It’s a question I get asked often : what comes first? Line or color? The short answer is: it depends.
Here are three sketches I did from the same spot at Sather Gate on the UC Berkeley campus. Posted in the order in which I sketched them.
And here are very rough shots of two of them in progress (with apologies for the super-fuzzy images.I wasn’t planning on posting them, I sometimes take in-between images as I work, just to recall what I was trying to do as I progressed through the piece.)
For this first one, I did a quick pencil drawing, then color and then back in with ink line. The pencil drawing was really light, just so I could compose my sketch. ( I bumped up the line in this image so you can see it)
In this next one, I had sketched the structure twice before, and didn’t care if I capture the whole arch or not, so it was straight to a few bold lines, then color, then back with more line. Those figures you see in the last sketch, posing for a photograph? Freshly minted graduates.
So is there a method to the randomness of my process? Not much, but generally,for a super-quick capture, I go straight to ink line, with no pencil work. Over the years, I’ve seen my process change from being all-line first to being much more varied, with a lot more back and firth between line and color.
And I’m liking it this way. Mixing it up and approaching it differently each time is a fun way to surprise myself, get different results and to keep me from getting too stuck in doing it one way.