Illustration: Fine art with a meaning | Lonneke Idema | Skillshare

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Illustration: Fine art with a meaning

teacher avatar Lonneke Idema, Illustrator from The Netherlands

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

12 Lessons (1h 11m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Examples

    • 3. Psychology & mental process

    • 4. Fine art

    • 5. Example story

    • 6. Mindmapping

    • 7. Synonyms & metaphors

    • 8. Sketching

    • 9. Composition

    • 10. Detailed work

    • 11. Reflection

    • 12. Project

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About This Class

Be creative and work on personal growth? Those two work perfectly together and are the center of attention in this class.

In this class, we will talk about how you can turn words, thoughts, and feelings into an illustration. By using symbolics and metaphors and building those into a composition you can visually describe how you’re feeling. By doing this you can work out insecurities and watch the puzzle pieces fall into place. Next to that, it’s also fun to work on yourself creatively. It takes the pressure off dealing with the not so fun things in life. 

Key lessons include:

  • Using the right tools.
  • Turning feelings, words or thoughts into visuals using symbolics and metaphors. 
  • Learn the easiest way to create fine art with blackwork and dotwork.
  • Make the perfect composition for your created artwork.

Follow me on Instagram and Tiktok

All the best!

- Lonneke



Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Lonneke Idema

Illustrator from The Netherlands


Hello, I'm Lonneke, an illustrator and aspiring tattoo artist from Utrecht, The Netherlands. My work is mostly smaller illustrations in blackwork combined with linework and dotwork. 

I believe that everybody has an inner artist, you just have to practice and give yourself time. Everyone is still learning it's awesome to share your skills and your enjoyments in these skills with others.

