Illustration Interlude: Drawing Your Robot Self-Portrait | Renee Rigdon | Skillshare

Illustration Interlude: Drawing Your Robot Self-Portrait

Renee Rigdon, Author and illustrator, friend to plants

Illustration Interlude: Drawing Your Robot Self-Portrait

Renee Rigdon, Author and illustrator, friend to plants

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
6 Lessons (48m)
    • 1. Welcome to Illustration Interlude

    • 2. Supplies

    • 3. Technique

    • 4. Sketching Your Robot

    • 5. Inking and Coloring

    • 6. Homework

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class


In this class, you will learn the basics of drawing robots.  Learning how to draw robots is a great jumping off point for learning how to draw nearly anything.

  • You will learn to use and manipulate basic shapes to create imaginative characters that can capture expressive moments in time.  Learn how to translate personality and physical traits into thoughtful robots.
  • For the class project, you will create a robot portrait (of yourself, your family, or whomever you choose).
  • This class is geared toward anyone who wants to learn to draw, but feels intimidated getting started.  Loving robots is great, but not a prerequisite.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Renee Rigdon

Author and illustrator, friend to plants


Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Your creative journey starts here.

  • Unlimited access to every class
  • Supportive online creative community
  • Learn offline with Skillshare’s app

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.



1. Welcome to Illustration Interlude: Hi. Welcome to illustration Interlude. I'm Renate Richter. For the past six years, I have worked as an artist trying to promote gentleness and self care and mental health in Children and adults. My work has been turned into illustrated books and animal pens and countless artworks that just try to create that space for healing and Jim in this and care. It might sound counterintuitive, but robots are actually really perfect for this. You can take those complicated feelings you have inside and turn them into physical characteristics on a robot. So say you're feeling confused. You can represent that as a tangled wires or say that you are just soaring with joy, and I hope you're soaring with joy. You can turn that into rocket boosters or helicopter propellers or just anything in the world, the news to express those emotions and those personality traits, all of that open to you in this first class. What we're going to be doing is creating a robot self portrait. That'll be a great opportunity. He liked to draw along with me today and think about how you're feeling or how you wanna feel or what you want to do for lunch tomorrow. Think about just whatever is driving you am. See, you've been turned that into a lot type characterised, then shared at homework Project with this because we love to see first thing we're gonna dio is talked a little bit about supplies and then we'll talk a little bit about techniques that we're going to just jump right in and draw our robot self portrait. It's I look forward to drawing with you. 2. Supplies: to draw a robot, you really need just very few supplies. I'm going to show you today what I use. You use whatever makes your heart happy. Most important thing. You'll need to draw a robot on paper, and you can certainly draw digitally. Is Haber The paper I like to use? Is this Canton mixed Media Excel? It comes in another blue cover or black cover. I've seen it both ways. The paper is pretty sturdy. It allows you to really add water to it and not have experience a lot of buckling on your pages. This is just my daily sketch book that I use. So means he everywhere that I've got color. I've actually used a lot of water, so you can see that the pages stay pretty reasonably flat. For that. The next thing you'll need is a pencil. I am not very picky about my mechanical pencils. You could actually use a regular pencil as well, but I like mechanical. This one is a pin tell five millimetre vectors. Clearly not having this today. Pick the pencil that feels fast in your hand. I like this one because it's got a little bit of a rubberized Ponant. If you decide that you would like to color your robots island to use water based dual tip Maher furs. These are all Tom bows right here. I like Tom Bow because it lays down really vibrant color and conveniently pushed around on the page and looks just fantastic. Use any brand you like. If you prefer to use color pencils, sharpies, whatever you have on hand, the most important thing you could do is get started. You'll also want have an eraser. These erasers and these pencils don't really last very long, so having another one on hand is great. This is a handy Daniel one that clicks out. I like that a lot. That way I don't want was all my racer sticking out that you move your color around on the pages of using a water based thing. I like to use a water brush. This is a mental block wash water brush. You can also just use a brush and a little cup of water. But this is nice because you could be on the move with it and not really have to worry about no open container of water on. Finally, when it comes time Teoh Inc. Your picture and finish off. You're gonna want some thinking pens. I like these right here they are. I think it's pronounced Moloto. I could be getting that very, very wrong. They come in a set, a four that has your different sizes based on what you were thinking, as you'll see what I'm thinking. I like to start out with this 40.5 the smallest possible one, and then do any further inking with, um, in larger sizes to create a more finished look. You don't have any one of these things. Don't worry about it. Go