How to Draw: Learning Line | Liz Brindley | Skillshare

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How to Draw: Learning Line

teacher avatar Liz Brindley, Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

16 Lessons (55m)
    • 1. Welcome!

      1:10
    • 2. Bye, Bye Limiting Beliefs!

      1:46
    • 3. Materials

      2:46
    • 4. Class Project

      2:13
    • 5. Elements of Line

      2:31
    • 6. Gathering Inspiration

      1:45
    • 7. Drawing is Observation

      3:42
    • 8. Warm Up 1: Blind Contour

      7:49
    • 9. Warm Up 2: Lots of Lines

      3:18
    • 10. How to Simplify a Subject

      4:02
    • 11. Dive into Details

      1:47
    • 12. Creative Choice

      3:05
    • 13. Line Weight

      3:08
    • 14. Contrast

      8:27
    • 15. Recipe Cards

      6:30
    • 16. Final Thoughts & Thank You!

      0:55
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About This Class

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Hey, Friend!

Have you ever told yourself, "I can't draw"? Well, I don't believe you!

I used to tell myself that lie all of the time, too, until I realized that the only reason I believed I couldn't draw was because I was comparing my artwork to how I thought it "should" look rather than creating in a style that I actually enjoyed. 

If you don't know where to start when it comes to drawing, I totally get where you're coming from! Drawing has a very long history and can feel quite intimidating when we grab a pen and a blank sheet of paper. 

That's why I created this class. I want to demystify the practice of drawing and give you one of the foundational building blocks to start illustrating: line.

In this class, you will learn how to use line drawing to reduce a subject down to its essential components and create your own creative illustrations.

This class is for beginners. No prior experience is required.

IN THIS CLASS, YOU'LL LEARN:

That you can draw!

  • Learn how to use line as a cornerstone for your drawing practice.
  • Practice the power of observation to translate what you see in the world onto paper.
  • Learn how to illustrate in a flat, minimal style.
  • Confidently make creative decisions in your drawings.
  • Learn when and how to eliminate detail in a drawing.
  • Practice using contrast and value to add balance to your drawings.
  • Embrace your unique drawing style.
  • Create your own illustrated recipe card!

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

Pen

Paper

Ruler and Scissors for Class Project

I can't wait to see you in the studio!

Photo Credit:

Farm Photo by Story Portrait Media for Squash Blossom Local Food, Inc.

Music:

www.bensound.com

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Liz Brindley

Illustrator

Top Teacher

 

 

I'm a Food Illustrator in Northern New Mexico. Most days you can find me creating illustrations for clients, teaching online creative classes, cooking up meals with lots of local produce, or exploring local farms for inspiration.

 

I believe that creativity can give us a greater sense of awareness, peace, and mindfulness for the everyday joys in life. Whether you express your creativity through painting, drawing, cooking, dancing, singing, or raising a family, I believe that we each have creative contributions to give to this world.

 

