Creating an Accurate Sketch

When I want a sketch to be very accurate, I use my iPad as a sketching aid.  I almost always find inspiration out walking so use my iPhone to capture the image.  Then I use Airdrop to transfer the photo to my iPad.

The next step involves any iPad app that has at least 3 features:

  1. Layers with opacity settings
  2. Photo import
  3. Fine line pencil tool

My go to app is ArtRage.  This last time, however, I used ProCreate since it also has the ability to overlay a grid of any size.

I import the photo and move it move it to the bottom layer.  Then I set that layer to an opacity of approximately 80% or less to make it easier to see the trace.  On a second layer above, I use the pencil tool and eraser to create the sketch with my Apple Pencil.  I keep checking to make sure I’m drawing on that layer and NOT on the image layer.

Two very helpful features at this stage are pressure sensitivity and zoom.  The apps understand how to make the line thinner or thicker with the amount of pressure I use.  Being able to zoom in and out makes it easier to get intricate areas accurate.

When I complete the sketch, I turn the imported image completely off to display only the sketch.  Usually at this point, I Airdrop it to my desktop computer and size it the way I want for a sketch to use on my light table.  In this case, however, I used the overlay grid as a guide to transfer the sketch to my hand-gridded paper.  That’s how I created Fifth Element at Cap Sante

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