Digital Sketching Series WIP



  • Working on a book that will be in black and white and more in a pencil sketch style to make it feel traditional. Trying to get the values nicely balanced as well avoiding making it look too digitally drawn.

    Would you say it's achieving this effect?
    Are there any things I could adjust that could help improve the image?

    Baking 9sm.jpg



  • I love the style and it looks great in pencil. However, it really troubles me that the child is sitting on top of the cooker. If they have just been cooking then surely that oven is hot? Every time I open my oven the heat nearly takes my face off. Also the child holding the bread should be wearing oven gloves. Can the boy sit on the worktop next to the cooker instead?



  • Love the pencil work @Gary-Wilkinson! Definitely feels traditional.

    You should ask @Will-Terry for some tips; I know he enjoys this style too.



  • @Gary-Wilkinson Definitely feels traditional, such nice loose crosshatching. As @geekinm said above, the figures sitting on the heating element and holding the bread do worry me. But the child drawing in the flour....I absolutely love that, it's so original!



  • I think it looks good! It might help to know what the story is to really give feedback. It looks like they managed to bake a loaf of bread but made a huge mess in the process? I think the kid writing in the flour looks too young to be writing words so precisely. If the story is the kids can't really bake because they're kids, maybe the bread could look more monstrous, and the kitchen and their clothes could be even more messy.



  • I love it, but like geekinm 's comment, the "mom" in me makes me worried about boy sitting on the stove:o I'm assuming the highest contrast is on the boy on the stove because you want the viewer to focus on him. Other wise I'd like to see some other high contrast areas as you did such a nice job on him. (perhaps to help the kid with the bread to pop forward more from the background.)



  • Love it!
    the pencil effect works fine.
    only thing i d add is a little bit of contrast to the kid that holds the bread/cake and the little girl, cause they kind of blend with the bg.I think the kid on the stove has the right contrast and value so my eye can go to him directly.
    If you zoom out a bit and see the thumbnail, you ll see what I am talking about.
    But all in all, I love the style so so much, I d certainly buy a book for my kid in this style.
    Retro!



  • Ok, wow this is GORGEOUS! The cross-hatching is absolutely doing it for me, your values are clear (but could probably be pushed even more to separate the background from the foreground), and your character design is {chef's kiss} spot on!

    Haha, I didn't notice it at first, but I agree with the people pointing out that the boy sitting on top of the (presumably warmish) stove over an open HOT oven probably isn't the best idea for an illustration that could appear in a children's book. Assuming that the oven was just used, that is. The light-haired boy would be wearing oven mitts if it was, so... I guess it wasn't. But then... why is it open...? Gah! SO many questions!!



  • Thank you for all the comments. I can see what you mean about sitting on the stove. However this story is about a boy who said he baked a cake but actually didn't. He made a mess on the floor in preparation to make it, but then bought one. The 2 other characters arrived later and figure out what he did. I can still understand about the bad implication of saying to kids it's ok to sit on a stove so i'll think about what to do with that.

    Also good point about adding a bit more contrast, that should be an easy fix and i'll see how I get push those values a bit more.

    The next picture in the series is about the boy's dad who is looking at hiring a new person for his store, but is unsure about who to hire. I feel it's almost there but might need a little more work on it before it's fully done.

    5 jobsm.jpg



  • This story is about a boy who is having a garage sale and boasting about an old artifact he found in Brazil. He's quite a showoff and is the "bad boy" of this and another story.

    4 artifact sm.jpg



  • I can't express how amazing your work is. Keep up the good work sir! There are so many elements to these drawings that I wish I could incorporate into my drawings. The first one is my favourite of all of them. I love the pencil cross hatching and how it works into showing your values. your environments are also amazing.



  • @Kori-Jensen Thank you I really appreciate it 😃 The baking one is also still my favorite one too!

    This next one was a fun one to do. This story focuses around the previous "bad boy" telling a story to the class that he made it, but tries to come off as a hero. Had fun adding a few hidden easter eggs in this one.

    6 classroom.jpg



  • @Gary-Wilkinson is this traditional or digital?. I mean it does not matter much to be honest. It's still stunning. Easter eggs from your previous work? That is amazing I just love the detail. I can't wait to get this good my friend lol.



  • @Gary-Wilkinson I wish I could pick your brain sir. You are so much the type of artist I want to be. If you don't mind me being too forward. It's just that your work makes me happy 🙂



  • I think they are all very good. So much detail but no doubt where you should be looking. Stuff my favorite memeories my looking at books as a child was. I always loved to look all over the page to find all the other goodies the artist put in the back ground. Keep up the good work, it's obvious you love what you do:)



  • @Kori-Jensen thank you! It's all digital. I usually sketch out some thumbnails traditionally but move to the digital side later. Will has some great bids about digital sketching. I made my own brush to get the effect that suited me and although I'm still trying to improve it's been a fun process.

    I'll be posting up some step by step shots of how I do each one later, so hopefully you might find that useful.



  • @Gary-Wilkinson seriously? That would be awesome I'd love to see it my friend! You made your own pencil brush? Wow that must have been very specific the brush you had in mind. Either way the result is amazing.



  • @Gary-Wilkinson I don't know how you would do this in Photoshop but in Procreate I use the smudge tool a little bit when I use my graphite brush and I want it to look like traditional. This is because no matter how much you are careful with pencil you always end up smudging it a little bit and if you want it to look really like pencil that little detail helps a whole lot in convincing the viewer that you did it all traditionally.



  • @chrisaakins this is so true! Even when I know a drawing is digital, if it has pencil smudges my brain won't quite accept it 😄



  • This one was a bit more tricky to get it done at it needed 4 characters in a small space (on the porch). I wanted the composition to look nice so it seem like a good idea to put them all on different steps.

    I've added a quick step by step of my process for how it was done. The most important step was to get the sketch right and from that I would put some flat shades down before cross hatching with the brush. Another important step was to choose where to place the focus through composition and value, to bring the viewers eye to the character in the chair.

    6 baseball sm.jpg

    Untitled-1.jpg


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