Postcards from Here: Playing with Ink | Dylan Mierzwinski | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Postcards from Here: Playing with Ink

teacher avatar Dylan Mierzwinski, Illustrator & Lover of Flowers

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

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.

      Class Introduction


    • 2.

      Class Project


    • 3.



    • 4.

      Getting Inspired Pt 1


    • 5.

      Getting Inspired Pt 2


    • 6.

      Basic Techniques Pt 1


    • 7.

      Basic Techniques Pt 2


    • 8.



    • 9.

      Reference Photos


    • 10.

      Creating Thumbnails Pt 1


    • 11.

      Creating Thumbnails Pt 2


    • 12.

      Rendering Postcards Pt 1


    • 13.

      Rendering Postcards Pt 2


    • 14.

      Rendering Postcards Pt 3


    • 15.



    • 16.

      Thank you!


  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class


In this class students will learn basic ink techniques to use in creating a set of four postcards that tell the story of where they are in the world! Video lessons include:

  1. C L A S S   P R O J E C T: Students are introduced to the class project and are directed to where and how to publish and access class resources
  2. M A T E R I A L S: Students are introduced to the range of materials I've tried that can be used with ink (a class materials list is provided in the class resources)
  3. G E T T I N G   I N S P I R E D: Students are shown how to gather and interpret ink artwork done by other artists
  4. B A S I C   T E C H N I Q U E S: Students are shown basic ways to use ink and utilize inspiration to create a catalog of marks and textures to use in the future
  5. I D E A T I O N: Students are shown how to plan their postcard set with a few key points in mind
  6. R E F E R E N C E   P H O T O S : Students are shown how to ethically gather reference photos to be used in making their postcard set
  7. T H U M B N A I L S: Students are shown how to explore composition and value by creating thumbnails to aid in creating their postcard set
  8. R E N D E R I N G   P O S T C A R D S: Students are shown how to put inspiration, basic techniques, ideation, reference photos, and thumbnails to work to render the final artwork for their postcard set
  9. F I N I S H I N G: Students are shown analog and digital finishing techniques to get their finished postcards ready for the world

If you've never used ink before, have no fear! This class was born when I decided one day to try ink, without any training, and found great joy and success with it. Ink is inexpensive, dynamic, awesome for texture building, and an excellent medium to practice drawing and painting with. See you in class!


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Dylan Mierzwinski

Illustrator & Lover of Flowers

Top Teacher




My name's Dylan and I'm a strange combination of creative endeavors. From mixing cereals and making sand art as a kid, to graphic design, illustration, sewing, and general craft enthusiasm as an adult, creating and making beautiful things has not only been my constant, but an obsession. With an everlasting love of learning and trying things with my own hands, I've found joy in sharing what I've learned along the way in my eight years as a professional graphic designer turned illustrator. I believe in taking small steps forward, community over competition, fresh flowers, and Michael Scott quotes.

I'm so happy to share this creative space with you!


