Saturday, March 6, 2010

Soft Sketches and Hard Lines

When I begin a project I like to sketch in pencil on rough drawing paper. I love the feel.

But, more than that, I like the freedom that it allows me. As a digital artist I appreciate the ability to change things quicker in the computer than I would be able to in paint or ink. But the sheer joy of being able to use the flat side of a pencil and feel and "hear" the skritchy sound it makes on the paper is something I love .I also have the room to spread the drawing out without the confines of a Cintiq, Wacom or computer screen. Using the whole arm helps me to define movement in characters. Some sketches with multiple characters can be up to 20 + inches wide.

Once I have the basic shapes and the movement satisfies the text I usually photograph with a digital camera and transfer to the computer. That is where I can tighten up the shapes and create the finished line drawings. With the ability to resize elements and move them around and layer them in any order, I have found the best working style for me personally.
At times I will go further with my hard lines, but most of the time I stop when I have something that is semi detailed and finish those details as I paint. Painting can change the initial drawing in subtle ways that bring the finished illustration closer to the image in my mind.

I usually choose to photograph my sketches rather than scan. Most of the time the sketches are really too big for my scanner and the photo allows me to get the whole of a picture in one shot.

It is not uncommon for me to pick up a pencil and sketch "something" every time I pass my drawing table with an idea that needs a visible presence.

I would be interested in knowing what brings you to the drawing table or computer or how you bring that wonderful idea from thought to sketch to finish. I am sure others would as well.


12356 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Julia Kelly said...

I just love fresh, raw sketches they have an energy that finsihed pieces just dont have- I love looking at the sketches of the old masters- I was at the Getty in LA and pulled all my non artist family and friends over to show them that "hey! even Leonardo doesn't get his hands just right the first time- but boy were those sketches gorgeous- if I ever could collect art- I would buy the pages of sketch books before a finished piece-

Ginger*:) said...

I love sketches too, Julia. There is a freedom there that cannot be duplicated. I do think, however that the freedom returns in the Painting of the subject.
Creating a more detailed sketch just before painting allows me to work quicker and smarter in the final stage. That is where more wonderful things happen.
Just one paint stroke can open up a whole new approach to an illustration or a character.

I have been known to create a whole dress from the inspriation of one button. *:)