Shape Up Forum

Fat Marker Sketching Setups

What’s a good setup for fat-marker sketching?

I’m getting lost in the artistic side of sketching and would like something simple. Is the right direction to use an iPad-type tablet or a digitizing tablet like a Wacom?

For software, is there a sweet spot for lo-fi sketching and then sharing the outputs?

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I love using iPad Pro + Apple Pencil 2 for breadboarding sketches. You can pretty much use any iOS drawing app that supports Apple Pencil, including the built-in Notes app.

I know a Wacom may be cheaper but if you can find a way to sneak into an Apple Store and try the Apple Pencil 2 for 15 minutes or so, you’ll be hooked and will never go back to a Wacom. Trust me on that (I gave mine away once I switched over).

An iPad type device would definitely be my preferred way to do. With that said, you could also get away with an actual marker pen on paper, take a photo with your phone and share that. Not as clean, but gets the job done almost as fast :slight_smile:


I like how the first two suggestions are basically the cheapest and most expensive solutions possible!

I was able to acquire a Windows 10 tablet and am trying out Autodesk Sketchbook as a starting point. Sketchbook is overkill, I’d like something even simpler.

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I’m gonna go out on a limb here and suggest that it doesn’t quite matter how you do your fat marker sketches, but doing a prototype where you are unable to address details is the goal.

Fat markers don’t afford the ability to get granular, so drawings are broad and general. You can use an iPad, Wacom, etc, as long as you stop yourself from selecting a finer tool.

I never have a fat marker handy. I carry a fine tipped pen with my notebook so I find myself constraining the canvas size to a poststamp.


My favorite setup is iPad Pro + Apple Pencil + Notability.

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Same, it is truly a game changer.

I use iPad + Apple Pencil + Goodnotes.

Also used sufficiently:

  • Actual whiteboard (photos into pitches)
  • Figma (just keep the ‘no words inside the screen sketch’ rule)
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What do you guys use to share the Fat Markers live in a remote video conference?

I will join a Zoom call on my computer for my camera/mic, and then join again on my iPad as another participant and share my Notability app from there.

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As someone who’s not great at drawing (not that it really matters for fat marker sketched) and struggles a bit to get the sketch to look the way I want to, I’ve been really enjoying I find it quicker to get to where I want to, add a couple of text notes and the style looks pretty cool imo.

I use iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and the concepts app.

I like concepts for its easy cut/paste manipulation and because it has layers - I can easily add highlights on a separate layer.

I bought Lenovo Yoga C930 that has an in-built pen. And for sketching, I use Microsoft Whiteboard. I’m happy with both. Also if we do collaborative sketching, we use

Second using iPad Pro, Pencil and Concepts. The best part about Concepts is that each drawing is an infinite canvas and you can export drawings or what’s on screen as a png in the free version, and copy it directly into a message or document in Basecamp. I use it for breadboards as well.