Create Inspiration Boards & Streamline Your Artistic Process | Gabrielle Brickey | Skillshare

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Create Inspiration Boards & Streamline Your Artistic Process

teacher avatar Gabrielle Brickey, Portrait Artist -

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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Organizing Your Inspirations


    • 3.

      Themes and Motifs


    • 4.

      Styles and Mediums


    • 5.

      Elements of Design


    • 6.

      Putting It All Together


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About This Class

Have you ever been inspired to draw or paint, but then by the time you've gathered adequate references, the fire of inspiration has burnt out? I've been there! I'm Gabrielle DeCesaris and I want to show you how you can use resources available and organization to cut that wasted time out of your workflow. 

The feeling of being inspired is so valuable. Some of the best art is made at the peek of creativity. In this class you'll learn how to organize your unique interests into inspiration boards so you'll have a head start in your art making. 

This class is great for painters, concept artists, and illustrators. If you'd like to boost the efficiency of your creative process, join in today!

Meet Your Teacher

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Gabrielle Brickey

Portrait Artist -

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Thanks for stopping by my Skillshare page! I'm so glad you're here.

Drawing and painting the human face is my passion. I've been drawing portraits for over 20 years, but I have never forgotten how it felt to struggle in the beginning of my learning journey...Read My Story

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1. Introduction: Hey everyone. I'm Gabriel De Cesaris and you may have seen me on one of my art classes here on Skillshare. Today, however, I'm going to take a break from the technical and talk a bit about the inspirational side of art-making. In this class, you'll learn how to organize your unique interests and to inspiration boards. So you can cut that waste time of gathering resources and references out of your workflow. You'll learn how to organize your ideas ahead of time. So when inspiration strikes, you're ready to jump in and start creating right away. This class is perfect for painters, artists, illustrators, and really anyone interested in boosting the efficiency of their creative process. So join them today and let's get started. 2. Organizing Your Inspirations: I think being organized is one of the best ways to be prepared when inspiration strikes, and also when inspiration is nowhere to be found. To help you stay organized, you'll want to create a reference database, that you can quickly access at a moment's notice. In my experience, I found that when I get inspired, it's something I got to grab a hold of quick, because it's often a fleeting moment. I don't want to waste valuable time gathering a bunch of resources and references, when I could just jump straight into making art. So I like to organize my inspirations ahead of time on Pinterest, and it's really easy to use. Pinterest is cool because you can create and organize different topics into boards, like mood boards. You can search through Pinterest to find tons of beautiful and inspiring images. Or you can even pin things from the web, or from your computer files. You may also find it useful to install the Pinterest button, which will help you quickly pin any image you enjoy from the web, while also giving credit to the original creator. If you'd rather just save files to your computer, you can make a inspiration folder, and organize that way instead. Over the years, I've found that it's really helpful to go into my art-making, prepared and ready with this organization, and in the next few videos, I'll show you how this breaks down. 3. Themes and Motifs: Several years ago, I made an inspiration box, filled with all the things I wanted to draw one day. I wrote over 80 ideas and themes, from favorite characters to types of people, to places, to things. It was like an art bucket list. So that's what I would recommend you do right now. Grab a piece of paper and jot down what themes, places, things and ideas inspire you. Maybe pick around 10. I'm really inspired by a lot of fairy tale themed subject matter and a lot of girly themes too. So here's my top 10 at this current moment and time. Mermaids, princesses, pirates, flowers, feathers, fairies, ballerinas, jungle scenery, elfs, and medieval clothing. Really random, but it's just what inspires me right now. Once you come up with a theme, think of everything that goes along with it. Textures, colors, surroundings, scenery, objects, basically anything related to your theme. For example, for my mermaid board, I have shells, scales, water plant life, sparkles, shots of the way Sunbeam's look coming through the water, and anything else that reminds me of mermaids. Once you come up with several ideas, start making separate Pinterest boards for each one. I keep mine organized by putting the word theme and then the specific theme name right after that. So what do you like? What makes you feel inspired when you see it? I'd love to hear your list. So please share your top 10 inspiring themes and motives in the project gallery. Maybe some of ours match up or maybe we can give each other some new fun ideas. Now let's get into the next type of inspiration board you're going to want to make. 4. Styles and Mediums: So once you know what