Fundamentals Of Line Art Drawing: A Complete Guide To Ink Pen Illustration | ⋒ artsygio ⋒ | Skillshare

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Fundamentals Of Line Art Drawing: A Complete Guide To Ink Pen Illustration

teacher avatar ⋒ artsygio ⋒, Visual Artist

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

15 Lessons (58m)
    • 1. Welcome!

    • 2. Materials

    • 3. Working On Your Observation Skills

    • 4. Reference Drawing & Sketching

    • 5. Introducing Ink Pens

    • 6. Warm Ups & Exercises To Build Confidence

    • 7. Creating Texture: Hatching

    • 8. Creating Texture: Stippling

    • 9. Understanding Light & Shadow

    • 10. Working With Patience: Complete An Ink Drawing

    • 11. Creative Drawing: Have Better Ideas For Art

    • 12. Fundamentals Of Composition

    • 13. Building Visual Memory

    • 14. Your Project

    • 15. Thank you! :)

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About This Class

What if I told you that you could be drawing much better than you do - not in a year from now, but in just 1 hour?

In this class you will learn practical techniques to draw better with fineline ink pens: with more detail, more precision, better proportions, and on top of it, with purpose! I guarantee you that, whether you are just starting out on your illustration journey or you already love drawing and want to up your game, after this class you will be more confident in your art and be able to draw better than before.

Drawing is more than just lines on a piece of paper. It's your view and interpretation of the world you see around you. Isn't this just amazing? Well, today I invite you to use your pens to do just that: observe and draw what you see, in detail, using beautiful line art techniques. I know you are an amazing artist (even if you don't know that yet) that has a lot to express through your drawings. So let's get the technical part out of the way so you can feel free to create more art that you love and are proud of!

Here's what you will find in this class:

  • Basic ink pen drawing techniques
  • Line art shading techniques: cross hatching and stippling 
  • Introduction to realistic drawing 
  • Sketching essentials
  • Warm up drawing exercises to build confidence 
  • Drawing from reference X drawing from imagination
  • Introduction to creative drawing with ink
  • Composition hacks to tell compelling stories with your illustrations
  • Exercise to build visual memory

Even if you are new to drawing with ink pens, you'll find that this process is simple and easy to apply to your art. Grab your pens, paper, pencil and eraser, and of course, a warm cup of coffee or tea, and have fun! 


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About your instructor:

Hi everyone! My name is Giovana, I am a full time artist, and drawing is my lifelong passion. I've experimented with almost every medium there is, but drawing with ink pens has been one of my favorites for years. I like how such a simple material can produce very deep and complex artworks. I am so happy you are here, thank you so much for taking this class! 

Meet Your Teacher

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⋒ artsygio ⋒

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Hi everyone! Welcome to my Skillshare page, so good to see you here!! If you are into drawing with pens of any kind, then you're in the right place! Here we will dive deep into the pen and marker world to create awesome and inspiring art that makes us feel proud of ourselves. Together we'll color the world (black is a color, in case you're wondering ;D)!! Now grab your pens, paper and your favorite drink, and feel free to binge watch all the classes I created for you! Aaaaand when you're tired or just need some extra inspiration... See full profile