P.S Let's be insta-buddies :) and if you post any projec... See full profile

Level: Beginner

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Class Introduction: Hey. I'm Dylan Mierzwinski, an artist and illustrator living in Phoenix, Arizona. I've had the great joy of seeing my work on fabric, notebooks, greeting cards, and magazines. But sometimes you get in a rut. Recently I had to shake things up in my art life by taking on drawing and painting with ink, and now, I'm in love. In this class, we'll use ink to create a set of four postcard designs that show off where in the wide world we're coming from. After getting inspired by works done in ink by other artists, we'll warm up with basic techniques, to help get to know the medium, explore style, and catalog interesting textures. We'll then plan our project and discuss how to design a postcard set that's cohesive, yet varied, and brainstorm ways to make the set personal to our story and point of view. We'll seek out reference photos that we'll use to build thumbnails, and then we'll jump in together with rendering the final postcard artwork. Finally, we'll wrap things up by checking out some analog and digital finishing techniques, to get our postcards ready for the world. Ink is inexpensive, dynamic, wonderful for building texture, satisfying and therapeutic to use, and just a great medium to practice drawing and painting. By the end of the class, not only will you have a new medium in your toolkit, you'll have a method for quickly rendering concepts, a catalog of marks and textures to refer back to, and for beautiful personal postcards to share and send out into the world. Let's get inking. 2. Class Project: For this class project, we're going to draw and paint with ink to create a set of four postcards that represent where we're currently located in the world. Maybe you'll paint botanicals of the state that you're from or draw urban landscapes of your favorite restaurants around town. But don't worry, we're going to walk through all of that together in the following video lessons. Once we've worked through our projects together and you're ready to share, and I really hope you will, head to the projects and resources tab to create your project. Use the body of the project to include texts and photos of the life of your project and tie a pretty bow on top with an eye-catching cover photo. Here's what I'd love to see included for this class project. The place your postcards represent, photos or scans of the artwork you did to practice and warm-up including any textures you've cataloged, the reference photos you used, photos or scans of your thumbnails, and the final postcards. On the right sidebar, you'll find some resources I've created to help you complete your project including an outline of the project steps, a materials list, a list of other helpful and related skill-share classes, and for the first time ever a class rubric. Whether you're looking for a quick win project and don't have a lot of time or you want to get every drop out of the class, the rubric will guide you with good, better, and best practices for successfully completing the project, and don't forget to check out the project gallery to see what other students are doing. I always get a jolt of inspiration when I take a look. 3. Materials: The best part about ink is how little you need to get started. At the very least, you need a bottle of ink and something to spread that ink around with, even if it's a stick or your finger or a brush, or you could just use pen and paper. I'm going to show you the various materials that I've used so far in my ink journey. But by no means do you need all of these to get started. I will share all the brands and everything that I'm using. But I want you to know there are a lot of brands out there and to just use whatever you can get your hands on. There's a materials list in the class resources on the right side of the project and resources tab, first and foremost is ink. There are lots of types with lots of characteristics, but there's really just no need to get overwhelmed. I would say look for something that's waterproof, especially if you're going to be sending these in the mail so that they aren't subject to the elements. Everything's going to stay where you want it to stay. I've used Dr. Ph. Martin's and Higgins and both have been great. You can experiment with colored inks if you'd like. But in this class I'll just be using black. Keep in mind that some brands may have slight shifts in color temperature, so some may be slightly warmer or slightly cooler due to the different pigments, both in quality and type and how they're handled. Next, I've got some drawing tools. If you're not interested in bottled ink, you can totally just use various pens and markers for this course. Here I have a bunch of brands and tip sizes. For the most part, they're waterproof. The only when that isn't as my trusty palette precise V5. I really like using a nib holder with the nib in it. They aren't very expensive. I bought a variety pack [inaudible] for less than $10. I loved the quality of the line it produces. Fountain pen are also an option, I bought an inexpensive one from [inaudible] and it came with a whole bottle of noodlers ink. Well, I do really like it for note-taking, I don't really reach for it more than the pen and nib. Brushes of all kinds and qualities are wonderful to use with ink. You'll see later that the uglier brushes, the more appealing it can be to use with ink. You can buy a cheap kids variety pack. This whole handful cost me like $5 or you can invest in nicer synthetic brushes for cleaner lines too just make sure to wash your brushes with warm water and mild soap if needed when you're done painting with them. I recently bought these pentel brush pens and I really love having control over ink flow while drawing by squeezing the handle, as well as the dry brush texture that they easily create. Also, a pencil is always handy. We will need some paper. I completed 31 days of ink [inaudible] in this strathmore soft cover journal. While it does buckle a little bit, it can handle a good amount of ink and I just love it for practicing. I also like canson watercolor paper. If I'm feeling fancy arches, if I ever have paper bags, I like to cut them up and use those for practice. The low pressure makes it easy to start and it's a nice way to re-use the material. For the class project you'll definitely want to use a sturdier paper like you'd find in any postcard. I'll be using 140 pound watercolor paper. We'll need something to mix in thin out our ink on, I like to use a palette of plastic coated paper sheets, or even gently used parchment paper. A more eco-friendly option is definitely a glass palette or even a ceramic plate that you wash after using. Just make sure you don't eat off of it. We'll need a container two of water, will need some paper towel or a rag designated for painting to help control water on our brush. Depending on your paper situation, you may want tape or clips to help secure and frame your paper. A ruler will definitely be helpful when tracing out or postcard shapes and will be working from reference photos in this course, but we'll talk about that more in depth in a later lesson. Some totally optional things that you can try just for fun are salts protects your play, masking fluid for protecting areas of the page from pain. I actually just throw mine away because I think there's a conspiracy theory. Because every time I try to use it, it doesn't work. Other people have no problem and I've tried all these tricks, but no one else is having problems with it. But it could be the brand that I use. I don't know guys [inaudible] , a hairdryer to speed up dry time and a toothbrush for texture and spatters, but not the toothbrush that you use for your mouth because duh. 4. Getting Inspired Pt 1: Now that we've taken some time to cover the basics of the class project and the materials, we're going to get inspired. Let's take a look at the almighty Pinterest to get inspired. I do recommend that you start a Pinterest board or some other type of archive of pieces that you like. Especially, when we get into practicing basic techniques and cataloging marks and textures that we like. Having all of that already is going to be a big help. I have a Pinterest board that I've been saving things too that I'm going to pull some examples from to go over. But keep in mind this has already been filtered through my preferences and what I like. So I really encourage you to get out there and take a look at what excites you about using ink. Ink is a huge umbrella with lots of disciplines and styles huddled underneath. Some use it for writing, some drawing, some use it to paint and they never draw with it. Some draw and never paint. Some are technical while some are expressive. It's really a whole world to crawl into and a fun place to mix and match the things that you love to create your own place within it. Here are some of the images that I pulled from my Pinterest board that I want to go over, and this first group of them I picked because I think there are good general overview. If we start right here, there are a lot of these really awesome images on Pinterest, and unfortunately a lot of them, I've tried so hard to track down their sources by redoing reverse Google image searches and all of that, and I just cannot find the sources, but you can find these things that people have done, all these swatches of different types of marks and different ways to represent light and shadow. This light right here reminds me of what I see in Dr. Seuss, like the Grinch animation and stuff and I really like it. So I wanted to jot that down. Then this bear here, I love that it's made up all of marks. A mark is, you can think of it like a building block that makes up a shape. A mark is literally anytime you're drawing tool goes down to the paper, it makes a mark. I have found that a lot of the ink work that I like is really smart and thoughtful about using marks. Something like a bear sitting there might seem like it's made up of all these different shapes and there's a lot going on. When you see an artist like Olga Gamy it down like this. It's just repeated marks, and yet we totally get the form of the bear. We get the texture of his fur we get the darkness in here where his head is covering up the rest of his body. So all of that is dark in there and of course his little paws. It's the same thing that I see down here with this Christoph Neiman piece, which I definitely recommend googling his name. I love everything he does with ink. But this one in particular, we have a whole forest of trees and a big tree in front of us, and I know myself, I tend to over-complicate that. But if we look at this piece, it's made up of lots of little marks. You know this tree is a bunch of a paint brush marks going down after he drew some sticks going out this way. The trees in the background are