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So i've been seeing this opinion go around dA and that is that works without lineart are better than works with lineart?

Well i've been on both sides of this subject and i have found that both are equally hard or easy to do. It kind of depends on style here rather than skill.
If you want to draw with lineart then you require a set of skills, without lineart you need another. 

I think the reason why people see works with lineart as being inferior to the ones without is because when someone starts to draw something for the first time, they always, with no exception, use lineart. And as artists grow and become better, some stop using lineart, so people assume that works without lineart are more evolved.

Well it's not quite like that. In my personal experience, works without lineart are much easier to do than ones with lineart. 

The easy part

when you draw without lineart is you skip the lineart stage (which is tedious and takes a long ass time) and you jump strength into color. This means you have more momentum. There's little time between the initial idea/sketch to the color/lighting so the idea is still fresh in your mind. You also finish artworks faster because you skip the lineart step (which can take hours). I've noticed a considerable increase in speed after i gave up on lineart. Drawing without lineart gives you a sense of freedom, you're not confined to the lineart. Editing things, even as the wrtwork is almost finished, is very easy. 

The hard part

 with works without lineart is you have to be bold with shadows. The lineart helps you by letting you not have to use dark shadows to define your artwork, to make it readable, the lineart itself makes it readable. But without lineart, you have to add shadows in order to not have your work be washed out. Rendering things realistically plays a big part here.

The easy part

 when you draw with lineart is, as I've said before, you don't have to think of shadows that much. You can use light colors all the way. You don't have to think of readability that much. You don't have to learn to draw things realistically, but can stylize them however you want.

The hard part

 when you draw with lineart is you have to be very good at design. When shadows and shading don't play a big role in the artwork then the design, composition, ornaments play the major role, and you have to be very good at them. Drawing with lineart makes you focus on the beauty of the line, the way it thickens and how elegant it is, and by the time you're finished, all idea and thoughts of color are kind of stale and distant, i know i used to get lost here. And you also need to have to have a ton of patience because the process is tedious. Another hard thing is you have to be a very good planner, you have to take care of any and all mistakes in the sketch and lineart stage, because editing the artwork in the coloring stage can kill you. If you noticed a hand is placed wrong, in works without lineart you simply take the hand and move it, while if you did a lineart you need to move the lineart, edit it so that it's smooth again, then take the skin color layer and move it, match it to the new lineart, then take the clothing part of the lineart, move that, match it, move any details again, match them etc etc. It's just so damn tedious i used to leave mistakes on, even if i noticed them during the drawing, just because it was too damn hard to edit. 

For me, drawing with lineart is harder than without. I'm an impatient person and drawing careful lineart while feeling as the idea of lighting, colors, shadows fading away in my mind doesn't work for me. I did do it for a while, and trust me, there were many works, linearted, half done that failed at the color stage simply because i forgot my idea. 

So basically both styles of drawing require different strengths and artists tend to gravitate towards the style that matches their personality rather than their skill.

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Shiratori-Jane Featured By Owner 15 hours ago  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi! Personally, I am now getting back into drawing traditionally as well as doing digital art. For my normal pencil and paper, I tend to use line art because I have not developed my sketching abilities as yet. However, when I work on my computer, I use the same color of the object to draw its position and I work within that space accordingly. For me, it is both due to my personality and skill as well as my available tool set.

I would love to be able to sketch in pencil from start to finish realistically or otherwise. Maybe I will learn how to do that with my colored pencils. I do not have much experience with paint or even pastels for that matter.

