The Power of Line. Intro to Line Drawing in Procreate | Evgeniya Pautova | Skillshare

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The Power of Line. Intro to Line Drawing in Procreate

teacher avatar Evgeniya Pautova, Drawing happy things

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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

9 Lessons (35m)
    • 1. Introduction: What the Class Is About

    • 2. the Project

    • 3. Setting Up the Workspace

    • 4. Line Weight

    • 5. Line Rhythm

    • 6. Line Flow

    • 7. The Cup Portrait

    • 8. Outro: Closing Thoughts

    • 9. Bonus: Let's Make It Personal!

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About This Class

The Power of Line. Intro to Line Drawing in Procreate.

This class is about Line Drawing as the most accessible and simple method of expressing yourself creatively. 

You will learn about the key features of the line, how to play with the line weight, and how to create a nice flow and rhythm in your line drawings. You'll see how easy the whole creating process could be from practicing simple strokes to making the final artwork.

This class is for everyone who is interested in drawing. If you ever asked yourself a question of why art things work the way they work that’s the place to get your answers.

It will be a good fit for beginner Skechers, Illustrators, and people who ever doodled randomly on a piece of paper while being on the phone.

The line is the base of the drawing process We use it when we quickly need to explain something or give someone directions. 

You will practice the skills you learn by drawing the portrait of your favorite coffee cup but after that, you’ll see the objects around you differently and your line art drawings will evolve and become even more awesome!

I use these principles myself in most of my artworks - marker sketching, book illustration, color pencil drawings, and others. 

Line quality and line features are almost always involved in the art process.


For digital medium: Ipad, apple pencil and Procreate app or any other drawing app.

For traditional medium:  Line drawing tools which allow you to vary the line weight i.e. brush pen/fountain pen* 

Everyone: your beloved tea or a coffee cup :) 

You’ll be provided the training worksheets with templates to outline as well as some reference photos for the cups in case if you need any.

I have a degree in Child Psychology and over ten years of experience in Graphic design and Illustration. I love digging deeper and figuring out why art things work the way they work and I’m happy to share my discoveries with you!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Evgeniya Pautova

Drawing happy things


Hi there, my name is Evgeniya and I’m so happy you’re visiting my profile!

I’m a Russian Illustrator living in Prague.

My brand name is Wow Yellow and making art is my most favorite thing in the world, even after 10+ years of creative career :)

You can find more of my artwork on my Instagram and my site

I've gon at MA in pre-school psychology but I've always wanted to make something artsy for my work so I have made a career as a graphic designer.

A few years ago I switched to making digital illustrations and now it’s my full-time freelance career. I create books, surface patterns, textile designs, greeting cards and work with clients all around the world... See full profile