My hope is to give you the tools and skills to express your creativity with confidence so that you, too, can share your vision and cra... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Welcome!: Hi, friend, I'm Liz, illustrator and farmer in northern New Mexico. Welcome to the Prints & Plants Studio. In this class, we'll learn how to use line to build a solid foundation for your drawing practice. We will implement what we learn by creating an illustrated recipe card inspired by an old family recipe or your current favorite to wipe up in the kitchen. We'll begin our class by debunking that pesky myth we tell ourselves, "I can't draw," so that we can fully dive into a fun exploration using lines to draw with confidence. We'll start by exploring the basic elements of line before trying our handout fun warm-ups to get comfortable with our materials. We'll practice multiple line exercises that explore how this simple yet powerful element of design can create artwork that is a reflection of the way you see the world. We'll apply what we've learned by making our illustrated recipe cards using the skills we developed throughout this class. So are you ready? Let's draw. 2. Bye, Bye Limiting Beliefs!: Before we dive into line work, I want to address something that I hear all of the time as a teacher, and as a phrase that I used to tell myself too, "I can't draw." I told myself this lie for years because I thought that in order to draw, it had to look a certain way or be totally realistic or match some historic masterpiece. Drawing holds some pressure because it has such a long history. The earliest known drawing is a cave etching dating 73,000 years ago. At first glance this history can feel really intimidating and cause hesitation to even put pen to paper, but the beauty of this long history is that it is also chock full of a vast variety of drawing styles. Realism, abstraction, detail, simplicity, you name it, you can probably find it. What does this mean? It means there is plenty of room for you and your drawing style too. Because friend, you can draw and the world is craving your unique style. Here's a great quote from Illustrator Lisa Congdon from her book Find Your Artistic Voice, "Fear is often an indicator that we're onto something brilliant or new, some unexplored territory, something that will rock our world or the worlds of other people. If we reframe fear as an indicator of risk, and an essential element in the process of finding your voice, it is possible we can begin to see it as a positive sign, and even get excited about it." We have that judgment and disbelief at the door. It's time to create. 3. Materials: The beauty of drawing is that you can begin with very minimal materials, that you likely already have in your home, a pencil, or a pen, and a sheet of paper. Plus you can practice your skill from basically anywhere with just a pen and sketch book. I've created a materials list and the resources document attached in the projects and resources section of this class. Feel free to reference that for the names and links of brands that I enjoy to gather the recommended tools. There are so many options to choose from when it comes to art supplies, but these are my current favorites, and recommendations for this class. Number 1. A black pen or a set of black pens of varying sizes. I recommend the prismacolor premier illustration marker set of seven in black. I currently prefer this brand and set because it delivers a crisp, fluid black line, and I like to have a variety of choices when it comes to the size of the pen. I can create incredibly small delicate lines with the double of five size tip, or use the brush tip for a more fluid line. I also like to use the chiseled tip to fill in larger shapes for contrast which we will cover later in this class. I also like these pens because they are water resistant, so your drawings are more protected from the elements. Microns are also a popular pen option. However, in my experience, I've found that they tend to dry out more quickly than the prismacolor set. I have also had more than one time when I dropped the micron and the tip was no longer functional. I still dropped my prismacolor pens from time to time,and haven't had the same issue. Any pen will work for this class, don't let that stop you, but the prismacolor set is my recommendation right now. Number 2. You'll need some blank sheets of paper for playing and experimenting. This can just be basic white printer paper, or newsprint for the experimentation, or if you'd like something with a little more weight than tooth, I recommend a Canson XL mixed media sketchbook. I recommend using this sketchbook in at least the 10 inch by seven inch size for your recipe cards when you create your class project. These recipe cards are going to be five by seven inches, so that 10 by seven will give you some extra room. You can also use something thicker like card stock if you'd like, but I find Canson to be my favorite sketchbook at the moment. Number 3. You'll need a ruler to measure your recipe card into a five by seven inch rectangle. Number 4. You'll need a pair of scissors and exacto knife, or a paper cutter to trim down your recipe card. Once you've gathered your materials, let's move on to talk about the class project. 