Process

by thisnorthernboy

I recently had a conversation with Jeremy Marshall on Twitter about how I go about producing my drawings. Twitter being limited to just 140 characters the chat ran to a fair few messages back and forth. Jeremy cleverly decided to aggregate things in to a Storify link.

So it wasn’t the most in-depth chat, but it probably gives a decent overview of how I work. I thought I’d add a little more, and include a few pictures of work in progress.

I don’t always know what I’m going to draw, even as I set pencil or pen to paper. Sometimes I’ll just start doodling shapes and they’ll quite quickly become something. On occasion I’ll have some kind of plan, in the example above I knew I wanted to draw a droid with a kind of carapace that was spilt to show some mechanical details.

The first picture shows the extent of the pencil work, pretty detailed in this case, and the beginnings of the line work. I use a Pigma Micron 005 pen to draw in the outlines.

In picture two I’ve completed the outlines of the droid and its innards. At this point I almost always think whatever it is I’m drawing is a load of rubbish. A bit like that mid-point in a hair cut when you look much, much worse than you did before.

Things don’t look much more promising by picture three. Adding black gives me a start and end point of whatever shading and detail I’m going to add. I can start to see the layers now that will (hopefully) breathe a little life in to the drawing.

When I start to add some cross-hatching, as in the fourth picture, I nearly always follow the same plan. Shade everything I can in the same direction to begin with, then add more cross-hatching at an angle to differentiate the depths and layers. Things still look a little clinical even after this stage is complete.

In the final image the shading work has been added to with a bit of random scrawl. Squiggles, dots and irregular lines create wear and tear and some character. I’ve finished the drawing, as I do with maybe half of them, by outlining with a thicker pen.

In terms of process this was a pretty typical droid drawing. A little pencil work, some very rigid shading, and then a little scribbling to end.

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