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Junior Member
As i gather Composition is essential to a successful piece, though i find it hard to stick to any one technique i often find myself thinking weather or not too colour at the end or paint with colour from the beginning after having most experience with pencils or a fine pen i'm used to line artwork but generally i tend to follow that path in Photoshop but end up loosing the line work and ending up painting again..

anyhow my question is how do you regard the composition of your piece and it's importance in the outcome, is it different every time or do you follow a mastered plan..


Well-Known Member
Hmm.. good question. In my mind I'm always developing my style but I've always been very into linework and at the moment I'm toying between the finishes given by pencil vs pen. More often than not these days, when I do colour, its a Photoshop job... (partially for the cleanliness and ease of modification, usually each element is a different layer so its all changeable) but I've had nice results feeding work done with coloured pencils and more recently some pastel work into the scanner to add finishing touches, cleanup and levelling only. Starting the colouring process in the real world can add some much needed depth of colour and a little touch of randomness only found by using actual art materials.

When it comes to colouring I'm working on developing my CAC (Computer Aided Colouring, lol) to look more textured and organic and natural, and less like a blatant bit of Photoshoppery.

It can be tricky choosing to let either the linework or the colour take precedence in the image - due to my early influences (cartoons and comics as a child) I tend to subconsciously rely on linework to create the structure of an image. I admire those that can creat stunning visuals without a single line in the end product.

Justin Gerard, who blogs Quick Hide Here mixes between pencil, watercolour and Photoshop and gets him some pretty stunning results.
I'm like Jim on this one. I'm always experimenting with my techniques how ever I do tend to start off with a sketch and then work in the painting from there keeping to the structure of the line work. How ever I did complete a painting a few weeks back with no line work, straight from a picture, which I had never done before, and there was an element of the painting that looked better than any other I had done before. That is of course straight from a photo though so in a way there is some kind of structure to the painting. The only thing I would say though is that I'm forever looking at a painting thinking, damn wish I had added that or changed that, so if I get that thought whilst painting I'm forever changing things.

In conclusion I think it's near on impossible to truly stick to the original line work if you're a perfectionist like me as the original line work is never really a completed sketch, more rough, your final piece however has the completed line work, just with paint.
true, but I think it depends on the intended style. I do sometimes look at a painting in the original stages and think why not just stop now as it looks pretty good, but everyone has their own style so I suppose it's really what you think is better Alpha, whatever gives you a satisfying finished piece, go with it.


Junior Member
i'm finding creating scene which comprises of rough silhouettes is a good way to start the composition, adding detail to those and atmosphere around them