So, for me, line art is just easier and more comfortable at this point in time for traditional drawings. When I have more tools for my digital art hobby, I will revisit the question then.
Pure-Luna Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I enjoy doing lineart, but I agree it gets a bit tedious. I just find lineless too hard, and I never was good with shadows. It's easier to find where you left off with lineart, and a bit easier to color as well. And in my opinion, alot of the creativity comes with the lineart, and it makes your style easier to see. I've just always liked lineart better, maybe cause I do it more, Idk
Luspear-Soram Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2017  Hobbyist Artist
This is very interesting. Thanks for sharing. This is an issue that only artists would care about. However I am deep in the field, so I got into it. Personally I am in the line-less team. Even though I love drawing weird fantasy things, I would rather have a realistic rendering. It makes made up things more believable. I love to indulge in things like shading and texture to the best of my ability. It is sort of like how a CG cartoon has a more realistic look and feel than an old 2D cartoon, even though both can depict unrealistic things. Part of my style is heavy use of implied lines. That is where a line isn't drawn, but sharp boundaries between two things could show a line. It is more realistic. You depicted the two sides as a trade off. I totally understand where you are coming from, and I do admire the fairness. For me the line-less approach is all positive. One part is that I don't have to spend much time on the lines. That is great. When I draw on the tablet, my hand eye coordination is inferior. It is difficult to draw good lines. When I don't have lines I have a nice wide room for error. The shadow part is a positive too. It takes more effort, but it is well worth it. I love the way really good shading looks like. It makes figures look like they pop out of the screen, like a sculpture. If there is something that encourages me to do that, then I am good with that.

I do have my limits. Sometimes I do have to use lines. It is where implied lines wouldn't stand out. I add in lines so they are easier to read. When drawing a face, I add a line for the mouth and a dot for a nostril. I even added lines in a recent picture. I have a lot of fun with landscapes, even though I don't do them too often. Part of the fun is using atmospheric perspective to affect the shading. One recent landscape is the Alpine Mountains. It is the first time I did a snowy environment. Since snow is white, it would only show color in the shaded spots. I like to add in multiple layers in the landscape to give the illusion of death. In this case all the layers of snow tend to run together forming a white out effect. I didn't like that. So I did add lines. I used cyan for the shadows and lines. This color is the best because it reflects the icy nature of snow. I even got criticism for using lines, even though it was a very deliberate choice. It was more important to show depth, even though the realism was compromised a little bit.

I wonder if it is possible to have the best of both worlds. One approach is done by MadMunchkin. She does show lines in her final artworks. However they are a bit sketchy looking. MadMunchkin doesn't like to do clean lines, because they are too stressful. I am aiming for an in between. I draw sketches and lines early in a picture. I attempt to use lines in order to be more precise. Later on I paint inside the lines. Then I remove the lines. Finally I just use implied lines. What is implied lines were real lines that have been cleaned out.

Thanks for sharing the post.
LupusArtwork Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
To those saying that lineless art just looks better... It really depends on the level of skill of who is doing it. Some of those look like cardboard cut out's for me. And some just look really amazing! Also, in my opinion, I think that the more "pencil like" lineart you got, and if you blend the black lineart with your draws internal colors and shading, it might just look really amazing! Like artists like Arvalis do. ( The realistic pokemons ) I am a dummy! 
AphOkamiAntarctica Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I can't lineart for shit, I've tried lining every drawing but go straight to painting after giving up :/
Yuuza Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
I'm a pretty shitty linearter too, this skill just eludes me :iconohdearplz:
iCR3D Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Hey, you could try something that assists you to stabilize your lines.Something like Mediband wich is free or Mangastudio.But oh well, not sure if is very good to get used to this stuff.Just keep practicing :P
AphOkamiAntarctica Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh I use medibang. I just found the line stabilizer, thanks :D
silkyoakilky Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2016  Student Digital Artist
I really don't like the idea of doing lineart :/ I mean its nice to have a good-looking linework but sometimes the lines can be too thick or too thin 
Finch-Senpai Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Personally I LOVE thick lineart, though I also do like painterly styles if it's done correctly :3
WildebeestNinetyNine Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2016   Digital Artist
"I think the reason why people see works with lineart as being inferior to the ones without is because when someone starts to draw something for the first time, they always, with no exception, use lineart. And as artists grow and become better, some stop using lineart, so people assume that works without lineart are more evolved."

