5 Steps to Level Up Your Drawing Skills | Ben Tobitt | Skillshare

5 Steps to Level Up Your Drawing Skills

Ben Tobitt, Illustrator and Animation Director

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6 Lessons (28m)
    • 1. Intro 5 steps

    • 2. Step one

    • 3. Step two, cheating

    • 4. Step three, lines to die for

    • 5. Step four, colour and shade

    • 6. Step five, final details

33 students are watching this class

About This Class

Hi There, I'm Ben, an animation director and production artist.

Together we're going to go through some of the tips and tricks i've picked up in the many years I've spent drawing and designing for films, comics and games.  

You’ll learn how to:

sketch more loosely. 

utilise drawing hacks

create line art to die for

colour more efficiently

add details that matter

By the end you will have a better idea on how to level up your drawing skills and be more relaxed when you draw. 

This is for intermediate learners who have some knowledge of photoshop.

you can follow me on twitter @benjamintobitt or check out my website at bentobitt.com


1. Intro 5 steps: either. I'm Bento. I'm an animation director at production Artist. In this class, you'll learn that five steps I used to level of your drawing skills thes air lessons that will make drawing more enjoyable as well as tips that professionals use to keep their work fast and interesting. I'll see in the next one. 2. Step one: So when you start a sketch temptations to go straight into the details, this is the Castle Crossman wanting to go straight to fund its. This can, however, result in quite stiff and kind of lifeless drawing. And unless you're you have fantastic control. Getting straight into a hard line is going to result in quite a stiff on on imaginative drawer. Now the several ways for you to stop a sketch you can dio a big loose shape and then just kind of car Vinto Teoh details. This allows you to have very bond shapes by basically not allowing you to have any details . It makes you take much bigger, bolder choices that you wouldn't usually come up with if you're again straits and Teoh the details with a much find tool. This allows you to be much more express it. Another way is to take down the flow, take down the past city and just sketch very softly. So just do these nice big shapes on it really allows you to be much more expressive without having to commit Teoh. A hard line just allows you to be quite relaxed at this stage so that you can be much more expressive, much more loose with the drawings, and you'll find you'll have much more energetic MAWR life, flee poses and compositions this way. Also, by staying loose, you can essentially change what I mean. Don't at this stage, and it's not going to affect the It's not going affect their drawing that much because we have started to put the details now. Obviously, all of this sketching is backed up with years and years, years off figure drawing and during from life, relying Teoh make figures that look believable and look agreeable. You can, even at this stage, start putting in some shadows. Now they don't need to be the final shadows. But just once that helped define sketch a bit more. And then when you're happy, you can then start using the hard ground eraser, essentially to carve out Theo elements that you want so that you get a much cleaner sketch line. Now some people like to start a brand new layer, and you can do that. I personally like to keep it on his fuelers as possible so that things don't become to become too messy, and I also I like the person's feeling that that's closer to what you would do with an actual pen and paper. But we can just start to add, like a few small details here and there that informed the character but would necessarily show up in the final thing on just staying, like just adding more definition. Where you think it needs will help you do sketches that seem much not flowing, much less stiff than if you were to go straight in details. If you're not sure how to draw something, then just get some reference off of Google and avoids Draw with confidence is to use the diff locks ist best friend cheating. 3. Step two, cheating: Now there's a lot of debate about cheating and copying. However, most of them are bogus. Anything you should never do is copy another person's drawing all three D model Asia reference from real life. Be that further reference or Afridi Mobile you made yourself. I frequently used Google sketch up to create models for environments in my work. The reason not to copy another Persons are is essentially twofold. One. It's extremely rude to still another person's work and can lead Teoh tricky legal situation . And secondly, you won't let you just made a copy off copy. That's why it's always good to reference from real life. So I want to make aware Wolf character, but I want him to look more like a Doberman than a wolf. Here I am doing a sketch from reference, and he is a sketch of me making a collage for the reference and that sketching over the top now. Technically, neither is better or worse, but the 2nd 1 took a lot less time to dio. This is a sketching technique done by lots of concept artists, and because it's this sketch, it's just the foundation for drawing, so it may look a little bit more stiff. But when we come to the inking and coloring and the details and stuff that they will essentially cover over the sketch because the sketches just the guide, you don't have to do exactly what says it's just a suggestion that could compel it that way . But we'll talk about that more in the next year when we talk about line weight on drinking . 