made up of these tiny rectangular marks. We have some bigger looser shapes over here to represent the foreground, and then just another shape of tree over here that's a little bit more bare. Altogether and his use of value, so where the white pokes through and then where some of these trees are a little lighter in the background. All of those things work together to make a really pleasing composition, even if this was just a quick sketch for him. This is a Japanese piece, but I do not know the original artists, the name, maybe right here, but I don't speak Japanese or don't read Japanese. Again, I tried to do a reverse Google image search but was unsuccessful. But this piece is so gorgeous and deserves to be shown off. I saved it because we get this real sense of atmosphere and these trees in this nature. It's actually made from a few simple elements. We have a lighter wash here in the background with these edges that disappear in the background, that give us that misty grand feel. That wash creates a really nice rock texture, and when we go on top of it with even darker marks, it really gives you the sense of that rock formation in the background. Then these trees in the foreground if we look really closely are just made up of little brushstrokes, really thoughtful, well-placed brushstrokes. You can achieve really complex things with not very complex brushstrokes. Then lastly, I love this example over here because not only are these marks like, it's such a wonderful representation of the tangle of trees but you can see that it's just lots of lines all working together. Not only that, but the play value here, your eye gets drawn right to the focal point and you feel like you're in that dark, spooky woods. Notice how the land back here is just represented with these simple lines. We of course have the figures here. Great use of value with that white light that is lighting up their faces and drawing us in and then this dark figure back here. That's a great overview of some of the things that I really like and look forward in ink. These two pieces are incredible for showing that you can do a lot with a little. This piece over here on the left by and I would say their names, but I'm just going to get them wrong and make them sound stupid and they don't deserve that. But this piece right here by this artist, I have another one by her coming up. This is a really beautiful wild, lush wildlife scene. We get this feeling of the wind and the sky, and yet it's two colors well three if you count the backward of paper color. It's made up of super easy marks. We have these marks right here that make up the grass. We have some lines back in here, they get darker that helped show us that the bush land back there is pretty dense. Then her trees are made up of just this simple lines that are repeated. You can see she does some hatching in there. So when you use lines close together like that, that's hatching. She's using hatching to make things darker, and then she's using the direction of the lines and the grouping of them to give us this texture of a rolling sky or wind whipping through. Of course, the bent over grass helps us feel like the wind is blowing too. It just goes to show that you don't have to have crazy great drawing skills. You just have to be thoughtful about what marks you're using. Look at these tiny little marks back here for those trees, so cute. I'm just thoughtful about your marks, thoughtful about your composition and then paying attention to value. I think that if this in here weren't as dark, the whole thing wouldn't feel is anchored. This draws your eye back here. Just an awesome piece. This one over too, I can say this name Alex G. Griffiths, again made up almost a similar composition, one that sweeps over to the side. But we've got this feeling of a really long field and it's just the same marks over and over, but the cleverness of them getting smaller as they go towards the background, as we would see in normal life is really satisfying. All of these trees like could you imagine how long it would take to draw a whole forest of trees? Yet just by showing us these little tippy tops and then creating this beautiful texture and it's pretty pixelated. It's beautiful texture in there, the pen just gives us the feeling of those dense trees. Then down here where our little character is about to walk in, which by the way, we have brilliant focal point over here since the characters in this sea of repetitive, smaller shapes. We look at this character going into the woods and now you can see cross hatching to show value. So where we are talking about hatching, where you're just using lines close together to show value. Crosshatching is when the lines start to go in different directions to create a hatching appearance. Also take a look at the tree here. There are two types of lines going on. There are lines, these vertical ones that show the shape of the tree, but then these horizontal lines are really just there to help create value. So if you can break things down that way, it makes it a lot less scary to draw. If you can draw the form first and then go in there and add lines for value, then you're year achieving both of those things. 5. Getting Inspired Pt 2: These pieces I collected because I love their use of value, this is another Christoph Neiman piece and if I could draw all over it, I would. I love the bold contrast, I love the thoughtful marks here that create this building even though they're just black stripes. This car is so deceptively simple because there's no outline, it's in a lot of implied lines. But if he had got this car window in the wrong spot or gotten the perspective of this, it may not have the same effect that it does. So this is a deceptively simple piece that's made up of a really smart choices that are being made with focal points and value and the different marks and all of that. These pieces over here I like because I think they represent the three value idea really well, which is something I like to do when I'm painting with ink and that's to just let the values be determined by the washes of ink, and then just do the details with the pen. In this piece right here, if we didn't have these gray areas of painted shadow, all of this you can see was drawn with one value, pretty much just the contour lines going in there except for these drawn in windows that are a little bit darker here. But this area down here, if we took that wash out, there would be just nothing there because there's no pen marks to draw in that value, is all I'm trying to say. I really like that, I like again that separation of the lines that create the form of what you're looking at and then the washes that create the value that you're looking at. Again, if we saw the original of what Bruno was looking at when creating this, we may have seen that there was actually a lot more values in here, different ranges. But it can be really helpful to just break things down to simply three; the highlight, the darkest part, the shadow, and then any of the mid tones and that can simplify it. Then this piece up here, I just think is gorgeous again, you get a lot of implied lines, the washes of ink are really thoughtful and that does a lot of good stuff for me. But here we have more problem-solving, so I like the framing of this one, I like that we get the feel of this really dense tree and this huge home coming out of it or this huge building and yet we don't need the entire piece in order to understand what's going on there. What I like to look at is well, how did they solve that problem? How did they get the idea of so many trees without having to paint every single tree? I can see that there are lots of really nice, uneven, different valued blobs here. Like the edges look like what you'd see in a tree and then the various values give the illusion of there being density in different values of light bouncing off the different trees. Then of course, just a few areas where we get those really nice sharp lines that show that there's tree branches there. Then just the masterful and thoughtful triangle here that's formed to create a focal point and make it all balanced and nice. Maybe that's something that I would keep in mind for one of my pieces. Again, like the ones that I showed you earlier where something complex is being achieved. I love that, again, I know that if I were in this field and saw this scene and when to draw it, I would get really muddled down by the details, but this artist really broke it down. Here's the ground, here's the sky, we have these trees back here that are all made up of this similar across hatching texture with this great mark to make it look like there's apples in the trees, all of this grass here is made up of the same mark and gives us some perspective by them getting smaller and a little more sparse as they go back, here we have like a different type. It looks like almost a wavy line was used. Again, I don't know what this is representing but the marks are so thoughtful and so grouped so well that I can understand that whatever is growing along the path right here is different from what's growing here and it's very dense, going all the way back. Similar over here since this area of land is covered by the trees, you can see they're a little bit darker, not as much as the paper is coming through because it would be in shadow and then we have the beautiful bikes here to tell a little bit of the story of why we're in this area. Here, I love the atmosphere that was created. This is that other Ulla, final piece and what I really took from this is again, I get this feeling of this wild atmosphere and yet it doesn't take up the whole page. It's not heavy handed, but it totally communicates that. I love how she showed the trees and relief here, we've got these squiggly lines to show the sky beneath which is different from the straight up and down lines which communicate to us that there's probably more forests back there. We have these darling animals and then of course we've got a few just pieces of wildlife up front that add some interests. Similarly over here, this looks like a scene that I would be used to seeing out here in Phoenix. I struggled to show that these things pretty much, again I tried to draw each detail but you can see that these areas are broken up by value, so we have lighter areas where there's no backdrop and we just have some light squiggles, we have a clear bush here made of some straight up and down marks as well as some value in there to show that it's dark. Just different marks that really successfully show this whole range of wildlife. Lastly, I just really love energetic and sometimes messy looking line work. This piece right here, let me rotate it, I think is would be a lot harder to create than people might think. To be able to just scribble for lack of a better word and have this form of a dog come out, it's actually really sophisticated. A lot of choices are being made