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1. Welcome!: [MUSIC] You want to learn how to draw with ink pens, well, welcome to my very own personal paradise. The thing is this is a drawing class but not your average drawing class. Most people think that a drawing happens between this guy or girl, the pen and the paper, but a lot of your drawing skills, if not all of them, actually start right here; it really is a mind game. In this class, I'm going to show you how to build better observation skills, how to become more confident as an artist, how to build visual memory, and of course, I'm also sharing a ton of drawing techniques that will definitely bring your drawings to the next level. We're also going to talk about how to become more creative and how to have better ideas and more unique ideas for your drawings, and how to actually create amazing and compelling illustrations that actually tell a story or send a message to your audience. Who is this class for? Amazing question. Thank you for asking. It could be a complete beginner that's just starting out withdrawing, or maybe you have some experience with drawing but you want to try out using ink pens for the first time, or maybe you are an experienced artist but do you want to dive a lot deeper into learning art techniques. Welcome, this class is for you. Wherever you are in your art journey, I guarantee you that after this class you're going to be drawing better than when you started. Before we start, don't forget to follow me here on Skillshare, just click this follow button up here so we can become Skillshare best friends. [LAUGHTER] I'm kidding, you don't have to be my best friend. Grab your art materials and of course favorite drink, because we should be feeling amazing while we're doing in our class. Enough with the talking. Let's start drawing. [MUSIC] [NOISE] 2. Materials: For this class, you're basically going to need only your sketchbook, pencil, eraser, and pen. I will be using a 4H pencil to sketch, a plastic razor, and fine line ink pens in different sizes. But feel free to use the materials you have available to you because the whole idea of this class is for you to learn and practice, so anything you have available will work. Now let's start drawing. 3. Working On Your Observation Skills: Drawing actually relies a lot on your observation skills, even when you draw from imagination, you're actually trying to remember what the thing you're trying to draw looks like, and you're basically recreating that in a drawing. You will notice that observing things to draw them will allow you to see a lot more details that you wouldn't see if you weren't drawing. In this lesson, we're going to practice our observation, to start building a better eye for detail and proportion. You'll see that sometimes our brain can trick us and what we think we are seeing is actually not very accurate. Let's work with this example, we are going to draw using this picture as a reference, and I know this looks hard [MUSIC]. Well, I picked a challenging picture on purpose because I want you to see how much you can improve your drawing skills using the methods I'm going to teach you throughout this class, even if you are working with a really hard subject, and hopefully after this drawing, anything else is going to be a piece of cake. You can know all this picture in the projects and resources tab down below and with the pen, not a pencil, I want you to try to draw what you see in this picture. I'm using a 05 ink pen by the way. Why are we using a pen? You can't erase the pen, so working with a pen right away will help you build the confidence in your drawing. I know this is challenging and it can be frustrating, believe me, it is for me as well, but it's not supposed to look good yet. Don't judge yourself. The whole point of this lesson is to show you that drawing is about technique and this can be learned, so here I just want you to see what your drawing will look like with no technique, we are just free hand drawing what we think we are seeing and we're just doing our best. [MUSIC] Also, of course, I'm going to teach you how to properly shade your drawing with ink pens later on, but if you want to try to add some shadows, just to experiment a little, that's great, don't be shy and don't worry about what you're drawing looks like yet. I just want you to draw with the skills you have now, it doesn't have to be as complex as what I'm doing. It could be something much more simple because the whole idea is for you to see your progress. After I teach you all the techniques I'm going to teach you throughout this class, we're going to redo this drawing using all of the techniques, and then we're going to compare this version of the drawing with a new and improved version. This is just a starting point, so you can see where you're at in your drawing skills [MUSIC]. As you can see, I did my best at drawing what I saw using no technique without sketching first and just going for it, and this is what I was able to come up with. As you can see, the glass looks really weird and not straight, the thumb of this hand is like super disproportionally small compared to the rest of the hand. This happened because our eyes are not super used to pick on this details right away. When you look at something, your brain will immediately find in your memory what the thing is, so if you've seen a hand holding a glass before, which you definitely have, your brain will try to relate the thing in front of you with this previous images of hands holding glasses that you have in your memory. Of course you've seen hands holding different glasses in different ways, different hands, different positions, different types of glasses, everything different, and your brain's trying to recreate the thing you were looking at, but your memories that are usually there to help, they can be getting in the way. Now let's see a few ways you can improve your drawing skills. 4. Reference Drawing & Sketching : In this lesson, I'm going to show you a few techniques to sketch, especially when drawing from a reference that will help you create the proportions right. Any of these methods will naturally train your eye to observe the things as they are and not as you think they are if this makes any sense. This time we're using a pencil and eraser because I want you to practice finding the right proportions and it's okay to make mistakes and try again if you have to. The first technique is to search for geometrical shapes and angles in your reference. Instead of drawing a glass, you're actually drawing a few circles and some straight lines. This works because your brain knows geometrical shapes and there's not much variation there. A circle is a circle, a square is a square, a straight line is a straight line and your brain's not confused with a bunch of different types of circles and types of squares. Now if you're drawing a glass with a drink inside, there is a lot of variation in your memory. You've seen thousands of glasses through your life and your brain thinks it knows what that's supposed to look like. We'll try to help you create your drawing by offering previous knowledge about a hand holding a glass. You won't be just simply drawing what you're looking at, you're actually drawing what you're looking at with the interpretation and filter of your previous experiences with the subject. When you draw just your magical shapes, you break the