Line Drawing- The Power of Suggestion | Chris V | Skillshare

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Line Drawing- The Power of Suggestion

teacher avatar Chris V, Artist, Designer, Maker

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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.

      Intro Line Drawing


    • 2.

      Tools, Materials & Subject Matter


    • 3.

      Line Drawing with Charcoal


    • 4.

      Line Drawing with Acrylic Paint


    • 5.

      Line Drawing with a Sharpie


    • 6.

      Bonus Video: My Line Elimination Process Explained


    • 7.

      Outro Line drawing


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About This Class

There is something so beautiful about simple line drawings.  It's like going back to basics.  For me, it's quite therapeutic to create something so clean and so bold.  That's why I love a black on white palette; it is refreshing.  In this class, I'm going to share with you, my process for very minimalistic line drawings starting with the sketching process all the way to the finished product.  

Fun fact:  Did you know that if part of an object is obscured, your brain will complete the shape, line or form, making it as if you can see the entire object?  We'll consider the details of our subject, but leave as much as possible to the imagination, letting the brain complete the picture.  I have demonstrations in three different mediums so you can find just the right one for you... or do all three of them!  

I look forward to share my work with you and I can't wait to see your projects!

Chris  : )

Meet Your Teacher

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Chris V

Artist, Designer, Maker



I'm Chris V., a watercolor artist, designer, online instructor, and desert dweller living on the outskirts of Las Vegas, Nevada. I'm the creative behind, the online wonderland, where I've brought together my watercolor courses, watercolor membership, and other fun projects.  Creating art has been a lifelong passion for me, and I'm so excited to be sharing what I've learned over the years, with you!

I have a no-pressure learning environment, so you can safely share any project, ask any question, or comment without the threat of feeling judged or not good enough.  We all have to start somewhere; I did! You might be really surprised by what you can do when you take the chance and try. I can't... See full profile

