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SKETCHING (Elvish Feast in Mirkwood) by ullakko SKETCHING (Elvish Feast in Mirkwood) by ullakko
Thought I'd make a little tutorial about sketching or the initial stages of an illustration.

I've been asked for a watercolor or mixed media tutorial a few times before, but that is yet to come. I didn't plan on making a tutorial while working on this, so I took no progress shots while painting. But I still have the pre-sketches on me so I thought some of you might enjoy taking a peek behind the scenes anyway... :)

Here's the final result in high resolution:

Elvish Feast in Mirkwood by ullakko
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:icongreensprite:
GreenSprite Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I love this idea of making a digital sketch for watercolour. Unfortunately I don't have a lightbox to trace it, nor does my printer use waterproof ink (like Gold-Seven's). Looks like it's one of those things I will admire from a distance a little longer :D
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:iconullakko:
ullakko Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014  Professional General Artist
I'm so messy when sketching, that I just found it easier and faster to use digital, whenever I need to fix my inital sketch extensively. I have a A3+ sized scanner & printer, and a A3 sized light table, so that makes things pretty straightforward for me. I too struggled for years without a proper scanner or any printer (or a light table, for that matter), but as soon as I was able to make those investments, I haven't regretted once. :)

Tips for tracing lineart without light table:
- on a sunny/bright day you can trace through a window glass.
- if you have a spare glass frame or such, you can support that against chair legs or something and put a light behind that.
- you can also use a laptop/computer monitor as light table - turn your brightness up and open a white full screen page, and voila!

I used all of those back when I didn't have a light table, and they worked surprisingly well. :)
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:icongreensprite:
GreenSprite Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Ha, that's very clever :) Thanks for the tips, I'm gonna try some (too bad I don't have an old CRT screen anymore, I would've drawn on that, but with the laptop I'm not risking it. It seems fragile.)
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:iconlilkinspirit:
LilKinspirit Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
This is a great tutorial! Its interesting to be able to see how someone else works! Thanks for this sharing this, it helps other people learn different ideas and concepts. Just a quick question:how do you transfer that sketch to a watercolor paper using a light table? Isnt the watercolor paper too thick for the light to shine through? For my pieces I use graphite transfer paper because I didnt think a light table would work for the mixed media paper I use. Thank you!
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:iconullakko:
ullakko Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014  Professional General Artist
Actually, I haven't had any problems with watercolor paper and light table! The paper is very heavy and grained 300g/m2 (140 lbs), and my light table has quite strong light. (Also, if you're interested in technical details, the light table is Artograph LightPad A940, size A3, Model 225-940, input 12V.)  Of course, the precision with tiny details isn't perfect when the paper is very thick, but it's still enough for getting the composition and proportions right. Also, it's good to make sure that the sketch lines are dark enough. My sketches are quite rough though, anyway, so seeing the details through doesn't make much difference.   :)

Anyway, thank you for reading the tutorial and for the lovely feedback! I'm glad you found it helpful. :)
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:iconlilkinspirit:
LilKinspirit Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Wow! Thanks for taking the time to give me feedback! I've actually come across that specific light table several times and its great to hear that it actually works. It looks so thin! Thank you for the tip for keeping the sketch dark, that would probably help since I'm a detail whore. Lol. One day, one day. I deeply appreciate the response, keep creating awesome work and Thank You! <3
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:iconplutoniumpresumtuide:
PlutoniumPresumtuide Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great process, I would have never thought to test out color digitally before going traditional~! 
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:iconullakko:
ullakko Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Professional General Artist
I'm glad it was helpful! Thanks for the feedback!
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:iconplutoniumpresumtuide:
PlutoniumPresumtuide Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You're very welcome~! 
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:iconerinclaireb:
erinclaireb Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2014
Great tutorial, thanks so much for making and sharing it!
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:iconullakko:
ullakko Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2014  Professional General Artist
I'm glad you like it! Thanks for reading! :)
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:iconwayforge:
WayForge Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2014  Student
great tutorial... very easy to understand with helpful tips... Lovely illustration by the way! :)

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:iconullakko:
ullakko Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thank you very much, I'm glad you liked the tut!
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:iconmaybelletea:
maybelletea Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014
Wow, I'd never even considered drawing something traditionally and then scanning and fixing/adding things to it digitally and THEN printing it out and tracing it onto watercolor paper. That's kind of ingenious and I really wanna try it!
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:iconullakko:
ullakko Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014  Professional General Artist
It's especially handy, if you happen to make a sketch that is otherwise perfect, just too small or big. Just scan-resize-print and voila, there you have it, ready to trace. :) Or you can sketch different parts of the image (foreground/background, for example) separately, and then combine them digitally, and you'll have more freedom to see how the elements are best positioned together... Much recommended technique for any sketching problems.
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:iconmaybelletea:
maybelletea Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014
Thank you for bringing it to my attention!! :D I'm gonna try it asap!
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:iconphaedris:
Phaedris Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014
Thanks for posting this :) :la:
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:iconullakko:
ullakko Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014  Professional General Artist
No problem! :)
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:iconkarinamacgill:
KarinaMacGill Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Love it, love it, loive it!! This is the picture that I saw first from you, so wonderful that you share how you created this lovely painting!! La la la la 
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:iconullakko:
ullakko Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thanks so much! I'm happy to hear you enjoyed the tutorial!
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:iconroseartstudios:
RoseArtStudios Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Student General Artist
Very revealing :D I always wondered what artists did in PS when they made the actual piece in another medium. Now I know! :D I was surprised to find you sketched on paper. Since sketches are so messy, I draw them first on PS/Sai, because I hate wasting paper making lots of changes to the initial idea XD I suppose it's all just personal preference for that sort of thing ^-^
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:iconullakko:
ullakko Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Professional General Artist
I might try and make more tutorials about mixing traditional and digital media, because I use it quite a lot. :)

For some reason the inital sketching feels more comfortable in traditional medium than drawing directly onto psd file. But then, I prefer modifying the sketches digitally, same reasons as for you, it's so much more convenient. (The first sketch is pencil on paper but all the rest of them are made in PS.)

Thanks for looking and commenting! :)
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:iconroseartstudios:
RoseArtStudios Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Student General Artist
I would love to see them :D I enjoy doing both digital and traditional, so finding ways to combine them is sure to be awesome haha

And no problem! :D
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:iconderelictsnowwhite:
derelictSnowWhite Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
So helpful. Thank you! :)
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:iconullakko:
ullakko Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Professional General Artist
Thanks for reading, I'm glad you found it helpful! :)
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:iconartweak:
artweak Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014
Nice tutorial my talented friend. I love you website too. :)
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:iconullakko:
ullakko Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014  Professional General Artist
Glad you enjoyed it, thanks! :)
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:iconartweak:
artweak Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014
;)
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