Thoughts on the Editing Process.

Earlier today I was alternating between editing a picture and posting on Twitter, and things kinda went like this:

Just been doing some touchup on an illustration, and it prompted a question for my fellow artists (especially the ones whose rendering styles are relatively loose). If and when you’re cleaning things up, how do you decide which lines stay and which ones need to be edited or removed?

‘Cause y’know, I think about these things sometimes. Especially when I’m doing something that’s more mechanical than creative. Didn’t get a lot in the way of replies, but the one guy who did answer gave a nice, in-depth, nuts-and-bolts reply. (Thanks, Wes. Much appreciated.)

Anybody else have some feedback? What I realized about my own process is that every piece seems to have its own internal logic as far as style is concerned. Which only makes sense, given that I rarely work in the same style. How ’bout the rest of you creative types?

3 responses

  1. The way I work I do everything very tight in the planning stages so I really don't have the problem of needing to decide which element stays or which one goes. When I don't have some sort of plan in place, or the details were fuzzy that's usually when the art goes off the rails. I do envy those who can just draw a stick figure and then come in and work up a full figure from that.

    June 22, 2010 at 12:12 AM

  2. It's hit or miss with me. Sometimes my very first line is the one I am happy with, but this doesn't happen often. I tend to carve my lines out of a nest of existing scribbles. Sometimes, I'll carve too much and end up redrawing them. This can go back and forth this way until I am either happy with the line or so frustrated that I just let it go. (I honestly think I started doing this when I read a short interview book on Giacometti.)But whenever I need a really clean line, I'll use a vector tool- the digital equivalent of using a straight edge or a French curve. I'll just take the straight vector line and warp and distort it until it approaches the kind of shape I am after, then erase the areas that don't make sense. Sometimes, it makes sense to redraw these lines by hand to avoid a mechanical look.

    June 22, 2010 at 8:57 AM

  3. Thanks for the input, fellas. You've given me a lot to think about here.

    June 23, 2010 at 11:01 PM