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1. Introduction: I'm an illustrator. I've been an illustrator for about two years now. Normally, I m pretty old school. I draw black work five art with just pen a paper. But lately I've been getting into digital art using for create on the iPad. Um, my work is mostly working for clients like one of my ladies projects. Waas designing an illustration for a book and what I normally dio is I take synonyms and metaphors and symbols to create this visual story. Oh, our summer summary about about, like, a vision or a story in itself. What I deal with the other 50% of my time is making my art my own art projects and alike, exploring new things, but mostly just fine are using don't work in black work. And that is what we're going to do today. We are going Teoh draw visualized story. That means something to you that represents something that you feel or that you want to do with in your life. And we're going to do that by using don't work on black work and making this incredible drawing of story that you want to be that you want visualized. So I hope you will follow along. It's gonna be awesome. We'll have a great time and, um, follow me 2. Examples: And so I want to go a little bit more in depth about what I dio, because that way you will understand what we're going to do today. So my client work. I could describe best if I use my latest project. What I did is I worked for this guy who wrote a book and with that book visualized like a summer Me off the whole thing. I read it. I thought, the most important things out of the book, and I visualized them by making them of turning them into synonyms and metaphors and taking the symbolic and by writing down, down and by, like, putting the visuals and putting the images that comes that comes to my mind with those metaphors and symbolic. So I created this, this complete illustration that visualizes the whole booth. That is kind of what we're doing today as well. And for my own artwork, I take it a little bit simpler, but I take like, one or two elements and turn them into this visualizing story about, like, positive vibes on hardship. So taking something that happened, Teoh that wasn't all that great or taking something that makes you feel down or negative and turning it into this learning moment and making twisting a positive fly upon it basically so that IHS completely what we're doing today. If you're interested, please follow along. 3. Psychology & mental process: So for this chapter, I want to talk about the mental process and what psychologically happens in your brain when you're drying illustrations with meaning. Like I explained in the previous chapter, the best way to explain this is by using tattoos. So why do people get set? Obviously, it's because they really like the visual of it. They like it on their body. They like the fact that it is permanent forever. But if I listen to a lot of stories about why people get to, it's mostly because they had a situation they were in a piece with or something happened in there alive and it was tragic. And it gets attitude Teoh, or give it a positive twist for at least help them deal with, help me cope with it and maybe even to remember it in a positive way. Shin Time and this closet similar similar to that because we're taking a story and were visualized, and by visualizing it, you're giving story of positive twist. You're remembering situation or the things that happened that you want a piece with and your visualized in a positive way. Teoh help you remember it in a better way Teoh be more at peace with the whole thing. And next to that point, art is really helpful during that. It's like writing before saying down what we're going to dio in this clause also is thinking about that story writing it down, choosing symbolic sin metaphors with and then I realized and visualizing in black working daughter takes a lot of time. Your brain is occupied with the situation. It helps you think of it more positive. 4. Fine art: So for this chapter, we're going to talk about the tools that I use, what references to pick on if they're good references and we're going to be practicing dot work on how to bring, don't work into shadows and make your illustration looks absolutely awesome. So let's go to my work station we're gonna talk about It's also use what references to pick . And also we're gonna be practicing dot work and the fine lines and had to get the perfect ones. So the tools that I use are behind this perfect little cup. But those I use are imported thicker markers I use as well co opaque as sports clothes. Bush got friends, and I used the 1.3 millimeters and the zero point several ones, and coca one is also 1.3. But this one is with a brush tip. I don't use thes very often with four big services, you never know they could come in handy. So those on for the most of the most of the work I used a micron pens varying from 08 to 0.3 The most important Pento have are the 0.5 and 0.3 don't work will come up the beautiful , the most beautiful. And it's just the best friends to have. So I would really recommend Teoh either. They're not that expensive. Just invest in those the syrup with your 50.3 The five is almost available at every Croft store. 0.3 is a little bit more tricky to find, but you could definitely find it on Amazon. So search for those. I also have his airplanes. There are three coping markers, this'll ones, even finer, but maybe even to find it almost looks Grayson time. So I would use this for specific things, but not for all. And then I used my jelly roll. Sometimes, if I want, like galaxy things Teoh draw stars and moons, shooting stars anything white in a black service, then for sketching, of course. A stetler, um h deep in, I think. Two. Each 28 Um, sharpener, of course. And eraser. I would also suggest investing in a good eraser, because else it would erasing over pin, and if it's not a good eraser, it would erase or faded the black fine liner pins as well, so what? And a trick for that also is not press super hard. And of course, if you needed a ruler, that's good answer references. 