What is Line Prompt Sketching?
There are a few different types of sketching that I do when I’m creating imagery. Full on sketch book sketches with detail, shading and colour using various mediums. Pen and/or pencil sketches with hatching, cross hatching and shading detail. There are also these super quick line drawings which I like to call ‘Line Prompt Sketches’. These line drawings are made really quickly. I tend to get into a groove with them and can produce about 30 to 40 images in the space of half an hour. Granted, some are more successful than others but I love this way of working. More often that not I’m pleasantly surprised with the imagery that comes out of me.
Drawing is a joy and having done it for so many years I’m really comfortable with putting pen to paper. In fact I find comfort in it. When making these simple line sketches I try not to think too much about what I’m going to draw at the outset. I tend to start with a shape and then add whatever jumps into my head. Ears, eyes, horns, teeth, lips, ears, dribble, incidental marks and symbols, whatever! The process is fluid and organic. An immediate response, ink on paper. Although it does tend to end up being a character of some description. Working like this produces a lot of imagery as you can imagine. The drawings that I like I turn into full on illustrations, like the one below.
The final illustrations can stray slightly or even vastly away from the original line work and become something completely different, such is the beauty of the creative journey. Other times I remain faithful to the original line prompt and just add a bulk of colour, texture and atmosphere using Procreate and Photoshop. Which is what I have done with this illustration.
Becoming comfortable with drawing as an absolute must for any budding artist. Putting down all inhibitions and just drawing for the love of it is liberating and often throws up all sorts of amazing results. Doing, rather than not doing, is the key to it. If you draw often and get comfortable with your own process, that’s when the magic opens up and creating imagery becomes pure joy. Exciting in fact.
My advice is this. Don’t ever be afraid of making mistakes or doing something wrong. Happy accidents can occur and take you on even more journeys of creative discovery. Tumble down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. You might well end up with characters like Hoodie Bun Bun.
Have a go at creating multiple drawings really quickly. Get a whole load of lines down on paper as quick as possible. At the very least it will open up some new ideas and insights.
In the past I have also called this process a ‘Nimble Line Bimble’! You know, taking a line for a quick walk etc. (“,)
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Initial Line Prompt Sketch
Post Procreate, Photoshop Edit
See how the illustration came together in the video below
Photoshop Edit – Colour Versions