themes inspire you, you have to figure out what styles you like. Take some time now to think of a couple of styles and mediums that you really enjoy. Maybe think about the types of pieces you're drawn to when you go to the art gallery, or maybe look at the artists you follow on Instagram. As an example, here are some of my favorite styles and mediums to experiment with. Loose traditional oil paintings, quick sketchy drawings, and smooth digital paintings. So I made three separate Pinterest boards filled with artists I admire, whose works I think are exceptional. I organized mine by writing style, followed by the general style or medium used. Looking at boards whenever you need inspiration and when you want to push your skills. A great way to improve in your art is to learn from the masters. Those artists who are doing what you want to do and are doing it really well. I think that individual style is something that's partly innate and partly a mixture of all the things that we admire, which leaves every artist with a style that's very unique. Making these boards may help you develop your individual taste. 5. Elements of Design: Now, when you find a great piece, really investigate it. Give it more than that typical couple seconds and ask yourself, what is it about this piece that I love so much? You'll find the answer is often in how the artist used and arranged the elements of design. The elements of design are value, color, shape, form, line, texture, and space. These are the things that make up a piece of art. Value refers to the lightness or darkness of a color. Value tells the story of light. White is the lightest value and black is the darkest value. Now we all know about color. It's often what people can point to as one of their favorite parts of a piece. Shape refers to those shapes in two dimensions of length and width, while form implies a third dimension of depth. A line is a path made by a point moving through space. A texture refers to the perceived tactile surface qualities of an object. Finally, Space refers to the area in which art is organized. It includes both positive and negative space, and it also refers to perspective in an image. Usually when we admire a piece, it's because the artist is using one or more of the elements in a way that's pleasing to look at. You'll find they'll often apply the principles of proportion, balance, unity, rhythm, emphasis, and color harmony to their pieces. So figure out what exactly you're drawn to. Do you like high contrast values? Do you admire harmonious color palettes? Do you like rhythmic lines? Do you enjoy works with a high level of texture detail? These are the questions you'll figure out the answers to as you observe different types of art. When I work, I always try to practice something to push my skills, and having my element boards at the ready with lots of beautiful references helps me practice more effectively. To organize mine on Pinterest, I just write element and then I put the specific element right after that. Here's when I reference my element boards. If I want to paint dramatic lighting that I can't just make up out of my head, I'll check out the images posted on my values board to help guide me. When I want to see how the body breaks down into simplified forms, I'll often reference Andrew Loomis, since he has a lot of great diagrams for the structure and forms of the body. Or if I want to study beautiful line work, I'll look to the Master Sergent as my example to study how he drew his lines. Find images where the element of design is handled in a way that you admire. When we look at great art, we'll get better just by observing it. When we practice new ideas as we make our art, we'll refine our skills and improve. So I would recommend making at least three boards filled with references for those elements of design that you want to push to the next level. 6. Putting It All Together: At this point, you know the themes that inspire you, the styles and mediums you enjoy, and the elements of design you're striving to improve in your art. If you make your boards, you'll really be prepared anytime you're ready to start creating. You may also want to make boards for tutorials and stock references. I'll add resources and links in the project section, If you're interested in finding some great quality stock to reference. I draw lots of portraits and figurative work. I like to have stock at the ready if I ever need to heavily reference something. The inspiring combinations become inlets When you set yourself up for success by having your thoughts organized with these boards. Here I used the theme of flowers to make loose oil paintings. These pieces, I was focused on the elements of color and shape. Here I drew a ferry character with pencils using a sketchy style. My focus here was on line work and positive and negative space. Here I made a piece of an elf in a smooth digitally painted style. In this one I tried to experiment with the contrast between the smooth textures and the rougher ones. A good first step is to share your inspiration list of themes with the class. Then start making your boards for themes, style the mediums and the elements you want to work on. Feel free to share a link to your Pinterest boards too I'd also love to see your art and I'm always happy to help if you need it. I'll be returning to the more technical and my future classes to come. But hopefully this lesson was able to get you thinking about what you liked to draw and will set you up for success when you start your next work of art. As always, thank you so much for joining.