Sketches 05 - My Process and Tools

I am bit curious regarding your sketching process and paper, tools etc. Might you cover this in a blog posting?

- Garret

I get emails like this daily. I promised to dedicate a post to these things weeks ago. Better late than never though. 


Though people ask for them, you can't really make a "tutorial" on sketching. It's too much of an organic process that differs from person to person. I'll share my process instead. I first lay down basic linework with my pencil.


Then I begin adding highlights to understand the form of the subject. It's almost like carving. I also begin darkening areas where I'm confident that I won't be making changes. I constantly repeat this process and eventually, I'm left with the very first image of this post.  


As for pencils, I use Prismacolor verithins exclusively. This is a color pencil, not a graphite pencil, so it's a bit stubborn with the eraser. If you love to erase, this may not be ideal but you'll love the sharp lines it makes.


Many were wondering what I use to paint the white in my sketches. I use gouache paints. It's completely opaque so it enables the really bright highlights that I like. Other painted areas are also done with gouache in various colors.


The sketchbook I use is actually a scrapbook made by Canson. It has thick pages and a slightly coarse texture.


The problem with gouache is that they are very pricey at about $10 per tube. The colors in the photo above are the only ones I own. Because of the limited color pallet I have, I end up changing colors using the "replace color" tool in Photoshop. So to the people who asked me where I got the fluorescent paint, it's Photoshop.


The only brush I use it this one made by Kuretake. The handle acts as a reservoir for water so you don't have to constantly dip the brush in water. 


The one I own is fairly blunt but it is quite capable at thinner lines. I couldn't recommend this brush more strongly.


I hope this answered some of the questions you may have had. The most valuable tip I can give is to just practice. Any form of drawing really is more about mileage than anything.