Often before I start a digital illustration, I am starting out with a sketch. For this little fox illustration, I picked up my phone to check out some fox images on google and then started sketching their overall form. I try to stay loose while figuring out the fitting lines without limiting myself.

Let the pencil lead your way

Here’s a picture of my sketches. At this point, I did not know whether I was going into a logo direction, a more realistic illustration or a clean vector-like graphic. And that’s okay!


From these sketches I decided on the one in the middle on the bottom. It appealed to me as most emotional in that moment (with the one on the bottom left as a close second – I might use him later, as well).

Let’s give him a line!

Next, I took a picture with my iPad and started tracing what I’d drawn on paper.

Fox Thin line
Here’s my fox with traced outlines.

Mh, somehow it does not look quite balanced. Then I remembered I had read something about line weight. An additional line can be used to create something like a minimal shadow. So I have retraced the image, given it an darker, bolder outline and given weight to almost every line. Here’s the result:

My fox with a darker outline and line weight.

Immediately looks better, right? What a single line can do… 🙂

If you are interested in the whole drawing process, here’s my sped-up video!

Have you tried to give your drawings more weight yet?



3 thoughts on “How a line can make a difference

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