This week in the Foundations Re-run we are looking at Minimal Setup and I believe this is a super important concept for quick lively sketching. Doing a few quick guidelines on the page first (what I call setup) can really take the pressure off your ink lines allowing them to be more expressive.
A lot of people are very adamant that drawing directly in ink is the only way to go, but I don’t agree that this is always the best answer.
In the past, I found that a few quick gestural pencil lines allowed me to work faster and more confidently, with stronger lines. The key is that I wasn’t trying to achieve a super accurate outline with the pencil, instead it was a quick gestural mapping out of the big picture.
However, if I’m sketching a complex scene in watercolour (with or without ink) I still like having ‘a soft option’ for the first marks on the page. And so my starting with watercolour is often a form of minimal setup – either starting with shape or drawing a few guidelines in paint first.
Here are a few examples:
I would love to hear form you – what type of setup (if at all) do you typically use?