4. Class Project: For your class project, you will create your very own five by seven inch illustrated recipe card using an old family recipe or a favorite go-to as inspiration. I'd recommend using a recipe. You would recommend because we'll probably all want to try the foods you share in the class projects. I recommend this five by seven inch size because it is big enough to write your recipe and also be displayed as a nice work of art in your kitchen or in the kitchen of a friend. Once you select your recipe, choose one to three of the listed ingredients to draw on one side of the card. I recommend choosing ingredients that are visually interesting. For me this would mean that in a recipe for stew, for example, I'd be more likely to select spinach rather than a potato, because spinach has a universe of lines to explore. For me, a potato isn't as visually intriguing to draw. But this is totally your creative choice and project, and you may find that potato to be very intriguing. Choose the ingredient or ingredients that excite you the most. Once you've selected your one, two, three ingredients, you will create a line drawing of them on one side of your recipe card using the skills we practice today. On the flip side of the recipe card, you'll write out your recipe and of course sign and date your creation. You can upload your final recipe card to the projects and resources section of this class where it says create project. When you upload your final recipe card, I'd also love for you to include your Pinterest inspiration board that you will create in the gathering inspiration lesson, a short paragraph about why you chose your recipe and selected ingredients, and scans or photos of your exercise sketches that we will walk through together. Underneath the class project button, I've shared a resources document that includes the recommended materials for this class and other skill share classes that I reference throughout the lessons. Lastly, be sure to ask your questions and share your discoveries along the way in the discussion section, I love hearing from you. All right, let's dive into the elements of line in the next lesson. 5. Elements of Line: Before we put pen to paper, let's chat about some of the elements of line. Line is the cornerstone of your artwork. Just as a cornerstone is the first stone used to build a foundation, line is often the first element used on paper, to guide the other elements of your artwork, like color and composition. When we talk about line, we will use different words to describe this element of design, including direction, for example, horizontal, vertical or diagonal. Length, for example, long, short, or medium. Contour, also known as the outline of the shape. Contour can be very exact or it can be blurred between objects. This blurring can also be referred to as implied line, in which the line is not physically present, but the viewers eyes still connects the missing information. Continuous lines, broken lines, weight, which is also known as the thickness or width of a line. Defined line, this is a line that is physically present and clearly connects two points. Implied line, again, this is a line that is not physically present, but is only suggesting, the viewer's eye makes the connection, even though the line is not all there. Organic, also known as curved and fluid lines. Geometric, also known as rigid and angular lines. Parallel lines and perpendicular lines. Lines can stand alone, intersect, or join together. When lines join together, they create shapes. Often, it is thought that, in order for a shape to be a true shape, it must be fully connected. However, as we saw with implied line, a shape can also be implied. If we look at a shape like this square, that's all connected, we would call this a square. But if we take a look at this image, again, but with broken lines, our mind and eye can still make the connections between these broken lines, to call this shape a square. We will see many of these elements of line in action throughout this class. Pay attention to the types of line you are drawn to, when you create your inspiration board and when you begin creating your own drawings. In our next lesson, we'll begin gathering inspiration for our creations. 6. Gathering Inspiration: So now is the really fun part. Gathering inspiration. Before we dive into our own line drawings, I suggest creating a Pinterest board. This can be a public or private board, but Pinterest is an incredible tool together an assortment of images to fuel your creative practice. To begin gathering your inspiration, make a board. I've called mine Line Inspo. I started with a search for line drawings. Here is the collection I gathered that inspires me. When I gather line drawings into one space, I can begin to see the connections of styles I am drawn to. Here, I see that I really loved simplicity, minimalism and fluid continuous lines. I like lines that are confident and well-defined. I also like lines that are thinner, and pretty similar in width throughout the entire piece. Gather your line inspiration and notice the elements that we discussed including continuous, unbroken line, line weight, defined or implied line as well as geometric and curved line. Notice any continuous thread that connects your gathered images to uncover the type of line work you enjoy. A Note on Copyright. Inspiration is a great place to start when you're trying something new or feels stuck. However, you never want to take directly from another artist. When you are inspired by a work of art or a photograph, jot down the elements that fuel you, rather than directly copying what you see. Dylan Mierzwinski has a great overview of how to do this in her class, "Leveling Up Your Art Game", which I've linked in the resources document attached in the projects and resources section. In the next section, we will begin drawing. 