here and a lot could have distracted from it and I just like that it looks so effortless and yet you really get a sense of a dog sitting there. This piece right here similarly, this is done only in pen and so if you want to do your project and you don't want to get a bottle of ink, this is a great example of how you can still achieve all of those value levels that you want just by coloring and doing different hatching where those darker values are. Then this piece over here is more of an urban sketching by Paul Wang and I love everything about it. I wish my lines looks like this coming out of my pen, but that's the joy of it as we practice more and as we take in the things that we love, our look will change and we'll have our own lines coming out of our hands. It will be helpful as you look at inspiration and save inspiration to be a detective for the building block marks that are making up the pieces you're finding. I also recommend taking a look at real life references like books or going to art museums to break out of the digital loop of curated images. I personally have a growing collection of children's books that I get a lot of inspiration from. So go ahead and start getting inspired by what other people are doing with ink. Save it to a Pinterest board or a mood board in Illustrator or print them out so that you can reference them later when we start practicing basic techniques. If you're feeling a little overwhelmed with where to start, here are some things to look out for. Interesting marks that create textures. These building blocks that I've been talking about, what marks are being repeated to represent trees or animal fur or how are big areas of space being filled and represented. You can also be on the lookout for a great use of value and contrast in compositions that solve complex problems or communicate a lot with a little. Like those earlier landscape drawings I was showing you, there are only a handful of marks being used, but the entire page was filled up with the whole world and of course, anything that grabs you, even if inexplicably at first, those things are always worth saving. Next, we're going to take a look at practicing basic techniques with our ink and drawing tools. 6. Basic Techniques Pt 1: We just took some time to get inspired by other artists and start collecting some inspiration to use along the way for creating our postcards. Now we're just going to take a look at some basic ink techniques. I don't want to overwhelm or even worse bore you with information because I really do think you can just sit down and intuitively get started and make four postcards and have a good time, that's the goal. But here are some things that may help you break down that big umbrella of the medium. At our most basic, we can use our pen or nib or stick to draw the contour lines or outlines of an object. I have this fake apple here that I'm going to use and I'm just going to get started. Honestly, when I started using my pen and ink, I didn't Google anything. I just started dip it in and it worked. Don't feel like you have to know all the stuff to get started. I'm just going to dip it in there and see where we go. I'm just going to focus on the outlines of this apple. Pen and ink gives this really nice scratch. If I push down harder, the line will get a little heavier and more ink will flow like that. If I push up lighter, they'll go thinner. There you have it. An apple drawn in ink. Already, the nib itself makes for an interesting line quality. That's nice, that's already interesting. But as we saw from our inspiration, it's really value and contrast that can bring this stuff to life. I'm going to look at my apple and the reflections for you are going to be a little bit different than they are for me from where I'm sitting, but you'll still get an idea. I'm just going to go ahead and first circle the areas where there are highlight because I'm not going to want any mark to get in the way there. Then like I talked about an inspiration, I'm just going to break it down to three-value levels, so highlight, mid-tone, and shadow. The rest of this is mostly an mid-tone. I'm going to use some hatching lines to show that, so lines that are close together. I'm going to try and make it so that they don't go in the highlight area. Notice how the lines are curved a little bit. I'm using what I know about the shape of the apple to curve the lines to help make it seem more realistic. There's a tiny highlight in there that I didn't draw, so I'm going to break the lines. It's another thing. We saw an inspiration is broken lines to show light. You're welcome to be more precise, more careful. I really enjoy a more loose approach. I'm trying myself to loosen up more and embrace wonky lines and where things are imperfect. Mid-tones and highlights are there but now let's really set this thing off with some darker values. I'm just going to go in and where I see darker values and you can squint to make it easier to see. I'm just going to go in here and draw more lines. I did a cross hatch here. These lines are going the other way, so I've got my first cross-hatch and these other ones. Because I really want the smoothness of the apple to be there, so I'm going to keep these ones straight up and down. It's really dark on this whole side of the apple. I'm going to stop there. It's all right. It's not the best drawing of an apple I've ever done, but you can at least see the process there. I started with the contours, I drew where the highlights we're going to be and where those needed to be protected, I went in and drew some hatching lines for the mid-tones, and then I attempted to darken things with more hatching lines, but I don't know. I don't like the result, but that's okay. I'm happy this happened because you got to see. This happens every time I sit down, I draw things that I don't like. But that doesn't mean this was a failure or a waste of time or that I'm stupid. It just means that I drew an apple and it didn't turn out that great. I'm just going to swirl this in my water and move on. That's the pen but what if I take a brush? If you're not interested in drawing with a pen, then let me show you what it's like to use this. I just have a number 6 round brush. I'm just going to put out a few dabs of ink there. This time I'm going to draw the apple as I'm viewing it. I'm not going to pick it up and I'm going to use my ink, then I'm going to draw the contours. Already you can see the difference. There is a difference in line quality, there is a difference in the field of this piece. There's a difference when I was actually drawing or painting with it. You may just find that you prefer this more. I could draw in, so I could do hatching lines like use this brush basically as a drawing tool to draw in hatch lines or I can paint like I normally would. I'm going to wash this out. Similar to watercolor, water is going to be your medium to make things lighter. First, I'm just going to get in here and paint. I'm going to leave some areas of white. I'm going to try and do at this lighter color first, because you can always make things darker, harder to go in and make things lighter. Just like with watercolor, since this area is still wet, if I come in here and drop dark ink in there, I'm going to get a wet on wet technique and that can be really fun. Then maybe I'll just do a few lines. That works. We don't have to use the contours. I could just draw. Let's see if this works out better for me. I'm just going to try and get in there and paint some of the values that I see. I didn't have an outline to help me. I'm not really worried about painting shapes, I'm worried about just getting the brush down and thinking, what is it representing, what is this adding to it. That gives a nice, totally different look, a little bit more abstract. Once that dries, I could go in with some pencil marks too if I wanted to draw a few more highlights to draw around them or something, I could do that and I could just do a little shadow down here. Already, honestly, you could pause this video here and move forward and make your postcards because that's really what this is. Using these various tools to use the ink to describe value, and light, and shape and so that's what we're going to be doing. We saw in the inspiration that we can also use different types of lines to add interests. If I were to paint and instead of using a regular straight line, what if I tried to use an energetic squiggly to describe this apple, like we saw with that dog? This is where you can see it's a little bit easier said than done because that just looks like a bunch of grapes. The stem helps? No, it doesn't. If that looks like an apple, we would see that it has a totally different energy, but it does not look like an apple. Well, and sometimes you fail and that's fine. Maybe I'll do with the pen and nib. If instead of doing this straight line, I'm going to loosen up. Instead of having a nice grip on this, I'm just going to hold it loosely. What if I almost didn't pick up my pen? My pen has to stay on the paper for me to describe the apple. If we look at these two apples together, they have different attitudes, different fields, and everything. Those are really the basics. You can draw or if you want, you can paint and be bold. You can use only black and white or you can use shades of gray in between to create really interesting values. You can play with wet on wet like we did here, or you can do wet on dry. Now this one has dried. If I go in there and add marks, you can see they're not going to flood and go all over the place. That's wet on dry. That's fun. Those are basic techniques but let's take a look at the inspiration that we grabbed from earlier to see if we can use those to further our learning. 