5. Example story: So for this new chapter, we're going to head into riding the example story. What I thought was the most important thing to Dio is described a problem or a conflict that a lot of people experience, like a lot of people, experienced anxiety or self doubt or life not going the way you want it to go. So we're going to write a story based on those really common problems. So for this part of creating a story I wanted Teoh look for all the things that are really called, like common issues like anxiety or being insecure back what you look like or like anything that a lot of people struggle with. So I'm just gonna, like, think of something on, Write that down like so I think a lot of people have been dealing with a rejection or feeling insecure at, because that is security. Feeling anxiety. You're feeling uncertainty about the future and not knowing where the future is gonna lead them. So I was thinking about a story and you could just write down your own story if you want to draw your own stories for situations, but you could also just follow mine. It's pretty basic, but okay, so the story just grab a pen and paper or if you have an iPad or tablet I like This is so much easier for me. So which is gonna do that? The story. Okay, so, um, a woman or man gets fired from their job without knowing the reason should bills right is secure about her skills, shoes, feeling anxiety. I always forget how Teoh spell. I think it starts E. I think that's anxiety about the future. She wants to stay positive, but its feeling like everything is working against her. So this story has a lot of things that are very familiar for a lot of people. Like she's feeling insecure about her skills, anxiety, not knowing what the future holds, wanting to stay positive but not knowing how. Because everything feels shitty or just like everything is working against you. And I think that even though you might not feel the same about being fired like the outcome is relatable for a lot of people. One. That's why I chose this street. And we can I think, go from here. 6. Mindmapping: I think so. This chapter we're gonna make a mind map, and you can read along like anywhere there or there. I've made the mind map already because it's a very personal thing, and I want you to do, like, the same thing. But this is a class like anyway, So, um, my map that I've made and I put like to the side of it feelings, thoughts, personal perceptions about the story. Because it's not only if you don't have to filter out anything, just write down what you think and not just, uh what I would think because my brie work so differently in yours, obviously. So, um, one of the few things that I want to share with you off the ones that I wrote down is another one. Close it. Wonder opens another one closes. That one really comes to mind when I think about getting fired or not knowing what to do. Like when you walk up Teoh something that seems closed off and doesn't feel very good. And don't seem that you it doesn't seem that you have a way out of the situation. Just remember, that Wonder closes another one opens is always a good one to go with and then sudden ending is like is like one that directly comes to mind because that's what the whole story is about. But it's also one that you could visualize. Very grid. Um, so it's also like taking steps. You wanna have be positive, but life is making it very difficult for you, but just write that down. Development also comes to mind like you want to move on. Uh, but you don't know. You don't know how, but you wants you and, um, like that results into new opportunities. And that was also, like, represented by it. Wonder closes, another one opens your pretty confused. Um, maybe you feel conflict. You're feeling injustice or feeling down. Uh, you feeling pain and all of that is what we're gonna take and what what is most important to you is what will take on to the next chapter like this is really important to put words that are not since sentences. So because words you are much easier to put words into visual visualizations or to look up like synonyms or metaphors for symbolic of words instead of sentences, because sentences are just more difficult to understand. So it's like we put the story into a mind map, and now we're putting in the next chapter. We're putting the might map into synonyms, metaphors and symbolic because it's just it's breaking it down, and it's taking it step by step on. That really helps individualizing story. So let's move on to the next sector on which we're gonna put. The most important things of this might map into visualizations. 7. Synonyms & metaphors: we're gonna head right into the synonyms of metaphors and symbolic six. Um, this one could be very hard. It's sometimes it's really hard for me. It's a creativity isn't flowing like it's really hard. Teoh come up with words, and their visual ization or just thinking in images on its own, could be very hard. Sometimes when you're feeling blocked, it's okay. Like used to Internet. Look up what something means to you or look up metaphors. Look up. Symbolic were certain words. Certain flowers. Just don't be afraid. Teoh. Stumble on to something and don't be afraid. Teoh to be blocked like it happens. And don't feel discouraged. Just move on to like the next thing or tried to figure out a different work for what you're feeling. So I've taken a few from the mind map that we've just made, and you can you can watch with me like there for their. So I've taken new beginnings. New beginnings were prisons, just like becoming something new, or what I said that was already a visual is one door closes, another one opens. That's very visual, and it's very accident for this story, but also a butterfly like a butterfly transforms from caterpillar to a butterfly that's like, What do you? What is a new beginning? More than that on Also, flowers like flowers keep on growing fly some flowers die and a winter and then grow again . That's also like new beginnings, Um, angry. I represent it with fire That could be a personal thing like you could. Personally, they represent anger with something totally different. But for me, it's fire enemies I was thinking about dear and she prepared with lions or like nature's enemies like that, but also human Teoh. And also like the world's uncertainties like like earthquakes, lightning so also written down that the future is galaxy spaceships. It's like where we're going, but we don't know yet, Like we don't know what's somewhere up there way have no clue. So that's future to me because you don't know where you're going. You don't know what tomorrow holds. What will happen next week, anything like that, so that taking steps represents