7. Drawing is Observation: Before you put pen to paper, it is so important to really get to know your subject. I recommend going to your local farmer's market or grocery store to pick up your selected ingredients to use for your line drawings. I recommend working from the real deal rather than a photograph because you will be able to witness so many more nuances and interesting details with the subject at hand that may be lost on a photo. That said, if a photograph is all you have to work from and is definitely a great starting point and much better than not starting at all, don't let this point hold you back. Just be sure the photograph is one you take yourself, or if you use one from the Internet, be sure it is for personal use only, for example, to practice your drawing skills in this class. Once you have your subject at hand, it's time to press, "Pause." One of the key elements of drawing is to slow down enough to truly see your subject. How often do we take time to slow down in the day to appreciate what is before us? Our brains think that they know objects around us. For example, if I say, "Tree," then it's very likely that a visual image of a tree pops into your mind. For me, that tree is a pretty rough outline shape with some detailed leaves. But if I go directly to a tree and examine it up-close, I discover hundreds of details that didn't come to mind upon immediate recollection. There are textures and lines running through the bark, lines going many directions throughout each leaf, details hidden in the grass beneath the tree. To begin drawing, you must slow down enough to truly witness your subject. This is when you can make new discoveries and connections. On a side note, this concept also applies to the people in our lives, friends, partners, neighbors, siblings. When we've known someone for a long time, we may think that we know everything about them, but when we slow down and stay open to new discoveries, we get to find even more details, quirks, and unique qualities to love. So take your subject, your ingredient, in your hand, if you're going to use multiple ingredients in your final drawing, just start with one right now. Without drawing or writing, just make a mental note of its lines. Touch the subject and feel the texture of those lines. Notice the patterns that those lines create. Notice the shapes that appear because of the lines that join together. Notice how your eye travels across the surface of your subject. Does your eye linger anywhere in particular? Or is it in continuous movement? What elements make your eye move in this way? Consider the elements of line we discussed earlier and which elements you now see in your subject. Are the lines organic or geometric? Are they broken or continuous? What is the line weight like? Is it thick, thin, or varied? There's likely a combination of elements happening, so just make a mental note of what you observe. You could also jot these notes down on a piece of paper. As you observe your subject, you honor and appreciate it. You are creating a sense of connection and a deeper understanding of the object before diving into your depiction of it on paper. When we take this time, before we dive in, we can create art with more intention, attention, and respect. In the next lesson, it's time to put pen to paper. 8. Warm Up 1: Blind Contour: Let's put pen to paper. The reason I recommend using pen for these line exercises is because it eliminates the chance to deem mistakes too early and erase them rather than learn from them. I've seen this rhythm time and time again in the classes I teach. When an eraser is available, students often begin to erase their work before they've been with the drawing long enough to know if the perceived mistake is truly something to eliminate. When we use pen with these exercises, we get the chance to either learn from what we call mistakes or incorporate them into our artwork. Embrace mistakes. I believe mistakes are actually opportunities to grow, to learn, to improve, so embrace them. There's also a certain beauty that comes when you use a pen because it requires you to be confident in the lines you put on paper. It's more difficult to be timid with ink than it is with pencil. You must trust your decisions, commit them to the paper, and learn from them as you go. But still, no pressure. This is all about learning. Embrace the imperfections and find how they can actually enhance the beauty of your artwork and embellish your specific style. Part of arts' magic, after all, is the opportunity to connect with work, knowing a human hand was behind it. For this first warm-up, we're going to do an exercise called blind contour. Grab your pen, a blank sheet of paper, and your ingredient that you've selected as your first subject. This exercise is a really fun challenge because you draw the contour line, also known as the exterior line of your subject. But there's a catch. You can't look at your paper while you do this. The only place your eyes can go is on your subject. Just as when we observed our subject in the drawing is observation lesson. Here you are observing your subjects, but rather than just observing, this time you are documenting what you witness. This challenge of not looking at the paper is a wonderful exercise to release judgment of your drawing and to fall into the patterns before you. Here's a quote about blind contour from an author named Sam Anderson, "The goal of blind drawing is to really see the thing you're looking at, to almost spiritually merge with it rather than retreat into your mental image of it. Our brains are designed to simplify, to reduce the tumult of the world into order. Blind drawing trains us to stare at the chaos, to honor it. It is an act of meditation, as much as it is an artistic practice, a gateway to pure being. It forces us to study the world as it actually is." Here I have my piece of spinach. I can either hold it or just place it before me. For this exercise, it's often easier to have your subjects steady on your