Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Keeping it fresh

By Jesper Ejsing

One thing that people always say is “The sketch was much better and more dynamic. When I drew it and cleaned it up and inked it, it kind of died”.

There is always the fact that when looking on a sketch ( rough ones like mine for an example ) your mind kind of fills in the blanks or adjust for the missing lines. The mind see the image like the image should be at its fullest potential. The aim of course is to reach that potential, but therein lies the work of Sisyphus. I never think I reached a full potential on any sketch. Some have been far from, some a bit closer.

Back in the days I used to sketch my images and then sketch or do studies of every figure, when I transferred them all to board clean up with a pencil, ink them and grey tone them, I have been over the same drawing for 6 times and they die a little bit from each step.

Instead I have tried to go directly from thumb to transferring. I skipped the whole sketching step and just drew on the board the image from my thumb. Then ink and grey tone and all the same stuff, but the most important part, the initial drawing was done on the board I was going to paint on. This way it all kept being fresh and didn’t became boring. This illustration is a Bat for a Magic card M12, called Duskhunter Bat. The sketch/thumb was 7x7cm and when it was approved I loosely transferred it and drew in all the details. I think I kept most of the movement from the sketch and in transferring loosely I pushed most of the interesting part of the texture and the details of the skin and face to the painting stage instead of the sketching stage. I really like to be able to let the brushes find the shapes. In the face of the bat I dotted away keeping the different colours within the same value. After that I searched for shapes within my texture that I could enhance. I love this part of the painting. It works well with most rough surfaces. As a last thought I added the light in between the rips to match the colour from the inside of the ears and mouth to keep a theme.


  1. Thanks for sharing this, i often struggle with the same thing. I'm curious how long do you have to make a/set of cards, time wise?

    Thanks for sharing this! Keep sharing the awesome work!

  2. I really like the way you guys describe so clearly why and how. This is a prime example - you tell us what you've tried, and what you decided about the results, so why you're now doing it the way you do. And best of all, you illustrate what you're explaining and your illustrations are superb. Thank you for keeping this blog.