Yes! You Can Draw! Reconnect With Your Creative Self | Amandine Thomas | Skillshare

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Amandine Thomas, Award-winning illustrator

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8 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Class Project

    • 3. Let's Break Bad Habits

    • 4. Let's Tame Our Lines

    • 5. Let's Trust Our Hand

    • 6. Let's Train Our Memory

    • 7. Let's Find Our Own Style

    • 8. Where To From Here?

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About This Class


Reconnect with your creative potential and boost your self-confidence, with a series of fun drawing exercises taught by award-winning illustrator Amandine Thomas!

So, you loved to draw as a kid, but have since become self-conscious? Follow Amandine as she takes you through four easy drawing exercises, designed to help you reconnect with your creative, imaginative, fearless younger self!

In this class, you’ll not only loosen-up and have fun (just like when you were a kid), but you will also learn how to:

  • Go back to basics, with helpful tips you can apply to your own drawing practice
  • Stop feeling self-conscious, by redefining what makes a “good drawing”
  • Identify your strengths and use them to develop your own personal style

Throughout the class, you will be following Amandine’s guidelines to create a series of expressive self-portraits, using the technique of your choice.

So, whether you are a complete beginner looking to unlock your artistic potential, or an experienced illustrator keen to keep that creative spark alive, grab your favourite drawing tools and dive in!