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1. Introduction: What the Class Is About: Hello. My name is Evgeniya Pautova from I live in Prague, Czech Republic with my boyfriend and our little dog named Paprika. Paprika, come here. I'm a professional illustrator and surface pattern designer from Russia. For my work, I do all things art-related, like picture books, coloring books, surface patterns, T-shirt prints, and even diaper designs. Could you imagine? I love watercolors, marker sketching, and exploring the theory behind art practice. This class is about the line as an expressive tool and about its main properties. Most of my artworks include line in various forums and I consider it the most basic tool for all the artists. It is also a chance for you to get to know the most basic functions of the Procreate app and maybe even fall in love with it as many other artists did before. I remember when I first get my iPad and downloaded Procreate, I felt quite intimidated by this new software. People were creating some amazing stuff and I was so overwhelmed by it. I was even afraid to open it, which now seems funny. I want to help you, stop worrying, and just begin drawing. It will be a good fit for beginner sketchers, illustrators, and just people who ever doodled randomly on a piece of paper while being on phone call. You don't need any prior experience, just the interest in line drawing. I'll start teaching you some basic qualities of the line, like variability, the rhythm, and the flow. Then we'll practice it using the class worksheets I've prepared for you. Then you'll be able to apply those principles in your own line drawing. As a class project, you will draw the digital portrait of your favorite coffee cup using some awesome and versatile lines. In the next video, I'll tell you more about the class project. Let's get started. 2. the Project: For the project for this class, I suggest you'll draw a portrait of your favorite coffee cup. Of course, you can use your teacup or even [inaudible] cup. Cups are literally everywhere and as a coffee maniac, this is one of the first objects I hold in my hands every morning. Yet if you really observe it closely enough, I've picked the cup as today's subject, because it's complex enough to apply the variety of lines to the shape and at the same time is very common and easy to gather object. You don't need any experience to start with this class. I will guide you step by step through the whole drawing process but if you do have an experience that's also great, because you might discover some new tricks and features about your line drawing and make it more fun. I'll be teaching this class using iPad Pro, Apple pencil, and the Procreate drawing app. But you're free to use any other graphic tablet, the stylus and the drawing app of your choice. The principles we'll cover are universal and you can apply it to any of your line drawings in the future and to any other medium. That's cool. As you go through the class, please don't forget to share your progress in the class gallery. But before we jump to the project, I want to talk about the cool line features and properties with you. To help you practice it, I've prepared a few worksheets for you so please go to Class Resources below and download it right now. I seriously cannot wait to see what you come up with, and I will be happy to give you the feedback. See you in the first lesson. 3. Setting Up the Workspace: Let's just open Procreate app and set up our work area for training exercise. Here you can see the drawings you created previously, or if you're completely new to Procreate, you will just see the samples created by other artists which Procreate provides for you. But for now, we just need to create a new file by clicking this "Plus" icon in the top right. Here, you see the list of most used sizes Procreate suggests. We need Screen Size, which is at the top of my list, but you may need to scroll down to find it. I click "Screen Size". It automatically creates the new document. Right now, we want to place the template training document into our work area. I click this little "Tool" icon in the top left, and then I pick the icon "Add" after that I pick "Insert a photo" since it's in my camera roll. In my all photos, this is the last file I imported. So I pick it. Since it's created to fit the screen size, it's just fit perfectly, and I finish the placement by clicking this little blue "Selection Arrow" in the top area. Now, we want to preserve the template layer, we will create a new layer on top of this one. I click this "Layer" icon in the top right, and here I click little "Plus Sign" in a top area. I created a new layer. I don't need to rename it because we won't be using too many layers for it's just a training exercise. Now, let's make sure that we preserve the template layer so it won't get distorted. For this, let's pick "Layer number 1", swipe right, and pick "Lock" Now, it's locked. Select "Layer number 2". I close this panel by tapping into the work area. Now, we're all set to work. Yay! 4. Line Weight: In geometry, line can be defined as a straight, one-dimensional figure with has no thickness and extends endlessly in both directions. But for artists, it's so much more than that. Line defines physical direction and helps us to set up the composition. In drawing, line always has a character and its special features. Let's talk about the first one, the line weight. Line weight is simply how thick and dark line appears on the piece of paper or a screen. It gives your drawing dimension. A thick dark line, makes the object appear closer to you, and the light thin line makes it appear more distant. The weight of the line also indicates how important the object is. It's oftenly happens in comic art or a cartoon art. For this lesson, we will be working with outline. Outline is the foundation of the drawing. Once we look at the object, our eyes naturally follow the edges of it and define its silhouette. Did you ever think of why you could recognize someone you know from like 200 meters distance? You can't see a face or clothing features from that far, but we immediately gauge the familiar silhouette. But