mountains. To me, mountains are Stanford development for taking the next step and pushing yourself over your own boundaries. Um, then confused a strong, strong I had like a B Lyon, a dragon fly. All very strong animals been around for many days, have conquered a lot. Don't really have any enemies for humans. But nonetheless they really represents strong to me. In the last I had a positive which are flowers are really positive to me. They are beautiful, they make other people happy, which is really positive. And I just plumb area especially because, Well, I'm in Indonesia right now and actually facts about me and get a sense you of floor area tomorrow. But they stand for positivity, positivity and celebration. So I really wanted to include that. Just take this step. It's words positivity and let that always be the guideline. Now that we have that done, we'll move on to sketching all of these things out. 8. Sketching: So now we're going to start practical practicing dot work and also using fine liners, and we're going to start withdrawing a mountain. So I was really difficult. It's not that difficult. Just follow. So now we're going to start practicing don't work. And, um, we're gonna do that with a pen as first. We're not gonna do it in pencil, because it's it's just practicing. And I'm sorry about that. I thought it was fun. Um, like, I don't want to ruin any paper. And this is supercool Indonesian, and I'm in Bali right now, and I even have the flower that it represents. So we're just gonna practice the round stands over there, gonna grab my, um, go to for the outlines because those can be a little thicker than don't work itself. So we're just gonna draw a simple amounts and that mount one and to just like that go. Oh, squiggly as you want. It doesn't matter. Uh, we're gonna take the 50 life. It's, uh, quite a lot thinner and just go in the middle like this. We're gonna drop tiny little lines like that. So it looks like a really Mountie that looks cool. So now you can already see some depth in there. And now we're gonna take our 03 which is like the the smallest one. The most narrow tip. There are no ariga. Take the smallest tip and a place that don't work. And we're gonna present that the light comes from this angle. So, um, that way, uh, this area doesn't have a lot of don't work. But then that area does. So we're gonna start out like that a lot and a darkest area right in the tip, and then work it out that way like that, that iss the most. The darkest dot work, and we're gonna fade it out like that. And that is what you want to dio for all of them. Store dark at the tip, work it a little bit that way. A lot that way. Tried to keep us close to the edge that's possible on. Then fade it out just like that. And that is how you draw don't work If you want to make it look a lot realistic. A lot more realistic. You could go over the outlines one more time. This really doesn't matter if you're squiggly at all like mountains have a lot of edges, sharp edges, so that's totally fine. I was always like mountains are super Hajer, part to drop. But actually there, like one of the simplest thinks just like that. And if you're not, if you don't have an under control just yet, that's fine. There's a lot of areas you can you can keep on practicing, so that's it. 9. Composition: thin this chapter, We're gonna put everything together like Oliver, our ideas off that we've sketched. We're gonna take it all together and put it all together in one illustration. And for me, in the beginning, this was very hard. But it gets easier at the time because there's actually a lot of tricks that you can use in this step. And I'm gonna show you all of their strikes in this chapter. So we know everything that we want in our drawing. We want a door. We want flames, some sort of galaxy, um, a rocket ship, mountains and some sort of flowers to represent the positivity that your that you're wanting in your life. Um and, of course, the open door, the door that opens up to new opportunities. So, um, what I was thinking is, um well, actually, there's two kinds of ways to make your composition look the most beautiful. If you have an open composition, so all elements are loose into the drawing, then it's really important. Teoh, remember that you need different kinds of smaller elements to make it all tied together like one like like left under going through the whole drawing or something like that. And the second thing that eyes really important. And that is what we are going to do it today is, um I'm gonna draw the door quite big and make it make everything close to so it's a closed composition. And if you look through the door, we're gonna draw like what you see behind the door and, um, drawing the door on itself is the composition. So we're going to start going to draw quite big. Get your ruler Air pencil ready, and let's go. So now we have the basic outlines of our door. Um, what I think is the best thing to do right now is a start with what is inside the door. So I want, um I think I wanna make it end in the flames. So I'm gonna draw some claims at the top like that. That looks pretty on. Um Now we're moving from up to down because I think the mountains are always like a state appeasement statement piece. Eso I want them at the bottom. I'm gonna start with smaller one. A bigger one. Go up there just like that, Okay. And then I want the rock chip right in the middle. So yeah, after those before. So just follow my lead. - That looks about right, Zurich And, um, takes him put some details instead of door, like a door knob that in the back inches. Okay, so we wanted to visualize something that, um, I forgot something by the way door doesn't end that way. Just like race that line. That's the relief of dry with pencil first. I know if you know a few people who only draw with men and I have mad respect for them because, like, I wouldn't be able t o that. Okay. And we were, um, discussing Howard How it would be really cool to step into the unknown, but make it as positive as possible. So I was thinking about drawing a doormat with, um simple, but still some flowers on there. And what better to drop? And this Indonesian flower, the plume area about positivity and celebration. And I'm going to draw Cem 11 there around. That plumeria is actually really simple to draw if you want to know how to draw perfectly. I talked about it a lot in my in my previous go share