7. Basic Techniques Pt 2: I have my inspiration here, and I also have what I refer to as my catalog of marks and textures. As I've been learning ink, I've made different marks on pieces of paper, and I just note down how I made it and if it reminds me of anything. For instance, I have this texture that I made with a toothbrush and I had noted on the back that, "I thought it could look like wood or a spooky sky", and so I actually did an illustration with a haunted house, and I use this as the haunted sky or the spooky sky in the background. These looked like bricks to me or interesting rocks and so I made sure to write down what brush I did that with. That's what we're going to work on today. I want you to start your own texture catalog. We're going to use our inspiration that we found to help guide it and to help us practice a little bit more. This is the inspiration you saw from earlier and we're just going to hop right in. If you didn't find inspiration or if you are looking for something quicker, a nice way to just build your texture catalog is to just grab all the different brushes you have, all the different markers and to just start playing with those. If I just even grab this number 6 brush alone and I don't even look at my inspiration, I can start by saying, "Okay, what would it just stripes look like if I pushed down all the way?" Some more ink, I just push down how wide can I get those strokes. Maybe I'll do a whole page of just what this number 6 brush can do, and then what does it look like if I just stamp with it and what does it look like when the brush gets really dry? So I'm going to load it up with ink within right here on my paper towel I'm actually going to get some of that off of there and come in here and see what the dry brush texture looks like. It gives some nice results there. You can swirl your brush to see what kind of shapes the bristles give you. I mean if you have one brush and one pen, you can make a whole texture catalog, just pages of textures from only those, and so it's pretty exciting. You can start there if you want or if you found some inspiration, then it's really great to go through these and take from them. Now, I don't mean we should go in and draw a bear that looks like this made up of these marks, but we could jot down like these short marks like this really do a good job of communicating fur and save that for our texture catalog. Maybe I'll grab one of my markers. This lumo color, you can see it's got really nice marker tip to it, I don't know if that's focusing and I'm just going to, the same way she did just have varying ones, maybe heavier fur in some areas, and I could write down, this is lumo color, this the medium great fur. Sorry about that. Now, that's something that I could cut out and put into my texture catalog, similar with these. This one is nice because I know I have an idea of what it could be or this piece I wrote down this could be grass or something. But sometimes I have textures that you don't necessarily know what they're going to be yet but I really like them. I still have yet to find a use for this squiggly line, as you saw, it didn't go great with the apple, but I love the squiggly line and so I held on to that because I want to remember it or this texture that looks like it could be wood grain or just a nice way to fill some empty space if you need some value in there. We've got the fur. I also love this tree, this Christoph Neimonn tree and so again, I don't want to just take his trees, I don't want to only paint like him forever, but as I'm learning, it can be helpful for me to see like, oh, a simple way to do a tree is to have these lines come out and then to use a brush and have them come down this way. With something like this that is so I guess stolen like this is so obviously Christoph Neimonn to me, I would put his name on there. I'd write in tree number 6 brush, Christoph Neimonn. But now I have that tree in my textures and maybe while I have his name on this, maybe I would also jot down those other ones I like, so the ones in the background they just look like rectangles like that. Then he's got smaller ones look like that. This right here, this is a more common, that's not just him, that's a pretty common tree symbol. Now, I have this nice little bit of trees that I can add to my texture catalog. The light, I said that I really like that radiating light earlier, so I can go in. Maybe I'll draw a circle or sphere here where it's radiating from. I loved these trees, this wooded area and some might try and replicate that. The shapes have really rough edges so I'm just using my brush to poke in there and pull those edges out. Then once this dries, because as we're seeing if I just keep adding on top, everything's going to blend together. So if I let this dry, then I can go in there and add these harder marks when I'm done, these little branches that help it look like trees. That's a really nice quick way that I didn't know before that I can draw trees all huddled together. That's how you can begin to start building your own texture catalog to start referring back to things and I promise you that even if all of your experiments look as ugly as this curly apple did, it's okay, like ink is super forgiving. I think this is a nice exploration to do, it's something I wish I had known to do when I started using ink because, I would've realized there's so many easier solutions to the things I was looking at, the one that I was doing, but if you don't do this, I'm totally confident that you can get in there and figure it out once you start drawing. Just draw what you see, try to add in some values, is there some texture you can bring in and start building out your texture catalog. Don't forget about the fun extras I mentioned in the materials lesson either, like sprinkling salt on top of ink to create a texture or using papers and towels to block the ink and leave texture behind. I encourage you to spend as much time here is your curiosity allows, be a detective for textures and way to break things down into simpler marks and of course, steal the best things and catalog them for later. 8. Ideation: Now that you're a little better acquainted with ink and have a feel for what styles you like and how to use it. Let's focus in on our class project to start planning our postcards. Now the objective is to create a set of four postcards that represent where you are right now. What does that mean? It could mean what country you're in or the state you reside within that country, or that tiny town within the state that no one's heard of. Or it could be inside your actual home. It could be greetings from the very desk you're watching this class from. It could be greetings from an imaginary club only you and your cat, are part of. If you have too many ideas, it can help to jot them down to see visually which ideas are lacking and which are more promising. The great thing about postcards is really anything can be a postcard. Don't feel tied to landscapes and historic monuments. Though, if you're into that, that makes awesome postcards too. The main thing you want to establish is what unites the set. For most of us, that's simply the location that each postcard is representing. But it could also be the style in which the postcards are rendered. Whether they're all draw paint combos or simply contour drawings or blind contour drawings, even how the postcards are framed can help unite them as well. If they all have a centimeter border around them or are all full bleed or fade towards the edges. That's something they can all have in common. The subject matter can also unite them if each one shows an old building or a nature scene. But the thing that I really want you to ponder is how to unite the set with your story or point of view. For instance, if you want to represent the country you're from and you happen to be a lover of flowers and vintage goodies, then maybe your set will be botanical renderings of the flowers found around your country. If you're a foodie, maybe you'll do some renderings of your favorite restaurants in your town. If you're a foodie who loves energetic urban sketching then maybe the postcards will be done in an energetic urban sketching fashion. If you're a homebody, rendering still lives of your favorite spaces within your home is a way to share your story, making it further personal by drawing it as it is, a mess and all. These are the considerations that help build a bridge out from you to the viewer of your work. They get a tiny welcome into your world. After you consider how the set is united, we should also consider how the postcards within the set will be special. The example with the botanicals of a certain country. The set is united by flowers of that country, but differentiated by each postcard showcasing a single type of flower. In the foodie example, the set is united by all being favorite restaurants rendered in an urban sketching style. But maybe one is of a restaurant sign, another is a plate of food. Another could be a full dining room. Maybe the last is a drawn faux receipt with the best dish and the name of the restaurant on it. In the homebody example, the site could be united by showing the exact same still life but rendered in four different seasons. Additionally, you may want to consider the use of lettering, either decorative lettering or small informative captions. The lettering, could it be incorporated like in the sign of a restaurant or communication to the recipient. Greetings from here. We'll touch on it in the finishing lesson. But these details can also be composited in later digitally. If you're worried about "Ruining a piece with bad lettering." I'm going to to do some brainstorming for my own set. The first thing is, what place do I want to represent? For me, I live in Arizona now. I'm from Michigan originally. I live in Phoenix. While I certainly love Phoenix, I am not that some people really feel they're part of their town, they represent and I don't. But I do feel like I'm really part of my apartment. I think doing, to tell my story for me to really be able to accurately represent myself. I think it makes a lot of sense to focus in on my apartment, in my apartment complex. Other than them all being united by being there, I think they'll be united by my style. There's nothing particular. I just know I'm going to use pens and brushes for all of them. The brushes will probably denote the value and the pens will denote the details. I think that I want all of them either to have a nice border, so a taped border, or I just want that uneven border like I saw in my inspiration where the painting just ends around the edges. But I want the edges of the postcard to be white or rough edge. I think they're all going to be reference photos. We'll talk about this in the next one. But I think I'm going to take all my reference photos. That will be something that unites them too. Now I want to think about what sets them apart. I'm just trying to think like what the four could be. There's the sign that leads into the apartment. I'm on my balcony a lot, so maybe a shot from the balcony would be nice. I'm at my desk a lot. That would be nice. Maybe an item, you know what? I have a little cactus plant named Roger. I think it would be nice to do one with him. Obviously, the subject matter of my set is pretty vast. If somebody besides me would probably not be interested in the set, they're set apart by that and then united by their style, the borders, the framing of it and then the reference photos that I took. As far as lettering goes, I think I like captions. I like the look of captions. Even if they're funny because like there's nothing really to show. What would my captions even say, department's Phoenix or whatever, like maybe, but I like it to look technical. Maybe I could do the longitude and latitude or something. But I do think I want there to be captions. Then maybe I'll do one sign like the belt the apartment sign. Maybe that one will have mostly lettering, but then the other ones I'll see if there's a way to work it in. I bet my desk has a letter board hanging on the wall and so maybe I could utilize the letter board to do that. But I feel good about this. My postcards are going to represent my apartment complex. They're going to be united by the style which I think is just now my style that I just make things in. They're going to either have a taped clean border or they're going to have rough edges. Either way they're not going to be full bleed. I'm going to take all the reference photos. They'll be set apart by the subject matter. Some of them will have lettering, all of them will have captions. I think that'll do it. Go ahead and take some time to plan your postcard set. Then, we'll take a look at gathering reference photos. 