let's get to the exercise and see for yourself. I already have Procreate open and the training sheet placed in the working area. Now let's make sure that we're drawing with black color. I opened the Color picker and I drag the picker circle into the black area. That's as easy as this. Now let's pick our drawing brush. I click the "Brushes" blue icon, and in the drop-down list of brushes, I select Inking brushes because I want enough line variability, but I also want some simple brush with not too much effects. I personally love dry ink because it has texture, but also it gives me enough control. Now let's make sure our brush size is just right for this, then we'll use scrollers in the right side of the app. The top scroller regulates the size of the brush, and for this exercise, I need about 10 to nine percent, and the bottom scroller is responsible for the brush transparency. They don't need to change anything here. I just scroll it up to the top, so its maximum opaque. That looks good. Now let's practice drawing just a few lines. To make the light line, here just need to keep the pressure really light. To make a heavy line, I just press straight into the tip of my pencil, now it appears darker. Now let's just try it and make a few different lines by varying the pressure you are applying to the pencil. Start heavy and release the pressure towards the end of the line. Then start light and increase the pressure and just try bearing the line weight as it go. Let's try making it in all different directions from left to right, from right to left, from top to the bottom, and from bottom up to the top. Make a mental note which direction works easier for you. Usually it's so drawing towards yourself, is it easier because they have more control over the line but you just keep an eye on it? The rest is really as easy as giving yourself a chance to practice and explore the line quality in terms of the weight to our ability. Try starting from different points in a shape. Just go in different direction, try going from thin to thick and the opposite, and just see what works for you. A great tip for drawing the perfect shape, a circle, or a square is after you finish the shape. Just don't lift off the tip of the pen off the surface. The system will automatically correct and smoothen up your shape. Now let's imagine, for our first oval the light comes from the top. For the second one, it comes from the bottom, and for the third one it comes from the left. I make the line very light where the light source is, and it gets heavier and darker when it gets further from the light source. This such a simple drawing tool. But look how many things you can show just using line. Now let's practice drawing the arches, which are coincidentally remind us of maybe a handle of your favorite mug, I don't know. Use the free space you have left on the right to practice drawing some random shapes. It could be geometrical or organic, just anything you see around you, then try applying the principles you've just learned. Now we know what bearing in the line weight can help you achieve depth in your drawing. Line doesn't have to be boring and monotonous, but it could be vivid, interesting, and serve a specific purpose. 5. Line Rhythm: The line rhythm, it's something that in broader sense, oftenly described as implied lines. Implied line is something that suggests the edge of an object or a plane within the object. The line may be broken by intermittent marks, or it could be a series of dashes and strokes suggesting the movement. They don't have to be finished as they imply the movement and the viewer finishes it in their brain which makes line a very powerful tool. Just think of it, you can interact directly with people's brains. Wow. Here, I open training sheet number 2. All my settings stay exactly the same as in the previous class. Now, as it's always easier to start with simple bits of the process, let's just practice making a few interrupted lines on your right. Make sure that the interruption pattern is not identical so your lines don't look like twins. That's fine. In this exercise, I ask you to simply draw on top of the existing shapes, interrupt the line in different places and see how it changes the look of an object. Make sure your rhythm is not too repetitive or robotic. We are aiming here at some organic flow, but we'll talk about the flow a little bit later in more details. Now, let's try bringing it to the next level and imagine there's a light which is enlightening our objects. For the simplicity, the light will come from the right. The place where the light touches the object becomes more light and the line becomes thinner and sometimes even completely disappears. The dark side of the object could be shown by using darker and heavier line. Also, the line in the shadow will probably be less interrupted and will have more solid look. On top of everything, we also suggest the mass of an object by making the line at the bottom side of the object darker and heavier. So the objects automatically start to look like they sit on a page and they have a weight and they don't just hang in the air. You can already see the difference that line weight combined with the line rhythm makes. If you just compare the top row of shapes with the middle row, the middle row looks much more grounded, if you know what I mean. Let's switch the direction of the light for this one. I'm lefty so for me most of the times the imaginary light comes from the left. Try to experiment with contrast and the difference between individual strokes. We can vary the length of a stroke. Also, we can vary the heaviness and the darkness of a stroke. We could do a combination of both and see how it comes up. In a free area on your right, I encourage you to just practice drawing some random shapes, whatever you want, something from the top of your head, or maybe something that's around you on your desk. I've just decided to draw an arch because arches are trending all over the surface pattern design right now. Then I'm just drawing a bird because birds are cool. Remember, whatever you draw, the more you practice, the more you think consciously about your line, the more amazing, good looking, cool, and interesting may become. Now we know that the line doesn't have to be finished or continuous. Even a series of dashes and strokes could mean a line. It's all in the eyes of a viewer. 