Katarina's Page O' Wenches and Stuff Sketching and Inking


Sketching and Inking





 Starting a Drawing
Evolution of a Sketch




The supplies that I use in a typical drawing include:

6H pencil
Kneadable eraser
Pencil sharpener
Black pen
Medium weight drawing paper or Bristol board




I usually plan on what I'm going to draw, as opposed to just sitting down and drawing.  First, I decide on a subject.  I then usually find several sources to work from (poses, animal books, photos, etc.)  I also think of the overall composition that I want at this point.  Next, I decide what medium I will use.  Once I've decided which medium I want to use, I make sure that I have the supplies I will need in order to use that medium.  It's not much fun to decide that you're going to paint a watercolor and then realize you're out of watercolor paper.  Once all of my preparations are out of the way, I begin.


Starting a drawing


When I am starting a drawing, my first step is to take out my 6H pencil, a kneaded eraser, a pencil sharpener, and a piece of Bristol board or good quality drawing paper. 


For me, having good, thick paper is very important.  I never draw on flimsy papers such as sketchbook or computer paper if I am planning on coloring traditionally.  If I use thin paper, the paper doesn't stand up to my abuse.  I color heavily with colored pencils and that leaves thinner paper rumpled or warped.  Thin paper also tends to develop tears when erased too vigorously.  Thick paper is also imperative if you're using markers.  Even with thick paper, markers may soak through the paper if you use many layers of them.


6H pencil is my favorite pencil to use because the "lead" is very hard and thus will erase easily and tend to not smudge.  It may scan in light, but that's why there are all sorts of tools in paint programs.  It is also very important to use a very hard pencil such as a 6H when doing sketches that you intend to paint with watercolor since any pencil lines that you leave behind will show through the watercolor!


When I draw, I begin with a circle for the head, and rough in a few features.  Then I measure out how many heads high the body will be and make hatch marks.  I usually use about six heads for Katarina.  (She's short like I am.  If you wish to make your figure taller, use seven heads.  This will make the legs longer.)  Next, I rough in the body, attempting to get the pose and proportions right.  Once I get it vaguely like I want it to be, I tweak the drawing, adding details such as folds in the clothing, and adjust anything that needs it.




If I am planning on coloring my drawing with the computer, colored pencils and/or markers, my next step is to ink my drawing.  First I go over all lines with a pen, then I erase all of the pencil lines with my kneaded eraser.  I use Copic inking pens, which are specifically designed not to bleed when used with alcohol-based markers.  (Gelly Roll or Micron pens are also good for inking.  They're not as bleed proof as Copics, but the ink doesn't fade or smudge when you go over it with an eraser.)


This is what my drawing looks like after the first layer of ink has been added.


Then I go over the lines again, thickening them.  I avoid making my lines uniform in thickness.  Varied lines make the image more interesting and lively.  I have also been told that unless you plan on computer coloring an image, that it is not necessary to connect all of the lines.  I think it's a matter of personal preference.


Here is that drawing, half-way through the process.  Notice how much better the heavier lines look compared to the original inked lines.  Notice how I attempt to taper the lines so that they are the thinnest on the ends and thicker in the middle.


Here is the drawing when I am finished inking all of the outlines.


Once I have the drawing inked, I decide how I am going to color it, if I haven't already.  If I am going to computer color it, I leave the drawing at the stage that we see above and scan it into the computer.  If I am going to hand color it, I go back into the drawing and add small, thin lines for detail and texture.


Here is what the drawing looks like after the texture and detail lines have been added.  I try to make them more delicate (lighter and thinner) than the outline so as not to overpower it.  When I add the fur patterns, I go in the same direction as the limbs and not in a cross contour manner in an attempt to make it look convincing.  I added more lines to areas that I intend to be in shadow later.  (Note that since this drawing was completed, I have experimented with inking the detail and texture lines with colored inks instead of with black.   It tends to make my colors brighter and less "muddy".)



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This entire site, including its name, writing, design, artwork, and any created web graphics Kayleen Connell 1999 - 2016 unless otherwise indicated.
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