9. Reference Photos: Now that we've planned our postcards, it's time to find some reference photos. Let's take a quick look at commercial verse personal use and photos you take yourself versus photos and images by other people. Just so no one gets into hot water unintentionally. If you're using postcards for personal use. You're going to send them to a friend or hang them up in your house. You can pretty freely use pictures that you or someone else has taken. You could copy the Mona Lisa for personal use, if you wanted and actually that would make a sweet postcard set. The caveat here is if you were to share this on social media or publish it in a skill share project, you'd want to make sure you credit the original owner of the image, and make it clear that it's your take on an original, so my take on the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. If you're going to use photos for commercial use, you're going to digitize them and get them printed to include in marketing materials or you're going to license the design to a company. You can freely use images that you yourself have taken, or images by other people that you have purchased the commercial rights to, or are royalty free for commercial use. If you find a picture on Pinterest, so that's not yours and you copy it really closely in ink and then license that image, so that's commercial use. It's a no no, you can't do that. However, if your interpretation of the photo is so far removed from the original, then you're in more of a grace area, but still kind of iffy. I'm not a lawyer and there are certainly other things to consider, for instance, I don't think I can go take a picture of the Hard Rock Cafe, that's my photo, and draw the Hard Rock Cafe sign and restaurant and then sell those postcards, which I think would be commercially use. Even though I took the picture. I mean, maybe you can, but that's my point, I'm not a lawyer, so this is just a basic guideline to help you avoid stealing. I highly recommend using as many of your own photos as possible and maybe just for the sake of this project, keep it for personal use just to be safe. If you need to rely on other people's reference photos that you don't own the rights to, let's say it's something popular like a butterfly or a certain church or something. Try to use a variety of images that together inform you of the shapes and everything that you need. So that no single photographer could possibly assert that you drew a bloom from their garden shot alone or whatever. I'm really not trying to scare you, I just think that being informed protects yourself and it protects other artists. Anyway, go ahead and use Google, Pinterest, stock image sites, and royalty free sites like Unsplash, to start gathering images for your postcards, keeping in mind your decisions from earlier on how to unite the set, and how to differentiate. Also look for images that already have great value and give you ideas for what marks you could use to create them. I just took a little break and walked around my apartment complex and took some pictures. I made sure to get some pictures of the things that I brainstormed. But I also saw some things while I was walking around that I hadn't considered and I got pictures of those too. I will say that the reference photo gathering actually furthered my thinking from my brainstorming and I realized there were some other things I needed to consider, like orientation. I took a lot of photos upwards like this and I'm wondering if they should all be portrait or if I should try, if I'm going to have one be landscape, should two be landscape and two be portrait. I need to start thinking about that. I also want to think a little bit more about the subject matter. Again, I'm not super worried about these being related for other people, but I don't want them to look super random. I have an indoor shot, this is Roger with his bow tie. I've got this indoor shot of Roger, I have some of my shelves in my office, I also took some desk pictures. It's just making me think about how they can be unified and which ones are going to work best. If that starts happening to you when you find your reference photos, that's totally cool. I would gather more than you need and then we'll work out some of these things that are coming up in the next lesson when we work on thumbnails. But I wanted to show you really quick, if you don't have the luxury to take your own reference photos or you are just wanting something quick, I recommend using Unsplash. These are all royalty-free images for commercial and personal use. I can't believe it exists. It's one of those things that seems a little bit too good to be true, but it's not, and you can use it. This is a great place to turn if you're not going to be taking your own photos. I could type in Phoenix and I get these really beautiful images of Phoenix. Any of these would make lovely postcards, so you definitely don't have to take your own pictures. You can also do things like decorative. If I wanted to do tiles or something, I could probably find some really beautiful tiles on here and wouldn't these make really lovely postcards. You don't have to do an obvious subject matter. They could be more abstract, something like this. But still, for the project, I would like you to try and represent where you're coming from, but maybe beautiful tiles are part of your kitchen or part of your city or something like that and you can work those in. The nice thing about Unsplash, let's do a wildflower. Let's say that I'm ready to download this, and I'm going to use it for my postcard. As soon as I hit download, Unsplash gives us this little window that gives us the photo credit and where and the source, and you just have to copy it. This is awesome. Anytime I use these images in my newsletter or if I use them to paint with, I usually try to give the person credit because this is a real person. This is an awesome photographer out in the world that's sharing their images with us for us to use, and so they deserve huge credit for that. Hopefully it will bring traffic to them by doing that. Now that we've got a plan for our postcards as well as reference images. Let's go ahead and start working on thumbnails. 10. Creating Thumbnails Pt 1: Now that we've had some time to brainstorm about our postcards and gathered some reference photos. It's time to build some thumbnails. Thumbnails are a great tool for exploring your piece before committing to it. There are small drawing void of detail that offers a high-level view and skeleton for the piece. For these, you can see I just drew out a quick grid on my paper. I tried to make it so that they'd all be portrait. But you can see some are not and they're not the right aspect ratio of my postcard. But it's okay because it's going to be enough for me to get my ideas out, and to figure out what are going to be the best contenders for my postcards. Like I said in the last video, I took a handful of reference photos. Since then I've been chewing on what I want to do. I think here's some decisions I've come up with. I would like to do all portrait. I'm not going to do any landscape-oriented postcards only portrait. I want two of them to be outside and two of them to be inside. What I've decided on is the sign, my front door, or I have this other outside shot that I really like. One of the other outside shots. Then the two inside ones are going to be my desk and my Cactus Roger. The way I'm going do this, is I'm just going to look at my reference photos and I'm going to start pulling out the composition and the values. Maybe marks, but again, this isn't about detail, it's really just about the idea. If you can see along here, I'm just going to do three tones. I'm going to do the highlight, which will be the white paper, the shadow which will be the darkest. Then if there are any mid tones, I'll just use lines to describe those. I'm going to use my pilot pen, which is not waterproof, but we don't need it for this. I'm also going to use my Pentel brush pen in case I need to fill in any other areas. Looking at my reference photos, I'm going to start with the sign of my apartment. The first thing that I see in that is that this is the horizon line. It's going to be a two-thirds deal. Down here will be the sign. We have three palm trees and we've got bushes, some buildings back there. A few more palm trees. That one will be nice because this will save on it. That's already a nice framing. I wonder what it looks like though, if the sign is still the darkest thing with white lettering, and the only other dark touches or some other smaller things in the background. I like the palm trees being dark and having the other stuff be light. That is good there. That one's pretty straightforward. I tried, one of the ideas I had, was taking a picture from my balcony because I'm out there a lot. But the picture I took, I'll put the reference photo up on the screen. There is a big tree taking up the main bit. Then in the background a little bit you can see some fence and you can see the pool in the background. I know what it is because I see that view every day, but looking at it with a fresh perspective, I think it just doesn't make for an interesting piece really like, so I just don't really want to spend my time on it. At this point I can ignore that card. The next one is my front door, which the door itself is dark. Maybe I'd make the ground dark to except for where the welcome mat is, and fence. But maybe instead of having everything be dark, instead. To the doormat, little empty pot. I have an empty plant pot outside my door. It's funny that our apartment complex is cold. I like this idea of these postcards that aren't that interesting. As I usually would probably fill that pot plant was something. It's funny that it's just empty. Why is it there? Why did we put that out there? Some marks to do the wreath on the door. I'm trying to see value wise what makes the most sense. The door seems like the darkest thing, but maybe it should still just be a mid tone. Everything else can be highlighted and then maybe it's just the ground is really dark to help frame that. The store ones still doesn't feel that interesting. I'm just trying to think. It's going to be mostly drawn and then just some elements put in there. I'll go back to this one. What does it look like? Without values? I also want to remember my framing that I wanted everything to be not touching the sides. Between these three and if you can even tell what's going on in it, basically, I'm just trying to figure out where the mid tones and highlights are going to be. I like with this one that everything's contained in the center will have these two dark elements that won't touch the edges and then the mid tones will just be surrounding. That's going to be the winner for this one. Still working out this door though. The reason I'm having a hard time with this, if you look at the pictures, there's no super interesting highlight or super interesting shadow. I'm going to have to try and make that interesting myself. I'm getting closer on this one. In this one, the darkest area is the focal point and it pulls you in. I tried that with this one again and I really like it. The darkest part pulls you in. You have some midpoints to flush everything out and then the rest of this will be a highlight. That feels good for that one. That's going to be my second outdoor one. For now, I'm going to explore the other one too, but I'm good with exploring that image at least. 