My Drawing Concept Process

I thought I would write an entry about my drawing concept process. Here are the step I follow with an example of a recent drawing.

1) Come up with a concept/idea. I typically sketch my drawing with pencil and paper. My best ideas come to me early in the morning, when I first wake when I’m not thinking about all the stuff I need to do for the day. In the past I was able to lucid sleep. Before going to bed, I would think of a story or an idea I wanted to develop. As I slept, I would focus on it and shape/mold it. I kept a pencil and paper beside my bed so I could record things, as I often would forget about details when I went about my day. Find the time when you are most creative and make an effort to work on your art during that period and have your preferred work tools available on hand.

2 ) Be Loose. Don’t worry about messing up or stray lines, just let things flow. Don’t clean things up, that can come later. Just get everything down on paper. I drew several different versions of my concept character. Here are just a few of my sketches.

3) Refine the concept. If you created multiple designs, select one that you like the best and refine it. If you can’t decide on one concept, ask for feedback from friends or family members for their input.

This is a sketch of a mer-man I decided to go with. I used pencil, which did not scan in very well, so I went over the drawing with a marker.

In Photoshop, I placed the scan on a bottom layer. On top layers I created colored vector shapes. I prefer drawing in vector format as I can re-size them and they won’t degrade in visual quality. Using raster techniques, like pen or pencil, opens things up to degrade image quality if I increase the image’s size. Each vector shape is on a different layer. For complicated drawings there can be a lot of different layers so I try and label them according to a section so I can easy find them if I need to edit a piece. It can be useful when I want to copy and paste the same size of shapes, like what I did for most of the gills on his body (with exception of the two on his face.)

The last step I did was to take some of the vector shapes and add the special effect of a black stroke. I don’t typically do this with my artwork, as I enjoy vector art without the outlines, but in this case I went ahead to see what it looks like. This is the final product.

And that’s my drawing concept process. I hope you enjoyed the tutorial. Now go do some art!

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