1. Introduction: Hi everyone. I'm Amerindian thomas. When I was four years old, I announced to my entire family that I was going to become a children's book Illustrator. I grew up writing all these little stories that are illustrated and then compiled into these really crooked little booklets. And the truth is, if we fast forward present-day, not much has actually changed. I'm now a professional illustrator and my children's book have won multiple awards. My work has also appeared on branding, in magazines, on packaging. But for all this, I never really lost touch with my four-year-old self. And that's why I decided to start teaching drawing workshops to help people reconnect with their own imaginative, creative, feel less younger self. The one that used to draw princesses or firetrucks all the time. Because somewhere between them and now, many people become self-conscious. But drawing, right? They convinced themselves that their lack the skill, the imagination, the creativity to keep drawing. So if that sounds like you, then you're in the right place. The project. I'll take you for a series of really fun, really easy drawing exercises designed to help you go back to basics. And that hopefully will be the starting point over more regular during practice for you. In our class, we're going to let go of what we think makes a good drawing. We won't worry about daunting concepts like proportion or perspective. And instead we will simply focus on expressing yourself. While of course, picking up a few helpful tips along the way. For example, I'll teach you how to break out of bad habits or how to improve your spatial awareness. And of course, had to be more positive about your own work. Because the class really is for everyone. You don't need any prior skills to enjoy it. Whether you're a complete beginner and you're looking for an artistic outlet or your professional Illustrator wanting to keep that creative spark alive. The class will help you develop or refine your own personal style by giving you clear insights into what makes your drawings linear. So by the end of the class, you will not only feel more confident about your creative potential, but you'll also be able to identify what your own individual style could be and apply these findings into your own work. So let's get started. 2. Class Project: Hi again. So are you ready to hear about the class project? Here is what we'll be doing in the following lessons. I will be taking you for a series of drawing exercises, each with a twist. Based on these, you will create for expressive self portraits. Your first self portrait will be drawn with the hand you are not usually comfortable using. Your second one will be drawn without lifting your hand from the page. Your third one will be drawn without looking down at the page. And the last one will be drawn with your eyes closed. Now, that might seem crazy, but these constraints are actually extremely useful. First of all, they'll help you loosen up a little bit, which is key when drawing. And they'll also highlight some very important drawing principles. And of course, there will definitely challenge your conception of what makes a good drawing on account of just how ridiculous Some of your portraits will look. But remember that's the point we are here to overcome these feelings of embarrassment. So how are we going to achieve all that? In each lesson, I'll explain the exercise in detail and why it's useful. I'll give you the guidelines for each self portrait. I'll demonstrate each exercise and I'll share some tips to help you make the most of it. So to complete your project, you will need anything that allows you to see your face like a mirror, a selfie camera, or alternatively, a few different pictures of your face. Whatever drawing tools feel most comfortable to you. For example, I will be using role of butcher paper, black and colored markers and felt depends. But no eraser. Once you have completed your project and have all four self-portraits, go ahead and upload them to the your project section. And I also encourage you to comment on your fellow students artwork because you might be able to see qualities in their portraits that they might have overlooked and vice versa. Alright, see you in your first lesson. 3. Let's Break Bad Habits: Welcome to the first lesson. We're gonna learn how to get rid of bad habits and how to be more spontaneous when drawing. So here are the guidelines for the first exercise. You're going to draw a self portrait with the hand do not usually comfortable using. You can repeat the exercise as many times as you want. And then we're going to take a good look at your drawing and things, qualities it holds what makes this drawing a good drawing? Now you might be wondering, why are we doing this right? Basically, this exercise is going to help you get rid of any creative clutches you might have picked up along the way. And by creative cultures, I mean in conscious little habits. For example, you might use a series of small strokes instead of one uninterrupted line. Or you rely on shading to hide little flows. Or maybe you over embellish, you add too many details or fen to divert attention from a mistake, which is my very own worst clutch. The problem with these habits is that they keep us from addressing the underlying issues we're trying to hide. The little floors, the little mistakes, the insecurities were, just sweep them all under the rug and we lose the opportunity to overcome them. The other thing is that some of these clutches stifle our movements and they keep us from being truly spontaneous when drawing. But when we use our non-dominant hand, we lose the control or the precision that's needed to use these little tricks, we just have to go for it normal clutches. So for this exercise, I'll be using simple butcher paper and a black fine liner. But really the tools don't matter that much. You will improve no matter what you use. Feel free to use your own favorite tools except if it's an eraser. Remember we want them raw instantaneous here. Plus often knowing that you can use an eraser is a cotton itself. So by Raisa. Alright, now let's get started. Feel free to draw at the same time as me or watch the video first, then complete the exercise. Once you ready, start by taking a good long look at your face, noticing any details you want to include in your portraits. Try not to limit or restraining