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Which Style To Choose?

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Which Style To Choose?


I'm illustrating a children's book and I'm having dilemma about which style to choose from the two images shown. I like both for different reasons and can't decide which one to go for.

What do you folks think, lines or no lines?


grega's picture
The Brothers McLeod [SIZE=2][/SIZE]

The Brothers McLeod

Wow nice work Grega. If it were up to me I'd say no lines. It kind of flattens the image out too much. Where as the other image has more dept to me that is.

Good luck with it which ever way you go with it.

:) in fact I like the two. However, it seems that the first one ('no-line version') is somehow a little bit too light for me (but it could be because of the lack of details when you compare with the 'lines version'- the windows for instance).

And what about a third way - an in-between version few lines, but more details on the first version?

Hope this help. :)

Personally, Grega, I like solid lines. Yes, they sometimes DO make a drawing seem a touch flatter, but you can change that by making a nice tapered line. I really like a big thick and thin line to bring volume to a drawing. Lines just seem to solidify a drawing somehow. I am trying to think of a nice project that used thick and thin lines well of which I could post an image for you to see what I mean. I am attaching one of the attitude pose models of Stimpy to show you more or less what I mean. I was thinking of something a bit more extreme, but this is close.

Another thing you can do that looks quite nice, and if you are doing stills, it is completely feasable, is to colour the line. Make it a different, darker shade of the interior colour, and it looks great (much nicer than a black one). Just a thought.

Cheers mate!


"Don't want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard" - Paul Simon

What do you folks think, lines or no lines?

Hmm... I would have to say it depends on the kind of mood that the book is trying to set. If the book is 'darker'--like Tim Burton, Nightmare Before Christmas kind of darker--I would pick the lined version just because it feels a little scarier. If however the overall tone of the book is lighter, not quite as heavy or scary, then I would go with the no lines version.

Both are excellent so I think it really has to come down to tone at this point.

Cheers for your comments.

It is a reel head scratcher as I like both styles.

Normally my stuff looks like the pic attached, clean and pretty thick black lines with the odd bit of tapering like Wade mentioned and it's a style I've pretty much nailed down. However this new stuff is a little looser and it's a tricky one to call.

I'll let you know which way I go, and keep posting the images.

One plus is that the way I'm doing the pics means it is fairly easy to switch between the two styles it's just a matter of turning off a layer in Photoshop.



The Brothers McLeod

I would agree with Athena( by the way, nice name for an avatar..make sme want to know what you're really like!)

Grega , It really depends on the mood you're tryingto set

I've noticed the purpose for which you intend to use the image sis important
Letme try and explain this..
the more images you have, the easier you want them to be read.
Like, in a graphic novel for instance,
in which case, when you do a NO line type of drawing , the flow of the reading is slower, because for one thing , people are not used to " reading" images with no lines, they are used( Hey, i'm talking in general terms here!) to stop and look more at a No line illustration,as where with a line drawing, the readability primes over the rest.
The dark of the lines conveys the meaning much quicker.

It's a bitlike writting( then again, ONLY according to me!)
When you read, you never really see teh letters, but the Images they suggets
Like Tree.. you can picture a tree, rather tha t R e E..

If I drew an image of a tree , it would be different, right??
So.. to me, the line/no line thing is of the same issue

Ok.. that was my two cents( which may not even be worth that much actually , but , it is always food for thought, no??)

Oh yeah, and, before i forget

I reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally like your universe there!!

Sweet work Grega! Personally for me, I like the "no lines" image best. It's simple, while retaining that great graphic style. Also, I think that a younger audience will relate more to the "no lines" version. Less is more!

Cereal And Pajamas New Anthology : August 2007

Outlines look better on the character and some of the harder details. No outlines look better on the soft details (the bedding).

Have you tried colored outlines? You could use harder colors on your focal points, and soft colors on peripheral details.

nice style. reminds me of Tim Burton's early drawings.

I think the one with the lines look more solid. Specially because the lines you did are not smooth, they look organic and have a subtle width change. I liked it best.


Tuff call. People have posted great reasons, either way.

Could be simply preference. If so, I'd vote for the lines...or colored lines, personally!

Nice stuff!

Splatman :D


Cheers for all your comments.

I pencilled a couple more pics last night so I should have another one worked up soon. I'm hoping that will help make the decision for me.

Still torn between the two.


The Brothers McLeod

I really like the sublety of the no line version... it's less busy and kinda of forces me to pay more attention to the details rather than taking the lines/borders for granted. Great work on both... great style!


Hi Grega,
Great work. I like the one without the lines, though I think lines could add more definition to the forms. Have you thought of using coloured lines, like say lines the colour of the spectacles?
Might be able to balance things out that way.


Digital, that is exatly what I am playing around with at the mo. I will post the new versions soon.

The Brothers McLeod