concept of a glass and a hand into shapes and lines and by doing this, your memory doesn't come in between what you see and what you draw as much. Basically, it's easier for your brain to interpret and process a circle than a glass of water. Once you have the main geometrical shapes down on paper, you can start making some decisions and adding some extra details. Now, this looks much better than our first attempt. Now let's bring this trick to another level. Turn your reference upside down and sketch the shapes and angles like this now. I know it feels weird at first but when you're working on a picture normally like we were before, even though you're breaking things down into shapes, you still see a hand holding a glass like you know what that is. Your brain will automatically associate what you're looking at to a hand and a glass. There is still some level of interpretation there that prevents you from simply drawing what you see. By turning the reference upside down, you make it a little harder for your brain to interpret the reference and connect it with a hand and a glass and it's easier to see just shapes and lines. I'm just doing the same thing I did before, but with my reference upside down and breaking things down into geometrical shapes and I'm looking forward the main angles of things. You can also look at the negative space. Wherever there's no elements and nothing for you to draw, you can look at those spaces and think, what is this geometrical shape. You can use that as a guide for you to draw your shapes and your lines. As you can see, this looks even better than the first sketch in terms of proportion. Now join me on the next lesson so we can start using our ink pens again. 5. Introducing Ink Pens: Let's play with our ink pens a little bit. When you're working with pens, there is a few different ways to create different effects in your drawing. First, remember that this is line art. It's different from a pencil, where you can just smudge the graphite to create shadows and textures, so with a pen, you're only able to create lines and dots. You can't really smudge the edge to create a fade away effect, like you can with graphite. In reality, when you look around you, you don't always see very clear lines. You see shapes, you see colors, you see gradients, you see textures, but you don't really see black lines. The more realistic you want to get with your drawing, you want to work with more delicate and discrete lines, using, for example, a 0,0,3 or a 0,0,5 line. The more minimalistic, or cartoonish you want to be, so if you want your drawing to actually look like a drawing, and you want to do something that's more stylized for example, the thicker you can go with your lines. There's no right or wrong. It's just the style that you choose for your drawings. If you are just doodling, or if you actually want the lines to be very clear and visible, go for the thicker lines. There are a few ways to create a more delicate and thinner line, using the same pen. First, always save your old pens, don't throw them away, they are going to be your best friends if you want to draw realistic with ink. They are the best ones for shading, and you can see the difference on the tip. As you can see here, the new pen has a bigger tip and the other one, you can see it's smaller, because I used it a lot already, and when you do some lines within your pen, you will notice it releases a lot more ink, and your lines are more clear, they're more visible, which you might want it or not. Remember that you can't erase the ink, so once the ink is down on paper, there is no much you can do to fix a mistake, so careful with new pens, they release a lot of ink. If you want the lines to be a little light and the little smoother and more discrete, you can use an old pen and as you can see, doing the same movement, we get a lot less ink on paper. Your pens are actually going to change, the more you use them. Now, if you don't have an old pen, let's try something different. Look how the lines look, when I work with the pen vertically, like this on a 90-degree angle towards the paper, and how did the lines look when I tilt the pen a little bit, and I'm grabbing the pen farther from the tip. The pressure of the pen on the paper is a little lighter, and I'm working on a 45-degree angle. It releases a lot less ink, and the lighter you touch the paper, the less ink it will release. Go ahead and try it for yourself, so you can start warming up, and getting familiar with your pens. The more you practice, the more you're going to be able to control how much ink is released on paper, but while you're just starting out, It's always good to have older pens available to make sure you don't accidentally release a lot of ink where you don't want. Let's do some exercises to get a little bit more familiar with her pens, and build up our confidence. 6. Warm Ups & Exercises To Build Confidence: Now let's [inaudible] quick exercises together. This is going to be super quick, and you can totally do this as a warm up whenever you want, so just start, let's practice drawing some straight lines. Just try to draw parallel lines like this, and yes, this can be pretty tedious, and I don't know about you, but for me, I noticed that this is a lot about focus. It's easy to go on like an automatic mode and get distracted, lose focus and start thinking about what you got to have for dinner or about that meeting you have tomorrow morning. When my mind wanders off is when my lines start bending a little, and you can totally tell when I'm focused and when I'm not, by the way my lines are looking. You can totally call this an act of meditation if you want. Because the more focused you are, the straighter your lines will be. Also observe that my whole arm is moving with the line. I'm not keeping my arm still and moving just my hand. My wrists are locked, and my whole arm moves with the line. This is very important. If you move just your hand, it's nearly impossible to draw a straight line. [MUSIC] Now let's change the angle a little bit and draw some vertical lines. You're going to feel a difference here, and maybe you're going to find this easier. Maybe you're going to find this harder than the horizontal lines. But either way, you want to do the same thing and move your whole arm in the direction of the line and not just your hand. If you want to bring this up to another level, you can even try to draw straight lines in all directions and just see how it feels for you. [MUSIC] Another thing you can do is draw spirals or circles. This is harder than it looks, but the more you practice, the more you're going to be able to control your pens, and the more perfect your circles will be. [MUSIC] To fill the empty spaces. I'm just going to draw some extra random lines like this, until the whole page is filled, Here hear you go, this is our first warm up exercise. [MUSIC] Another fun exercise I want you to try out is to do one line drawings. To do this one, let's grab this same reference photo one more time just for fun and try to draw what you see, but with just one line. When you touch the paper with your pen, you can only lift it from the paper when you are done with your drawing, of course, some lines are going to go over other lines, and this is okay. Don't worry about making anything beautiful, just have fun and don't judge yourself. [MUSIC] Our last exercise is to draw without looking at