11. Creating Thumbnails Pt 2: One of the other outdoor ones that I took is just this really nice side shot of the building. I'm going to draw in contour first. If you've taken any of my other classes then you've probably heard me talk about how I like to work things out one element at a time. It's easier for me to work out the contours first. I'm just going to work on the contours of all this stuff, and then I can add in some values. This is this side of the building. This is our balcony up here. What I liked about this picture is it had some trees and it had really good values, so I know I'm going to have some good marks to work with. But the main thing was in this big highlighty area, we have this great shadow falling over part of the building. Then these end up looking like little dark. Again, they could work as the dark focal point in the center. I just don't know how interesting that look is. Some bushes. I don't know if that helps. I don't love it. It's just funny because when I was walking up to that spot, I thought for sure it would be a winning postcard, but there's actually not that much of interests going on. I'm actually just going to rule that one out now and move on to my last outdoor one, which is some stairs. I like the geometry of this one a lot. That's what drew me to it,. But again, it does rely on the full frame and that's not what I'm doing for my postcard. While I like it, it might not be the best solution for this, but I'll at least see it out. That's the fun thing about thumbnails, they don't take a long time. It's nice when you can rule things out quickly. We can already see that the way that this image is, I think I would like it better if I were doing a set of postcards that were all just drawn with pen. All the lines and the geometry of it are really what's interesting and not necessarily the values or the contrast. I don't think it's going to work for this set, but it's worthy of something to consider doing in the future. Let's try one of the indoor ones. Keeping in mind that it looks like, so far this one and this one are the winners. I want to try and look at my inside ones and try and figure out what is going to be the dark focal point that pulls things in. Let's start with Roger. I think Roger himself will be able to be the interesting focal point that pulls you in. Then he's sitting on this stack of books and I might be able to make them into these dark stripes and then those won't touch the edges. It'll provide us a similar balance and feel of the other ones. That's actually going to work really well, and then he's got these curtains behind them that are really soft, and maybe that can be the mid-tone. Yeah, I like that a lot. Okay, that was easy. That's the great thing about thumbnailing is sometimes you get it done on paper and realize right away it'll work, and other times it takes a few tries to do it. That's why we thumbnail because we can't really throw things against the wall without it being too precious. Now, for my second indoor one that I want to do, it's either going to be my desk or it's going to be my shelves. Now, the cool thing about the shadow of my desk is I have this black letter board. In true life it's not really hanging up where I would draw it in here, but I could use the black letter board as the focal point and do some fun lettering on it. Then maybe everything else can just be mid tones and ink work. I'm at the top of my chair, my computer, and this lamp right here. This one will be fun because there's lots of stuff hanging up on the walls and that can all become abstract line work, and then maybe the wall can be the mid-tone. When I first took the picture of the shelves, I thought it was cool because in the picture they frame the whole thing. I thought that might look cool, but since I'm not doing full bleed, I don't know if that is helpful, but it would basically be the shelves. Not that I have to stick to any of the rules that I said earlier, and you don't either. I can have one that's maybe framed in black and maybe that's what's different about it. In the style that I'm doing these, I'm not sure that the stuff that's on the shelf would even look interesting or even come across the shelves, so that's something to consider. Go ahead and take some time, dig in deep with your reference photos to figure out what do you think are going to make the best postcards. If you really want to take it further, you can also look at your reference photos and get out your technique catalog and start looking for marks that you notice that could work. For instance, I have this one that looks like little eyebrow hairs or something, and I think that it could work well in the outside sign one for some of the stuff that's happening around the sign. I don't want it to be a big focal point, but I want it to look wild enough for it to come across that something's there. That might work really nicely. Then in this one where I've got my door and everything, maybe this texture would be nice for the mid-tones on the floor just for something that's interesting, but doesn't direct the eye too much, anything like that. Now that we've explored some thumbnails and made final decisions about our postcards, we're ready to render the final artwork. 12. Rendering Postcards Pt 1: All right, here we are. Our thumbnails are made, we explored what things work and what things don't and it's time to work on the finals. I say finals loosely because there's a huge chance I screw up one or more of them and have to redo it multiple times. That's seriously just part of the process. If it happens to you, take a step back, dust yourself off, and try again. In fact, if you sit down to do these and everything we just practiced flies out of your brain, then just let it, just sit down and just make something because we're not trying to make something perfect, we're not trying to rock the world with this artwork. We're just trying to sit down, play with ink, and make something that we can send to our friends. It's all good. You can see that I've used a four by six postcard and I have traced these rectangles onto my paper and I've made many more copies than just what I need so that they don't feel too precious. If you don't have a postcard to trace, just grab your ruler and draw out a four by six area or whatever size you want your postcard to be. You can also frame your postcard using painter's tape. So if you want to paint around the edges or if you're doing one where you want there to be a for sure clean edge then definitely use tape and don't forget to use your reference photos and any of your marks. I'm just going to jump right in and I might not necessarily just develop one at a time. I might do them in batches because sometimes you're waiting for something to dry or whatever and sometimes being able to work on a lot and move around is more fun for me. I guess I'll just get into it. The one that I felt the most sure about was the sign one. I didn't cover this in the basic techniques, but of course your pencil can play any role that you want. If you want to sketch first and then just use your ink to get in there and make the marks and do the values then that's totally cool. My pencil marks might be light, you might not be able to see them. One thing that I like in ink work is when it looks a little wonky and imperfect. Why I am getting some pencil marks down, even the painted version, I don't want it to look too nice or anything. I want it to look almost like it got slapped together and just happens to look really cool and nice. With my b1, this is going to be dark. I'm going to need to leave the lighting area. My other outdoor one is the front door, I'll go ahead and frame that out, of course, the empty bowl. I have this gate in here, but I might not have it go all the way to the edge since the other ones don't touch the edge but we'll see. [inaudible] indoor ones. I'm taking creative liberties, as I said, my letter board on my desk is not hanging front and center, but since I'm going to do some small lettering on that, I'm going to let it be there for this. My best tip is to start with what you know you need to do first. If you know, something's got to get done. For instance, in the roger picture, I have curtains hanging up and I think that it would be really nice to paint some values behind here that mimic that. Cut out some ink. I can't remember if I've set it, but the ink does tend to dry lighter than it looks going on your paper. Keep that in mind, but it also is very potent and it doesn't take a lot to make some colors. If you're trying to get like lighter values, you might want to test on a spot that won't be the postcard, first to make sure it's not going to be too dark. The first thing I want to do is I just want to paint like these kind of lights, stripes. Oops, this is the wrong one, see and sometimes you make mistakes. I guess we'll find out. On my thumbnail for this one, I did say I just wanted there to be some light mid tones back here. I'm just going to do a random wash that'll help frame that. If it doesn't work out, then I'll have to redraw that one and that's okay. Just roll with it. I'm going to add in since this is a wash I'm just going to add in some darker values just for interests. The only thing I'll say is I didn't add it in the materials and everything because I didn't want it to just seemed like too much but after you draw in black, you can certainly use white paint or white pens on top of it. If you don't want to leave the paper, if you don't use masking fluid. Since the sign and my letter board are going to be black with lettering on top of it and since I just painted this wash, I might just go over top and do the lettering in white instead of trying to preserve it because it's going to