The best advice I’ve gotten on character design was to start with silhouettes and use a brush bigger than you feel comfortable with. It helps keep you loose, doesn’t allow you to obsess over small details, and ensures your silhouettes read at distance.
My process boils down to:
1. A sheet of silhouettes.
2. A value painting of the best one.
3. A color layer over the value.
@crimsontentacles @FRENDEN No, it's not, but the point is to let your brain and your hand loosen up and just...GO. Just do, and in that doing, you can find some true gems that you might not otherwise. (Of course, there will be a lot of dross as well, but that's the nature of art and creating things.)
I actively try to make BAD things at the silhouette/thumb stage. It's freeing to say, "I'm going to sit down and purposely draw the worst I can."
It's SO anathema to how you're used to working that your brain and muscle memory for mark making kick in and will not LET you make the worst things possible. It's almost impossible to set outrageously bad drawing as a goal.
Do that a few times and you realize that by giving yourself that initial permission -- no, the dictate -- to make awful things, you actually give yourself the freedom to work at your highest level.
Sketching should never be about the quality of work (unless you're doing a study and not just ideation) but rather about making a record of ideas. And rejecting any idea outright is no bueno. Just let whatever comes out come out.
No one ever has to see it but you. Unless, like me, you show everyone your awful thumbs like an idiot.
this is so hard sometimes to remember when we've sort of as an art community at large have internalized the idea that sketchbooks should be as perfect as finished work! Seems to have been born out of the James Jean wave of (mindblowing) work he was doing in his sketchbook w/ ballpoint pen, and everyone striving to reach that same level of polish. Which is hard, because while I understand using "sketches" as sort of a finished product for the sake of presentation/larger scale projects (something I'm throwing around in my head lately for my own purposes), when it comes to generating ideas we should throw that expectation of perfection out the window... but it's hard to kick the habit.
@FRENDEN @crimsontentacles @lilith Absolutely. Funnily enough my thumbnails for actual jobs (editorial) are literal chicken scratch w/ a ballpoint pen at the idea-generating stage, yet somehow the personal projects it's harder to approach this way??? 🤔 Funny how the levels of expectation are so much more different when it's personal work.