Sharpie Drawings

The other day I found a book on Pennsylvania Dutch Hex Signs. A small hex sign hung on the wall of my room growing up, and it was one of my most favorite things. In the book, there was even a little “how to make your own” section, which involved lots of compass drawing. Inspired, I started doodling on a piece of grid paper.

marker sketch

I drew the center part first, and added the frame because it seemed to want some structure. When using the grid to add the lines of the frame, I realized how un-geometric the circular part was. Although I like the final sketch, it felt a little unsatisfying for it to not quite line up properly, so I decided to use a compass to draw one of the basic motifs used in hex signs.


I really liked the geometric feel of the frame from the first sketch and was particularly intrigued by the overlapping areas, so I had an idea to combine the compass work with an overlapping triangle texture.

round geometric

I like the result here, but the overlapping didn’t seem as clear as I wanted, so I tried a simpler style of two overlapping circles.

circles & triangles

I’m very happy with the way this one turned out. I love how the colors work together, and I achieved what I wanted in terms of overlap. I flipped the paper over to protect the surface, and I noticed the back of the paper. It’s very much the same, but the colors are a bit more subtle, and there’s a different feel to the piece.

circles & triangles back

For the next drawing, I wanted to eliminate the marker outline, and see if I could achieve a distinct edge by only filling in the parts of the grid that were within the circle.

overlapping geometry

I think it worked pretty well, especially for the edge of the circle. I’m not sure that the half-circle lines I drew within the circle are as distinct, but overall I like the colors & texture of the pattern.

overlapping geometry, back

If all goes well, I should get my shipment of colored pencils today. I have plans to continue this series with graphite & colored pencil. I think the sharpies look great, but sometimes an overlapping color would completely obscure the color behind it, so I’m thinking color pencils will be a great way to control the intensity.

Do you have a favorite image from the bunch?

7 Replies to “Sharpie Drawings”

  1. love all the color combos but the last one is my favorite, really like the pink and blue together. it’s funny but I liked the flip sides best, their texture and feel is lovely 🙂

    1. thank you! i know what you mean about the flip side. i like the softness of the texture. that’s what helped solidify the idea of trying out colored pencils–maybe i’ll be able to achieve a similar feel by controlling the amount of pigment. we’ll see!

  2. These are really striking. Pysanky comes to mind but on a second look Aboriginal art as well. I’m quite excited to see where you take this and how they will look with coloured pencils. If I have to choose only one… I think I like the very last one for its translucent quality and depth.

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