No, its just because it looks better.
Meeshell-Art Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I am in a category of I have to use lineart, I cannot colour without it. I'll be honest I am not sure how to start the no lineart process as a rough sketch is too rough, and I always get this awful... paper cut out appearance, probably due to always shading with lineart in mind. At the moment I do lineart but I try to make it thin, and blend in with the picture a little, but some lines have to be dark so your eyes can see what I want them to see.

How do you even start skipping lineart...
Finch-Senpai Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I suggest using the paint/watercolor/ ect. brush, even when laying out the base colors. It gives softer edges and looks less paper cut :3
FNAFanimeHobbit Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2016  Student Digital Artist
 I don't do a lot of lineart anymore; it's scarce on my channel. I just don't find it easy at all, and it's so cliché around this website. My current profession is realism lineless art, both digital and traditional; either graphite, charcoal or all-out digital is fine with me.

 To draw any angled face is both tedious and extremely difficult; not to mention that when you're done making it perfect and erasing all of the bold, excessive lines; your lines will probably be so damn thin that nobody can see them from the caption picture.

 I seem to admire deep shading and proportion in lineless art, and for the fact that it's very controllable to make if free-handed. I also like it because nearly every Deviant hates lineless art.

 "It looks too hard!"
 "The brushes are annoying!"
 "It takes too long!"
 "It's not as fun as anime and manga!" 
 "It doesn't look sexy!"

 And I'm over here, in the corner of Deviantart and at the entrance of Elfwood yelling back; "Hope y'all have fun with primitive shading and frustrating hours of making your chins and cheekbones look perfect!"

 Sure, bold inking is a type of lineart, I admire that; but I dislike it when somebody has to go through hours of drawing lines of a figure and anticipating and worrying over if the airbrush will shade it too little or too much.
AphOkamiAntarctica Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love you comment fyi
Pizaru-Chu Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2015
I actually spent a long time trying to get away from line art for those points basically (and also because all my favorite artist did lineless painty stuff haha); really dug deep into lineless stuff, or near lineless anyway, but even through all my effort, it just wasn't my thing

So i went back to line art and had a way easier time getting my ideas across by comparison haha, so it really does depend on the person..!
I still do love the way the painty stuff looks though, so i've been working on a style that combines the best of both worlds, bit by bit...
cupboards Featured By Owner Edited Dec 13, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I never do lineart because, well, you can dish out a good lookin' lineart in SAI, but in gimp those lines look 

GoingGoddess Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
lol i feel you
SapphireRose2 Featured By Owner Edited Jan 24, 2016  Hobbyist
I know, right?

The lines take forever to clean up bc they are wobbly as crap, at least in my case.
Mebashi Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Ugh...I really want to start drawing with linearts again....I tried,but I had no success,because I'm an impatient person..I even get tired of drawing it and most of the times i give up on that nerve-destructing thing in the end D:<. But again,I love artworks with linearts :C.Well,I'll just practice more XD!
TakemaKei Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I used to do lineart, but transitioning to without lineart because now I find the lineart stage tedious. Also maybe because I have a blank period so feeling rusty, plus my lineart werent that good anyways.
I have watch videos by :icondantewontdie:, and he does the messy linework, then add colour, and basically paint over lineart. but his artwork still looks like they have lines. so i think thats impressive.
So basically, I love lineart, but i suck when i do it OTL
iaini-diamantia Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
bit late to this one (been busy) but I've tried it both ways and with how I think I prefer working with line art most of the time. As I develop a more complex piece I tend to *consume* my line art, feathering it off to nothing in areas of stronger highlight. 
Yuuza Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Yes, you're on the road of drawing with no lineart, that is if you stop at a particular stage and decide it's your favorite style ^^
yuuike Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2015  Student Digital Artist
That's so true omg. I find that a lot of artists who don't technically draw with 'lineart' end up kind of with outlines around their anyways...? Lolol does that even make sense hahaxD But I always found it strange

