Drawing & Line Quality | Emily Armstrong | Skillshare

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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

4 Lessons (20m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Contour Drawing Exercise

    • 3. Exploring Quality of Line

    • 4. Final Thoughts

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About This Class

The way you use a pencil line can give life and energy to your drawings! Learn how to use line to effectively create depth and a sense of style.

Be introduced to the technique of contour drawing, using continuous line to practise looking at your subject in a different way to produce an authentic and honest line.

Meet Your Teacher

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Emily Armstrong

The Pencil Room Online


Hi I'm Emily, I'm an artist and a teacher. After finishing a Masters of Art & Design in 2010 I returned to the simple joy of putting pencil to paper and just drawing. Since then drawing has become my passion as both an expressive art form and an enjoyable and mindful practice. In 2017 I started The Pencil Room, an art education studio in Napier, New Zealand, where I teach drawing and painting classes and workshops. In the last few years I have also been building online courses at The Pencil Room Online.

My approach to teaching drawing is to give my students the skills to draw anything they choose, rather than teaching the steps to drawing just one type of subject. I love the simplicity of drawing and I value doodling from the imagination as much as realistic d... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm in Leon Strong and welcome to my studio, the paints Over Today we're going to focus on drawing using line. But not just any line will consider quality of line. How line creates form in what's the best type of line to convey your subject matter when I'm during. My goal is to create something that's authentic and feels alive, and not just a copy in the way that you use line can have a really big impact on this drawing is my passion, and I hope you'll join me in this. Listen, when we learn how to use line effectively to improve your drawings. 2. Contour Drawing Exercise: we'll start this class with exercise and contour during contour just means each or outline , and that's what will be focusing on today. So I brought along my subject matter. It's a weed out of my garden. It's a dead delight. I chose it because it's quite assuming it is a weight, but it will say it's a really beautiful shapes to it. And I especially like the shape of the bad. That's a really nice car. Tours and ages in the that are gonna focus on during So the key to come toward during sexual very, very slowly into match the speed of your pencil with your eye as it follows the each of your subject matter. The idea behind Contour hitori is that you really look at what you're you're instead of destroying what You know what you think you know about something. We will know what a leaf looks like. We don't know what a dandy lion looks like, but we don't know what best except dead looks like. And that's what I'm looking for, things that make this particular daily life unique. I'm going to choose a place to start for me. It will be here on the right hand side I attended, so that feels correct for me. You must be right ended in my feel more comfortable to start on the opposite side, and it's fine now. As you draw, you're not going to be lifting a pencil off the page. It'll you're drawing a continuous line, and I'm going to be looking at my subject measure a lot more than I'm looking at what I'm drawing. I'm going to use my iron to follow the inch millimeter by millimeter. And as my eye moves, my pencil moves. So every time I see something that changes in the age, I see it could, for example, my pizza was going to be roaring. It's same change. The idea behind come to a joy stick. We all know what a leaf looks like. We know. Watch a dandy like looks like, but we don't know what this exact live looks like. This exact dandy. So finding the unique expects that make this particular dandy line but unique my pencil was not coming off the page. So when I need to double back, my eye is following the each that I'm doubling back along at the same time that my pizza was following. It's a very meditative exercise. It's quite intense, and you may find that if you do 10 minutes of this, you feel very mentally tired afterwards. But it's a great practice to do. Really looking for change or difference. Dimple. Make it spit. We're not consumed so much about proportion here. We're concerned about finding the unique sticks off the line that we're looking at going to get back to. This inch here locked lines next to each other, but each line is different. The nautical uniform. The key here is to have patients and another key this to have faith in yourself. Don't worry about what it's going to look like with this consumed with what it looks like, then what we're learning about this particular subject matter and also we're more concerned about think that we're practicing and we want to practice, to be honest, inauthentic, a little bit distracted or stuck here, and I'm just gonna go back to the point. Right now. It's courage. You may have some lines that you read working, and it's completely fine. That's actually very refreshing. To be able to see with you made an era may have not looked as closely to see that you've made that line and you've got back and you've redrawn. It is honest. It's obvious way to practice. Make sure you give yourself enough time to do this. Exercise. Start. Don't do it when you've got something really pressing coming up so you can relax into it. It's very exciting, very focused, not really thinking about anything else. I'm just looking. I'm very involved in the act calls looking, maybe a moving your I millimeters by along the edge of the object. And you might almost get the feeling as you're drawing that you're drawing on the edge of the object. It's your eye moves along. Try to give a scenes of touch as well, exploring every change you see And that line. Well, I'm getting that. So I've got these fluffy parts here, top of the dandy line that I could just see you go around the each and they're very much. But for this exercise, we're not concerned with the quality off the line in terms of light in darkness. Do that in the next exercise, This one we're practicing, looking, changing the way Do you think about what your subject measure looks like. What you already know, it is not necessarily watching. Your shouldn't be what you do quite often, it it's better, even though I have a really good idea of this coups. It's quite smooth is not a lot of changes still continuing with the aim of the exercise, which is to follow my eye along the beach, and I might give it slightly what me going. But the aim of this exercise is to practice looking, so that's more important that I don't rush that I have patients that I practice looking. It may not end up with an exact replica of your subject matter in your jury, and it's fine because this ex ice is about seeing in about looking. Hopefully what we have ended up with something that feels quite center can hold some truth about that subject matter. That particular subject matter, this particular dandy line is different to any other dandy line together. 