Working Rough & Loose

We often take great care and consideration with our drawings; we make sure that every line is placed just where we want it, down to the millimeter.

Of course an artist must be prepared to switch gears and work at a rapid pace, especially when it comes to conceptual work. An artist can execute rough sketches rapidly, dumping the ideas from your head onto the paper quickly, before moving onto the next.

Underneath the finished artwork we all admire there is a rough hewn world of loose lines and basic shapes: the underdrawing:

From Batman: Year One by David Mazzuchelli from Frank Miller’s script, colors by Richmond Lewis:


Becky Cloonan:

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Brad (Sideburn City):

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In these drawings by Miranda Yeo, note that you can see a very rough, very loose drawing underneath the ink lines:

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This WIP screenshot shows how rough the underdrawing is before Colman Engle starts inking:


Faith Erin Hicks:



Milt Kahl:





Lana Chan:

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In a post featuring the following two images, Chan comments on the common artist’s lament on sketches vs. final art:

I feel like my sketches are infinitely more interesting than my finished work =3=

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