i have tried different methods of starting a painting, but at the moment the one that seems to best suit my needs is doing the penciling first. i am primarily a penciller and that has always been my favorite medium, either for the texture or for the ease of control. it is time consuming, but as a technique, in my opinion there’s nothing more impressive than a good pencil work. it shows all the artist’s craftsmanship. I’ve been doing some pencil work before applying the underpainting, which have helped me to have more control over the values and the overall mood of the painting.
(yeah, I have horrible finger nails. besides being an incurable nail biter, they are usually dirty with graphite. never seen any point in nail polishing either. but i almost always had the boys i wanted. :P)