Today I thought I would share a change in my drawing process that might be useful to other illustrators or aspiring illustrators. I recently work on a hand drawn animation project. The only way that I could easily do this was to go old school and get a light box. I was very pleased when researching light boxes to find LED technology has been taken up in this area and thin light tablets are now available. I ended up getting an ‘Artograph’ light pad.
(above picture of me at my drawing table with the light pad on it)
Now I create all of my images as finished art size sketches on cheap paper (photocopier paper is perfect). I work these up to have as much energy and fluidity as possible.
For more complex images I can draw individual characters. I then place these on the light pad, cover with my watercolour paper and do a fine line pen drawing (I prefer to use Staedler pigment liners) based on the image that shows through (see photo).
By creating the image this way, I never have to rub out pencil work, so I never tear, crunch or disturb the surface of my paper. I can play with characters and the composition.
I got this idea from watching the master Bob Graham (http://www.walkerbooks.com.au/authors_and_illustrators/bob-graham ) work at the Sydney Writers Festival a couple of years ago. Finally I get to choose the best lines and character expressions directly from my sketches. I hate realising that the sketch had better energy or a better expression on the characters face than the finished art work.
I would also like to just add, that it is so important to have someone to show you work to. Someone who can give good feedback. I show all my dog realted images to Holly,
she always lets me know what she thinks.
For Artograph products look at http://www.artograph.com/products/light-pad.htm