Let Travel Take You Places Artistically!

May 06

Let Travel Take You Places Artistically!

Prismacolor resident artist  Shelley Minnis recently travelled to Barcelona, Spain and came back inspired and refreshed artistically ( and hopefully in every way!) by what she saw and experienced while she was away!

Nothing gets my creative juices flowing more than travel. I recently got back from a trip to Spain where I saw some of the finest art museums in the world, includingthe Prada,filled with traditional art and famous Spanish artists like Velazquez and Goya, and the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Contemporary Museum) the home of  some  Salvador Dali and Picasso’s incredible work.

Shelley in front of the Prada

Shelley in front of the Reina Sofia

One of my biggest inspirations on this trip was the work of architect Antoni Gaudi. His masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia Cathedral has been under construction for over the past 100 years, hopefully scheduled for completion around 2020-2040. The organic nature of the design was truly inspired by flora and fauna, almost looking like a “living, evolving creature or plant”. The stained glass windows show brilliant displays of color and illumination. It is truly breathtaking.

Exterior photos of La Sagrada Familia Cathedral (in progress for over 100 yrs.)




Exterior photos of La Sagrada Familia Cathedral (in progress for over 100 yrs.)

Inside photos of the La Sagrada Familia Cathedral with very organic architecture by Architect Antoni Gaudi

Inside photos of the La Sagrada Familia Cathedral with very organic architecture by Architect Antoni Gaudi

When I got home, I wanted to create something that was inspired by the organic designs that I had recently seen. As a bit of a “newbie” to markers, I wanted to create a piece that was not so precise and controlled, and the Prismacolor Brush Fine makers really allow you to be more fluid.

I started on Canson Marker paper in analogous colors that were happy and bright. I picked a floral design that would fill the paper first with lighter hues, then build the color with deeper shades. After seeing the stained glass windows in La Sagrada Familia, I decided to finish the piece with more of a defined edge in black. This marker piece brought me great joy, as I worked in a medium that offers so many color choices and now features the new “brush tip”, which gives you the line variation of thick and thin lines that are so appropriate for this type of “organic piece”.

I hope you get the chance to go to Spain one day!It was an amazing place that offered “eye candy” for the artist. “Viva la Espana y Prismacolor!!!”


-       Premier Brush|Fine Art Markers in

  • Chartreuse PB-27
  • Spring Green PB-25
  • Light Cerulean Blue PB-48
  • True Blue PB-39
  • Aquamarine PB-37
  • Process Red PB-1
  • Mulberry PB-53
  • Fuchsia PB-55
  • Jet Black PB-211

-       Canson Marker pro layout paper # 702-660, Size 9×12

  1. Begin with light colors and use quick loose strokes to lay down your color. Remember when you layer colors they become darker and if you need to have white in your design, you must leave the paper white.

2. Continue adding the colors you’ve selected to create a layered and interesting look.



3. Add more colors of the “cool color pallet” to the flower petals to add richness and luminosity.


Here you can see the variation of line stroke, allowing you to achieve both thin and thick lines.


4. Add black to define and enhance the colors within the flower. After seeing stained glass windows that had the black outlines in La Sagrada Familia, this inspired me to take similar approach.


5. Add a contrasting colors around the flower design to help it stand out even more.


6. Add drama, texture and detail to the piece by stippling with small black dots as a final step.


And done!

If this inspired you to use Prismacolor Brush Markers and illustrate your own version of this concept (or book a trip to Barcelona), please share it with us on our Facebook page or in the comments section below!


Guest writer and illustrator Shelley Minnis



  1. Kathy scott /

    So inspired by your blog going to Barcelona in June , can’t wait thanks for the info

  2. One question: If one dampens the paper after using these markers, will it create a watercolor effect?

    Thank you for an interesting explanation of an interesting technique.

    May I suggest that you see “Goya’s Ghosts”, a movie made in about 2007? I think that you would enjoy the art in it, though it’s secondary to the main plot.

    Thanks again for your interesting blog entry.

    • Shelley Minnis /

      Wow….how am I missing these questions…sorry…As for dampening the paper and then using markers…it does not seem to just “bleed” like using alcohol on the markers…but it will soften the color.I do think it matters what type of paper you are using. I tried it on a heavier drawing paper and it softened the color a bit and then on alighter paper and I did not see much change.
      It is fun to play and experiment…try it on scrap paper just to see for yourself.

  3. Sallie Baker /

    Beautiful pictures of Spain! Can’t believe you did that with markers?

  4. Sherry Mellgren /

    Very inspiring blog! Thanks for the information.

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