movements, even if this feels unfamiliar. Keep your hand flowing from one stroke to another. Really enjoy that freedom, that energy, that spontaneity. This is what drawing as a kid felt like. Who cares if the result looks ridiculous right now. And you slowly become more comfortable with the constraint, you might start to revert to your previous habits, but tried to stay aware of what your hand is doing. If you feel yourself going right back to your old clutches, consciously challenge yourself to stop, even if it feels uncomfortable. You can repeat this exercise as many times as you want, really trying each time to add more details to be more precise. One of my friends actually found these techniques so liberating that she started to draw with her left hand. And the clumsiness that came with it became part of her own style. Once you've completed the exercise, take some time to reflect what makes this drawing a good drawing. Of course, it will have plenty of laws, but tried to ignore them as they come to your mind, focused instead on the positives. For example, pay attention to your strokes. How would you describe them? What positive emotion do they remind you of? What qualities as this portrait hold that your usual drawings don't. Once you've finished your portrait and you've identified a few qualities, remember to upload it to the project section of the class. I'd love to take a look myself and maybe give you some feedback. And remember to look at other people's work to what makes their drawing a good drawing, share her insight with each other. And you might be surprised by what other people see in your work. Before we move on to the next lesson, let's recap what we learned. You spotted some of your creative clutches. You injected most spontaneity for an energy in your drawings. You identified good qualities in each of your drawing and you learned how to describe them. Alright, I will see you in the next lesson where we will learn how to tame our lines with a new sketching exercise. See you there. 4. Let's Tame Our Lines: Hi again. This is the second lesson and we will look at taming our lines. This will be helpful not only because it will improve your spatial awareness, but also because it will make your drawings much more lifelike and expressive. Plus remember us kids, we all started withdrawing lines and shapes, right? Everything else came much later. So for the second exercise, you will draw a portrait without lifting your hand from the page. The drawing must be done in one single line. You can repeat as many times as you want. And then we'll take a good look at your drawing and think about the qualities it holds. What makes it good? Now, why do we need to tame our lines and how will this exercise help? First of all, learn drawing is really great technique. You mentioned that your eye is tracing the outline of your subject and your hand is simply recording it. It's a great way to capture really expressive, really quick snapshot of your subject. Plus, as your eye is tracing these lines, you become more aware of the way your hand is moving across the page, especially if you have to draw in one single stroke. So it forces you to ask yourself, when you start your portrait with the hair, the outline of the face. And if you can't lift your hand from the paper, your stroke actually travel from one eye to the other or from one year to the nose. And how would you make sure that you don't forget or neglect any details along the way. Paying attention to these micro-decisions which are usually made in consciously, is not only great to make you more confident with line-drawing, but it will also really help with the overall composition of your image. For example, one of my classic mistakes when I sketch is to start in the center of the page and then progress outward only to realize that my subject won't fit. So take time to ask myself, Where do I start? How much space do I need? What am I actually going to draw is really helpful to avoid these issues. So are you ready to give it a GAR? Remember, you can use any tools you want, except for an eraser. We want the drawings to be done in one uninterrupted line. And of course, if you stop to pick up your razor, You'll have to leave to your hand. Also, if you raise any part of your drawing, it won't be an uninterrupted line anymore. So now you've got rid of the eraser. Let's get started. Once again, you can draw the same time as mean or watch the video first. Before you start drawing, Take another good look at your face. You probably already know that observation is absolutely key while sketching and it will really help improve spatial awareness. Then, once you start trying to pace yourself, as it can be quite tempting to rush through this exercise. And if you accidentally leave Japan, which can be quite an automatic gesture, don't worry about it and just start again. Always taking your time, enjoying the floor of your Lyme. Talking about floor. The previous exercise will actually help here as the drawing was pretty much be done in one huge fluid stroke. Remember that free spontaneous feeling? And just like last time, you can draw as many portraits as you want, really trying with each iteration to challenge yourself a little bit further. For example, I know I tend to rush for this exercise because the, it needs to be drawn in one single stroke gives me the illusion that I don't need to add as many details. So my challenge is to take my time and pay attention to details. Once you've completed the exercise, is time to reflect. Remember to keep these negative thoughts at bay. We're not even going to entertain them. We're here to focus on the positive. What makes this drawing good? When you think about qualities to describe your portraits, tried to focus on the overall expressive city rather than techniques. How would you describe the overall feel of your drawing? Does it give you a sense of strength or vulnerability, maybe brightness? After you've identified a few qualities in your drawing, remember to upload it to the project section and leave comments to your fellow students to Don't be embarrassed, we're all in this together. It will be great insight. Okay, let's recap what we've learned before moving on. You reconnected with line-drawing. You gain awareness of the way your hand moves across the paper. And you took a more thoughtful approach to drawing by asking yourself the right