table. I'm going to set a timer for all of us for three minutes to do this exercise. You can set a timer for any length of time. I highly encourage experimenting with links of five minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and even more. But three minutes will be our starting point for right now. Now before I begin, I'm going to choose a point on the contour of the subject. My eye is resting right here, and now I place my pen to paper to get started. Now I'm starting a timer, and you can do this exercise alongside me. I'm going to go very slowly, like snail's pace slowly. I'm moving my eye and hand at the same time around the contour of this subject. I'm only drawing the line. I'm not including shadow or a texture even if I see it. I'm only drawing the exterior line. Do not let your eye go too quickly. In fact, for this exercise, I don't want you to finish the drawing within the three minutes. I want you to go so slowly that you only finish part of the drawing. Move as if your eye and your hand are connected by a string, so that as your eye moves, your hand moves at the same pace. Right now, your hand is recording exactly what your eye sees. It is a direct translation of your observation. You are not looking at the paper as tempting as it is. This is building up your observation and drawing muscles. Equally important, it's also building up a trust that your hand can translate what you see, so don't look. I know it's tempting to look at your paper, but do your very best to keep your eyes only on your subject. If you feel your pen go off the paper onto the table, that's great. That means you're not looking. Just take a quick glance to place your pen back on your page where you feel is the closest to where you left off and keep going. Time is up. This drawing is by no means a realistic or perfect interpretation of my subject. But it did give me a new understanding of this ingredient. I began to witness new curves and lines that I didn't see at first. What new details did you notice in your subject with this exercise that you didn't see at first glance? Be sure to upload a scan or photo of your blind contour drawing when you create your class project so we can see your process. In the next lesson, we're going to do another warm-up, and yes, this time you can definitely look at the paper. 9. Warm Up 2: Lots of Lines: Now we're going to make some marks on paper. Again, this time you can look. We're going to practice drawing some of the types of lines we discussed in the elements of line lesson. You can practice making organic lines, geometric lines, parallel lines, long continuous lines, short broken lines, you name it. As you mark these lines on paper. Notice how the different types affects the movement and feel of the piece. For example, when I look at these curved organic lines, I feel a sense of calm, peace, and centering. When I look at the angular and geometric lines, I feel a sense of play and simplicity, and also a slight sense of rigidity. These types of lines can be used to form works of art that are rooted in realism or abstraction. Definition time. Realism is a type of art that depicts the subject at hand as closely as directly as possible. For example, Kendyll Hillegas is a food illustrator who also teaches here on Skills hare, and she does an amazing job of rendering food very realistically. I highly recommend looking at her work for more examples. Abstraction, on the other hand, is a type of art that removes a lot of the realistic elements to focus instead on an emotion or a feeling. Abstraction may reference a real subject as a starting point, but branch off from reality by focusing instead on lines and colors, textures, and composition, rather than a direct translation of the subject. Personally, my work typically falls somewhere in the middle. When I started to draw, I felt pressured to make everything hyper-realistic. But this wasn't actually my preferred style or what my creative voice was telling me to make. When I started to let go this expectation and trusted my hand and eye, I was able to discover my own style which references reality as a starting point but then plays with the elimination of detail and experiments with color to create a flat illustration style. A flat style usually means that the drawings and images don't have a sense of depth. Realism often has more depth using shadow and perspective. I personally love flat style because to me it pops and is just different enough from reality that I find it intriguing and playful. There's no right or wrong here. These are different approaches and styles to drying. I highly encourage you to find the best fit for you as you practice. If you'd like to learn more about realism and drawing, I highly recommend Kendyll Skillshare class, draw anything. Basic techniques for realistic proportions. I've linked to this class and the resources guide listed below. Now that we have some of these different lines on paper, take another look at your subject, observe and make a mental note or jot down in your sketch book the types of lines that are present and how they interact with each other. How did the lines move your eye around your ingredient? In the next lesson, we'll talk about how to simplify your subject for a minimal approach to line drawing. 