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1. Intro Line Drawing: Hi, I'm Chris. Welcome tow line, Drawing the power of suggestion in this class, I'm going to take you through my process of creating basic line drawings of very ordinary things and taking them down to their most simplest form, including leaving some of the lines and finished. I will take you through my sketching process. Step by step. We'll add some detail, but then we'll take it down to its most basic form until it becomes a clean, elegant representation. We use the most simple materials, like a Sharpie pen, black charcoal, hence black acrylic paint I am using a basic sketch pad Here is well, so I hope you'll join me for line drawing the power of suggestion. I can't wait to see your suggestion. 2. Tools, Materials & Subject Matter: I'm gonna be going over with you. What tools and materials I used for this project. My sketch pad is 90 gram manila, colored 11 by 14 paper, basic mechanical pencil and eraser. One project is with a Sharpie. One is with a chart black charcoal, and the other is with black acrylic paint. And I just use a round brush and something to hold some water like a recycled cup. Plus, I like to have a clean paintbrush around to wipe away eraser debris. Super handy. And regarding subject matter, I used just found things that were interesting to my eye. You know, the round hat, the big handbag in this photograph was really engaging, um, regarding the watch. I was looking for simplicity, but also clean lines. And I can't think of anything better to make a statement than a watch. But, you know, a car could be the same kind of a thing. And also a chair. Lots of options for simplicity and clean lines. And then thirdly, the lamp, um, that I chose for my last project was just beautifully curvy and just magnificently simple. So it worked really, really well. But if you want to discuss this and want some help on subject matter. Ah, please reach out to me like the community section and will give it a chat. 3. Line Drawing with Charcoal: So now I'm going to start the project with the watch, and I'm gonna be doing this one with black charcoal, so I'm just going to start in and sketch out the shape of the watch and see what we end up with detail. Wise start out at the top of the sketch with the watchband in this trap is oId shape. I feel like I need to straighten that out a little bit more. I don't want this sketch to be too perfect, but I do want it to be a fair representation, and I think I'll leave that other side open. There's starting the bustle, but it's not quite enough of a circle. So try that one again. And I definitely want to add the crown because that really tells the story that this is indeed a watch. Detail the vessel a little bit. So on this bottom half of the watchband, I think I'll leave the opposite line undone. I see on the top I have the right open and on the bottom. I have the left, and I think I want a little more detail, so I'm going to just add a few of the links in the watchband. See what that pans out. Definitely want to add that hands of the watch, because again, that is a telltale sign that this is Hey, watch detail on the crown. And I think I want to add a little more detail on the bottom because now the top is a little top heavy. So now I'm going to go ahead and start the really obvious lines with the charcoal, and we'll see what we really end up with. So I'm using the very edges so that it's a sharp. Is Linus possible? You want to find a nice clean edge before you start in? Oh, I like the way it thickened at the end. Then that's fun. Now I'm going to start at the top and again, I'm just gonna draw the outline for now to see how much detail we're gonna I really want. And this is really shaping up. I can really see that this is a watch and outline the bottom. Looks like I'm gonna end up doing a little bit of the side. See how the line turned out a little bit dark at the bottom. I'm gonna kind of mimic that all the way up that same size. So it has some balance, and I really like the strong the way it is. I think I'm going Teoh, not filling the links. So now I'm going to take the eraser and we're gonna very, very carefully starting racing pencil marks just ever so slightly because that the charcoal a will smear. So you just want to be really careful at this stage. And if the eraser gets too dirty, I just rub it on that clean white sheet of paper as you saw me doing a minute ago. See how it's dirty? I'm just going to rub the dirt right off so it doesn't spread through my drawing hands. Pretty dirty, though. So in this case, I get a dry, clean paintbrush, and I just brush the eraser marks away. So I'm all done with this one, and I look forward to see you in the next video 4. Line Drawing with Acrylic Paint: So for this project, I'm just going to start out with my mechanical pencil and an eraser, my round brush and some basic acrylic paint. I just took a couple of my recycle benefit water and just gonna start in with the sketching of this lamp here. I've already started a line of top of the page, so I'm just going to continue on ah, with a lamp shade and see how much I'm going to go. Super, Ultra simple. With this one. I want to go as minimalistic as possible. And I think I'm just going to stick with the three lines for the lap shade. That's the neck of the lamp in the top of the lamp of body. And this curve is what I'm really excited about. So, um, I kind of want to mimic it the tiniest little bit on the other side. But if I don't sort of sketch out the mirror image, I don't think I'm gonna put it in the right place, and it's just gonna look odd. So just gonna lightly sketched that. So I can, uh it looks like I have to move it a slight bit. And now that I know where it has to go. I could just sort of leave those light lines for later on to see how much detail we want to put into it. And I'm gonna just sort of sketch out the semblance of a table, but only on one side. Kind of balance out the lamp. You can see I've got a lot of lines on the left, so I just gonna leave the table line on the right, and I'm just gonna wet my brush a little bit. I've already put a little pain into my mix mixing, um, Trey, and get slightly thick, but not too thick. You want it to last while you're running the line across the page, you could start, and I'm just gonna want my brush after each application. Just so the paint stays fresh. See it right now a little bit there. Just touch it up. I just have to add a little bit of water here and there to keep it fluid. I just have to feel it out. I'm pretty happy with that. Just a little bit of paints. I'm running out. Just keep it going with e lower half of the lamp. Pretty happy with my sketch lines so you could see the