the paper. I know this sounds hard. It actually is. It's very weird to draw without looking in the paper, but it's a very interesting exercise to build your perception of space. Of course, this is now going to look pretty, so again, just have fun and don't judge yourself. You're allowed to look at your reference photo, just not at the paper where you're drawing. This is also great to take your brain out of that logical space and get out of your comfort zone, and this is always great for creativity. [MUSIC] This is what I was able to come up with. I hope you'll like this masterpiece. Now that we're all warmed up, let's learn some shading techniques with our ink pens. 7. Creating Texture: Hatching: In this lesson, you're going to learn how to shade smoothly with the hatching technique. [MUSIC] Looking at these examples, you can see that you can be more precise, less precise, you can use thicker lines or very thin and delicate lines. You can make your lines very clear and visible, or make them smoother and create a more realistic shadow. As you can see, you can totally develop your own style of hatching with time, and to me, they are all beautiful. There are many ways to do this, and all you have to do is shade by drawing short parallel lines close to each other. The more realistic and smooth you want your drawing to be, probably the more time you will have to put into your drawing. That's something to take into consideration too. Now let's practice together. I can hatch in only one direction or in many directions. For this exercise, I'm going to teach you the cross hatching technique, which is one of my favorites. All you have to do is draw a set of short lines in the same direction, parallel to each other, and then another set of lines in a different direction until we have multiple sets of lines in all directions creating this interesting texture you see here. The older the pen and the thinner the lines, so the smaller the tip of your pen, the smoother your shadows will be. If you want to make it darker, you can just add more lines in the directions that are still missing or wherever you see some white space. Depending on how dark you want, if you want something to be really, really dark, you can also upgrade to a thicker pen. If you're working with a 005 and you want to add a lot of darkness into some space, you can use a 01 to do that. To fade this shadow away towards the light, we have to gradually add less ink to the paper and let the white from the paper appear more. You can do this by adding lines that are further apart from each other, you can also use an older pan, you can tilt your pen on a 45-degree angle, or you can just switch to a different pen with a finer tip. Notice that each line is a pen stroke, you are not doing a zigzag. After each pen stroke, you slightly lift the pen from the paper because this helps create lines that don't have the beginning and end too defined. This is how you create a smoother shadow in the end. This is a great practice for you to get more control over your pen and for you to understand the different values you can create in your drawing. [MUSIC] Now when you're ready, let's learn another technique that I love called stippling. 8. Creating Texture: Stippling: [MUSIC] In this lesson, I'm going to teach you how to use dots to create your shadows. This technique is in a way easier to control your pen and how much ink you add to the paper. But it's like five times more time-consuming than hatching. I also think that with the stippling technique, it's easier to create a smoother effect on your drawing as you can see in these examples. Stippling can work for realistic artworks or in a more abstract perspective too. I love this technique, let's see how this works using ink pens. To do this, I recommend using a newer pen because you need a nice flow of ink coming out of your pen towards the paper. All you have to do is add dots to the paper where you want it to be darker. The closer the dots are from each other, the darker your shadow will look like, and when you want to move towards the light, you gradually add less dots to allow the white from the paper to appear more like this. [MUSIC] Of course, I'm speeding this process a lot. This actually took me literally one hour to finish and that was just as tickling part. The hatching took me only like 15 minutes. When you try out both techniques, you will probably feel more comfortable with one or another and there is no right or wrong. It's totally a matter of taste. [MUSIC] As with anything, the more you practice, the more control you're going to have with both techniques, and then you're just going to be able to choose by your favorite style. Now let's go a little deeper into lighting and shading. 9. Understanding Light & Shadow: [MUSIC] Let's experiment with some examples. Look at this cube, as you can see, we have some different tones of orange and to make it easier to understand the value of each shadow, let's remove the saturation and make this black and white, there you go. Now we can see better each tone of gray, and we're going to try to reproduce these tones with the ink. To make it easier to see the tones, you can squint your eyes a little bit and you will be able to clearly see the different shades of gray you have in your reference picture. You have multiple ways of creating the different tones of gray using lines and dots. You can use the stippling and hatching or you can do something more abstract by simply drawing parallel lines that are closer together to make it darker and farther from each other when you want it to be lighter. Of course, this is more stylized but very interesting and quick to draw. [MUSIC] Now if you want to do something more realistic and you want to portray the complexity of the shadows in your drawing, we're going to take into consideration how shadows are more imperfect. Using the cross hatching technique, just add a bunch of lines in all directions, and where you see a darker tone, you add more lines, and where you want it to be lighter, you add less lines or thinner lines or lines that are farther away from each other. [MUSIC] Notice that I'm moving the paper a lot and I apologize if this makes it harder for you to see what I'm doing, but you will start noticing that depending on the angle that you work with your lines, you're going to feel more comfortable. Your lines are going to look better. You're going to prefer a few angles of moving your hands than others, and it's totally fine to move your paper around to make yourself more comfortable. [MUSIC] Let's take some practice, especially to create the lighter tones, but don't give up, you can totally do this. Now let's try the same process, but with the sphere, this can be a tad bit more challenging because now you have to fade those shadows towards the light. Just look at this reference here, you have the light coming from here, creating this beautiful shadows, and you also have this reflective light coming from here. Squint your eyes if you want to see it more clearly. We basically have our lights here and our shadows here. When you start hatching, you start from the shadows and you fade away towards the light. Just create a few sets of lines on top of each other in different directions and move towards the light. This is really a matter of practice and the more you work on your hatching, the more you will be able to create the different tones of gray and black with the ink. Also, feel free to experiment with different pens so you can see the different results, and depending on the thickness of your lines, you can see which ones you like more. This is also a great exercise for you to try to create this curved effect that a sphere has. At first you might feel like you are adding too much ink and that's totally normal. Just keep drawing and with time you're going to become so good at this. [MUSIC] As you might have noticed, I ended up adding too much shadow on the top of my sphere, and that's pretty common when you are working with ink. It's part of creating a drawing by hand. You can't always have everything be perfect and sometimes just have to accept that this is part of a handmade drawing. Now that you learn how to properly shade with ink pens, let's go back to our first reference of that hand holding a glass. 