View Full Version : Sketch Lines?

06-16-1999, 05:24 PM
I am a very novice painter, just starting.

How do I hide my pencil lines or is there a better way of starting my paintings? I currently, lightly sketch in pencil on my canvas, what I am about to paint. I don't put in detail, I only rough out the shapes and sizes and locations to make sure I have the perspective and composition correct.

My problem is that the pencil lines show through the paint. Help! Any ideas or suggestions? I'm game for anything.

06-17-1999, 08:10 PM
I paint on canvas in Acrylic. I draw on the canvas using Alphaclor (24 SQUARE PASTELS).

I lightly sketch out the shapes. Plus, whatever colour I chose to tent the canvas there is a colour pastel that can be seen (on the top).

The pastel erases off with a damp cloth when mistakes are made and nothing ever shows through.

These Pastels are not for use on chalkboards.


08-12-2004, 03:48 PM
When I paint with acrylics, I usually sketch my subject with the paint. The color depends on the color of your subject. For example, I just finished a portrait of a dog that was a yellowish-brownish color so I sketched his basic shape with Yellow Ochre. Another way to plan your painting is to block in basic colors. Taking the dog example again, I blocked in the basic colors of his fur without showing the detailed fur. Both are great ways to avoid using pencil on your canvas. Hope this helps,


Mike Finn
08-12-2004, 07:03 PM
I have been using a "water brush" lately. A brush that has a hollow handle that holds water. I add a very small amount of burnt sienna watercolor to this water and sketch away. Mistakes (on canvas) are wiped away with a damp cloth and the final painting shows no sign of the sketch. One can sketch just lines or fill in shadows etc. Works well for me.

Mike Finn

Silent Jaguar
08-13-2004, 01:35 AM
Transparent and some transluent acrylics will always show pencil lines. I avoid this by painting the area with titanium white first, which will cover up the pencil, then use the desired color over the white. This technique also makes the color sing if you use a colored background. :cool:

08-13-2004, 01:45 AM
I had the privilege of viewing Picasso and Matisse in Fort Worth some years ago. They did not worry about pencil or charcoal lines showing. Since then, I haven't worried either. :)...not that I even imagine that I could be on their level :rolleyes: .... but it did make me rethink my thoughts about covering every inch of my canvas with heavy paint.

08-13-2004, 07:25 AM
I am a very novice painter, just starting...

Wow, Artguy you sure are digging up those old threads !

JJW by now must be a VETERAN painter since this was started in 1999 :)


08-16-2004, 07:23 PM

I've been having that problem a lot lately! When I go to make a new post, I always forget to look at the date!


08-17-2004, 01:38 AM
Artguy, you can always start your own thread with questions you have. We have a pretty responsive group here:)

08-17-2004, 10:58 AM

I'll keep that in mind.


08-17-2004, 12:52 PM
I'm glad he resurected this one. Answered some of my questions that I hadn't ever thought to ask. :rolleyes: Thanks.

06-15-2005, 07:58 PM
I posed this same question a few weeks ago while working on my first acrylic painting (but now I can't find that post).

Anyhow, one of the suggestions was to use water color pencils. I bought Loew Cornell Water Color Pencils at Hobby Lobby (a set of 12 for $5.88) and they have worked great!

I was able to draw a grid with an orange pencil, and then my drawing with a blue pencil. Some Q-tips dipped in clear water were all I needed to erase the unwanted orange lines once my drawing was complete. I wish I knew who to thank for the tip!

Attached is the completed painting (and I've started my second)! :clap:

06-16-2005, 12:01 AM
I think I found the other thread Texana at :


I used the search box at top right of the page and looked for lines and acrylic. I actually was lookig for a thread from a while back where they were talking about the exact opposite. The thread was a WIP on making a painting to have the lines show!

Your flowers are looking pretty! Better than mine that's for sure. Grrr. :)

Wayne Gaudon
06-16-2005, 07:35 AM
I use vine charcoal and once applied I wipe it back to a slight shadow .. it does not show through .. if you need darker lines to follow you could then go over the shadow charcoal with paint. IE.. if you are painting a green tree then draw your outline in red. If you use opposites it makes for some very nice peep holes when you fail to cover things up completely. Just a thought .. each piece is different so there really are no hard and fast rules.

It's easier to have your drawing on paper, rub vine charcoal over the back of the drawing and then just transfer it to your canvas or board. Then wipe off the excess. I find drawing directly on the support makes a lot more mess (if you are like me and have to go over and over passages, LOL).

Other times I don't apply a drawing but rather block off the large shapes with my brush and then work with those to form the objects I am painting.

It's all depending on how tight the subject matter is.

06-16-2005, 11:45 PM
This is such a useful informative thread - could perhaps someone turn it into a 'sticky' so that it stays around on view near the head of the list of threads.