Today I am sharing some unedited drawings! This is a part of my process that comes after a sketch is approved, and before layers of colour are added to create the final, and as such I don’t often have the opportunity to share this intermediate step. While these drawings are not complete pieces in and of themselves, I figured they might still be of interest.
These drawings are done on an iPad (though sometimes I work traditionally in pencil), and then taken into Photoshop for editing, colouring, and adding in graphic elements. I always start with a drawing as the foundation on which to build up layers of colour and texture. I suppose this is a similar process to a lot of painters who create tight drawings to paint over, the difference being that my line work shows through in the final.
When creating a drawing I’m not too concerned about capturing form or value; I consider it to be more of a texture pass, with the lines providing visual interest and noise. Of course things like composition and value structure are planned out, and I decide which parts will be drawn and which will be flat shapes beforehand, but when I’m actively drawing I am focused on mark-making only, and everything else comes later.
Once the drawing is finished, a significant amount of adjustment happens during the Photoshop editing process. The value structure is defined with shading and colour, any graphic shapes are painted in (or out), and a bunch of textures are overlaid on top to give everything a cohesive look. While I try not to deviate from the original drawing too dramatically, things often do get shifted around, resized, and reshaped as I work towards the final. This emphasis on mark-making first and editing later allows me to work more intuitively.
I’ve always considered my work to be drawing-based, though thinking on it now, I tend to do much more than simply add colour to my drawings. There are so many layers of texture and overpainting that I don’t know if the finals are really still drawings, or some sort of hybrid between painting and drawing.
There are some situations where a drawing is not edited and fussed with so much. For example, I find that keeping a loose sketchy feel is more appropriate for things like interior book illustrations, or when a piece is B&W. So in these scenarios I tend to let more of the line work show through.
Regardless of medium or the appearance of final results, I love exploring mark-making and the tactile feel of sketching, so drawing remains one of the most important aspects of my process. And I hope this has been an interesting glimpse behind the curtains – or layers 😏 – of my work!
Your work is wonderful. I’m getting more and more interested in styles that hybridize drawing and painting, its not one or the other, but both at the same time. Great to see an article where you distill the two phases.
Beautiful work Rovina, and thank you for sharing your process. Really interesting to see how you put the final art together.
It’s wonderful to see these, thank you so much for sharing them!