Choice of the subject This one does not depend only on our inspiration. But must also take into account the nature of the type of graphic process employed. For example, it is not recommending to draw a child’s face on a small size with large black chalk. The point of view and the framing already determine the quality of the composition of our sketch.
Free observation Let’s start by observing the subject for a few minutes without cool drawing it. To virtually identify its general shape and guidelines. It is better to ask where we are going to grab the beast before launching in pursuit. This step often overlooked because our educational and social conditioning makes us place more importance on action than on contemplation.
Adaptation of the format The designer always influenced by the format in which he works, even unconsciously. If we take a slender figure in a standing position as a model and draw it in a square format. We run the risk of not finding room for its feet and head or giving it the appearance of an obese dwarf. So let’s check that the proportions of our sheet are not too far from the proportions of our subject and possibly make the necessary adaptations. In the event of serious difficulties, one can compose a format exactly proportioned to that of a cardboard window through which one observes the scene to be represented.
General draft The purpose of the outline is to set up the general shape at the right scale, that is to say, that which will allow the subject to correctly occupy the format. Let us place the very broad lines or the main masses, forgetting the details and working with a light and flexible hand. You should not be afraid to “scribble” a little to find the shape.
Appearance construction At this stage, it is a question of studying the model by taking into account. Only the aspect which it presents to our eyes, and not of its intrinsic structure. We don’t think about what we draw one line drawing, we only draw the shapes we see. It is a question here of ensuring three things: the position, the proportion, and the orientation of each part. For example, when we want to check whether we have correctly constructed the head of a character, we must pose the problem as follows:
Is this head well located about the body?
Its dimension correct?
Is the inclination of its main axis correct?
Structure analysis This complimentary exercise to the previous one consists of showing how the invisible structure of a shape conditions its appearance. Here we have to discover what is hidden behind what we see to understand what we see. The proper structure analysis can be internal and external. In the first case, we discover the support lines present in the shapes such as, for example, the skeleton of a character: this is where anatomy is useful. In the second case, the shapes are inscribed in simplified volumes such as, for example, an arm in a cylinder: knowledge of perspective is necessary at this stage.
Final cool drawing We ensure the most accurate lines and we erase everything unnecessary. It may be interesting to leave some construction elements in place. The finishing line must be dynamic and rich enough to suggest by its modulations light and shade, lightness and heaviness, delicacy and strength. The outlines must not be too closed, nor the shadows too blocked: the cool drawing must breathe.