Draw­ing class

Get­ting your shapes down in three easy stages…

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Pen­cil rough

We’re all go­ing to draw dif­fer­ently. My method tends to fall neatly into three steps. Us­ing my dig­i­tal rough as a guide, I’ll switch back to work­ing tra­di­tion­ally. I also tend to work large, usu­ally 16x20in (40x60cm) or big­ger. I lightly lay in all my shapes. I’m think­ing about de­tails here, but I’m not overly con­cerned with them, just keep­ing them in mind. I use a brown ColErase pen­cil for the pen­cil rough.

Un­der­draw­ing

Once the brown pen­cil rough is done, I be­gin my first pass at the fin­ished draw­ing. I’m go­ing back over the whole piece, bit by bit, and start­ing to re­fine it. Keep a light hand at this stage. You’ll no­tice that at long last I’m get­ting into ar­eas of the draw­ing that I had left vague. Here’s where you’ll be­gin to make the line choices that will de­ter­mine how the rest of the piece will go.

The Fin­ished piece

Af­ter the un­der­draw­ing is fin­ished, I go back over the whole piece for a fi­nal, de­tailed pass. I re­ally get into the draw­ing, strength­en­ing the line, push­ing the value and ren­der­ing. I’ve ex­per­i­mented over the years with jump­ing right into the fin­ished draw­ing, but I’m never quite as sat­is­fied with the re­sults. There’s some­thing about the two stages work­ing to­gether: the lighter, more care­ful first pass and the stronger, bolder fi­nal draw­ing that achieves what I’m af­ter.

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