  


  1. Nice drawings. Have you seen Jim Leggitt's site?

    He does excellent work with markers and often combines SketchUp and markers with great results.

  2. Thanks for the link. He has some great stuff.