10. Working With Patience: Complete An Ink Drawing: I [MUSIC] name this lesson working with patience because I think that this is the biggest message behind all this work we're going to do right now, but we'll get there. Let's just start from the beginning. Go back to your sketch and open your reference picture again. If you're happy with your sketch, you can start outlining the drawing with ink and I'm using a 0,1 for this. Remember to only outline the very clear lines in your reference photo. You just want to mark the most important lines so you can start shading and the shadows are the ones that are going to create the drawing, not the lines. These first lines are just guides and once you have them all down on paper, you can erase the pencil and work with just the ink. Remember that in real life we don't see many lines. We mostly see shapes, textures, and shadows, so only outline what is really necessary. When you are ready, you can choose either the stippling or a cross-hatching technique to shade. This is where your drawing will start taking shape and personality. I'm going to use the cross-hatching technique. All you have to do is hatch short parallel lines to create the shadows, always moving from shadow to light. Start where you have your darkest spots in your reference and then fade away the shadow towards the light by adding less lines or thinner lines where you want it to be lighter. I always get a little insecure at this stage so if you're feeling like this as well, know that you are not alone. But we have to start somewhere, and the safest places to start is always in the darkest parts of your drawing. Spot those places in your reference photo, and then start shading your drawing from there. We can always fix a little thing here in there later, but not big mistakes. Be careful not to hatch too much ink right off the back. Start slow and build your confidence from there. Remember that these are just shapes in different tones of gray. You can still work with your reference upside down if you prefer and it works the same way. You add more lines where the shadows are and less where you want the lights to be. I know it's really different than working with pencil and the pens can be a bit tricky at first. But the more you draw and the more you practice, the more confident you will become. Here comes the patience factor. I notice that in a lot of your drawings when you guys post the projects on my classes, I can see that you're really good at drawing but sometimes I can tell that if you just took a little bit more time and had a little bit more patience and did things with a little bit more care and attention, your drawings will be so much more realistic. If you are in a hurry or if you'd start getting bored with your drawing, just take a break, go for a walk, go have a snack. You don't have to finish this drawing on one sitting. I prefer that you take your time with the time you have, then try to finish everything in the time you have. Drawing with ink is a slow process and we have a lot to learn from this beautiful tool. Just allow your pen to slow you down a little bit. We're in such a hurry like in general, and feeling pressure to produce more and to be more creative and to work on our hobbies and to do all these things and it can be really overwhelming. I often get frustrated with how slow this drawing process can be and whenever I feel that way, I just lose connection with the drawing and I start making a lot of mistakes and the results are just not so good. Take a deep breath, put on a cool show or a podcast in the background and just let your mind relax while you draw. This can be boring if you let it be boring, but it can also be very relaxing and nurturing if you create the space for it. Don't pressure yourself and have fun. That's honestly why we do this. I know that drawing glass can be pretty intimidating because you're trying to portray transparency in your drawing. But remember that if you dissociate the idea of a transparent glass into shapes and colors and in our case, tones of black and white, it's easier to draw. You're not shading a transparent glass. You're creating this specific tone of gray in the specific shape. It's a mind trick, when things seem too hard to draw, it's probably because your mind is overthinking the process and interpreting what you're looking at too much, so don't let your mind overthink it, just break things down into shapes in your mind and try to recreate those shapes on paper. If you find it helpful, you can still turn your reference picture upside down again to help your mind relax. One thing you might be noticing is that the drawing has a lot more contrast. It's a bit darker than our reference and the reference photo has a lighter tone overall and that's just because we are working with black ink and our reference doesn't even have really pure black. Unless you're working with gray ink, you won't really have the exact same tones, but you can recreate them with the black ink and end up with a picture that is more dramatic and in my opinion, more interesting. I love realistic art, but I think it's always nice to keep some of the drawing factor. That's where you add your style and your personality to a drawing. Now join me on the next lesson so we can talk about creativity and how you can find your voice as an artist, and how to express that in your drawings. 11. Creative Drawing: Have Better Ideas For Art: How to have better and more creative and more unique ideas for your drawings. [MUSIC] When I was starting to take my art more seriously, I wanted to create things that were original and things that no one would ever see from any other artists, but I just couldn't do it. I couldn't find ideas at that time. I used to draw a lot from reference, which is a great way to study and practice, but I would take a picture and then basically copy that picture in my own style using ink pens or using pencils and it helped me learn how to draw. Drawing from reference is amazing, that's why we're doing this a lot in this class, but unless you're the one that took the picture and that planned a picture out and then you use that as a reference to draw, you're copying someone. [NOISE] Copying someone else's art, which is that picture. How do you find that thing that you have to express? The first limiting belief that you need to break is that, "You're not creative, you don't have a message to be sent out; you don't you deserve to be heard." [NOISE] A lot of us have these beliefs and sometimes we created these beliefs in our childhood and