Drawing outlines & textures with Letraset Fineliners – Tutorial/video

Outlining with Fineliners is something you can do BEFORE you use your Promarkers and it might make your drawing a bit more dynamic! Here I share how I use them for this drawing of tennis legend, Andy Murray. There are 4 different thicknesses of Letraset Fineliner available and I tend to use the 0.1 (thinnest) and the 0.5 (middle thickness) the most. Read on to find out more…

Don’t forget the giveaway at the end of the blog…

OR watch the video TUTORIAL right here and now:

The first step was to draw out the figure and when I had that sorted out, it was time to add ink outlines using Fineliners.  WHY use fineliners? Well, the first reason is it makes the outlines of where you’re going to colour much clearer and easier to see.  The second reason is that they do not smudge if you go over them with your Promarkers…

For the basic overall outlines, I use a 0.1, the thinnest Fineliner. This is so if I make any mistakes, they are not really thick and I might be able to fix them ;) But also, it gives me a base outline that I can make thicker if I want to, it gives me choices! As usual, I start in a very small area too, again to build confidence for the rest of the drawing :)Fineliner 1 Some artists draw a very thick outer outline and then thinner lines for all the ‘interior’ work and I guess starting with a thinner line allows you to do this if you think the drawing needs it.

I use the 0.1 fineline pen to add texture to the hair and beard.  With the hair, I try to be lighter with my strokes of the pen and less deliberate than with the basic outlines.Fineliner 2 So I hold the pen more loosely, higher up the barrel (for a bit less control) and gently flick those strokes. Here I flick the pen in gentle curves as Andy Murray has curly hair.
For the eyebrows I try to use small flicked strokes because his eyebrows are made up of lots of small hairs. I also try to flick them in the direction that they grow, so from the middle outwards.  Eyebrows are never a uniform thickness from end-to-end so always look at the reference picture for where they are thinner/thicker.Fineliner 5
Its interesting that for a male, I will draw the individual hairs of the eyebrow but if I’m drawing a female face, I’ll draw the eyebrow as a more continuous line :)
For the beard, I use a slightly different approach, using small short strokes of the fineliner. I put the marks down in uneven patches because his stubble is uneven and thicker in some areas.
Fineliner 6I ignore the other outlines around his jaw and mouth too so that the stubble ‘crosses over’ and looks like it sticks out from his face, like real stubble would.  This same effect can be used to draw chest hair, skinheads and arm hair.


For most of the dark shadow areas, I will use a thicker nib, like a 0.5/0.7 because its quicker but there are some parts of the face where I use the 0.1. The small shadow areas of the eyes, ears & nostrils need precision and care so I will ‘fill’ these using the 0.1.Fineliner 4
It’s also worth noting that I do not ‘fill’ in all the shadow areas that I’ve drawn with the pencil. I make small judgements as I ink; what am I going to ink solid black? And what am I going to colour darker later?
If you fill ALL your pencil tone areas in black you might find you ‘overpower’ the drawing and your Promarker colouring is not strong enough to balance the picture later on.
Here is the (almost) finished inking, before I rub out the pencil lines and get colouring…
Fineliner 7
I hope you find the Blog and Video useful, and don’t forget to like, comment & share if you do! :D

NEXT BLOG: Colouring skin tones with Promarkers…

It’s GIVEAWAY time, with a set of ‘Letraset Fineliners‘ up for grabs :)
What do you have to do??
  • Just watch the Tutorial Video below, leave a comment ON THE VIDEO including the word, ‘GIVEAWAY’.  I’ll draw the lucky winner out of a hat next month :)
How easy is that?



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About gee massam

Gee is a full-time carer who draws, paints and illustrates. He has used markers extensively since 2012 and has gotten into using Aquamarkers in the last 2 years. As a long-time watercolour painter, he is still working out all the effects that you can achieve with them.

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