Years ago when I worked as a graphic designer, one of the best skills to have was marker rendering. It saved you from the tedious jobs such as typesetting or paste up / mechanicals. It’s hard to believe that not so long ago in the 1980’s layout, composition and design were all done on a drawing board instead of on a computer. In other words, you had to have drawing skills in order to be a graphic designer!
Marker renderings were one of my specialties. I remember using Pantone or Design markers to create effects such as glass, metal, fashion figures, and a whole host of other subjects. There was a wonderful book that we used as a textbook in college called The Language of Layout. It taught commercial artists and product designers how to use markers to render effectively. Back then, you didn’t just drop in the stock photo from the web–you had to show what the photo would look like and then hire a professional photographer to collaborate with you and create the shot. You even had to render text in a variety of fonts and use “Greeking” to suggest what the page layout would look like before the copy was even written.
I guess these skills have gone by the wayside, but I still enjoy working with marker as a medium. It is very portable, highly compatible with most sketchbook surfaces (works great in a Moleskine) and allows you to create vibrant, watercolor-like drawings in color or black and white.
So, I guess all that training I received to be a graphic designer has found a place in my career as a fine artist.