10. How to Simplify a Subject: Now that we're all warmed up, it's time to dive into some line techniques to bring your subject to life on paper. Again, I'm teaching from a more flat and simple style of illustration because that is my personal approach and preference. If you'd like to dive deeper into realism, I recommend Kendyll Hillegas's Skillshare page. The first line exercise is all about simplification. Often when we approach a subject be it a landscape or a still life, it can feel incredibly overwhelming to try to capture all of the details on paper. This exercise helps to simplify the process by only choosing the necessary lines of the subject. Take your subject and set it before you. We're just focusing on line here, no shading. Also for this exercise, keep the line weight or its thickness the same throughout your drawing. Look at your subject and ask yourself, which lines are necessary? This takes some creative decisions and artistic choice from you. You get to decide what to include. For example, with this spinach I would choose this center line, I would definitely choose the whole outline contour. I would choose just a few of the radiating veins from the center line, but not all of the detail. How much detail could you eliminate while still referencing back to your subject? You may start by drawing the contour or exterior line of your subject before moving into some of the interior lines. Pro tip, if you're feeling totally overwhelmed by where to even begin, I hear you. An option to get started is to take a photo of your subject, print it out and then use tracing paper to trace over the photo to get a feel for the lines of your ingredient. Alternatively, if you have an iPad and Procreate, you can take a photo with your iPad, open it in Procreate, create a new layer, reduce its opacity, use a color that pops that you can really see, and trace over the image. This will help you to warm up and get to know your subject directly before translating to paper. Once you've done this, move to your paper and continue the exercise. Make a few simple iterations of your subject where you remove the detail. Again, just as we moved slowly with blind contour, move really slowly and intentionally here too. Do this a few times so that with each version, you choose different lines to include and exclude. Notice how the visual movement changes with each drawing depending on those choices you made. Isn't that amazing? Your creative choice and observation can create a whole new work of art each time you put pen to paper. As you look at your drawings, you may find that some feel like they're missing too much information. But this is a great practice to get comfortable leaving space on the page. The value of space. There can be this temptation to fill every nook and cranny, whether it's on a sheet of paper, an empty shelf and a house, or even in silence with another person. But when you begin to remove the details, you can open up breathing room in your line drawing for the eye to move and rest at different points throughout your piece. Depending on your style and preference, this can be really visually pleasing. Also with strict line drawings that are black ink on white paper, the sense of space can also increase the contrast which can create a sense of balance. We'll discuss this more in the contrast lesson of this class. But if you are a total lover of detail and craving it, don't worry, we're diving into all of the details in our next lesson. 11. Dive into Details: In contrast to the last exercise where we simplified our subject, in this exercise, you will include every detail you possibly can. Every line, mark, spot, include as much as you can observe. Again, this is just sticking with line, no shading, and using the same width of line throughout the whole drawing. You can play with lines running off the page or keep them all within the border. This starts to enter the subject of composition, which I will be teaching a class on soon as well, but you can start to play with those decisions here too, just to see how it affects the movement of your eye across the page. For example, here with my same spinach, I'm not making those decisions of what to include, but I'm instead jotting down every detail I see. Rather than just that contour line, and the main center line, and a few radiating lines, I'm going to include a lot of those lines that were not mentioned in the simplicity exercise. All these smaller veins, some of the details I see throughout the leaf, I'm going to jot all of those down on paper. Perhaps this type of detail is your preference, which is totally great. Perhaps this much detail fields cluttered and busy. Again, this comes down to your style and your way of creating, so trust it, trust what you enjoy. There's often a happy medium between the last exercise of simplicity and this exercise of detail, which we will explore in the next lesson. 12. Creative Choice: For this third exercise, draw your same subject again, but this time, choose how much detail you wish to include. You could go incredibly minimal, and just do the outline. You could include a lot of details, or find that happy medium between the two. Add the lines that intrigue you or that you think are visually interesting, and still stick to line of equal width, without shading. With my spinach, I'm going to apply this exercise. You can watch me work. With these three exercises, you can start to better see and understand your subject, as well as begin to find your drawing style, and preference for detail and simplicity. In the next lesson, we'll start to play with line weight, to discover how this influences the movement of your line drawing. 