Featured image collage of five work in progress sketches of a female character with long wavy hair. She is wearing a wrinkled dress that ties at the neck and has long flowing sleeves. Text on the image states: Fumbling Through Sketching and Inking with Procreate.
Digital Painting,  Figure Drawing

Fumbling Through Sketching and Inking with Procreate

Now that I am pretty well set on Procreate brushes (what with testing out all the default brushes and my mini-shopping spree on brush packs that followed), it’s time to put them to use! Alas, I’m still feeling clumsy and hesitant with my lines and this post shares my stop/start progress on this drawing from the last couple days.

This sketch is another variation on my OC Reiellasara, as last seen in a simple pencil drawing. I used a reference photos for the pose (and specifically the hands) from Jessica Truscott’s Blue Cloak Fantasy Pose Reference Pack. Hands are always in my wish list of things to improve and practice. At least these turned out better than the ones from In Between Part 2, which I still cringe at a bit ^_^*.

A collage of four work in progress sketches. The lines are messy, and the under sketch layers have a lower opacity.
Work in progress stages: quick gesture sketch with rough forms on top. More detailed sketch. First attempt at inking, which was scrapped. Then a fresh sketch on top of previous layers all made very transparent.

Above are the rough phases the drawing went through. First I roughed in a gesture sketch of the pose on a layer. Then making that very transparent, I sketched a rough drawing on top with more details.

I started inking the drawing but decided I didn’t really like how the lines were turning out. I was using a sketch brush that had more fade on the ends than I wanted, and it was giving an inconsistent pressure of ink. So, I merged all that down into a new base drawing layer, made it very transparent and tinted red, and then started a new drawing top of that.

I still wasn’t really sure what I was doing: I didn’t want to spend too long on this piece, but I could feel my uncertainty on how to draw hair, ears, eyes, noses etc. You might see above that I especially didn’t know how I wanted to draw the nose >_<.

While drawing, I tried letting go of my self-doubt as much as I could, and kept my focus on what I was actually practicing: sketching in Procreate and inking line art after. Even if the drawing turned out awful, I’d still follow those steps: achieve an under sketch and then ink it. Still the doubt came and went, so it was a continual reminder to myself throughout the process.

With a “good enough” under sketch, I used the Sketch/Line Brush 2 to ink from Di’s Soft LineArt Brushes pack, which is $4.25 on Gumroad.

A work in progress sketch, with the under sketch having a low opacity and red tint. On the top layer is the final inking in black.
Beginning the final pass of inking, now that I’m happier with the under sketch.
Line art character sketch of a woman with long wavy hair, drawing in a manga style. She is wearing a longs dress with many folds, tied at the neck with rope. Long sleeve arm cuffs give the dress a fantasy flavor. She is holding her palms one above the other, as if getting ready to cast a spell, and she is smirking with an eyebrow slightly raised.
Final line art of Reiellasara drawing, sketched in Procreate.

Staying non-judgemental during sketching was much easier than during inking. The majority of the time I was working on the ink above (like 80%?) I was ready to scrap the whole file and give up. But I’m happy I didn’t. Is it perfect? No. Is it good enough to color later this week? Heck yeah! And all practice is a part of the journey.

I don’t have any real advice on inking in Procreate – I haven’t really watched any tutorials or read tips and tricks (beyond my faded knowledge from Photoshop over the years that might apply?). I can feel my lines are hesitant; I’m hopeful that regular drawing drill practice will build confident line work. But that’s for another post. ^_~

Tonight was busy, with some house cleaning, groceries (at a very busy grocery story, waaaah! 😩 All this Midwest winter weather is messing up when people shop!) and picking up yummy take out (veggie sushi rolls, yay!). Now to go belly dance to a Datura workout, as I’m still on track for that patch!

‘Til next time.

Listening to: Legendary Space Knight, Lord Phobos
Current mood: productive

I'm an illustrator and web developer honing my skills and learning all I can about drawing, painting, and storytelling through visual art.