I keep photos of all my art, so every once in a while, after most of them have moved on to new homes, I go through them. There are pictures of pieces I forgot I even did and there are pictures of pieces I sometimes wish I never let go. It’s like walking down memory lane and remembering an old loves, a little bitter, a little sweet.
As I was going through some of my pictures today I noticed that many of the photos are process pics that show the progression of a piece. These are great reminders that show how I’ve evolved over time in my work but also helps me to see where I need some improvement. One of the things I like about keeping process photos is that I have a personal catalog of one aspect of my work that I secretly cherish which is the line art. Line art is basically the line drawing I do before I start adding in the ink. It may not be as appealing as a brightly colored painting but I love it. There’s just something about the simplicity of the line with no color, no solid areas and little shading via cross hatching that just appeals to me. There’s nothing elaborate about it, just pencil, paper and lines. It’s what I like about comic panels before they’re handed off to the inker. It’s what I like about tattoo designs before they’re placed upon a canvas of skin. It’s what I liked about animation before computers came along and the sketchbooks of concept artists before ideas are given to the CG designers.
Whenever I start inking a drawing I always feel like I’m mucking it up and it takes me getting halfway through before I stop feeling that way. Once the colors and shapes start to come together that voice inside my head finally stops screaming “OH NO! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? YOU’RE RUINING IT!!!” A part of me just feels I should just stop at the line drawing and leave the work unfinished and sometimes I wish I could but ink eventually beckons me and not before long I’m tap tap tapping away with little dots.
Here are some line drawings I’ve done in the past that are my favorites. Maybe one day I could create my own coloring book.That would probably give me a perfect excuse to leave my drawings unfinished. 😊