Foraging in a forest of lines

Posted: May 9, 2015 in art style, artwork for children
Tags: , ,

I nearly got lost recently. I was taking my biro for a walk and found myself going round and round the shapes endlessly – until I found the image I was after. Not your usual method of drawing haha – not neat and tidy and informed and accurate! More of a blur from which your eye makes out the ‘right’ one according to whether you prefer musculature or movement or clothing or context.

This is the original biro sketch on paper:

ladder girl biro sm

The point is, I was pleased to find that the biro has certain advantages over a pencil (which I had been experimenting with). These seem to be:

  • It goes light and dark without becoming invisible (pencil) or in your face (pen)
  • It makes for a simpler outline when binarised than the more messy and darker soft pencil
  • It can stand alone as a black and white image – like in old Famous Five books

See what you think:

ladder girl binary screenshot

I like it this way but there are drawbacks, too, in terms of adding colour. Such as

  • The edges are not so obvious to follow when using a brush – where do I stop?
  • It loses some spontaneity – as if the colour has killed any impression of movement and life.

See what you think:

ladder girl colour screenshot

I like my colours but I’m in two minds now as to which is better. I will try again from scratch with something different like a face, biro on paper, and try using a digital watercolour brush or marker to add the colour instead of a normal brush, and see how that looks.

Then I’ll be really lost and someone will have to come along and rescue me.

You will, won’t you?

  1. […] pencil from Kyle Webster called Animator Pencil New and found it worked comfortably like my real scrawled biro sketches. Bingo. So this is how things look now. Note the now. It could change […]


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