I think the best way to capture organic shapes and forms is to draw by hand, then digitalise in the final stages for delivery to the client (as art directors prefer TIFFs to inky envelopes).

I start off by sketching the flower with my Staedtler Rotary [Mechanical] pencil. I use a 0.5 lead and draw on Daler-Rowney layout paper. The smooth, white surface is a little transparent, which is important for the next stages but also texture free – so the ink doesn't feather or bleed like with cartridge papers.

Once I'm happy with the sketch, I lay a new sheet of paper over the top and redraw using Staedtler pigment liners, usually a 0.2, 0.1 and 0.05 for the really intricate bits.

I used to ink directly over the top of the pencil sketch, then attempt to erase the graphite, but this new method leaves you with a super crisp black and white drawing - all the better for scanning.

Johanna Basford (UK)

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