13. Line Weight: Using the drawing you just made in exercise three, that happy medium detail space. You are going to start to play with Line weight. Take another look at your subject and note areas where the line widens or remains thin. Notice how this shift and line weight affects the way your eye moves across the surface of your subject. Using your same pen or if you have a pack of pens with different widths, pick the next size up, then return to your drawing from exercise 3 to begin widening those lines that are thicker in your subject. For example, I'm using an O3 pen right now from that PRISMACOLOR pack. As I look at my subject, I notice that the central line of the vein is thicker. In my drawing I could use my same pen, the O3, and draw over this line in this area to widen it. I could also use the next size up the O5 to widen the lines. This is really fun if you have a multi pen packs that you can vary the widths throughout your drawing depending on the pen you use. Line weight can add a greater sense of dimension, interest, and movement to your line drawing. It's a very simple shift or addition, but it can completely change how a work of art feels. Begin to notice both in your subject and in your drawing how the line weight or width affects the way your eye moves throughout the work of art. Notice if your eye lingers on a certain space longer or if it has led to a different area of your drawing. Experiment with this, you can continue to add to your current drawing or do another line drawing of your subject and switch up the line weight as you go using your different pens. In the next lesson, we are going to explore how to use contrasts to add a sense of balance and energy to your drawing. 14. Contrast: Now that you have your line drawing on paper, you likely have areas where the lines join to make different shapes. If you don't, then you've opted to go a very minimal route, such as only an outline. That's fine too, we'll look at both examples. This is an exercise to create contrast in your line drawing, to add a different feeling to the work, visual interest, movement and a sense of balance. We're going to begin filling in certain areas of your line drawing with black ink. I recommend still working with a black pen here. When we stick to black and white, you can really start to see how contrast alone can create a whole new work of art. In a case that your line drawing has multiple shapes, use your pen to begin filling in some of those shapes with black. There are a few different ways you can do this depending on the effect and texture you prefer. One example is cross-hatching. One option for darkening certain areas would be to use cross-hatching. This is where you use lines to slowly fill in your shape. Depending on how many lines you use and how far apart they are spaced will affect how dark this space seems. For example, if I only use a few marks going one direction, this will still feel quite light. If I add more lines into these spaces, it starts to appear darker. I can keep all of these marks going in the same direction, or I can create lines in the opposite direction to keep filling in the space. Another option is to fill the space using dots instead of lines. This is a pointillism effect where the amount of dots used conveys the value or darkness of the space. More dots have a darker appearance, fewer dots have a lighter appearance. You can also vary the spacing between the dots to achieve a dark or light appearance. You can also get really creative and fill the spaces with different lines however you please. This is a fun way to experiment with your style and create a fun, varied sense of texture. The lines that you might choose to create could be zigzag lines, organic curved lines, open circles, scribbles, waves, you name it, have fun and play here. Another way to achieve a really intense level of contrast is to use a thicker pen. I like the chiseled tip and the prismacolor pack to fill in the spaces. This creates an incredibly rich and intense black that will really heighten the contrast between your right paper and your drawing, which can create a feeling of visual intensity and also a sense of balance. Side note, let's talk about balance for a moment. There are many ways to create a sense of balance in a work of art, and a lot of this understanding will come from your practice and experimentation. But for now, let's talk about a few of the balance basics. When it comes to balance, there are three main categories you can consider when creating your drawing. Number one, symmetry. Symmetry is when the elements of your drawing are exactly balanced on either side of the center of your page. If you were to fold your drawing in half would the elements completely match up and mirror one another. Symmetry is a mirror image on either side. Number two, asymmetry. At first it may seem that asymmetry would feel unbalanced, but it can actually create a sense of visual balances just like symmetry. With asymmetry, the two sides of your artwork are not a mirror image, but still balance each other out because of the use of visual weight. This can be accomplished by arranging opposing elements throughout your page. For example, light and dark, thick and thin, negative or empty space and positive or filled space, small and large, simple and complex. The third type of balance is radial. Another example of symmetry found all over nature is radial symmetry. Radial symmetry is when there is asymmetry around a central axis anyway you cut it, for example, a starfish or this work of art. Now back to contrast. When you look at your drawing, consider the areas you want to fill in to create this sense of balance. If you darken a shape right next to a whitespace, you will heighten the energy and contrast of that area of your artwork. If you've opted for a very simple line drawing, such as the contour of the subject, then you can still play with contrast. You could fill in the interior of your subject with black, or you could fill in the background with black, immediately you can see that this creates a new level of intensity. The page is really your playground to find the style you want to use. You can start to balance out the contrast that we see here