Rough Drawing

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rough_drawing

Rough Drawing

Moving to the computer, I open a file in Adobe Illustrator. I work from a template that has a larger copy of the page grid built into it; so I can easily lay out the panels to scale with my thumbnail rough.

I make the panel borders using Illustrator's Rectangle Tool, set to no fill and a 3pt black stroke. The document has multiple layers, and the panel borders rest on the topmost layer. I then put each stage (perspective, roughs, rough pencils, inks, blacks, greys etc.) on its own layer so it can be worked on without affecting other parts of the artwork. The average layer count for a page of mine is about 24 layers, though Illustrator layers don't eat up memory in the way Photoshop layers do.

I then put in the rough drawing (little better than stick figures) to establish composition. I draw them in pale grey as I'm going to be drawing over them again, and I use a thick pen so I can't get too precious about the drawing; I just need to block in rough shapes at this stage.

It would also be possible to scan the thumbnails from the notebook, place them in the document and scale them to fit, but it's usually quicker just to re-draw the stick figures, and it gives another stage for tidying up the composition. When I'm drawing the roughs, I usually zoom out so the page appears quite small.

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