questions before you start. What do you already see you in the next lesson where we will learn about trusting our hand with another drawing exercise. See you then. 5. Let's Trust Our Hand: Welcome to your third lesson. We will be looking at trusting our hand. And this will not only improve your hand-eye coordination, but it will also make you way more confident. Sought for the third exercise, you will draw a portrait without looking down at the page. Repeat as many times as you want. And then of course, take a look at your drawing and think about what makes it good. You might once again be wondering, why are we doing this? Well, remember in the previous exercise where I talked about how your hand is tracing where your ISC. Basically this exercise will strengthen that relationship further. The more you can trust your hand to do its thing while you're looking at your subject, the better. If you trust your hand, you will be better able to keep track of where it is on the paper without having to look at it. And as a result, you'll also be able to keep your eyes on your subject more. And that is a very important skill. For example, when I'm sketching, try to look up at my subjects the majority of the time. And the reason is, if I don't do that, I tend to start drawing from memory. I think I know what a face looks like, so I forget to pay attention to what the space looks like. And you'll hear me say it a thousand times. But observation is key. That means you need to be looking up at your subject, not down, checking what you're hand is doing. Okay, time to draw it. I'll be using the same tools for this exercise, but you are free as always, to use whatever you want. Apart, of course, from an eraser. Remember you don't need that clutch anymore. As you start to draw, you will see that the skills we developed in the previous exercise will be really useful here. Instinctively knowing how much space you have on the page, understanding where your hand is traveling on the paper and working out the relationship between the different elements of your portrait, like the eyes, the nose, the mouth. All that becomes extremely useful once you can't look down at your drawing anymore. Once again, I encourage you to pace yourself while drawing because this is a somewhat uncomfortable experience. We tend to want to be done with it and we rush through it. Of course, the main issue is that if we pose too long without pen up, we might forget where our hence it's on the page. We know where we drew the eyes, but it turns out where are way off and we end up drawing the eyebrows on our chin. So I encourage you to use the single stroke technique we learned in lesson two. That way, if you don't lift your pen, you will always know roughly where your hand is in relation to everything else on the page. And if you decide to do the exercise several times, which I recommend, try to challenge yourself to be more and more precise with each iteration. For example, my portraits are often missing small details, so I'll work on that. Now the truth is, your drawings are probably going to look ridiculous, but embrace that silliness. Have fun with it. Lava yourself. Remember, kid that used to just draw for fun not to produce something good. And that's why when it's time to reflect on your drawing, I encourage you to focus on what draws your attention first, not what makes it good or bad. For example, ask yourself, is it a particular feature that draw your ion? Or is it a strong emotion or a feeling? Or is it a mood or a character? Once you've written a few ids down, don't forget to upload your work to the project section and comment on your fellow students portraits to once again, I promise it really helps you work in a different light when a complete stranger compliments it, even if your eyebrows on your chin. Okay, before moving on to the fourth lesson, here is what we learned here. You trust your hand, do its thing. You understand the relationship between your subject. You hand the page better and you lend to pay more attention to what you see. Now when you're ready, let's move onto the fourth lesson where we'll learn to train our memory. See you then. 6. Let's Train Our Memory: Welcome to your fourth lesson. This time we'll be looking at training our memory using our observation skills. Because yes, observing is the first step to remembering. In the fourth exercise, you will draw a portrait with your eyes closed. Repeat as many times as you want. Then of course, take a good look at your drawing and think about the qualities it holds. So how is this going to help? You already know that observation is really important to develop a whole lot of useful skills like your hand-eye coordination or your spatial awareness. So we really need to train ourselves to become more observant. Because as I mentioned in the previous lesson, we do have that tendency to draw what we think things look like rather than what they actually look like. And that's why we need to train our memory to retain When we have observed. And there are many situations in which this is really useful. For example, I sketch a lot while on holidays. So I might be at the thoracic cafes catching some wine and then boom, they get up and they leave. Now if I haven't spent time first observing them and then committing these observations to my memory, then I'm stuck. So this exercise is great to force you to spend time observing your subject first and then to commit these details to your memory. You know, by now is choose, I will be using, but please once again, use whatever you'd like for this exercise. Now, obviously if you ignored me the previous free times, now is the time to listen. Do take at least 30 seconds to observe your own face. Try and identify the details that make you unique. Is it that small crease between your eyes? Or maybe you'd impulse. What is the actual shape of your glasses? Or do the corners of your lips tend to go up or down. Now this exercise is the perfect one to apply all the tricks we've learned before. Start by asking yourself why you will start your drawing, what details you will focus on and where on the page you will situate your portrait. The labor movement flow. Enjoy that freedom, that unrestricted movement. The fun of simply drawing, just like when you were a kid. And if you are worried that you might get lost in the page with your eyes closed, you one big stroke. Don't