I'm generally a digital artist, but I do sometimes use markers. I have Lesat Pro-markers and they're like massive chunky things with a wide chiseled tip so you can cover large areas, but yeah, after a few uses, they do run out and they're €3.50 for a marker which is for me, enough to get the makings of dinner for a few days.
Ever tried using water-colours or water-coloured pencils for making a wash for backgrounds?
If you get some tissue paper, dip it into the chalk dust and spread it around to get different gradients. Maybe mix in a different colour too. Like pink with a bit of orange in it. If you need any help or anything, feel free to ask me.
Haha, I remember I used to color on normal printpaper and it would kill markers in a second and when painting large areas there'd be stripes and smudgyness. Schoellershammer's marker-paper is the best I've used, Copic's own marker-paper was not so good for me (although I use only Copics!) But with proper paper the ink can almost pool on the paper instead of being sucked in, and blends beautifully. Doesn't dry in a second either, so there's a small moment more to work on an area.