My Steemit buddy @rebele93 asked me if I could break down my drawing process and talk a little bit about the tools I use as well. So this series is for you!
When I get the urge to draw or paint something as a final piece (or get a commission), I usually have a pretty clear picture in mind of the subject, composition, and even colours that I want to use. If I can, I’ll do a quick thumbnail sketch on whatever’s available, so that I can capture it. Sometimes that’s on my ipad or a sketchbook, but a lot of times it’s actually on a post it or a napkin – or even in the back of my work notebook which I bring with me to meetings (these days it’s actually more of a sketchbook than a book for meeting notes…).
Anyway, before I’m ready to sit down and start the piece, I have an important question to ask myself: what is this piece going to be made of? As in, what type of media will I be using?
I love doing digital art for the convenience of bringing it with me and being able to work on it everywhere – but sometimes you just gotta make something real. You just can’t beat real physical textures, and there’s a kind of special fun in the mess that comes with art supplies like charcoal, paint, and chalk that can’t be recreated in the digital world.
These days, I don’t do as much real media as I used to, but when I do I tend to favour pen and ink or graphite pencil. Growing up I used to colour with coloured pencils with watercolor accents, or paint with acrylics on canvas board. I’m looking forward to picking a lot of this back up again with my daughter as she gets older, too.
My favourite paper is vellum, or heavy stock bristol – it’s nice and sturdy, with a texture that’s gritty enough to show through a lot of materials but not so gritty that you can’t get a clean line going. Throw some india ink on there and some soft-lead colour pencils and you can get some super saturated bold graphics going with no problems.
When I decide to go digital, I will usually start with my iPad on an app called ProCreate. If I can finish the piece on that then that’s great, but there are some key things that that application just can’t do yet, so when I hit one of those snags I’ll send it over to photoshop on my desktop and take it from there.
I didn’t always have an iPad – back before about a year ago I had to use a wacom of some sort. I started with a mouse, then graduated to a tablet, and finally a cintiq – which I still use when needed.
In those times, I would actually do a little bit of both real and digital. For example, I would ink the piece for real, scan it into photoshop, then colour it on the computer for a whole new effect.
In the next part of this series, I’ll talk about finding reference and building the blueprints for making the final piece.