6. Line Flow: Now let's connect everything together and talk about the flow. Flow is a movement created by a set of object or lines with similar appearance which directs the eye movement in one direction. It's very tightly connected to the rhythm and they are basically best buddies. I will start with outlining the overall shape of my object, and then I will move to secondary details. As we talked before, I'm focusing on the silhouette and for now, I'm ignoring the secondary features of the shape by making the line lighter and more subtle at the top where the light is coming from and how I underlined the base of an object to bottom, then the thicker line. I'll make sure that my lines are not interrupting rapidly, and overall, it makes sense as a group. I look at the top oval which is the opening of my cup or vase, and I'm imagining that the bottom part of this oval is closer to us. Therefore, I draw it with a thicker line. Even though the shape overall is more complex and consists of smaller shapes, I look primarily at the outline of the object, and I will get into details in the second round. I look again at all my shapes and see if I want to correct something or if I want to underline and bring the attention to some specific parts of it. I can go over my lines and make it bolder first. No rule forbidding me to do that. So for example, in my teapot, I wanted to bring the attention to the base of it, to the bottom line, and then I imagined that the light comes from the right. So I made made lines on the left darker and bolder. Now I get to my secondary features of the objects which are the lines, the shapes within the shape, like the thickness of the walls or the different bottoms for the cup or the nose of a teapot. Hopefully, by now you're using interrupted lines and they are versatile and they flow into each other nicely. I put my secondary lines along the main silhouette outline of an object. I just imagine that they follow the curvature of an object and they suggest its volume. By now, you have a few things to keep in mind while drawing. Where the light source is situated, what are primary features of an object and what are secondary, which part of an object is closer to us, and how to make all of weight work as a team. I've decided that I won't be showing you in details all of the objects, but I leave the teapot for you to study independently. I believe in you and I believe that by now you are capable of doing it yourself. Now it's your turn. Download the worksheet and practice on your own. Good luck. Now you know, with flow, helps the viewer to perceive the image seamlessly. In the next video, I will collect all the tricks together and make a drawing of your cup. 7. The Cup Portrait: Okay. Now, I'm going to open my photo which I've made using my camera. You don't need any complex devices or solutions, just take a photo with your iPhone or even just using your iPad camera. Just check if it's enlightened enough because this is helpful. But other than that, we don't need any masterpieces of photography because it's just a reference. I'm opening Procreate and I created the same standard screen size file. Just for simplicity, I click the Tool icon, I click "Add" and I click "Insert a photo", picking my photo. It's not super bright, but that's fine for us. I will scale it down a little bit, not to look too much into fine details it's just reference. I wouldn't recommend drawing on top of the reference in this case and tracing the image because what we want is to develop eye hand coordination and observational skills. We just place it to the left side of the screen, I'm a lefty but you can place it on the right side. Just on one side of the screen, you'll have reference. On the other side, we will be drawing. I click Selection tool, this little blue ribbon thingy. I click "Rectangle" and I just select the cup. Then I swipe down with three fingers and I click "Cut and Paste". This is external menu for copy pasting objects. Now I go to my layers. The cup layer is pasted on the next level, so I can just delete the bottom layer by swiping right and click "Delete". Cool, now I have just a cup. I will have to position it a little bit. I create a new layer and I will lock the cup just in case, we don't know. Actually for the sketch, I will pick sketching brushes and I will pick "6B Pencil" because I will be using the method of pre-sketch to create a very raw under sketch for my future sketch. It sounds a little bit complicated, but just watch me. I look at the cup and I'm just trying to get the raw proportions of it. This is may be a little bit too dark. I look on my cup, it's taller then it's wider. It's like a rectangle which is widening up towards the top a little bit. This is like a very rough sketch, but don't be afraid, I'll fix it. I marked for myself approximately where the handle starts. I imagined what the handle is also rounded rectangle, it will end up about here. It has a thickness so I mark it up. Somewhere here, it's going to be our top. The bottom is also not straight, it's not the rectangle, but it's like half an oval. I'm constantly checking with my reference and I just tried to repeat the lines. This is under sketch, so we are not going to need it in future. I create a new layer on top of it and I will clarify my sketch. This time I will use dry ink brush, [inaudible]. I'm drawing on top of my under sketch. This is still sketch, but this one is more clear. Actually, I will go and I will make the under sketch more transparent. Don't distract me too much. Get to my new layer again, now I clarify the lines. I don't think about the line quality so much, I just wanted to have a clear image reference for my future self. I look at the curvature of the handle, it gets thicker towards the cup, drawing the thickness. I look at how the handle connect to the cup. This is not a straight line, but just a little bit of an arch, I guess, here as well. Also, I will mark the break in the plain of