If you are busy with a drawing project like a comic strip or a graphic novel it can be very relaxing and inspiring to draw something that has nothing to do with it at all.
I call theses drawings my finger stretching exercises. While you get into the flow of drawing and are totally focused on what is emerging on your screen you can let your mind wander.
Can you recall this relaxing feeling from your own last drawing?
Today when I started Manga Studio I was thinking about how to draw the next scene for Wall Street Hijack. While doing this I decided to draw something totally
different. Something that has nothing to do with my graphic novel at all. Not even with the style. The result is this Manga-ish drawing that I want to call
Wait, I’m not ready yet!
Nothing special, just a straight to the point drawing and the coloring is pure cell shading. Whilst drawing I just let my mind wander around and planned my next creative challenge.
The funny thing is that Wait, I’m not ready yet can be used as kind of a metaphor when it comes to getting rid of the use of grids for your drawing. I didn’t use any of them for this drawing above. The reason is that at a certain moment I felt ready for it.
Especially when it comes to pin-up like poses just throwing some sketchy lines brings very nice results. You bring them into proportion and then carve the character out you have in mind out of it.
The best way to become ready for not using guidelines and grids is using them a lot. Of course it depends on how far your skills have developed and how much you are drawing. It’s an individual thing.
While you practice you sink deeper and deeper into the flow and your feeling for the lines becomes stronger. It’s nearly meditative. I guess that after an estimate of 10 drawings you will be ready for it.
You can easily make a fluent transition between using guidelines and throwing some lines buy doing it in a kind of a hybrid way. Use the grids and guidelines for some parts of the body and the loosely thrown lines for others.
Have a look at the amazing professionals in the industry. They all once started with guidelines and grids and still use them. Though they need them less then you and I do.
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