I love to draw line art, but even more I love to add in lots of inking detail and make the design come to life.  Above I have filled a page with designs and I am ready to start adding in some detail.  But where do you start?  It can be almost as overwhelming as a blank page.  I always say just start with what you know.  For me I usually have some idea of where I want to add in some black to fill in space.

And so I start with what I know I want.  The rest will start to fall into place as I go.  I start to add black ink into areas around the circles and around some petals that I know I want to stand out more.  The contrast helps the white area pop out.  I will also try to balance the black around the design.  Not adding too much into one area at once.  You can always add more in, but you can’t take it out.  So I pick areas around the design that I know I want to have black in them.

I will start to outline certain areas with a thicker line.

I will then add contrast with patterns, such as stippling or fine lines.  This gives me more of a range than just solid black or solid white.  Again I try to keep moving around the design so that I have a balance in the contrasts running throughout the design.

I will also try to add small details to give volume to the shapes.  All these details keep the eye moving around the design.  The key is to keep all things in balance.  The details, the contrast and the space all need to work together as well as individually.

Keep stepping back and squinting to see if the design is balanced with contrast.  Notice if you have used a pattern in one place, you can repeat it in a different area of the design, that will also create a balanced look.  Remember that both positive and negative space make a design complete.  Just the right amount  of detail will be pleasing to the eye.

In the end, trust your senses.  If in doubt, then put the design down and come back to it later.  We see things differently after we take a break.

Have fun and keep drawing.

Jane xo