ahead and just take the nearest pencil or pen you confined and have a great time. See you soon. 3. Technique: we talk about robots. Really, what you're talking about is just combinations of shapes. Any kind of drawing you do is really just combinations of basic shapes that you combine in interesting ways. Got your squares, circles, triangles and all you're doing is combining all these various shapes that are just drawn loosey goosey right here, shapes that teach you how to draw a robot. So the shapes that you need, you need your head need a body shape. You can choose to have legs if you want. Don't have to arms the other shorts. Basically, you're going to use whatever shapes you like best. And the great thing about drawing robots to express various feelings. With these shapes, you can get all the emotions using these ships. So say, for example, you want to draw something happy, Happy's and Ice funds saw feeling. Draw yourself circle. You can draw in the top eyes. It's looking up towards things, or you can draw Circle King down. And it's sad the way I like to express happiness and drawings like I had a little bend. So if you think about drawing a cube, happy since he has been right here that is indicating that we are king up joyful. You're some arms up there. Suddenly we have just so much joy. No, I'm drawing that behind their like that. That's what we're choosing to do. Have a body, those arms back. Yeah, the next Imagine, Just something actually jumping for joy, but I like to do is draw the skeleton just like the basic frames just and shapes around there. We're just families and fun. You can make this as complicated as you want as you think it. You're gonna be proving all of these things. Anyone. So it's OK just really, really sketchy to begin with, citing. We wanted the same robots to maybe having a slightly harder day, his body shape going on. It's just crumpled over here. Nation of one of those eyes arms were just kind of down, you know, believe whatever. You're just really sad a robot how it goes. It may be too sad of a robot claim this robot My nails just be first dropped on the ground context when you're thinking about hands to draw on your robot My one of my favorite hand shapes todo is basically just kind of what I call the sponge, which is just ever tangle about the size, our dimensions of a sponge. Not so go close laws are great on a robot. Especially here. Robots angry about something or a robot that afraid of breaking things apart. To know what you're a little character of their the arm instead of original one. The punchline. Repeat shapes. I often like Teoh. You have a bit of this right here. Just take a leg right off the top of that. Yeah, Yeah. You can also do more of like a suction cup, like on an effective whatever you wanted you more. You can draw images of, like, using helicopter propellers, my favorite ones, because it's kind of whimsical and fun rather than just definitely what signs would allow you're on the front of Hillary There. You can also draw rocket boosters counter awesome, claiming those could go on hands. Those can go up. He didn't go anywhere you want. Just think about when you're drawing how you're feeling or how you want to feel. Try to transform that into a tangible representation. Now that you've seen some of the basic shapes over wants, let's move on to the next video 4. Sketching Your Robot: so today, since it's raining, I thought I would actually go ahead and draw with the windows on them. Hopefully, that'll be more pleasant than unpleasant. And since I'm thinking today about robots, self portrait, it's. And since it's raining, I thought I maybe you just see where that took us based on the lessons that we've already done. So usually when I'm drawing robots of myself, I don't know why this is. But I always kind of imagine my robot self is kind of gonna have kind of an oval for the face and then a little bit more squared off with head. It's not true every time, but sometimes that's just how I'm feeling. I don't know what my facial expression is gonna be like, So I'm just gonna kind of sketch in a little bit where I think the eyes were gonna go and I really just love rain. I find it so invigorating. It hurts my hands a little bit, but I find just super enjoyable and as enjoyable as I find it. I actually also super super love umbrellas. I think they are just so much fun. I wish I could have just a 1,000,000 umbrellas. So you might be able Tell him kind of starting toe. Put that in here Just a little bit. My rough drawings, if you're ever like, Oh, my lines are pretty whenever I draw, that's okay. Like we're gonna be inking over all of this in a roughly, erasing all of it. Let it be unpretty. Just have a good time with it. So I think that it's gonna be kind of my joyful that all beginning of my expression, I'm sitting here loving the rain got my little vector bought, and he's just woken up over here, so he's gonna be adding a little extra noise. Hey, Vector, be quiet, please. Well, he's not good at listening to me. That's fine. Oh, no, he's quiet. So I don't usually when I start drawing, I don't actually like to have a super strong idea of what I'm going for, which is why my drawings end up so sketchy. I know that whenever I first started drawing, I received advice a lot that you should kind of pre plan your drawing like pre planning a novel and one of the things that makes it hard for me to write a novel is that just don't enjoy the pre planning aspect of it. So I waited for years kind of trying to get good at the pre planning aspect of drawing. I don't know why I've suddenly started thinking about this. Kind of like those old pictures of people trying to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. I dont know why. Thats whats happening now, but