sketching process is really important cause it is your guide here. I got a lot of pain in my brush so I could make it all the way down the page, huh? I almost made it across there. And that's about as much as I wanna show on the other side. Just a hint of the shape and there's our table. And you could see pretty quickly that we have depicted the lamp and in a very clean, effective way just having the slightest bit of detail at the bottom. Just gonna clean out my brush a little bit. I will take it to the sink later on. But there we have it. We have completed our ah black acrylic paint accented lap sketch and you could see it's super simple, super minimalistic. And, uh, we're gonna move on to the next video 5. Line Drawing with a Sharpie: So now I'm going to start the project with a Sharpie pen and I'm going to use this fashion , Uh, this fashion magazine photo. Um, I really liked the round hat and the huge oversized bag and the the angle of the jacket and the huge pant legs. It was just fun to me. So I'm really gonna have some fun portraying this. I've got my pencil and my eraser and my Sharpie pen ready to go, and I'm just gonna dive in with the sketching, But I wanted to point something out first. Now, if you're not super confident in your sketching or you want, you know, a very much quick, easy effect, you can always put that photo under the paper and trace it. So just a thought there for those of you that want to do this super quickly. So Okay, so to dive in with the sketch, I am going to go and start with the shape of the hat at the top of the paper and kind of build everything down from there. So I've gotta get the shape of the face right. There's the hair line and then I'll start in on the shoulders in the jacket lapel. This is the stage where we can easily change anything that needs to be changed. So none of these lines air final. We'll see what happens. Not super happy with that lapel line. But let's keep it going. I'm gonna site down to the pant legs just so I keep it in proportion. Um, and I don't exaggerate the top compared to the bottom. That's kind of where the jackets gonna end up. Ah, that legs a little angular, but instead of erasing, and now I think I'll go ahead and put the other elements in and then see where I want to move it. After that, strapped for the handbag, there's the shape of that super large handbag. Okay, now I can see where I want that leg, and I guess it's just bowing too much. It needs to be kind of straight supporting the body, and then the other leg can be angled. Sure, I get those wide pant legs at the bottom. Okay, that's a good start. These hands, I I'm not crazy about the finger detail. Yeah, I think I much prefer just the outline of their the shape of the hand keep your super clean and simple, so that's gonna get cut out. And then I'm going to re position that arm so it looks more anatomy, correct. Get the bottom a little more and I am ready to dive in with a Sharpie. So I'm going to start with the hat, work my way down kind of the foundation of this whole sketches, that hat and that's comprised gonna end up with the most detail, the hairline. And I think I'm gonna leave a little tiniest bit of white space between the hat and the hairline. But that will be in a few minutes. So we'll just keep on going here and get most of our elements sharp peed in. And this is a a good time to fix that lapel. Ah, but I'm not sure what I'm gonna do with that yet, So keep going on the shoulders. Sometimes you have to look at the overall drawing to know what you want to dio with other elements. So quite often wait to see how the rest of the drawing turns out. And I have decided now that I've done the arm Okay, so I was able to make that lapel little thinner and turn the other line into her top. And I really want to showcase that jewelry, which I didn't think I would. But it's a really bold element, and we're just going to just make it super simple. Curve with hands, just a hint of anatomy there and move on to the handbag. There we go. So now we kind of have the top of our jacket done. I wish I'd made that a little more angular, but it's still a fair representation. Start with legs. I mean, that right leg, a little curvy er at the knee that I really intended to. But I think it's fun. It's exaggerated. It's supposed to be a fashion sketch, and that's what they're all about. So now I'm gonna start darkening some of my areas that I want to be kind of bold, and I want them to pop in this illustration. So the handbag is definitely one of those elements. So we have just darkened thes strap and I'm working on this lower band. No, sure what I want to do, but I'm just gonna dive in and just start coloring it in. Looks kind of cool. I'm gonna leave that for now. And we're gonna move on to the hat and the hairline. So kind of the separate the hat from the hairline. I'm going to just leave the tiniest bit of white space between the two. Just a hint that the I will just barely pick up. And we're gonna go ahead and really ink in that hat because I wanted to really stand out in this drawing. And I'm just going to quickly get through that because I'm not gonna bore you with the whole process. And there we haven't. You can see there's just the tiniest bit of white space between the hairline and the hat. Nice. Okay, Okay. I'm gonna just dark in that jewelry. Make it a little bolder as well. Balance it out. And I'm pretty happy with that. I don't have to be quite so careful with erasing the lines because, as you know, a sharpie, once you get it down, it's not going anywhere. So that's a much easier process. And since my hands are dirty, I will use my hands to just wipe away the eraser. And we are done 6. Bonus Video: My Line Elimination Process Explained: I'd like to take a few moments to go over with you. My process for simplifying and removing lines from these projects. It's really quite simple, and I developed this method to stretch my own boundaries as an artist. I know I can sketch this item from top to bottom with as much detail as I'd like, But what happens when I take as much detail out? How much detail can I remove and still make this particular item look like a lamp and a beautiful lamp that once my sketches complete, that's when I really start to look at how much simplification I can do. Now you can get tracing paper, and you could do a few different versions of your project and see which ones you like the best. Ah, but I like to just dive in, so I'm just going to I know I want to represent the top and the side and the bottom of my lab shape, but I can see that that is a very fair representation of a lamp shade, and I'm going to leave it like that. The neck of the lamp shade is a tell tale sign. Now, Once again, I want to show the top