Creating a Minimal Sketch | Laura O'Connor | Skillshare

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Creating a Minimal Sketch

teacher avatar Laura O'Connor, Artist

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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.

      Creating a minimal sketch


    • 2.

      Find a reference image


    • 3.

      Set up & start sketching


    • 4.

      Roughing out the details


    • 5.

      Adding in extras


    • 6.

      Pencil to Marker


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About This Class

In this class you will learn how to do a simple, minimal sketch of a person from a photo reference, using pencil and marker. The goal is to achieve a minimal and expressive sketch, rather than a realistic and perfect copy of the photo. When I sketch a person, I prefer to do a quirky illustration with a personality instead of an exact replica. Join me to discover how easy it is to draw your own awesome sketch! Share with us on Social Media with #CreatingAMinimalSketch

Meet Your Teacher

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Laura O'Connor



I am an Artist from New Zealand where I studied Illustration and Graphic Design at University. I began seriously freelancing after graduating and moving to Melbourne. Later I took Fine Arts classes in Seoul. My style has developed over the years, currently I admire if I can convey a certain quirkiness or irregularity in my work. I favor people in my illustrations, but I'm always keen to explore new subject matter. Currently I am traveling, while freelancing for various clients including musicians, fashion labels and start-ups.

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Level: Beginner

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1. Creating a minimal sketch: Hi there. I'm Laura. I'm an illustrator and graphic designer at University. I studied visual communication design and for the past six years now of being a freelancer and also for about three years at being selling my art prints on some e commerce sites online in this class, we will be making a simple, minimal sketch that will be fun and interesting to look at. You will need a pencil, a black marker, an eraser and a piece of paper. This class is for beginnings or anyone who wants to try out a new style. See you in the next video where we will be choosing our reference image and talking about what makes the good symbols get. 2. Find a reference image: So to make an interesting and simple sketch, we first need to get a reference image to draw from. For this class, we will start with a bigger but as your technique improves, fell free to change that to any subject or object that you would choose something that interests you if you start out with a boring photo than your sketch might turn up. Pretty boring, too. So go ahead and looked through old photo albums of her family or, like me, just head straight to Google Image Search or Pinterest dot com Pinterest dot com is one of my favorite sites for sourcing reference images. You can easily right in any tag, for example, street fashion where, and it will search thousands of images for you that other uses have uploaded. Then, once you find many images that you like, you can cook on them and save them for later. It just gives you the option to pin a photo or an image and save it for later on your own board. So think of it as your own virtual mood board with tons of images that you have found and saved previously. Now you can always go back and find the image that you want to sketch When choosing an image. Remember that you'll be focusing on the details of the outfit or the angles and position off the body. For example, I chose this image here because I thought the guy looked cool and laid back. I liked his outfit, and I thought it would make for a nice, minimal sketch. The fluffy part of his jacket could be shown easily with some small months. 3. Set up & start sketching: Okay, now that we've found a perfect image to use for sketching, it's time to set up your space. Set up your space on the table so that you can clearly see your reference image. Most of the time, I'm getting my reference image from the Internet. So I just set up my computer with my sketch head. Make sure your comfy and you have everything you need to start. Now that we're set up with a reference image in front of us, you can go ahead and grab your pencil. Look closely at your photo, begin to rough out the shape off the person I personally like to use these loose circles. It's kind of a quick and easy way for me to enlarge or reduce the mess of each circle without having to stop and start all over again. Keep her pencil line soft and light. At this point, you're simply establishing where things sit on the page. You don't want to go into too much detail yet. Okay, so now you should have a nice lobby marshmallow figure I just sketched. Then at the photo and then look back a game. Look your eyes back and forth several times. This will quickly determine if your proportions are roughly in the right place or the out. Please. If something looks big or small, you can easily adjust this with your life pencil strokes and use slightly heavier strokes. So you're different trading from old Now you have the general shape of your figure. 4. Roughing out the details: so it's time for more detail in the form of line paying attention to the close the eyes, nose, mouth and hair of the person. You can begin to lightly mark out where these things sit on your blob. I like to use straight lines to determine where some important things sit short. Quick lines are very different to loose circle shapes from your first rough, so they're nice and easy to see on the paper. Now we're ready to add in more details. So is the clothing baggy or tight? I like to use small strokes of the pencil. To emphasize these details. For example, is their attention from the tight skirt mark this in with short strokes? Or is there a loose flowing shirt? You can show this with a longer life. Please press slightly heavier with your pencil when applying these lines, as you want them to be more noticeable, Then the rough sketch lines from before try a best to put these lines down quickly, so they a pair to have a more organic look. If you spend a long time on a small line, it will probably look shaky and forced, but we want to stay light and kind of Jesse. You don't have to sketch for us, but you can spend a lot of time observing the details off the figure in your reference photo. When it comes to putting the pencil to the paper, however, you can use these lines. Fost you can make strong and confident lines. 5. Adding in extras: okay, it's time to put in the final details. Does the hair curl and an interesting way? How does their call us it around their neck line? Are their eyes directed towards us? Or are their eyes looking away? You want to keep it fun and try not to get too involved in the realism of your sketch. For example, can the shoes somehow be added to, or can they be simplified? Is the person's shirt too plain? Then you can try adding a pattern. The more spontaneous you are, the better. At this point, small mocks can represent texture or smoothness, depending on how you draw them. This is your chance to experiment and use a little bit of your artistic license if it's a perfect copy of the photo than it might not be all that interesting. 6. Pencil to Marker: Okay, so now we're finished without pencil sketch. It's time to add the black marker. Start slowly and go over the pencil lines that you find to be the best. Don't worry about all the rough lines from earlier. We can erase these. Take your time with this one, as black market can be a little bit less forgiving than pencil. One year ago I was studying fine arts and soul, and I had a very enthusiastic and awesome teacher. Before that, I didn't really appreciate minimal lines. I was more too drawing portrait trip. But now I think minimal is awesome, and I love how expressive just a few lines could be. Personally, I prefer this method. I've never been able to do perfect realism before, so I think it just comes naturally that I like more simple, quirky style. I also admire other artists can pick and filled with style off. I think it's super expressive, really fun to look at. Once the ink is dry on your paper, go ahead, grab your research and get rid of all the pencil lines that are still visible. You should end up with a nice, clean black and white image if you can still see pencil lines, go ahead. And, Reese, those now, if you think you're at minimal sketch looks to minimal and to bear, go back in with the black marker and add a few strokes here and there to emphasize tension . The looseness of an output, the curl of the hair, anything you think my jazz up your sketch a little bit, - huh ? - Okay , that's it. So thanks for joining me. I hope you enjoyed this clause. Just remember to really have fun with it and just focus on minimalism on simplicity. Don't get bugged out in too much detail. Are being realistic or being exactly in proportion. It doesn't really matter a song. It's is a an interesting image that you come up with. Then you're successful. If you want to refer to the class project below, there's some details there. And yeah, I really look forward to seeing everything you guys upload. Thanks, guys. Thanks for watching