I personally find it amazing when people can draw without lineart cuz I guess I'm not that good with using shadows to make outlinesxD I do think with linearts tho it takes up a huge and sometimes almost unnecessary amount of time and it really restricts the painting or get in the way of lighting sometimes~ It all takes practice tho lool:iconimsotiredplz:
Yuuza Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
I don't know exactly what you mean about the outline anyway,

yea, in the end, it takes practice for everything T^T
IamTheBoxFish Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I can only admire those that do line art. Personally no lineart
drawwithme15 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for sharing this! It was very insightful! 
LordofStupidity Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2015
I kinda mash everything together. I don't think my lines stand out much, which is good because my lines are terrible, but I do use them. And I still do rely heavily on shading. I guess I use lineart because I'm dont use color as much.
rochele10 Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2015
love line art and coloring 
Jeishii Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I admit I"m surprised there is a debate in which is better. To me it seems to be dependent on the style of the design and your own personal style. >w>
Yuuza Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Well, i get so many comments such as 'omg it has no lines!' and generally comments thta imply that artwork without lines is harder and/or better ^^ While that is a compliment to me, it's easyer for me to use no lines, not harder, and i just thought i'd say a few things about these two techniques ^^
Tsukiiyo Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Without lineart !! :D
JacquelineBarkla Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2015  Professional General Artist
I don't look at 'with line art' as inferior because I love the style line art gives a finished drawing! I'm very inpatient too haha but I'm forcing myself to bother with line art not just because it gives you a good direction as you go etc. because personally I love the finished look :)
lopni Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2015  Student Digital Artist
I don't have enough experience for an opinion.
But I found another artist who totally agrees with the point of you analysis. In fact he posted a very similar entry: A very similar entry
I guess, there is a general agreement among established artists that pencil artist and colorist should work together (lineart+colours&shading), and inker (sketch+colours&shading) should work on his/her own cause inker's result is already a finished product.
Yuuza Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
I don't think he was talking about works with lineart vs works without lineart but more advocating on not coloring works that were previously inked because inking and coloring don't match  ^^
lopni Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2015  Student Digital Artist
oops. ^_^ I need to learn what lineart is then. Is it the same as outline?
And thanks a lot for clarification!
Mutsumipat Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2015   Digital Artist
I think it dépends of the artist. Personnally, I use the sketch mostly, to have a preview of the final drawing, but that's not something detailed and clean. I put basic colors and gradients, shadows and lights and then, I stick the sketch with my painting and I work on the painting like that until the end of the process. But, for studies, sometimes, I like to go without a sketch. When I do an illustration with a perspective, I do a lineart.
gossj10 Featured By Owner Edited Feb 16, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
my first thaught when i got a tablet was that i can draw linarts easily and cleanly with it but later on i tend to avoid line art and make things look relistic .. nd never actualy did line art again lol its so ironic .. i just do rough sketches and clean it up and start coloring which is my favorite part ..nd coloring without line art aint easy either since the contrasct kinda reduces and yo have to add extra layer od darker shades to make it better...nd even if i use line art i end up smudgind or mixing it with the colors its realy  openion is that you shoud make art in both styles nd you can choose the most satisfying one frm it nd ofcorse you can use both styles when ever we want lol some people might want us to do works with line art and some withou so we must be prepared to do both especialy if ur making this your carrier or if ur doing commisions nd stuff :)    nd the best tip is ----- dont be lazy and do give up too easily nd dont be lazyyy yep thats the big trouble that we dont always notice but end up doing :) lol Success fella (Reactions) Akari Akazaki (Good Job) [V3] Kao Emoji-66 (Here's a good luck charm) [V4] Ringo Tsukimiya (Good luck) [V2] Hatsune Miku-01 (Good Luck) 
Liiyes Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
It's very hard to me to draw with lineart, so I do without but sometimes it makes my art incredibly ugly :') This question is definitly worst than to be or not to be
ChronoPinoyX Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2015   General Artist
"This part struck me

'If you noticed a hand is placed wrong, in works without lineart you simply take the hand and move it, while if you did a lineart you need to move the lineart, edit it so that it's smooth again, then take the skin color layer and move it, match it to the new lineart, then take the clothing part of the lineart, move that, match it, move any details again, match them etc etc.'