3. Exploring Quality of Line: This is the main power of your project. When we start looking in line quality, how can we use those things that we learned in the first video of math thinking? How can we use loose lines, controlled lines, light lines in dark lines to give during some energy? I'm drawing the same dandy light, but I've got to draw a lot. Imagine this time, and that's why I'm going to start with a light pencil. You could use a to H. I use an HB so that you can see it's a little bit more clearly in the video, and I'm just very likely going to sketch out help Big my dandy line. But it's gonna be a I'm gonna make my really large. I'm just making a few months. We have different points of going big with this cool leaf bases with the stalk us. And these lines need to be very, very light because we don't want to go through with an eraser and rub them out. Keep life, you know, if she just disappeared keeping my head nice and says I skitch maybe a few proportional years. We're not focusing limit in this video, so don't worry too much, focusing on line in quality of mine. So we're not drawing in a controlled men and like the contour during what you can do, those sometimes switch your brain into that mode of contour during so you might find somewhere where there is an interesting itch and treated in quite a controlled slow manner to make sure that you are really looking at that age. I'm going to Skitch in all of the basic line, said. I can see through here. I had a really good look at them when I was doing the control during, and I'm keeping my skitch at the moment very light, and the reason I'm doing that is because if I need to, I can go over and change it fairly easily without having to use in a razor. If you feel more comfortable with having in a razor in using one, then by all means do so. My team to teach in a way that hopefully requires his little raising as possible. And I do that by encouraging students to keep things very light. Well, these lines that I'm drawing right now, we'll probably end up disappearing just because everything else is going to become much DACA. So I've got all my line working there. Don't worry if it doesn't look perfect. That's okay. We're looking at quality off line, not proportion in this class. Now I'm going to analyze my subject matter, and I'm looking for to mate. Main things first. I'm looking for light edges in. Dockage is a second thing. I'm thinking about his style. What's an appropriate type of line to use for this subject? It's quite delicate, and it has a lot of detail in it. So I think a sharp line would work well, as opposed to. If you were drawing a piece of driftwood or even a rock, you might have a heavy dark pencil, one that you can get a bit of texture with. I'm going to switch Teoh to be pin, so now it's general pencil, nice and sharp, but I can still get some dark lines, and I'm looking for any areas of light and dark anywhere I can see a light line like on this edge with the light is hitting it. I'm going to keep that nice and light, and this is where my contour lines come into play. that practice is looking at the edge very carefully. I have sketched it out that now I'm putting it in a more detail. And these lines I've sketched out made changes. I go along in this line here, I can see some shadows, other side of this Peter or this leaf. So I'm going to put in some hard he be line, but the line changes as well. I can see where it's starting to light in a little bit. So I'm just gonna ease off on the pressure of my pencil. And then it darkens again inside more pressure to my pencil. And I found a missing line. I'm going to edit line in here, starts off dark, and then it gets light and it actually disappears. I'm going to go through and do each of these lines for these. I guess they're court petals. No, they probably called leaves. Actually, each one of these. I'm looking for the light areas in the dock. Yuri's in the light areas will be with the lightest coming from the side and hitting and the dark areas will be the shadow. Probably mostly on this side. I'm not doing any shading, but I'm adding a dark line where I might add some shading if I was using shading in the line itself is going to help create form. No, I'm coming to these Que gift over leaves the base of that bud and I'm going to treat those the same way I'm looking for Were the light is hitting and those edges, they're going to stay nice and light Light is definitely hitting this edge, going round, trying to work in a similar frame of mind as I was when I was controlled during some trying to see every millimeter off the each. It's very dark just here, so so very dark just here. Stock here we're, uh, to parts meet each other. It is quite a resist. And yes, there's a shadow and the same here, a swell so I can add a sickle line and it gives an indication of dips. Finding my drawing is changing a little bit here from what I originally drew, it's OK because it also shows that I'm looking very carefully and I'm finding parts where I might have parts I may have overlooked first time around. So when I come up along here, there's definitely one side. That is very, very light on one side that is dark. And I've actually moved this across because it is not quite correct in the correct place. That is one thing I will race. So this line where the light is hitting is very, very light in this line, where they're a shadow is much darker. 4. Final Thoughts: I hope you've really enjoyed using quality of line to in heart your Turing's and give them a unique character. If you have any comments or questions, please ask and please post your projects because I really want to see them. Thanks for joining me today.