leave Japan if you can avoid it. And finally, trust your hand to translate on paper what your eyes have noticed. Don't rush and take the time to draw all the small details you have observed. Once again, you can repeat the exercise as many times as you'd like. Focusing each time on adding more elements. You missed that Dembo or your eyelashes tried to remember adding them next time. Now, you know the drill. It's time to reflect on your drawings. Tried to focus on your best qualities based on what you've identified so far. For example, ask yourself, are my drawings good? Because my strokes are often bold, delicate, clean? Are my drawings could because they convey a sense of strength or vulnerability or liveliness. All my drawings Good because I know how to emphasize feature and emotion and mood. Remember to upload your portraits in the project section. So the rest of us can also comment on what we like about it. Once again, it will give you great insight into your own style, even if you don't think you have one yet. For example, when I was a student, my teachers used to often comment on the liveliness to movement, the energy in my drawings. So I learns to emphasize that I identified what made my drawings unique and I ran with it. Before we move on to the last part of this class. Here, we learned in this lesson, you learned to spend time observing your subject and committing details to your memory. You use techniques from previous lessons to complete your portrait. You started to identify your own strength by figuring out what is good about your drawings. Once you're ready, let's move on to the last part of this class where we will recap everything we've seen in the previous lessons and then see how you can develop your own personal style. See you then. 7. Let's Find Our Own Style: Hi again. Good news. Normal crazy exercises. You can go back to drawing whatever you like. That being said, I do encourage you to take everything you've learned for these past lessons and apply it to your irregular drawing practice. For example, don't forget that four-year-old kid inside of you, the one that used to draw just for fun. Don't put so much pressure on producing good work and instead focus on enjoying yourself. You will progress much faster that way, I promise. You don't trust yourself to draw a straight line to save your life. Be bold and push yourself to overcome that challenge. Your drawings will be a lot more expressive and life-like. Once you allow yourself to make mistakes, you feel like you can't ever accurately draw what you want. Use simple strokes to effectively train your hand in tracing what your eyes see. And remember, a little bit of planning goes a long way. You spend most of your time with your noise almost touching your page. Remember to look up, trust your hand to do its thing and focus on what you see. Remember to dedicate time for observation and to consciously comic details to your memory. You will be able to draw anywhere from a bustling street in Bangkok to a busy caffeine Paris. Finally, look back all the comments you've got about your work, your own comments, mine others. And ask yourself, what is the most common way you have described your own work? If you've got feedback from other students, was it consistent? And if you haven't got any feedback yet, remember to come back and check in a little while. Based on this, what qualities should you develop in your own practice? Once you have identified what it is that makes your drawings unique, it will be much easier to develop your own personal style. And trust me, I'm talking from experience here. My own personal styles truly emerged from a super regulars catching practice. The more I did it, the more I was able to identify my strength, the more I was able to amplify what I was naturally good at. For example, I noticed that my sketches tended to be more accurate when I drew small. So I started to buy smaller sketchbooks and more precise tools like fine liners or calligraphy nibs. I also realized that I was better at line-drawing than anything else. I didn't do too well adding textures or shading. So I ran with that and perfected it in my sketches. And other big strength was the fact that I was able to draw really fast. So my sketches became these quick, lively, dynamic snapshots of what I saw. And you will find every single one of these elements in my illustration work, small, detailed BZ images with a strong emphasis on clean and dynamic lines. So I really hope that this class will be the starting point of your own journey towards finding your individual style. First by reconnecting with that childlike joy of drawing, then by letting go of your embarrassment. And finally by focusing on what makes you great. Alright, I'll see you in the last video where I'll share my key takeaways for these class with free tips on how to improve your regular drawing practice. 8. Where To From Here?: Congrats, you've made it through the class. I've kept you from using your dominant hand. I force you to draw in one single line of, asks you to draw without looking down or with your eyes closed. And I even forced you to get rid of your eraser. And yet here you are. Well done. You saw. Now, how do we make sure that you keep up with the good work? How do you keep on using what you've learned in the lesson in your ongoing practice. Well, here are my top three tips for anyone who wants to stick with a fun, positive drawing practice and wants to keep touch with that childlike creativity. Number one, by drawing book and draw everything. Everywhere. You coffee cup, your house, plant your cat. The more you do it, the better you'll get. Number to. Forget about the rules. Every drawing is good if you enjoyed doing it, identifies a strength and focus on developing them rather than feeling defeated by your flows. Number three, never, ever repaired a page or fraud drawing out. Come back to it in a few hours. And I might actually hold qualities that you ever looked before. Congratulations again and thank you so much for taking this class with me and embarking on that somewhat crazy journey. I hope that you never ever feel embarrassed by one of your drawings again. And please remember to upload your work to the project section account way to see what you came up with. And if you wanna see more from me, please feel free to check out my Instagram or my website. See you serene and Happy Drawing.