the handle because it consists of two plains. I think I got that right, then it's fine for now. I also note the thickness of the walls of my cup. This is quite good for technical sketch, this is not all guys. Now, I can turn off the under sketch and I can make this one transparent. I didn't like using eraser too much because in the art school, for some reason they forbided us to use it. I just line drawing sketches on top of my sketches until I'm happy with the final result. I make this sketch transparent and I create new layer again. This is the time where we shine with our new learned skills and we just make amazing, versatile bold and theme, dark and light lines and use all that we've just learned. Dry ink brush, maybe a little bit thicker. Around eight, that's about right. I don't need my reference much here, so I will switch it off too. Not to get distracted. Now I start outlining my cup, thinking of the main silhouette first and secondary details second. I start from the bottom, start with a heavy dark line because I know the sun comes from the top. Wait, I will just check with my reference where the light is coming from. It's from the right, that's enough for me for now. A little sun. Now I know this side, the left side, will be darker because of the sun reaching the object in that direction. Going to the top oval. If I don't like my line, I just cancel it with tapping with two fingers. I like the lines which are not suffered through, but they flow. Instead of erasing the segment, I would rather delete the whole thing can redraw again. This side is closer to us, so it's a little bit thicker. I connect the handle to the main shape and delete the connecting points are quite important, so I try not to interrupt my line too much in the spaces. We have the main silhouette. I'm looking at it, I squint my eyes not to get distracted by the sketch and just to look at the bold lines and see the form overall. I think the bottom line could be thicker, more contrast. I also think that this side could be more dark. Now, I will work on a secondary lines, which should be lighter and thinner. Those are the lines within the shape. It's not the silhouette, but it's more like a break of a plain or dividing between parts of an object so they can't be as dark as the silhouette lines. They are always lighter and less bold. Now, this line is also dividing the plain to the object. This is just a suggestion, but something is there. Now, I will just add my secondary lines and maybe I'll help myself with turning on the photo. The light is coming from here and this part is darker. Here you can notice what the shades are. Here, here and here. Now, I start with just a couple of light lines supporting the silhouette. Remember we can't be bolder on the main lines because they are just supporters, little extras in our big play. They are also shorter, they're mostly broken. I feel like it's supported enough, now I will add more lines where the shadow is. I try not to make them repetitive, even though we tend to think in patterns. So I try to interrupt them in different spots. We create a nice flow altogether. I think it's enough for my mug. Maybe just a little bit dots just because I get carried away. Now, I look at the dark spots I marked here and I will add a couple of dashes to show that something is going on there, maybe one little here. Now my mug is done, I want to clean up a little bit with all those external stuff. So I click "Select", I pick "Freehand" then I outline all the stuff I don't want in my final drawing, I click "Layers". When I click on my layer and pick "Clear". So I cleared it up, now I will turn off my unnecessary layers. The mug layer and the sketch layer. I only have my clean up, I just want to place it in the center of the composition nicely so we could have some fun with it in the last bonus class. My mug is done and now they can't wait to see yours. 8. Outro: Closing Thoughts: Hey, you've made it. Thank you so much for taking my class. I really enjoyed spending some virtual time with you guys. We've learned that the line is a very powerful tool with a bunch of different qualities. We first talked about the line weight and how to vary it, then we discussed the line rhythm and implied lines. At the end, we talked about the flow and how to engage the viewer by using it. All of it affect how the final drawing will look like and what impression it makes on the viewer. So I hope you are more curious about the line as a tool now. Now I can't wait to see you posting your results in the class gallery. Post your progress, post your training sheets and most importantly, post your beautiful mugs and cups. If you enjoyed this class and you think someone else may benefit from it, please leave it a review. If you want to be the first to know about my next class, please go to my website and subscribe to my newsletter. I really hope to see you in my next class and until then, just keep drawing. 9. Bonus: Let's Make It Personal!: For the last class, I want to show you three quick ways how to decorate your freshly drawn mug. Number 1, I create a new layer under our mug layer, I pick yellow color, and I just picked polka dots, as an ornament, but you can go wild and just use your imagination and decorate it, anything you want. Number 2, fun lettering. Think of something you want a full cup of, and just draw the letters as if you didn't know how to write. Remember when we were kids, we were just copying the shape of the letters, and that worked perfectly. Number 3, since there's an actual plant growing inside of my mug, I thought I'll decorate my cup with flowers growing from it. So I just draw a few quick lines symbolizing the stems and then just drawing them to your style flowers. Nothing too complicated I didn't want it to clash or imbalance my cup drawing, I just want them to work together in synergy. Those were just three quick ways how to have fun and flavor your cup. I'm sure you can invent many more, and I would really love to see what you come up with. Thank you again so much for taking my class. I hope to see you in my next classes, and I really hope to see your results in the class gallery. Until then, goodbye.