I'm here to tell you that it's time to let that go. Your voice is important. The fact that you're here wanting to express something through art, that's enough. You are valid, your story is valid, your life is valid. It doesn't matter what is your life situation. You are an important person and no matter what's happening in your life or what choices you make, your voice is worth being heard, and choosing art to do this is a beautiful path. I'm going to tell you how I do it because as I shared with you right now, it was really hard for me in the beginning. I would look at artists that I admired and I would be like, '"I could draw this. But how did they come up with this idea?'' This was mind-blowing to me that people would have such amazing creative ideas. People who illustrate comics, articles, books. I feel like some people are more natural at turning thoughts and ideas and feelings into visual representation. It's not necessarily natural for all of us and it wasn't really natural for me in the beginning. [MUSIC] That being said, let me tell you how you can have an idea for a drawing in 10 minutes. This method I'm going to teach you right now is in almost all of my classes. If you want to follow along with me and see me doing it from beginning to end with a specific theme, go to my profile and check out some of my other classes. But in this lesson I'm going to show you a less practical side of this method and more of like the results, I'm going to show you some of my artworks and how I came up with them. Here's what you have to do find a starting point. It could be anything. Sometimes you have time to draw, but you don't have a purpose, you don't have an idea, you don't have a feeling, you don't have anything to put down on paper. If you use this method, you can just literally pick something, pick an object in front of you. You can pick a song that you've been listening to. You can pick a movie that you watched last night, and then you can turn that into that starting point for brainstorming and then come up with something creative. Maybe you want to illustrate an article. Maybe you want to illustrate a song. Maybe you want to illustrate a feeling. Maybe you have an idea in your head, find a starting point. Now, from this starting point, when you think of it, I want you to let your imagination drive you to visual elements that just come up to your mind. Maybe it doesn't look like they are related, but your subconscious mind is going to make these connections and give you all the elements to work with. I like to do this by writing. Everything that I think I write down and then you don't have that pressure of, I need to find an idea for a drawing. You're just writing down ideas and they can be the most random, completely weird things, visual elements, colors, feelings, specific people you know, animals, literally anything that comes to your mind, and the most important thing is not to judge; don't judge what comes to your mind. Don't filter anything, spread it out. Most of the things you write down you're not going to use anyway so you don't have that pressure that this has to become a drawing yet. You know what I mean. After you wrote everything down and you have a bunch of interesting elements and ideas, you can pick and choose some of them, combine them into a drawing, and that's definitely going to be something unique that no one else would think of. At this point, you might have a clear idea of what you want to draw or maybe not, maybe you want to do some sketches and some drafts. This is why I like to have a sketchbook that's really not supposed to be pretty, it's more like little drafts and quick sketches that I do just to put my ideas together. This is brainstorming with yourself too. This helps us put meaning and intention to all of our artworks. To me, this motivates me to draw more. If I'm drawing just to draw, just to practice, it's a little discouraging to me. [MUSIC] I like to have purpose in my artworks. Once you have a draft and an idea that's in your head, you can look for references, but at this point, you're not looking for a reference to copy that whole reference. You're looking for references to support your idea. Do you see the difference? What? Your idea is your creative, original thing that's coming out of you, and references are there to support you, to help you bring this idea to life. Now let's work with a few real examples so you can understand what I mean. This one, for example, this artwork was one of my first ones that I did using this method, and in my head, I felt like drawing a face. This was my starting point, I wanted to draw a portrait. I wanted to try to do something more creative with my portraits because at the time I was only drawing portraits from reference, copying pictures and not adding anything else to it. It is boring. I was good at drawing, but there was nothing special or creative to it. I knew I wanted a portrait and I wanted to relate that portrait to dreams and our subconscious mind. These were my two starting points. When I did this exercise, a few of these other things came up: nature, eyes, a snake, an octopus' tentacle. I found a reference for the face and the hands just to grab all the proportions and the lighting and the shading correctly, and then the hair it was completely more of a creative exploration, and during the drawing, I had even newer ideas. It wasn't all ready before I started. That's another thing. Sometimes you start a drawing and then you're going to have a bunch of ideas while you are working with it. Another good example that I have for you is actually a drawing that I did for a Skillshare class. You can find this class on my profile. It's this drawing on this frog on top of a mushroom, and this class is a very clear example on my whole process. You can go there and watch this class if you want to see the step-by-step of how I came up with this idea. Basically, I did the same exercise, writing things down, coming up with visual elements to work with, and then I found a bunch of different reference pictures. I had a Pinterest board just for this drawing and I had five different frogs in different positions, five different mushrooms in different positions, and I had a moth that flew by my table, and I took a picture of the moth and then I added that to my drawing. You can incorporate creating your own references if you go out for a walk in nature, for example, you could take pictures of the things you like and then maybe bring those things together in a drawing. Another good example of that is a drawing that I'm working on. I'm going to grab it, just a [NOISE] second. This drawing is not finished yet. This drawing started from me feeling really anxious one day and then I was like, what does anxiety look like right now? This idea came to my mind like this. I didn't have to do the writing exercise so much and sometimes that's how creativity works. Sometimes the idea just pops in your head. I had this idea, I sketched, I put it on paper, and I'm going to show you all the reference pictures that I took. This is all me, this as all my hands and my eye [NOISE], and I had all these different positions of hands and eyes. I'm not using any references from the Internet. This is completely out of my head, my own hands, my own pictures, my own references, so you can really do your own thing. Another thing that's interesting is that this drawing keeps changing. I had the