Line it is Drawn Roundtable: What Is Your Drawing Process?

We just put up a brand-new Line it is Drawn! We've been doing the Line for almost nine years now and our artists do so much great work.

This week, though, in our weekly e-mail chain, longtime Liner, Christian Moore, posed a question to the group and I found everyone's answers so enlightening I figured I'd share them with you all.

Christian Moore

I was just curious about techniques that folks use. I am all over the place. For my entry this week I hand drew the piece on paper and inked with Sharpie markers (all I had). Then I took a photo of it with my iPad and colored it in Procreate.

Nick Butch

This week, I'm trying digital coloring using Photoshop because I'm really old school. Usually, I ink with a nib and Indian ink and then scan everything. I'm using a light table to place the characters on the page..

Caanan Grall

I just used Pigma & Copic brush pens for mine, with a little copic fineliner for details. I usually scan my art in b&w because it’s faster for my art style but this time I’ll grayscale scan and mess with the levels for a finer line. I’ll probably colour the line art this time too. Something I don’t usually do.

Brendan Tobin

I generally go all digital with my submissions to the Line, using a wacom tablet to draw on a Mac. I start out in Adobe Animate (Flash) and sketch in my work, using layers to finish the inks, and sometimes coloring (as I did with this week'e piece.) I then export as a jpeg and fuss with it in Adobe Photoshop, coloring or adding textures and the like. Save it 72dpi for web and ship it off to Brian.

I do have an Apple iPad Pro with the pencil and a few art apps I downloaded, including Procreate, but have not taken the time to properly learn how to best use it, much to my wife's chagrin. She bought it for me as a present an embarrassingly long time ago.

Chris Simmonds

Usually I like to pencil and ink traditionally, scan in and colour on photoshop using my Wacom tablet, but if I’m pressed for time I’ll just do the whole thing on the Wacom. I Very occasionally do some watercolour/ ink wash work if I’m feeling ambitious!

Axel Medellin

I used to pencil and ink traditionally for the first couple of years at the Line... but since time has been of the essence more and more, these days I usually do everything on the Cintiq, jumping between Photoshop and Clip Studio Paint. Unless it's something that needs the traditional look, like the classic comic strips.


I use the blood of my enemies. And pencil & ink.

Paul Shinn

I generally pencil my image on paper using a blue lead, keeping it quite loose so that I can keep some of the energy in the drawing when I'm inking. I ink using a Zebra Fuda brush pen then scan, remove the pencil lines by playing with the layers in Photoshop, and then colouring digitally in Photoshop.

Gene Guilmette

I try to use a variety of media. When I started with the Line my tryout pieces were watercolor ( the Calvin and Hobbes piece) and my second one (Baby Galactus eating the Death Star) was pencil/ink with digital colorwork. Once I got a Wacom I've gravitated to more digital only. I'll sketch and ink in Clip Studio Paint and my color work will be done in Photoshop. I still do traditional however when the time allows. Digital pieces start out in 300 to 600 DPI and then get shrunk down to 72 dpi for submission. Traditional pieces get scanned in at 600 dpi and cleaned up in Photoshop. Final submission piece is again reduced to 72 dpi.

I've done a couple of time-lapse videos for Line pieces in anyone is interested. They are on my twitch channel. One, in particular, Fantastic Future starts with traditional and ends with the digital colorwork. My Twitch channel ( a mix of art and gaming ) has other past art streams, though not all of them. My YouTube channel serves as an archive of all my twitch broadcasts.

Chris Marino

I'm pretty old school. I do all of my black and whites on actual bristol board with a nonphoto blue pencil then usually a bruch and ink. this time I used a Micron 08 on the Iron Giant and a Pentel Pocket Brush on Godzilla. Then scanned it in and colored using GIMP.(a free, open-source, photoshop-like program)

Matt Sandbrook

It's all digital for speed.

Christian Moore (again)

Draw with pencil and ink with Staedtler ink pens. Then I scan it into the computer. Clean up the lines if needed, then export out as a JPG. THEN, I import it into Illustrator and convert the image to outlines. Color it all in there and finish there.

Another way is to scan it in, and color with Photoshop. I make my ink layer set to Multiply, that way it shows the colors underneath.

Nick Perks

I always begin by drawing in pencil on paper, usually Bristol Board.

This is always done on nothing larger than A4 paper, as that is the size of my scanner.

When I am happy with the result I draw around key components in jet black pen to make colouring easier.

I then scan it in, and adjust brightness and contrast settings until I have something I can work with....

I then use gimpShop (like PhotoShop but freeeee) to add layers of colour to the image, resulting in the final product...

(I always have trouble on DeviantArt when it asks if the work is Digital or Traditional - there is no setting for "a bit of both".)

I used to use gouache but it takes so long, and the end result was usually disappointing. With digital colouring the end result is still disappointing but I wasted less of my life on it.

Fascinating stuff, everyone, thanks for sharing!

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