clause, which is all about drawing flowers with meaning. Um, it's really simple. Just start like drawing half half moons. No, just like that. And then interest your paper. They're supposed to be 66 leave. So seems down one more like that. So you have this kind of, um it almost looks like some kind of twister or hurricane kind off thing. And they just gonna connect, connect the points to the other reliefs just like that. That didn't go free. Yeah, just like that. You've drawn a team area. Now I want three brunches. Lavender sticking out. That looks cute. Okay, um, I think we're done with the pencil. For now. I like Teoh. Leave a lot of details of for using the friend. Only because the point of a pencil is is quite thick, a smooth. I'm gonna start out pretty sin using 0.1 way and just go over everything that you've just drunk. Way, - way finished. Theo outlines. Now we're gonna move on, Teoh erasing all pencil marks and then jump into the dot work and also the more detailed fine lines. Make sure to erase very lightly because even though you can't erase pencil, it will fade. Oops. Forgot line. - Did it work? 10. Detailed work: starting with a detailed, um, more diesel work. We're gonna start off with the 0.3 from me crying. Um, we're not heading into the dot work yet. We're just gonna apply all the details within fire and within door within the flowers to mount sends direct chips. So let's do that. Um, off course you can, uh, you can add anything you want. It's your It's your artwork, like your personal piece. So please feel free to at whatever you want. If you want your rocket ships and look differently than at whatever you want and do, please make sure that this whole area is gonna be black from Theo Galaxy. Work over to draw, Sir. Don't make your broke a ship to black. - Are you feeling the black for the galaxy? I'm gonna use my 18 for the outlines and then fill it in with one of my push weapons. Now that YSL buildup I would stake. My bush happens because it's there a little bit blacker. And, um, I really like that in my, uh, in my drawings like blacking. It's to be really black. Perfect. Now I want to define the mountains a little bit more from, um, like the cloudy smoke that comes from the rocket. So I'm gonna make those outlines a little bit thicker. Gonna use this. Uh, sorry. I'm gonna use this 0.1, um, recruiting for that Like that. And I do once you're defined the outlines of the door a little bit more as well. So I'm also gonna do that. And I'm gonna use the 0.8 for that. We're gonna start with dot words. So grab your, uh, 0.3 Nikon pins and let's start with the mountains just like that. No, let's move on, Teoh drawing the galaxy. And this is, um, pretty neat because you're congest steak, any white jelly pen and start drawing with that. So I'm going to draw dots for stars, then some bigger stars, and I think maybe one shooting star I don't know what yet, but just follow your gut and this one. And, um, remember that the stars, the more the better. Like the galaxy has a billing its star. So And don't be afraid to make mistakes because, um, what jelly roll is pretty easy. You can just go over it with your black markers. That looks amazing. I'm gonna clean up my white star just a little bit ways. Um, with the tiniest 0.3 micron marker just a little bit. That gives it a little bit more edge. Okay, it started to look like something. Um, gonna move on, suit this doormat, and I'm gonna dot in a little specks of the lavender. I just don it like that. It will give it a little bit more character. We're gonna move on, creating some depths and shadows with dot work. So going to start in, like, probably like every corner. Teoh. Like the corner of the mat. Winner of the door, The corner of looking inside, but also, like, thes corners to give it a little bit more dimension. Okay. Okay. So I was thinking this door looks pretty plain. So I'm gonna take my pencil. I'm a ruler again and draw awesome. Um, likes, um uh, depth into the into the door, - and you want them to look like they are inside of the door. So I drew like to alliance because the inner like the proportion you can make a little bit darker than the outer portion because, um, that will make it look like it is carved into the door. So I'm gonna trace it over and fill it in. Now start, darling. - We've actually made it through the whole illustration. I'm so proud of you. But let's keep on pushing in a little bit further, and that is reflecting on what we've done, and that's what we're gonna dio in this job. 11. Reflection: so everything is done. And now we're going to reflect on the composition that we've may and the story that you put into it. And that could be very personal. So ask yourself, Is it personal? Did you Did you get all of what you wanted to put into it? Did you actually put at it now? There were actually done with everything, and it turned out so great. Like I'm proud of all of us. We're gonna talk about the projects that I have for you. 12. Project: So finish it all off. I have your own personal projects. I want you to create your own story and follow all the steps that we've taken in this class like Mike Mapping put it into metaphors and then sketching it out and using all the tricks . Teoh make the perfect composition of your story. And to make that story personal, I would like you. It's right. Like the tiniest story with it. Like I don't need your personal, depressed secrets. If you don't want to share them if you want to. That's fine to like. Be my guest. I would love to write. I would love to read it, but create your own personal story and make your own most personal illustration with that and share it in the community tap. I would love to see all of your projects and response to that and read all those. So I hope that you will love this clause. I love drawing with you guys and sharing all of this with you. And I hope you have enjoyed it as well. Um so if you want Teoh keep following me off course I have my instagram. I've showed it before in The video, my Instagram said, is illustrative and help. You can follow me on there. I share a lot of what I dio and all of my drawings. So follow me in there and also follow me on skill share. I post a video about every 23 months on mostly fine art with meaning or at least very detailed fine art. And I would love for you to watch this as well. Also, I've made two plus in the past, so check those as well by