idea of the anxiety, but then this drawing was taking me so long that I wasn't anxious anymore, the feeling was gone. [MUSIC] It gave me the idea, what else could these hands be reaching for? I had the idea of drawing a galaxy inside of the eyes, which is not finished yet, could be a metaphor for reaching for our dreams. You see, creativity is not a linear process. This started from an anxious feeling and it's becoming a drawing about reaching for your dreams and going after what you want, really different. I just wanted to give you a few examples because when I was starting out, I think it would have really helped me to hear from someone that works with this and that is happy with what they're creating and creates original pieces to tell me in detail, how did they come up with ideas, because sometimes it's hard, sometimes we are out of ideas and there's really nothing we can do. Another more practical thing that you have to keep in mind is that you probably won't have the many good ideas if you're tired or if you're burning out, or if you're stressed or if you're anxious. You can try to turn those feelings into art and that's a good way to channel something into art, but sometimes you just need to rest, you need to take a break and it's okay. Sometimes you just need to go for a walk, get out of your bubble, get out of your comfort zone and all this creates a better environment internally for you to be creative. It's actually how our brain works. If you're always doing the same things, going to see places at the same times, your brain goes into automatic mode. It's not where creativity comes from. Creativity is going to come from us having to solve a new problem or deal with a new situation. Put yourself in new situations, put yourself in new things in our life. Get out of the house, meet new people, go to new places, go for a trip if you can. Change a habit, do the things you do in a different way. All of these really helps maintain ourselves in creative mode. I hope this is helpful for you. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about creativity and if you are interested in this topic, I'm creating a whole class on practical exercises you can do to actually challenge your mind and come up with awesome ideas for drawings every day. Stay tuned for that and I was doing the next lesson where we're going to talk about composition and storytelling in art. 12. Fundamentals Of Composition: Now let's say you have an awesome idea for a drawing. How do you position that idea on paper? [MUSIC] Will that influence what it looks like; the message is sends to the audience? You guessed, it well. You find the best way to position your elements on paper. You have to be clear on your goal; depending on what you're trying to express or how you want your drawing to be interpreted by the viewer; and maybe you're doing this just for yourself; so it's the way you interpret it. The way you position your elements on paper can help you send that message across, or it can be in your and confuse people. Let's see some examples. [MUSIC] The space you have available to you as your canvas is a frame of what could be a whole universe that you create for an illustration. The point of view in which you choose to portray the scene, which means how you arrange the elements on paper so you can have a harmonious illustration, can actually change the story and how people will feel by looking at your art. You basically want to guide the viewer through the picture you're drawing. The first thing to keep in mind is the rule of thirds; if you divide your canvas in three sections vertically and horizontally, like this, the intersection of these lines is where the focal points will be, or basically where the viewer will look at first. Placing visual elements in these parts will create a harmonious composition that looks pleasing to the eye, which brings me to my second point, which is, is there a difference between vertical and horizontal drawing? Yes, there is. A vertical drawing will create a different tension for the artwork. A vertical, rectangular shape carries the energy of growth, movement. It's like a tree that grows upwards, or like a person standing up. If you compare it to a horizontal rectangle, you will notice that it has a much more stable, grounded, calm, energy to it. If we use the same metaphor, it's like the person decided to sit or lay down. Depending on what you're trying to create or how you want people to feel when they look at your art, you can choose the orientation of your page to help you tell that story. Now speaking of story, your pages, all that your viewer is capable of seeing from this universe or this story that you are creating in your illustration. So depending on where you put your elements, the viewer can interpret your arts in a different way. [MUSIC] For example, let's say we have this person here on your page. If it's in the center, it's balanced, it's our focal point. The illustration is about this person. Now if you move this person around, it can mean different things: If the person is closer to the bottom of the page, it feels grounded because the bottom represents the ground. If the person is higher on the page, they are closer to the top, which metaphorically could represent the sky. So it could mean that they are dreaming or disconnected from reality somehow, or maybe like they're flying, which could be literally or in their own imagination, for example. Also, since we are in the West, most of us learned how to read from left to right. So when you put the person on the left of the page, it gives that feeling that they're progressing, they're walking forward. Maybe they are in the beginning of their journey. Then you're going to show what this journey is going to be like. We're going to see what this person is walking towards. Of course, this is a subconscious interpretation, and that might not be everyone's perspective, especially if maybe you are from the East, or if you learned how to read from right to left instead. But for this time, let's keep using this logic. If you put the person on the right of the page, depending on their position, they could be regressing, like walking backwards in a way, which again could be metaphorical or maybe they could be leaving the scene, if they are looking the other way, and maybe there are just finishing their part of the story you're telling; it's the end of a journey. You also don't have to show everything. You can create movement and make your drawing more dynamic by using these composition tricks to indicate that something is about to happen or just happened. So if you look at this animal, for example, it looks like it's flying in the air if you put it in the center. But if you just showed the head of the animal, it implies the jump, or that it's running; or if you just show this side of the animal, it implies that the animal already ran by and it's leaving now. Another thing to think about is visual rhyming. [MUSIC] Our brain tends to group things in pairs, and if you have a composition with an even number of elements, our brain will naturally group these elements, and it's not that this doesn't create harmony, but it can be a bit boring. So what you want to do is to add more elements to create an odd number of elements. This will shift your composition from being too stable, and safe into a more interesting and dynamic composition. This helps your eyes travel from one element to another, and this creates a nice flow instead of your brain trying to group these elements together. You can also think of triangulation, which is when you create these invisible triangles with the elements you have on paper. This creates a very dynamic composition as well because triangles have a very stable base and then two lines that grow upwards and it's a shape that naturally has a lot of movement and a lot of energy. Now that you have a good place to start when planning for a new illustration, join me on the next lesson so we can talk about building visual memory so you can start drawing more things from imagination. 