My Somewhat Unconventional Pencilling Process

Over the course of the last several years, I have worked with a lot of high quality art materials; expensive watercolor papers, high end illustration boards, hot and cold press bristols, you name it, I’ve worked on it… so it was a bit of a shock when I looked down and realized I now work on cheap card stock from Walmart and copy paper from Staples. How in the world did that happen? Here is my somewhat bizarre pencilling process…

I really like the feel of Georgia-Pacific Card Stock to do my loose pencil work on, but it only comes in an 8.5X11 size. That is a bit small and I usually run out of room.

On this picture, I ran out of room on the right side of the page, so I just taped a little more paper onto that side. Then I needed more space at the top, so I taped a little more up there, too.

Very professional, eh? It is now time to do a clean pencil to work from. For this I like the feel of Staples Laser Copier paper.

Of course, it is too small also, so I tape a couple of those together and use a light table to redraw a tighter version of my loose sketch.

I scan that tighter pencil sketch into my computer, fire up Photoshop and I’m off to the races with the color work.

15 Comments on “My Somewhat Unconventional Pencilling Process

  1. Nice to hear this since I do the same thing working on walmart card stock but recently switched to staples card stock which comes 11×17 has some tooth great for caricatures and can be cut down if needed! I even use this for my larger gift caricatures with foamie underneath and artstick for coloring!

    • …hmmm, I’ll check out the larger size card stock at Staples, Deb. 11X17 would be a perfect size for me to work on.

      • I will try to go photograph the package…in my store it is all the way to the back of center isle on bottom shelf across the isle from specilaty papers where can i send you a image?

  2. Dennis…. believe it or not I am doing pretty much what you have talked about, finding that 8 1/2 z 11 copier paper works but I thought it was my eyes… gosh.. it’s the size fo thepaper that’s giving me trouble. Sheesh! Unlike you in the following phases i am still painting with gouache and maybe someday I’ll make the leap to photoshop. I have found with the smaller size paper though that I can get it on the back board of my Artograph ( remember those?) that is attached to one of my drawing boards. then at night ( can’t see it during the day) i can copy my initial sketch off to a bigger size and that helps not using the light table to do a 1 for 1. Thanks for always posting these little tidbits… you wouldn’t believe how mush they take the mystery out of “i wonder how other illustrators do their …whatever”

    • …oh I remember the Art-O-Graph. I had a hood attached to mine so I could use it during daylight. I logged a lot of hours in that little Art-O-Graph tent.

      • Ok I do not have package handy but it is staples brand and purple packaging the website does not show the package either hope this helps!

  3. I use a 110lb card stock from Sam’s club. Now I don’t feel so bad!

    • I’m thinking I need to start some sort of 12 step card stock users program. We can meet in the church basement on Thursday nights.

  4. That was great. I love hearing what materials other artist use and adapt and alter. It’s inspiring and interesting… at least it is to other artists. Thanks for the info.

  5. Hi Dennis….Thanks for posting these steps it help me see if the steps I’m doing is in the bal park. I use butcher paper and it’s on a roll. I just tear off what I need a nd run with it. This issue I’m facing, is the scanning part. If you have a cleaned drawing of what you want scanned, do you:
    A. Keep it the original size and scan in sections?
    B. Go to a copier and reduce your drawing to fit the glass on the scanner?
    C. Put your work in your potfolio, go to lunch and call it a day?
    I guess I dont know enough about the process yet, but I’m learning.
    God Bless

    • …C is always a valid option I say.

      My scanner is an 11X17 model. I scan my images at 300 dpi. If my pencils are larger than 11X17 thats going to make a really large file, so try to keep things in the 11×17 or smaller range.

      I used to work with a smaller scanner and when thats the case, scanning in sections is about the only option you have.

  6. Dennis, It is necessary connect the Cintiq Tablet whit a computer? (sorry my question)

    • Yes, the Cintiq has to be connected to a computer. I am still hoping someone will make a good, portable, affordable, pressure sensitive tablet someday. The Modbook looks great but costs a small fortune…

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