between this dark area and this white area by thinking about where we can put another dark shape. We already have two going over here and that creates a tension around the center whitespace. But what if we think about how we can draw the eye over to this section too using this chisel brush or using a different fill method. Since we have a lot of darks over here, what if we look at this side of the spinach leaf and think about where we want the eye to go. I'm thinking that it would be nice for the eye to be lead upward on this shape instead of directly across since we have a lot of that action already right here. I'm looking at this shape right here to fill in. Let's fill that in and see how that affects the movement of our eye. Normally I wouldn't have thickened up that area but you saw that my marker, or my pen slid a little bit, so I just wanted to try to blend that in which it could do a little bit more of then actually carry that up, here. Now we see, zoom out, that this dark area balances even though it's not directly symmetrical. These are all of our examples from earlier too. But even that's not exactly symmetrical, it still gives a sense of balance to this corner down here of the leaf because it's this darkness, so it's reflected across. When it comes to this black and white contrast, you can play with strictly two tones of contrast, black and white or you can play with a third midtone to fill in some of the gaps. This will lessen the intensity of contrast that you see with strict black and white. The midtone creates a moment of transition between the two values to allow the eye to move more slowly from the bright white to the rich black. You can create this midtone by drawing fewer cross hatches than the darkest dark. You could also play with five values from white to black to create an even slower transition. You can create the varying tones with the amount of cross hatches that you use. Also, if you are using pencil down the road, then you can create this variation in tone by the amount of pressure you apply from your pencil to the paper. Pro tip, make copies. I suggest making direct copies of your line drawing. You can snap a photo and send it to the printer or use a copier to make copies, print your copies in black and white. This way you have multiples of your drawing to play with. For example, you can use one to fill it in only in black and white. You can add textured lines to another, or you can play with the five tones and another. When you do this, take note of how each drawing changes as you make different decisions for contrast. How does the drawing with just black and white feel compared to the textured drawing? How does the drawing with three tones move the eye differently across the piece than the work with only two tones? With this exercise, you can really start to explore how to make your drawing pop and speak to your viewer. The next lesson we are going to apply all of the skills we have learned to create your very own illustrated recipe card. 15. Recipe Cards: All right folks, here we are, you've practiced, you've built up your creative muscle. You are ready to create a beautiful project. To begin, grab a piece of paper out of your sketchbook. Again, I recommend the cans and exile mixed media pad. Use your ruler to measure out a space of five by seven inches and I would use pencil for this, so that you can erase it at the end once you've cut your project down. This is the typical size I like to use for illustrated recipe cards because they are big enough to write the recipe on the back and display as a beautiful work of art in the kitchen. Now, using the scales and exercises we've practiced together today, draw your 1, 2, 3 chosen ingredients on one side of your cards. On the backside, write out your recipe and don't forget to sign and date it with your name in the bottom right corner. You've made this masterpiece after all. Be sure to scan or photograph your finished recipe card for safekeeping. If you'd like, you can laminate your card to prevent it from getting splattered while you cook as well. If you want to digitize your sketch into a vector format, I recommend visiting my class digital drawing, how to make your sketch a vector in three simple steps, for a simple workflow to vectorize your line drawings. I've linked that class in the resources document. I also highly recommend Dylan Mierzwinski's skillshare class, digitizing hand-drawn sketches with character. I've linked this class in the resources document as well. If you had fun making this recipe card, you may also consider making a recipe card set, featuring your favorite eats or creating some cards with blank backs to give away to friends to fill in their own recipes. Be sure to share your creations in the class project section on this class, I can't wait to see your beautiful line drawings and taste your delicious food. I wish we could call gather for a potluck with our creations. Don't you? 16. Final Thoughts & Thank You!: It's such blast with you in today's class. I hope you're walking away with more knowledge and creative competence to keep drawing what you see in this world. Your approach, your style, your vision, they matter. Keep showing up to the page, keep creating and keep sharing your artwork. I don't really want this party to end. If you want to hang out and keep chatting about all things food and art, follow me on Instagram @prints_and_plants. If you want to get a weekly dose of creative inspiration, recipes and behind the scenes studio peaks, join my newsletter at printsandplantspress.com. If you want to keep learning together and be sure to follow me here on skill share. I can't wait to see you again soon friend, until next time to creativity and beyond.