DIGITAL PAINTING: Painting from a sketch Vs Painting like a sculptor

Hello everyone.

Today, I need to know a little about you to better serve you.
In the next few weeks, we are going to paint projects. So, please help me understand your needs.
I made this little speed painting video, to ask you what’s your favorite way to paint?
Do you like to start from a sketch, paint your base colors, then add all the highlights, shadows, and other effects on top?

Or do you prefer to start your project from scratch and paint like a sculptor?

Please let me know in the comment box. I would love to hear from you.
Thank you very much for your answers.
See you next Monday.


Nice. What does it mean to paint like a sculptor?

Hello CrazyCatBird.
In the second part of this very short video, I started to create the frog from a few paint strokes. Then, I added more paint just like a sculptor would add clay to its creation. The trick is to keep adding paint with different shades, tones and little by little, as you go, shapes take form.

Hope this helps a little.
Merci et à bientôt !

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I prefer to paint like a sculptor. To me it’s the most enjoyable way to paint as the we are always in creation process.

It is indeed more enjoyable. Thank you for your feedback, Andre. I have a few projects in mind for the next tutorials, and comments like yours are so helpful.

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I’m painting also like a sculptor, so for me that would be fine! But do as you like, I’ll watch it anyway. :slight_smile:


Now that I understand, I tend to do both, depending on the subject and what mood I’m in.


I tend to jump right in with blobs and strokes of colour. Sometimes I like to scribble with a wide brush and then make eraser cuts to find the form inside the scribble. I love your videos so I’ll watch whether you use sketches or paint by sculpting forms with colour.

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Thank you so much for your feedback. … And thank you for watching. I appreciate your support.

Hi Sooz. That’s a great way to do it too. Love it. Thanks for sharing!

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This is a really interesting question i asked it myself the last few days. Should i paint in many layers and add higlights and shadows with different modes above the base color layer? Or should i stay on the scupltor more traiditional approach. But it looks like at least for me, the second one gives me way more fun. The way like Sooz works the best for me at the moment.

Bonjour Varg, This is so true… I think that at the end of the day, it all depends on what works best for all of us. And having fun doing it, is even better. I am so glad you shared this with all of us. Merci.

For me it’s more a question of whether to draw linework first or sketch out the shadow shapes and work from that. I seem to really struggle with line drawings, as in I just can’t get the proportions right, while just jotting down the basic shapes of something with big, blocky shapes seems to get me there much more reliably. Some brain oddity going on there, I’m sure.


Hello, hulmanen. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Have you ever tried to trace from a reference picture? A lot of artists nowadays use this technique. Even famous painters and illustrators of the past used it. For instance, almost all of Norman Rockwell’s works were traced from photographs. He did that because he needed help with proportions, he said. This is not cheating. There is a great article on that subject. Tracing Art - Is It Good or Bad? When Is Tracing Cheating and Is It Ever OK?

In my opinion fine and not cheating if you say clearly you traced the outline or shapes.

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I haven’t really traced, no, although I sometimes overpaint 3d models. The kind of stuff I usually do, it’s not really reasonable to find references that can be 1:1 traced to fit the picture. I mainly do copying from ref as a way to practice various things, so while I sometimes overlay my ref on my copy to see what kinds of mistakes I’m making, I’m not sure tracing would be terribly helpful for what I’m trying to get out of the process.

I see. Thanks for your explanation.