From Sketch to Line

These drawings are from 2017, or right about 2 years ago as of this writing.

Back then I made a folder and dumped these images into it, with the hopes that Future Matt would make something out of it. I think I remember the thoughts going on here, so let's give it a shot.

Just a few among infinite options

Above we have a sketch of a squirrel, followed by a few different approaches to overlaid line art. Is one of them the best? Or is it just a matter of style?

This one was labeled "first" and was probably the first stab at line art:


This one's called "slop" and I think the idea was to do it as quickly as possible:


Though it took less time I like it better than the aptly titled "worst" which in my opinion lacks some cohesion and stability:


Lastly, this one was labeled "overworked" and the goal was to make it look too busy. Like it got too much attention:


I like the gritty look from the dots and dashes, but this one took the longest to make, so this style might not make sense in some contexts (for example, if animation is required).

The body is made up of many lines. Let's limit our scope and examine a smaller portion of the drawing.

Even in just the eyes, there's an ocean of feeling, emotion, and personality that can be represented simply by the shape and size of the eyes.


In art and especially drawing, there really are no right or wrong answers. But I did find that the lines I preferred were ones that were drawn without much effort. When the lines flow easily, they look smoother and more intentional.

It's interesting to see the various possibilities that a sketch creates. I sometimes look at finished works from other artists and wonder how many variations were explored in the process.


What would your lines look like? Follow the excellent Etherington Brothers tutorial to find out!

More here:

Late Night Doodle #2

Late Night Doodle #2

More doodles when I couldn't sleep.
Low Fidelity

Low Fidelity

Game design principle: use a low fidelity that enables you to move quickly.