I managed to find myself a way to avoid this with Photoshop luckily enough although the problem may not be as avoidable with other programs. 

I did things the same as as the quoted text before but now I manage to avoid them. It's hard to explain and if I did I would probably have huge text wall but the gist of it is that you copy every layer you've done (lineart, colours, shading etc), merge them to a single layer and work on that single copied layer. Basically in that single layer all you'd be doing is redrawing, recolouring and re-rendering the parts that get affected, everything else . It takes less time than having to realign everything on different layers. The only time this will be very problematic is when I do proper black linearts (like comic or manga style artwork) because obviously line thickness will get affected but other than that, I pretty much avoid this problem. I can try making a guide for Photoshop on how to avoid it but only if people heavily request it (which I doubt considering I'm not all that popular here lol) ^_^"
xormak Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2015  Student Digital Artist
i can fully agree on this journal
Sarilain Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2015
Really interesting journal, thank you.^^
kymyit Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I hate drawing linearts -.- But drawing without it is harder (and it's not my style, I usually draw manga/anime, not so realistic).
scarred-spirit-Amor Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
because i go more into a cartoon anime style I use line art but I am trying to practice myself out of it. sadly though my artists mind wants to at least have an outline, a firm shape to something or else i beat my self up in my head. 
CharlyChive Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2015  Professional Digital Artist…  

BOTH execute their style perfectly, i think to be a professional artist you got to understand line art even if its not in your final image.…  MARC BRUNET TALKS ABOUT IT VERY WELL.
fabianfucci Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2015  Professional Filmographer
Sounds as Arithmetics or Geometry. Man, both together make Math!
ChibiMonga0211 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'd agree with this journal... It all depends on a person's personality and their style.  Some people take pride in their lineart and things of the sort, but others feel that lineart is tedious, boring, and they just don't have the patience.  Me, well I really appreciate my lineart because sometimes I realize that after I finish, it's almost as if the lineart disappeared because of my coloring. However, inking and lineart, more so with traditional art, can be tough because unless you have fluid corrector or something, it's super hard to fix a line that you werent' supposed to draw... I find myself envying people that have the ability and a style that matches well without lineart, but I realize that everyone has different preferences and personality. And seeing different styles is great and inspiring! It's good to see something new for a change.
piggy-tails Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Well written, and a good read! I like both, sometimes line-art is necessary, sometimes it's not. I use to sketch with line art, now I do it without, using instead little hashes with my pencil and I almost never erase (makes things interesting sometimes), Same with my paintings (why use line art when you're just going to cover it up with paint?). But, since I've started teaching myself how to paint in photoshop, I'm finding myself using line-art again. I really think it has everything to do with the style of art the artist is trying to create, and the artists comfort level. I don't think one method is better than the other, or that one has to be an advanced artist in order to not use line art, any more than I think that grid and non-grid drawing are different; each artist works differently, and not every technique is helpful for every artist. 
Aixx114 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2015
I found this really interesting. I had this moment too where I started working without lineart cause I thought it was "better". But then, after working both with and without, I decided to just go with the flow and not limit myself to one thing or the other. The lineart is just another tool: if I see it improves the picture, then I'll leave it; if it doesn't, I'll delete it. I think it's a matter of experimentation and personal preference ^^
ALRtist Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2015  Student General Artist
I totally agree. I can see how some maybe will lean to one or the other due to their own opinions on 'easy/hardness' but I think it's more personal choice/style as you stated. I personally really felt what you said about appreciating 'lines' bit because they can be elegant and bold etc. I just have a more line based style of expressing details. For me colours were fun, but I just feel so much better with a line art I put a ton of effort into rather than a coloured piece. I guess I just prefer the way it looks and how I use it to express myself.

I think each are equally as amazing and art is really about self expression, and not always about doing the 'harder' thing. Though, challenging oneself to improve is good as well, but I believe the process should be fun. Not pressured. :)

Thanks for the topic!
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