4. Step three, lines to die for: is a sketch of a character that's been eat, but it looks kind of off, and it looks kind of lifeless on. The reason is that a lines are exactly pretty much exactly the same weight now. A rule of thumb I learned from my life during Teacher is that you should always very your mind weight and always have a thicker line on the element of the drawing, where there should be a shadow and even the thicker line, the closer it is to the camera. This will make the drawings look a little less Platon a lot more life. It is when you're doing the line work, you can also, if you wish, use it as a preliminary stage for shading. So it's not all down Teoh thing. So the color another thing to into the habitable when you're thinking is to do things in this fewer strokes as possible. This will give you nice, clean lines, like something a lot of amateur artists do when they start. That drawing is not really committing just in lots of this in the getting quite Harry lines , and this can essentially make during the quake amateurish and also it kind of breaks up the flow. If you have nice big holds, uh, line walk. Yes. Using a few districts as possible, you will find that you have much older, much more interesting artwork come out of it. So if we look at this guy, this area here is closest to the camera. So that's gonna have heavier lines than, say, the Tulsa, his shoulders on the scuff. And then also, as you go further down the drawing that get a lot heavier towards his legs, they dio he already looks more interesting, Freedy and just those extra long waits making look a lot more lively. And it's good to study of artists who work in the field that you want to get into above. Always try, and we're trying to vary it. If you want a working comics, don't just look at comment, but God cicippio on the work in administration. Just don't just look at illustrators. If you want to work in concert art, don't just look a concept. Artists. There's a huge variety of people, but it's a study, but especially if you have some of the masters of drawing out there, and they have talks or tutorials than given Melissa. But this guy looks about ready for the next stage, which will be coloring 5. Step four, colour and shade: now, when you're coloring, you could color each area individually. However, I find this be quite a fiddly process, and what I prefer to do is to coming on separate black, then add each color on a different layer mosque above that. This so see so much time. You don't want to add shadows until you have all the colors down. Otherwise, you may find you want to make changes on. Then that waste your time is you have Teoh do those to make the shadows. It's always at the shadows on the separate black. Now we got off that colors down. We can start, adds details with the shadows to cannot give even more body. Now way I like to do this is to add another layer that's masked. Make sure clipping mask by right clicking player in Crete, clipping mosque and that clip down Teoh base layer, which is this one. Now The simplest way to do it is to give me something with black, cover a liver, then go but here to create a layer mask and then you want to fill it all black again. Teoh, get rid of it, essentially, then go to the white and then with a roughly ship Your choice. You can do this with the hard round. I am using a Texas brush, but going quite small. And then let's just bring the pastie down about 45 44% and just at the shadows and way like because it's a masked layer we can can go back and forth a Z much as we like the important thing with this stage. And in fact, any stage is to not be too tense. Just have fun with making sure you're relax, repainting if you're not relaxed. If you're having a tough time, it will show in the painting, and sometimes that means you sick a break. But other times it means just just loosening up, just not being super precious with everything you'll find you'll have a lot more fun with, and that fun will come through in the work, just using the pictures reference they need to be super accurate. In this sense, your prerogative movement seizing the shadows to kind of carve up the shapes and give it more sense of Pridie and the lying work obviously helped us define where the shallows are going to be early so we don't need to worry too much. A very start about where we're going to place things, Another thing to do by having all masks, because you can under any time. Yes, you can change to a soft round spring, the a pastie ride down. If you have something which has quite around it shaped like the hostile here, I'm going to keep the shadow that he casts shop. But the shadow that kind of reaches around us. He wants that to be soft, and this way you get a much more kind of three D kind of look to the shading rather than just keeping it graphic. If you want to keep it graphic, that's fine. It can look really great. I love doing that myself, but sometimes you want at some softer areas like this to show it's no shadow. Uniformly, this can have become a little, but the crutch should just kind of be careful, I would say in using soft brushes for shading. Yeah, he's looking good, however, his face is a little dark, unless you can see with the photo raft you have animals on and even people with darker skin tones with the life that go that reflects offer is often much paler. Then say Look at the guy here who has much life of skin. So the shadows are what really defines his features. What's The shadows are less important here. Toe as much as the highlights. Let's go over to our guy here, do another layer. Great clipping mask. Let's just go white. Keep me past tea nice and low, and then we're just gonna add some highlights. White Messi is We can always just. We can always cut back into this afterwards to make it less intense. Kind of the joy of dish whole painting. And then there's still a little bit too much. So let's bring passed down. She gonna do just a little bit and then, yeah, just to reduce. It's intense and there you go. He's looking good. He's looking through