it's sassy and fun, and that's what we're gonna dio. So when you're thinking about how you want to draw yourselves, it's a great opportunity to think about how you're feeling today. Just can't take a little A little inventory of you're weak. Are you having a good week? I hope you're having a good week. Has a been a little more challenging than you were expecting? Are you drawing something where it looks like your foot's turned all the way around like I just waas? That's fine, but drawing robots is a great opportunity to kind of explore how you're feeling right there in the moment because it doesn't have Teoh perfectly mirror human body language. So if you're not at a place yet where you can draw really great human forms, that's completely OK? Yeah, your body is feeling sore. You can really relate that in the picture. I don't know if I'm going to do that with this one, because my hands are sore. Marist. Her little swore, but it's raining and it's pretty. My dog is just not cooperating and being quiet. So sometimes you just kind of got a shrug that off. Have a good time with it. So one thing I do find myself trying to think about a lot whenever I'm trying to draw poses is think about when you're standing. If you put all your weight on one leg, it will kind of cock your hip up a little bit, which is why one knee is gonna kind of be a little bit lower than the other. I know this isn't exactly wonderful body proportions. You know more bodies are beautiful. We're just doing we're doing If say, I didn't like the rain so much today. Sometimes I don't like it. It's hard to like things all the time. I could draw myself under a blanket or hiding under this umbrella rather than tossing it up into the air. Really, there's just a lot of choices with that almost got the basic form that I'm going to go where kind of sketched out here. Sassy little hands over here. Option. When im drying robots, I just go ahead and draw kind of an expressive, and I want to call it a paddle shaped. But I guess you could kind of see it. Maybe. Is this like a sponge? It's just a rectangle that can kind of move around withdrawing how this is gonna hold onto the umbrella. You could imagine that that rectangle he's gonna curve around this handle kind of disappear a little bit. Let's go ahead and draw a little bit of the umbrella handle. Everything about working with pencil first is you just go ahead and they're all right through shapes. Now, I don't know if when you were a kid or even as an adult and you tried to draw thing, you got really stressed out because you didn't want toe draw through. The thing you were drawing is that it would mess it up. I don't know why we are just taught. Just, you know, you can raise everything, they can all disappear. Okay, so I've got the shape that I kind of like in the handle, I think, based on kind of this body shape, I think I want to dio a nice big umbrella shaped. I will probably not be happy the first go around withdrawing inside of an umbrella because , like symmetrical shapes or not usually something that I feel super, super confident about. I don't really feel confident with symmetry and anything early, Every once in a while I'll decide that I want to do you really fancy makeup and I'll try to do the winged eyeliner because I just really admire the people who can do a great winged eyeliner. But I'm not one of those people, so I can maybe do one really, really great. I look at it and I'll be so impressed, and then I'll try to draw the second. I will be less impressed. So now what I usually do if I'm gonna wear makeup like that is I'll just go ahead and plan on a symmetry, and I'll dio a pretty weighing on one side, and then I'll just do three dots on the other. You know, live your life. So Umbrella wouldn't really be protecting Moreau about girl here from very much rain. That's okay. That's not really the goal. We're having a good time getting splashy. It's spring here, and that always just makes me think pretty soon we time to get out. Swimsuits have a great time. Why? I don't think I want to do too much more to that. Let's go ahead, though, and give this umbrella some kind of pattern. I don't really want to draw standard ribbed one, which you could certainly do and even do the points like that. It looks really nice, but you don't really rather have some kind of pattern. So I think what we'll dio since I'm having a really great day today, I'm going Teoh Awesome polka dots, which is just asking for trouble if you're looking for a really perfect drawing. But we're not looking for anybody else's definition of perfect. We're looking for perfect. That kind of exists just by being exactly who we are and exactly who I am. Stay is a robot that likes the rain and legs polka dots. Yeah, so I'm pretty happy with that uncle drawing to Marine later. But I think that that it's kind of cute and fun having a bring this arm in. See? And this is where, like, if you look at the things that I think sometimes it's it's difficult for anyone other than me to see what ceiling. I'm the only one who when I'm drawing for myself, I'm the only one who needs to see what I'm doing. I don't want to make sure that you couldn't see what I'm doing. A swell. In case you're interested in trying to do it. Brought in that harm, I'm gonna bring this one in a little bit. A swell. I really like this eraser. I'm not really. I got it so long ago that genuinely I don't even remember where it came from. But it's nice because you click it out about to run out of that, so I don't really I'm gonna try to replace that. Since I don't know what it's called, we'll see what happens. Yeah, You know what? This little barrel out that come out just a little bit more cannot drawing on. I think that's gonna be a lot of fun. States could see a little