Recently I've been asked how I make "clean lines" in my paintings. I never really thought about it till now. My favorite response to this question is OCD. However, that is not the case. In truth, I'm a perfectionist. I obsess over my line quality. My main objective is to produce a painting that looks like it could be generated in Illustrator….which would be an easier solution….but what's the fun in that!
No matter how hard I try, the lines are never going to be perfect. You can see inconsistencies in the image below, but that is how you know its a painting. It's not going to be perfect, but damn if I'm not going to try.
In the progress shot below you can see my process. I start out messy then I pull everything back into clean lines, then outline. The secret to my clean lines is hand training. Imagine the music to Rocky playing in the background as your hand climbs a scale model of the stairs to the art museum. Punch! Hook! Jab!
Joking aside, I have been painting for years in this style and over time I have trained my hand to move smoothly and to estimate the line. If you have taken a college art class, your teacher would have taught you this. Your brain will estimate the line for your hand. It's pretty cool.
The best advice I can give you to achieve clean lines is practice. You're only going to get good if you practice. I know some people tape off areas to achieve perfect lines, however, I just don't have the practice to work that way. If that's a method you are comfortable using, by all means! Go for it!
If you have any suggestion or comments please leave them below. I'm always happy to hear new ideas and thoughts and I'm sure other appreciate them as well! Good luck and thanks for reading! Now get out there and create!
The finished skate deck in available for purchase in my store. https://jupiterfalling.squarespace.com/prints-paintings/ursula