of the base of the lamp, and I want to show the beautiful curves of the one side of the lamp shade. But I don't feel like that finishes this storytelling. The bottom is also very important. It gives it some definition now. I could leave that other side blank, but I just want to show a hint of the curves on the other side. That's important to me now. What is the lamp sitting on? Is it floating in air? I really want to show the table, and since I don't have to show the entire table, I'm going to show the half where for have done fewer lines. This gives my composition some balance. Now let's take a look at the fashion project. There is a lot of detail, potentially in this sketch, Um, and there's a lot to it. But you know what drew me to this? Who picture was the detail of the hat and that huge handbag, the way she's standing, just the attitude of the model in this shot. So I want to be sure I captured that stuff first, So there's the hat. I have some outline of hair that's showing her style. Of course, the clothing, it really shows the movement of her body. Her attitude in this shot, uh, where she is very comfortable in these humongous jackets, pants, bags, this wide leg pant is Joe enormous, but she feels good in this in this whole outfit, and I want to capture that, and I want you to notice what I find important. Here is what drew me to this shot. What's important to me as an artist? What story do I want to tell? And that's really what this whole project boils down to. What story do you want to tell? Perhaps you could take this same photograph, and your story would be completely different than mine. I don't even know what that would be. And that's the fun of seeing all the projects in the project gallery. What sort of a story are you going to tell us? An artist? It's fascinating. It's fascinating to see what people will choose to portrait of any subject matter now. Although I am adding quite a lot of detail, there is still quite a lot I'm leaving out. So far, I have not done the features on her face because really, they don't capture the essence that I'm going for. Her face is quite serene. Ah, it's a posture of her body that I really want to capture. Um, I did not do the detail of her hands because, really, they're just very relaxed and just sort of laying there. And, uh, I captured that much. I just don't need to show every finger and every fingernail and everything else to tell my story. I'm also not showing every fold in the fabrics. I don't need that to tell my story. So I'm leaving that detail out, which I would normally add in a fashion sketch. Now that I have the basic outline completely done, I'm going to go back over, and I'm gonna bold certain things that I really want to pop in This story. The shoulder strap on her handbag is a big deal to me in this sketch, and I want to capture some detail at the bottom of her hand back to show some bold heaviness at the bottom of that bag to give it some weight. But I'm not going to go through and do every little single, you know, I'm not going to go through in detail that bottom. I'm just gonna show that it's heavy at the bottom and I'm leaving it at that. I have moved on to her hair because I really want to an end. Of course, the hat is the big story in this sketch for me, but, ah, the detail of her hair sort of is seamless with the detail of the hat. So I don't want it to get lost there. So know that the hat and the hair are dark and I'm quite happy with how they look. And the hair actually really adds to her bold style. So I'm very happy that I darkened that. Now I'm looking at what else I need to tell. What what else do I want to pop in this story? I don't want to darken her clothing. They're just there to tell the story of her posture. But the necklace that can given added little boost of style for her and just finished off. Ah, I think I'm really happy with that. I don't want to add any more detail I don't want at any more lines. I think that it tells the story quite nicely of this girl and who she is and that she just feels fantastic in this outfit, and I've done so Now we're going to move on to the watch. And I think this is a great example, because, like, the lamp, it's a very simple item. Um, but it took me quite a while to figure out the story that I want to tell of this watch, and you could see my sketches. Fairly elaborate. I've got links in the watchband. Um, I've got, you know, double lines on the watch face around the edges to show the Benzel. What am I gonna end up with here? And this was a real question mark for me. I had no idea what this was gonna look like when I started darkening the lines. One thing I knew, though, I needed the round shape of the watch face. I mean, that is a no brainer. If this is gonna look like a watch, I've gotta show some sort of round shape. But I didn't have to complete the circle. I didn't have to draw an entire circle. Two curves was all I needed to show the outline of the watch face. Um now I planned on leaving half of that watch Bad undone, but I just didn't feel it was telling enough of the story. So I completed the other side, the crown. It was a must add it just and of course, the watch hands. I didn't have to add them, but really, it's It was part of this story I wanted to tell and it just finished off the detail of the watch face for me. Now again, on the other side, I'd planned to leave the one side undone on the bottom half of the watchband, but I again felt incomplete. So I drew a a line and then ended up with a little bit of detail right there. I didn't complete the line, but I did dark in it and I bowled ID the whole side of the watch to kind of bring a little balance of shadow and wait to this one side of my composition. Now, at this point, I really thought I was going to be adding links. But when I stood back, which I suggest that you do several times while you are working this part of the project, you stand back and look at your project from fresh eyes and I decided I was quite happy with the way it was as a complete project. I really hope that this has helped you to center your thoughts on how you want to portray your subject and how much detail you want to remove what story you want to tell. And I cannot wait to see what you've done in the Project gallery. Thanks for listening. 7. Outro Line drawing: I'm so glad you decided to join me. I had a lot of fun showing you this project in three completely different mediums. I hope you had fun too. If you have any questions at all, you can reach out to me in the community section. Under the videos, you could start your own project in the your project section. And I would love your review so I could keep improving my classes. This concludes line drawing the power of suggestion until next time.