Noukah's blog

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Sketching tips: always check your shapes

Thought I could share my thoughts and tips, since my main focus right while I work nowadays, is based on shapes. Maybe some of you would find this helpful too?

Let’s start with this scibbly little fox, that I doodled during one of my coffee breaks. It’s super tiny, and would fit on a post -it.

Here’s how I used to do the line art.

I went ahead and created a new empty layer. Then simply drew the lines on top of the scribble. I know many amazing artists who could do this in their sleep, and the line art will turn out perfect every time. Well, I am not one of those artists, hehe… I’m never happy with the line art at this stage. The shapes and roportions aren’t as good as in the initial scribble, and I end up in a never ending loop of fixing mistakes, during the rendering stage.

Instead, I skip this step for now, and focus entirely on the overall silhouette.

Here’s what I meant with starting at the edges, and to work inwards. I correct the shapes, remove tangents, and polish everything until I got something that I really like. I check my shapes against the scribble all the time, since I already solved lots of things at that stage already.

Allright. Now I have a silhouette that I feel content with, and a nice foundation to start with the actual line art.

Here’s the final line art! Big difference compared to that first attempt.

You can save so much time this way, even though it feels like such an obvious tip. It took me a while before I started connecting the dots. Better late than never!

I enjoyed drawing this fox so much, that I decided to color it. Here’s a little bonus step by step.  Enjoy!

Hope you found this post helpful. If you have any good tips when making line art, feel free to leave a comment :)

Tänkte att nu när jag ändå fokuserar så mycket på former, så kunde jag visa lite mer exakt hur jag går tillväga när jag skissar. Kanske kan det vara något matnyttigt även för fler i sitt tecknande?

Vi kan börja med den kluddriga lilla räven, som blev till under en av mina kafferaster. Simpel och pytteliten än så länge. Den skulle få plats på en post-it om jag hade skissat analogt(den här är framkluddrad i Photoshop)

Förr så renritade jag direkt på ett lager ovanpå grovskissen. Vet många som klarar av det här stadiet i sömnen, och deras renritade bilder blir perfekta varje gång. Men det fixar inte jag…

Tycker inte alls att det blir lika bra som själva grovskissen när jag ritar direkt ovanpå sådär. Spretiga linjer, formen känns diffus och platt. Jag har tappat en del av proportionerna som grovskissen hade.

Så jag skippar det stadiet just nu, och fokuserar först på siluetten istället medan jag skissar vidare. Jag försöker hitta former jag gillar, tar bort och lägger till, tills att jag har något som känns bra.

Använder grovskissen som underlag hela tiden, då mycket av formerna redan finns där. Den svarta siluetten här ovan är resultatet.

Efter det så kan jag använda min svarta siluett som mall för att finrita räven. Jag sänker opaciteten av siluett-lagret och renritar på ett helt nytt laget ovanpå.

Hoppas detta hjälper lite!

Fick feeling och färglade räven sen, la till ett litet “steg för steg” som bonus.



3 Responses

  1. Hmm, this is interesting. So do you let the overall silhouette guide you while making clean line drawing and not look at the rough sketch very much? As for your question, I’ve heard this somewhere that lineart won’t look stiff if you approach it as if you’re drawing it in the moment. I do something along those lines. I try to forget about the rough sketch, use it as a guide, and let it evolve into something new while making a clean line drawing. I think of one or two other things as well, but if I start listing them all, it’ll be a blog post in your comments section instead of a simple comment haha. Anyway, great job with the sketch.

    1. I do both. Use the rough sketch underneath as reference on a layer with lower opacity. I tend to nail most of the design, early on in the rough sketch. That’s why like to stick to it through out the rest of the progress, if that makes sense. Thanks!

  2. Hey!
    Thank you very much for sharing those tips!
    I am just starting to learn drawing by sketching every day. Do I understand correctly that shapes/proportions is a sort of next step to practice after I feel comfortable just drawing? It seems to me that the first step is to create a habit of practicing drawing and having fun doing so before I can go practicing shapes, perspective and any other topic that most books on how to draw recommend to start with?
    Maybe the answer is obvious but I would love to hear your opinion on that :)

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I’m a digital artist & illustrator living and working in Sweden. Art has been my main interest for as long as I can remember and I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned this far.

You can get to know me more either here or through my FAQ.