D. It's on that's contained drawing on its kept. Relax, it's not Steph now. It means we can get final stage. The details 6. Step five, final details: So now it's time for the details of last. On a bad habit is toe have all your letters, have a 1,000,000 layers and constantly go back and forth and keep tweaking them and adjusting them over and over. This is kind of a bad happened on the way to get around. This is Teoh. Save his new file or just take a layers you're working with. Duplicate them and end up because once you got the mall in one layer, you'll find your make much bolder decisions. If then, if you had the temptation to go back in between every single layer. So one thing I like to do is make a new layer clicking. Must have it black, white, then go to great. It'll just give up on my screen Ian Senate Teoh early on, and that will just give it a look or definition a little bit more likeliness. No, no, bring the past and again it's gonna merge these layers. Now, the reason you wanna look you want to work on a few layers as possible is because you want to make bold decisions. And if you want to do this kind of work for a living illustrator, a concept artists You want to be able. Teoh. Make both decisions quickly, and if you find you're constantly being both down by fiddling with every single thing you can, then it's just gonna wind up being kind of laboured. And you're not going to get the work out on time. And it's also going to start to grind on you. I'm not gonna lie. It was, Once you've keep tweaking and fiddling with something and it's just not right, it will start away. Down you'll start. Just know, have fun with it, really. And that should be fun. Should be it. Sure, you find it's becoming a chore than just take a break. We'll just evaluate what's what's not making It is fun for you. But the important thing is making decisions and sticking with them being bold in your decisions. You can always tell when a drawing has been kind of sweated over, whereas you comptel usually when the drawing has been done in the relaxed states, the person knows this will. There off. Andi is clearly having a fun time with, and some of these steps, especially collapsing everything down until one layer. It can seem kind of scary. It can seem like Okay, you know, what am I going to do if I make a mistake? Like So what? If you make a mistake, it's fine. It's did it off. Keep to the undo button is there? I make mistakes every single time. I'm constantly drawing on the wrong layer or getting the color's wrong, but you get past it. I would say a good thing to do is to have your lairs relatively separated. If you're doing comic book work, because depending on the kind of project you're working on, it could end up with you having to make changes down the line. Say, if the editor decides that they want something a different color or say a character needs to be changed slightly because there was never a script or whatever, then it is good to have, like, a kind of backup plan. But even then you can still paint your way out of any mistake, something one of my old art teachers used to do was when we were painting, we would be about halfway through a painting like still at the early stages. This wouldn't be near the end on What he do is he take a big blob of red paint like so And he just put randomly here and you go, Hey, you answer that. And you know I never do that as well. Emergency paint my way out of this, How this debacle and you know what you can. It's not the end of the world health. And in fact, it might make you reconsider some choices that you made that you didn't consider, especially as it's all digital. No mistakes that essentially come. Once he stopped being precious with our drawing. Then you lose a lot of anxiety about its, which is what holds a lot of people back that feeling of like, I'm not quite good enough. I know they skilfully. I didn't think I could draw their scientific control that, but if you just approach it in the relax way, you didn't sweats it, especially with your own personal work. That will be fine. That still looks a red here, but like I actually think it looks kind of cool. You want little splashes of color, so there's everything entirely. Uniforms are also doing it on top off the line off because unless you have a very stark count book style, like the kind of lineup that Jim Lee has you. Uh, if you have that kind of lineup, then you want to be quite slavish to it. But because this is meant to be a bit more concept rt, it's going to be a little bit more loose unless graphic. You can just paint over the top. You're not painting with a big thick brush with acrylic, so why not just paint over? Why, no, if it if you make a mistake and just go over again Cold Bulls and noticed this guy's patched things, got his arm strap actually goes through. I think today is not a way of adjusting your mistakes as he go. Really Actually gonna make Thea upper layers here like work even thinner. He didn't seem too much like a cartoon on more look kind of like a design. This is entirely opportunity. Your taste, the really seal dry. Yeah, I'm happy within that he's looking good, so hopefully these tips will help you feel more relaxed and drawing and sketching. If you'd like to see more videos, give me a follow. Also, if you cite me when you join sculpture, you'll get a discount on. I give a little extra money, which is a good bonus. He's also give me review if you enjoyed the lesson on. Also, if you feel like I could improve myself, you know I can't get better in this. I know what to get better out. Also, give me a follow on Twitter. You can find out on my main page and send me your in sketches. I'd really love to see that if you like to see more lessons than give me a following sculpture as well as access to my other paid contact so until, and I'll see you in the next one.