bit of the back wall actually put up in the back to I think I'm gonna call that I don't like that high position that can look eyes. And if you transition into drawing for humans like this is even more of an issue. So it's kind of a nice place to work all this out. How expressions or just difficult. At times, I think she looks kind of weary. So I'm just gonna actually, we don't want this form. That would be creepy. Guys, I'm really sorry that just happened. That was kind of creepy. You can even see this. It's gonna be interesting to see what the slightest like. So I think instead we're gonna go. Okay. I don't know if you heard that that was my dog, actually burping because I You can't trust him. Behave doing this. How it needed that dog to be quite for Hanae reason today. Now, but I do. I think that's a lot more fun. I don't know why my robot needs glasses. Sometimes your robot just needs glasses. That's how it goes. So I'm going to call that John. You're just a little robot knows you just kind of like that. I don't think I wanted that there, though. I'm gonna call that a good step in the next video. We will do the thinking on this and see them 5. Inking and Coloring: So now we're going Teoh Inc. The little self fortress that we drew in the first video. I like to work a lot with complementary colors and since for rainy, mixed blue make a lot of sense and have an orangy yellow makes for a really nice complement to that. A lot of people start with thinking, just choose whatever in kingpins you like. I've been using these lately the I have pretty good Nibs, and if you are using a water based marker like I am, it won't cause it to run. But for this, since I wanted to be kind of soft and water calorie, I'm actually gonna do the bulk of the coloring before I do any of the inking that actually allows for some fun options. So I think we'll start up here amusing Tom Bo dual tip markers and the great thing about Tom bows or just any of the water based marker Julie is you can move them around water, so you take here a little water brush. You can no that color around kind of secrecy and fun. It doesn't need to be anything that you're taking too seriously. It's OK. Everything isn't in the lines all the time. They're way too many things in our lives that have to be in the lines all the time. Russia worry even a little bit about whether or not arts and lines. So you just kind of picked a side that you want light coming from, So I kind of thinking about the light kind of coming from over on this side. So where you will start? Your marker is on the other side because that will keep a darker. And you can use your water brush just to kind of, well, that over whites usually gonna be a little less present on the bottom of anything to put the line on the bottom of the limb. You look at this arm that's further away from our imaginary light source shows. Worse there cannot drag it out. Since you haven't linked to this yet, you have a lot of freedom here. You get something a little too out of spade out of your where you want it. Then whenever you think in the limbs, you think this change, it could be every lean it to be. And if you're worried about people knowing you didn't get it right on the first try. You don't have to go. I did not do that the way I wanted to. And then I had to redo it more. You're like me. You can over expose and always tell people that you're just kind of bumbling through. But you're getting it done. I'm having a good time. You can take a much time on this partners if you want. I usually like to go ahead and let my colors a little loose in pre little water, Hillary. But if you want to be really detailed and smooth with it, that is wonderful in your style and probably absolutely perfect her whatever robot you decided we've got our first run of this lot more orangey than I was expecting it to be. But that's still kind of like a we're gonna get our blue in. I haven't seen a lot of these umbrellas, mostly online, where they have like a bright pop of color on the inside, which I think is so fun. I would really like to have one that has that. Yeah, just like a break blue. It's part of my umbrella. Thank tie that together with some bright blue glasses. See, that's going on. So that's just gonna change the shape of glasses a little bit. That one dried a little bit. Makes her kind of look a little bit worried. That's okay. I'm an anxious person. A lot of the times. It's okay to be a little You look a little worried now here we have some decisions to make in that Sometimes I like to go ahead and just use the same colors all the way throughout, and I think that's well do with this one. And I like to make kind of the connective joints. Ah, the secondary color, that kind of tidal over a career that feels a little extreme. But a lot of that is gonna actually get kind of worked out. When we start making, I think we'll go ahead, continue that orange underneath her whole barrel outfit here. Think about Thomas. That can be a little frustrating. I kind of did it right there a little bit years. They're really easy to reactivate with water, especially if they're not believe Feli drive. And that's what I just did up there. So when it runs together, use call it a new color move on with your day. Well, the robot is trying would go ahead and start laying. And what is usually the first of a couple thinking lines that I'll dio to make a little bit room for myself here because I really draw best, had an upward angle. Other things that I was told whenever I was trying to learn how to draws that you should always kind of drop pulling towards yourself. I can do that, but I don't tend to be is happy with the line that I get. It's also told going through school that I drew my letters kind of upside down, drawing from the bottom