Album Covers in Cheap Marker

I’m all about technique building; from cooking, to gardening, to art there’s always new skills to learn and build upon. That being said my current interest has been in markers, specifically really cheap markers that you’d send an eighth grader to school with.

Marker set purchased in Taiwan

I believe I paid less than $5 for this whole set.

I purchased said cheap markers in Taiwan with my good friend Alan Openshaw

Alan Openshaw sitting on a concrete fish in Taiwan

I love the look on Alan’s face in this picture.

Here we find Alan sitting atop a fish in the Port of Kaohsiung (gow-shung) when we traveled to Taiwan in 2010. It was a fantastic trip and I can not thank the Openshaw family enough for allowing me to go with Alan.

Let’s take a moment to talk about Alan and I’s friendship. It runs deep ladies and gentlemen, you’d do well to remember that.

Alan Openshaw and Devin Gustafson preparing to skydive

Long before Felix decided to come along and break our record Alan and I went sky diving for our birthdays (We’re only 12 days apart). Alan look thrilled while I’m trying to look hard to hide the fact that I’m terrified. #Tru-facts.

You see that photo? That was from the day Alan and I celebrated our births and our lives by jumping out of an airplane (Thanks Openshaw family ((again)) and getting the whole thing on video. If you ever want to see my video I’ll gladly let you watch it at my house, it’s only 8 minutes long.

Taichi Sato and Alan Openshaw in Tokyo Japan

What a great night that was.

Here we find Alan with another of my good friends, Taichi Sato. He lives in Tokyo and is just finishing up his schooling to be a seamen. Fishing is really big in Japan, which makes sense for a country that’s a large chain of islands.

As usual I set myself a few rules to abide by as I worked on this project. The first being that I had to listen to the album I wanted to draw as I drew it. Sometimes I finished the album before the drawing was complete and had to listen to it again. This happened with Abandoned Luncheonette: I did not mind in the least.
Second parameter, rule, what-have-you was that each album had to be a 3″x3″ square. This made getting any amount of detail into the picture almost impossible. This is where stylization comes into play and as you’ll see some styles worked much better than others.

I made 12 when I originally planned on 15, which I guess would have been the third rule but I filled up a full page with ink and this way I can keep it all together.

Here we go!


Cross hatching for black. Disappointing results.


Jamiroquai “Dynamite”

I tried using cross hatching here and there on this project and found that for large flat colors the best rendered with patience and in solid blocks.

Tennis, Young and Old markers

Yay for bands from Denver.


The cross hatching here came out nicely since it’s in isolated pockets.

stVincent_actor in marker

I made her face too wide. Scaling mistakes pop up periodically in this project. 


Skinny face is skinny.

Scaling issues will ruin a piece.

theymightbeGiants_joinus in markers

This one is pretty close.


Whoop Whoop.


Cross hatching ruined this piece to hell so fast. I’m tempted to just go in and fix it by blocking out the rest of the color.


failing grade.

hallandoates_abandonedLuncheonette in markers

I love this album and this cover.




Scaling issues again. Notice how I realized that markers can be layered to increase opacity on this piece (turtleneck shadows).


The Lonely Island “Turtleneck and Chain”

This album is hilarious.

suckers_candysalad in marker

Proud of this one.


Suckers “Candy Salad”

Good album, well done cover.

drdre_thechronic in markers

This album is incredible from beginning to end.


Dr Dre “The Chronic 2001”

Blaze up some chronic and then go draw with some markers…

rickross_portofMiami in markers



He’s the CEO of Ross stores, btw.

Erreday I’m hustlin’

sleighbells_reignofterror in markers

This may be the best cover in terms of matching the original.


Sleigh Bells “Reign of Terror”

Pump this album through your headphones for brain melting guitar riffs and vocals.

dandeacon_america in markers

I’m pleased with this one as well.


Dan Deacon “America”

So there’s that. I’d like to do this project again on a larger scale and see what the results look like but it will have to wait since I’ve got a bunch of other stuff to create in the meantime.

Now I’ve got to go disassemble Sarah’s nerf gun so I can paint it for her Halloween costume.