Life and a Sharpie Art Show

Life and a Sharpie

Being part of the Life and a Sharpie group show is one of those opportunities that gives me a chance to try new techniques and experiment with medium that I would not ordinarily use in my day-to-day work. The guidelines for this show were simple. Each artist receives an old Life Magazine and has to incorporate images from it with illustration via a black sharpie marker.

I started off my illustration by going through the magazine and marking pages that inspired me in some way.  Once I had a few inspiring images to work with, I started sketching various concepts to establish a final direction.

Life Magazine Sharpie

Sharpie Sketches


After spending time trying to figure out how to combine the magazine and sharpie illustration, I decided to start drawing without any preconceived notion of what the finished piece would look like. Robots and rock climbers stumbled out of my fingers and on to the page. I was simply having fun drawing with sharpies and warming up my fingers. I thought this illustration would be a practice piece in preparation for a final concept. Once I got into it I started liking where it was headed and decided to pursue this concept as the final. I find this to be and interesting way to work. Start drawing and let the final illustration become what it wants to become.

Sharpie Lines

Sharpie Lines


With the line drawing complete, I had to figure out a way to incorporate elements of the Life Magazine. Working late on a Friday night, a catsup advertisement caught my attention. Robots, rock climbers, catsup = lunch. There was the connection. I wanted to make a fun illustration and the catsup ad appeared to be a prefect way to tie all the elements together.

Life and a Sharpie

I scanned in my line drawings and catsup ad, then compositing them together in Photoshop. I wanted my lines to be a little more consistent than the scan produced so I imported the line drawing into Adobe Illustrator and used the live trace function. I then placed the live trace in Photoshop on top of the hand-drawn lines and turned down the opacity.

Sharpie Lines

I created the background halftone pattern using Photoshop. Color was added for the sky and rope using a multiply blend mode layer. Light effects for the robots antennas were created using soft light layers. The illustration was finished with catsup dripping off of the robots fingers, painted in with Photoshop.

Pete Maric Sharpie Illustration

Pete Maric Sharpie Detail

There are so many good Cleveland-based artists participating in this show, it will be exciting to see everyone’s take on this theme. The opening reception will take place at e11even 2 Gallery on May 16, from 5-9. The participating artists are Melanie Agnich, Lori Bellman-Shortt, Rachel Bellman-Shortt, Theresa Beuoy, Rich Cihlar, Mike Daly, Elleen Dorsey, Nicole Edwards, Donna Fischer, Michael Greenwald, Matt Kapela, Brendan Kelly, Pete Maric, Jason K. Milburn, Bill Nainiger, Billy Nainiger, Dan Nainiger, Dorian Nainiger, Gabe Nainiger, Liz Nainiger, Roni Nainiger, Jessica Newell, Jen Prox-Weisblat, Christina Sadowski, Dawn Tekler, Marc Tomko, and Josh Usmani.

Special thanks to my friend Billy Naininger for organizing this show. Check out his new gallery at

About the author

Hi, I’m Pete Maric. I grew up in Cleveland and graduated from CIA. After freelancing for a number of years, I launched Triplet 3D in 2013. I am interested in anything design related, from architecture to animation and am inspired by good books, progressive ideas, art and music. I also play guitar and gig regularly in the Cleveland area.

There are 3 comments so far

  • Vessy
    9 years ago · Reply

    This is way too cool Mr. Maric! Can’t wait to see the show!

    • Pete Maric Author
      9 years ago · Reply

      Thanks so much!

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