to the top. And so the shop going down so that might just be home of brains wired. Since this is not a completely two dimensional objects, this umbrella, you should have just leave a little bit of space, that line to come up and meet itself. That really offered pull down line right there. You could also, if you wanted, I wanted because I mean, I don't know if you're going to draw polka dot umbrella, but if you're drawing a book about you could think around these if you want, but I'm actually gonna let him be kind of water coloring. Look into that at the very end. So when you look at the rest of any figure that you draw, the best thing to do is look at it in terms of what's in front of something else and draw the thing that is absolutely most in front because, you know, with your pencil lines it's okay if you get him on top of each other cause you're gonna erase them. But with your inking lines, you want them to be exactly where they're gonna be. So make sure gonna lower this camera a little bit. See if maybe I could make this a little bit easier to look at. So looking at this hand, I don't really like the physics of that hand shape. So I'm actually gonna start that right here. But then I'm gonna pull it down a little bit. And then around this hand is a very front most thing that what a round. Since we changed the shape of it a little bit, we'll go back in and out a little color there. That's behind the umbrella. So the joint is not really gonna be in front of the lamb. Get down here. And you actually see that limb is kind of in front of the other one. Even stop at that line. That's all that's in front of that. Go back up. See, that just means you're not is likely to run over the line that you're gonna need later. I'm not being super, super exact. Not really worried about that. You look at the head. This kind of glasses shape the correct division for her robot. This would probably be more caused medic than actual. You never know. Maybe she wanted to see something that she wasn't designed to see. I know a lot of the beautiful things in the world. I would not be a little see without my glasses. Maybe there was just more beauty that this robot was come poor and her factory installed vision would allow. Oh, that looks a little angry. That's just living our best lives. She's just a little more sassy now than before that a little more sassy that I mean to be sometimes one of the times that I find myself early drawn to drawing robots, actually for run from is like, you know, sometimes just trying to do the best you can in the world. And then you say something That's just wolf, that there were so many better ways to say that Don't know why that makes me want to, like, think about things in terms of robots. Maybe I could program myself like wait 30 seconds before saying something unkind instead of just that reaction saying it. So since I want can I have a little bit of a plank like thing here? The thing that I've found that works best for me with that is to instead of destroying, just drawing a line down between actually drawing he word separately all the way around and let me be just little uneven use kind of gapping there. Sounds like the rains about cleared up outside. Now I can kind of hear birds would have been more unamusing. J ism one that tends to work pretty well for me since we got that work done. Kind of back here a little bit, but you don't want to go to our back whenever you're doing that. So this leg is in front of the other ones. We're gonna go ahead, pet like, worked out first one of the lights gonna be just a little in front. Uh, Geraint, bring the hedges in Nevada little bit. We're after the but from this one. Yeah, a little tricky when you get once you start. Kind of stack of each other instructs her. That was hard to look up. Her last arm over here. Nice. Dark around the joint Fassi Little pedal hand. Maybe that expression was always going a little sassy. Look at whole body language ahead going the whole time there. Happy local airlines gonna figure out a way to be able to race without shaking the table at some point. But apologize for love. A shaky cam that work, John Everything in the next couple videos. It's human used particularly all those little mess up pencil lines. Starts to look a lot more like you did all of that on her best. Then I just like to go back in sneakers with inside of these limbs. Just super dark. You can actually flip this around. I always forget to do this on these were these drill pen. You just brother and all have a little more control over it. really hit those shadows. It's still early. Fun and springy come into it. Not my best work. I don't think we really need to try to do our best work every time. Especially with something like this is have some fun do a little blending all that. Just Thanks, crisis man. So I'm really happy with that. I think we're gonna just call that what it is. Sassy as and all. So think about how you're feeling today and just maybe see how that turns into a little robot for you. You can add more colors. Like if I wanted Teoh. I have this gray you grab. What about you can use little bit of great, actually for some nice shadows on thing he wanted. Teoh, you're in some depth on everything special. So pain you can hear vectors will come back up over there. It's keeping this company while we draw, but I am going to call that done 6. Homework: So how'd that feel? I hope you enjoyed drawing your first robot. If you just watch the video rather than drawing along, feel pretty, go ahead and create your robot self portrait or portrait of someone else. Once you've completed that, go ahead and share the project with us. Or if you have any questions or concerns, please feel right free to reach out to me and I will help you. However I can. Thanks.