Messy sketching: is it okay?
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Thread: Messy sketching: is it okay?

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    Messy sketching: is it okay?

    Sometimes my attempts to be loose result in lower standards. Someimes i will mindlessly make a stroke and not realize it.
    SHould i always be objective everytime i put down a stroke?

    I look at art thats really clean.. Where they have messy sketching but its cleaner than mine and wonder what is up with that.

    This may sound like a silly question but its really important to me. I don't want to be messy. I've always had messy handwriting and wonder if it has something to do with that. Think it is lazyness?

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    My vote is for OK.

    Sketch as messy as you need to to solve problems.

    Drawing, that's another issue! Especially if the drawing is to be the final work itself or the framework for a painting.

    From some of the stuff I've looked at in books, the classic animators worked pretty rough in developing their forms. But, that stuff all got cleaned up into neat stylized line work.

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    Messy is perfectly fine. You seem to have a style in mind, so for you, I would say it would be important to start off loose like you're doing (it's how artists are typically trained to start off if you ask me) and get tighter as you go along.

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    Sketching is your thinking tool, it's OK if you don't get every line right. You can always clean it up or alter it later, on a separate page.

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    Worse comes to worst you can always say (in a snooty accent) that it's your style "and it captivates the vibrancy and chaos of life."

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    Quote Originally Posted by overclocked~fox~ View Post
    I look at art thats really clean.. Where they have messy sketching but its cleaner than mine and wonder what is up with that.
    I would guess it's because they know what they are doing and have experience doing it. When you know what you are doing, sketching loosely is more like.. searching for or sculpting the drawing out, (same goes for inking messy and loose sketches) but when you don't know what you're doing you just put lines on the paper, hoping you hit the target, making it messy. Or something. Though I'd like to see an example of this sort of "messy but clean" art.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyBird View Post
    Though I'd like to see an example of this sort of "messy but clean" art.
    He probably means something like this:

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    I think you'd like to see some paintings by Giacomo Favretto. His painting style is free and textural, but the values and colors are always well balanced and it's all structured by a thoroughly composed, tight drawing. He also painted extremely tight early in his career.

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    I was kinda wondering this. Like I notice some painters do this in PS when making a scene. Like Justin Sweet in the Centaur Gnomon DVD was incredibly sketchy and I couldn't even make out what he was doing until he began painting over it. I kinda like that...loose with control. Like you can be tight when you want but mostly loose. I donno. I might try to adapt to that style when I get a bit better.

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    Having a messy start during the sketching process is fine. Artists at times start with one big idea and then eventually work on furnishing a specific concept.

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    Just because something looks messy, doesn't mean it was careless. (though sometimes it is)

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    'messy' sketching is not only okay, it is essential.

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    I believe it's mostly matter of artist's temperament. Some prefer to watch for every step while other try to go with the flow more. One of my favourite comic artist - Grzegorz Rosinski has very messy process for making illustration but I believe he use it to his advantage. He can push the paint around in such a way that the picture reaches finish in quite refined state but there's also nice organic texture left to make it more alive.
    You can see him oil painting in this 20 minute video (previously planning on smaller format). Final can be seen here HERE.




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    Years of being told to "loosen up" and praised for it lead to me being too messy. I now struggle to draw precisely.

    My messy impulsive works has character that my precise drawing lacks, but the messy lacks any information, are full of meaningless marks and have no consideration for anything.

    One thing I've noticed is that people who draw ever so precisely can often get bogged down in the fine detials and the overall image suffers - usually in distorted form. Being messy prevents you from doing this, and yet I've noticed with my own sketching that when it comes to working into the image, the messyness hid the fact that I hadn't filled in enough information on certain forms. Turning a messy drawing into linework is a nightmare for me, and it ends up looking so static.

    There is a balance, and I'm finding it impossible to reach. Those who can make well considered and precise work look effortless and full of life are doing it right. I think it's also easy on both sides to use precise drawing, or messy drawing, to hide flaws in the work.

    In short, as long as it's not causing you problems elsewhere, of course it's perfectly fine. If it is, like with me, it's not... and needs addressiing.

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    I'd replace the word 'messy' with 'loose' and underline how being 'loose' never is synonymous with 'careless'. As Richard Schmid said; "Looseness should describe how a painting looks, not how it's done". You can't really expect to make a sophisticated drawing by putting less effort into it.

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    Who did the drawing that Jie posted/image in post #7?

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    I remember one time going to the National Gallery of Canada, and they had a small exhibit of Renoir's sketches.

    Every one of them seemed to be on something like an A4 size or something, and they were all loose and "messy", same as anyone else's rough stuff. Quick, often half-finished, partly construction, partly detailed, just incredibly familiar. And hey, if it's good enough for Renoir, then I figure it's good enough for me too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max Challie View Post
    Who did the drawing that Jie posted/image in post #7?
    That would be Feng Guo. His CGHub account is here.

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    messy sketching is fine, but it all comes down to your intent. style should come secondary to function. if your design needs to provide concise information then it usually must be refined so that a character artist can determine exactly whats going on.

    Messy sketching can be a very nice and quick way of producing concepts with ease and agility. But i think that alot of times there are short cuts in drawing this way that show up as glaring issues when ever you get to the modeling or reproduction phase.

    But if you are most going to paint then its the way to go, i think alot of painters have a sloppy drawing style since its mostly a preparatory step for painters and not usually an ends itself.

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    messy is ok for sketching and setting the guideline. Then it's time to refine drawing

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