13. Building Visual Memory: [MUSIC] In this lesson, we are going to experiment with building visual memory, and I would love for you to do this exercise along with me because it's really quick and you're going to see results superfast. Just so you know that I didn't practice this before or chose to draw something I'm already familiar with, I'm going to open this book on a random page and try to draw the first visual element I find. You can do the same with any book you have available to you. Hard work, it's not going to work. Let's try again. Husband is also too broad. Let's try it one more time. [MUSIC] Crown. Perfect, we can work with that. I'm going to draw a crown from imagination, and believe me, I don't think I've drawn a crown since I was a child, drawing kings and queens and princesses. My visual memory of a crown is very childlike still, but let's give it a try. I'm going to do my best to draw the best crown I can think of. [MUSIC] This is the first tile of crown that came to my mind, a very basic one, and I thought about those crowns that are rounded on the sides, I'm not sure. You know what I'm talking about? [MUSIC] I just have this image in my head, but it's not super clear and this is the best I could come up with. Let's build visual memory for a crown. I found this reference picture for a crown, and this is the one I had in mind when I was writing this second version of a crown. I'm going to draw looking at this reference now, and I am naturally taking more time to do this drawing because I have so much more details and information to work with. When I was writing from imagination, I didn't have much to work with because even though I've seen crowns like this before, I never took the time to really pay attention and observe the details as I'm doing right now. By observing and drawing, I'm registering in my mind how to draw this specific thing. [MUSIC] Now that I've finished this version, which clearly looks better than my previous attempts, I am again going to try to draw from imagination. I'm not going to look at the reference photo, and I'm also not going to look at any of my previous drawings. Everything was put away, and the only source of information I'm using this time is my own imagination and of course, my memory, which is obviously very fresh because I just drew it from reference. I am obviously trying to draw what a remember from the previous drawing, and I already forgot a few details, but I'm going to do my best here. [MUSIC]. This is what I was able to come up with. If you compare them, I actually think my last one was my favorite, I thought that the reference one would look better, but I preferred this less one. This is the comparison of me drawing without building visual memory, and after building visual memory, as you can clearly see the difference. This is your sign to go draw everything you see in front of you or at least the things that you like to draw and that you know you want to be good at. From reference as a study, so you can build a lot of visual memory for this subject that you love, and then soon you're going to be able to create amazing drawings from imagination. Remember that this takes time, sometimes years, so don't pressure yourself, just keep it in the back of your mind. Remember that the more you practice, the better you're going to draw. [MUSIC] 14. Your Project: Now it's your turn. This is where the artistry comes into play. If you were watching and drawing at the same time, then congratulations, your project is complete and I encourage you to share whatever you created in this class, even if it's just little drafts or one of those quick exercises in the beginning. Feel free to share your creations in the project section down below and don't judge yourself, this is drawing class, and it's not a drawing competition. Now if you were just watching the class and you want a specific project to work on, here's what you can do. I want you to choose something that you already love to draw. If you're into drawing portraits, then draw a portrait. If you're into drawing flowers, draw a flower. Pick a subject that you are used to drawing and that you love to draw. I want you to pick something familiar because I want you to see your progress. I want you to compare your new creation with all the knowledge you acquired from this class with your previous creations before just for you to acknowledge how much you improved and pretty be proud of yourself. You don't need to focus too much on being super creative or out of the box. I want you to focus more on technique. Once you've picked your subject, I want you to find a reference picture for you to support yourself on. Then I want you to sketch with a pencil using the geometrical shapes or the upside-down method to get those proportions right. Then with your ink pens, I want you to choose either hatching or stippling to create the shading, and the most important part, don't forget to share your artwork so you can connect with all the other amazing creatives that are here on the platform and we can build this amazing community of line artists. Also, I comment on every project that you guys post, so you're going to have personalized feedback from me. Feel free to ask any questions, and I hope to see you down in the projects. 15. Thank you! :): You guys, you did it. It is a really noisy chair. Thank you so much for taking this class. I am so grateful for all of you and I hope this is just the beginning or the continuation of an awesome art journey. I hope I gave you some encouragement and that you're feeling more empowered with your art. I can't wait to see your creations down in the projects. If you liked this class, make sure to leave a review down below. It really helps me out and, I hope you had fun. If you want to keep this party going. You can connect with me on YouTube. I recently created a YouTube channel, and it's really new. No, I'm just starting out, but you want to go there and support me. I'm going to be offering more of like shorter tutorials, and I'm going to talk about things that don't fit really well here on Skillshare, I like here on Skillshare, we focus more on improving your skills and really focusing on the technical side of things and working on our creativity. But there's a lot more that goes on behind the scenes of working with art and making art. I hope I can share a little bit of that with you on YouTube. If you want to go subscribe my channel, I'd love that. I'm also on Instagram and TikTok again, total beginner social media it's hard, guys, social media is hard. But you've got to be there. You've got to be there. If you want to be somewhere, that's not true. That's not true. Don't listen to me. Anyway, thank you so much, and I hope you have an awesome day, and I'm going to see you next time. Bye.