take so long to do that and it usually doesn't look that nice. This is the roger one and this is where I just want to do just some interesting stripes that mimic the light back there of the curtains. The folds. Should be good. Let those dry. Trying to see if these ones have any light washes that I should get in now, I guess this one based on my thumbnail, this stuff around here is going to be a wash that's next to the sign. Then some of the buildings shapes in the background. I was going to have those be mid-tone too so maybe I'll do some washes that show the pitch of the roof, some windows. Make sure you wear something that you can either won't see the ink on or you can roll your sleeves up. I've ruined all my clothes by being an artist than painting, but hey, I'm not complaining at all. I don't want to go too far with that. I just want to make some nice wash for the background. Then for the door I decided that I wanted down here to be some of the mid-tone, so I'll just get a little bit of a washing over here. Oops, what I want to keep the door mat all-white. It's okay. [inaudible] really like. If you get too much water or ink, you can dry your brush off and then go in like a sponge to lift that water out [inaudible] there. Trying to keep the edges of these shapes rock because again, I don't want things touching the edge, I want there to be a nice organic edge to everything. Then the door's going to be really dark and I think that's good for that one. Cool. This Roger one there's these nice cute little flower decorations on the curtains. Using a wash again, I'm going to go in here and just do some other decorations on the curtains. I'm starting with paint but again, this is whatever you want it to be. If you want to draw your whole things and never touch a paintbrush, that's totally okay. This one is dark or it looks dark because there's a lot of water in it. I'll just from here. I don't want that too dry, too dark. I want the focal point to be the darkest thing and these curtains are certainly not the focal point. But they will add for some nice interests in the background. I'm bummed that I did this wash so early because I didn't want to leave some of this stuff white but I'm not going to get too upset about it. It just means everything else is going to be a little bit darker on it, which is okay. I'm going to go ahead and start getting into the nib and this one. Before I do that, if there's even a little bit of moisture, then this line is going to bleed and I really want it to be hard. I'm going to grab my hair dryer and just blast it to make sure it's really dry. Let's try that again. For this one, now that I've got that wash back there, I'm just going to go ahead and use my pen to draw as much of the lines as I please. Again, I'm going to try and really just let any wonkiness that happens, just be there and I'm just going to own it. If you try to go back over things to fix them, sometimes it just makes it look worse and just acting like that's how you meant it to be. 13. Rendering Postcards Pt 2: I have these, some of these frames are going to go off the edge, and since it's my preference that I don't want things touching the edge, I'm just going to let them just dye and fade before they actually touch the edge. So what I was saying earlier about the lettering is norm, since I was going to try and just keep the letters that I want to stay white and just preserve them and paint around them, but instead, I'm just going to paint this black and then I'll do my lettering on top in a white pen or with white Copic bleed proof white. This chair back is ending up touching the bottom of the postcard but that's okay. Utilizing some hatching lines, I really like just to fill in as part of the painting. This setting up here is a poster I have hanging up a little fruits and vegetables, and I think it'd be cute to just draw a few simplified ones. I even talked about stapling at all, when you make dots to show value, but I'm sure you'll come across it in your research because it's very popular. Some people use only stippling. I don't know if it's stapling or stippling, though some people only use that for value, which is pretty interesting. It just takes too long for me I don't have patience for that. I have some dried ferns on my desk and I know I really only have one shot without meddling it up to get the mark in there and some news are really tiny brush. I'm just doing my best to get in there. I think I'll draw all those like four main pieces and then I think I'm just going to try and just do a little more marks. When you're doing your thumbnails, you can take it further and after you figure out the composition, you could actually go in and start playing around with what marks will make everything up. I just think at some point, I just want to get to the project. I always want to show the cool planning stages because some people won't think to do it on their own or they'll get a lot from it, and so it is good to know, but I think sometimes there's value in just happen in and getting it done. So that watch pretty well those marks. I also want to take some time just to paint a tiny decoration on this face. Then the last thing I want to do on this one for now, I'll come back to it after but before I leave it, I really want to do, I think this texture on the desk. So let's see I did that, by using a fine Lumocolor and doing a lazy drag. So a lazy drag, what I mean by that is I'm trying to hold my pen as lightly, to the paper as possible, and draw on a straight line and let it touch and go where it's going to. You see I realize I totally broke my no touching the edge rule but oh well, it is all good. So I'm liking how this one is working. I'm going move on to another one just to get my brain a break and then I'll come back to it. So let's work on Roger. Now this one is actually close to being done, because I want there to be not too many focal points, so we are going to have the books down here, and then Roger himself will be the other dark part. I'm using this pen tail pen because I want it to be a little rough. Roger is very fancy and has a small Persian rock face sits on. I want to make sure I get that detail. Then the path that is in has a really pretty texture, and so I'm going to do my best to a fake representation of that. These books would be a great opportunity for some lettering, so I'm going to leave that be. Those two are looking pretty good for now. Now these ones, since I ended up, I'm going to take the lazy way out with the lettering and the other one I'm going to do that with this too, and I'm just going to paint this whole area black. I took the picture at an angle, so the sky sign is a little skew. So I'm going to crack in mine, but I'm still going to not worry about like perfect symmetry or anything. So nice Vocal point shaped direct to the eye. I think I'm trying to decide if I want to do the palm trees with a brush or with the pen tail. I noticed that the pen tail isn't moving quite as nicely across this paper as I usually like, so I'll try with the brush. These palm trees actually, I'm going to do, let's see. We're going to do a little bit of a wash first. You go lighter black and then I might go over part of it in a darker black. I'm going to save the tops of these palms because they need to be light. Like they are such an expressive mark that really tells you, the orients you, and so I don't want to meddle it up, so I'm not quite ready for it. Somebody gave myself a chance, but I do have some bushes here. I was going to do a drawn texture, but I think I'm just going to do, some of these. Probably, I should have used a smaller brush for that but it's okay, it's enough to get across what I wanted. I'm just trying to further the illusion of these apartments being back here. Not so bad, it's coming along really nicely. I actually like how simple it is. I like how that wash turned out. I don't want to do too much to mess it up. So I'm just going to get these. Now make the sign a little darker. Now these tops of these palms [inaudible]. So I think I just want to do them in one brushstroke though. I think I want to try, I don't I think any other textures, I have are going to lend itself and again you need a smaller brush. First of all, maybe not actually. Again, if I mess up, it's fine. I just want the like care-freeness of the palms to come across. Then they have these little lines, and so that's why I wanted to draw them in the lighter Grey first, so that these would show. They add just a little bit of interest. I know it's easy to get worried about ruining things but seriously, I'm really working to untrain my brain about that, because you can just do it a second time, it's all good. Some shadow there, and that looks good. I think that one's actually close to done. Now we just need to do some good work on our front door. 14. Rendering Postcards Pt 3: Now it would have been wise for me to leave this pot white, but since I didn't and I didn't leave the doormat white, it means I'm just going to darken everything like one value darker except for those things. Now I want to really try and preserve them. The doormat in there in the potted plant or the not potted plant. I might be able to finally use my home real determine to use this one, I'm going to try and use it on the reef. I'm going to do with the brush. I got a big ink blob, it`s okay. Now this our welcome mat has a diamond pattern design, so I want to get that in there, that'll be a nice detail. We just go ahead and paint this dark door because I know. Now I'm going to try and make it look like it was just done in a few strokes, I'm going to leave the edges kind of rough. I said that before and then I didn't. I think this needs more of a wash in there, but I can't get in there to do it now because the door is wet. But what I can do is work on some of the smaller details. My daylight is going away so I'm going to wrap up right now even though I still have some more work to do on these. But I want to show you because I'm going to be doing more of the same, I'm going to continue to revisit them. I'm going to look at if the composition looks complete, if something looks like it's missing, does it need more pen work? Does it need more values? But I just want to show you too really quick that a few things that I really like are splatters. To do some splatters, I've got two ways, the first is to load up a brush with lot of ink in water, so it's just really, really full. Then I can go ahead and use this handle as a base and I'm basically going to tap these together. i just goes to tap, and it just is enough to add just like a tiny bit of energy. That's a nice final piece that I like. Then of course, once I'm done, I will also go in with some white paint. I'll probably use Copic bleed proof white, which is just a small job, really, really opaque white paint. I'll do the lettering on here as well as the lettering on here, and then we're ready to finish them. Yeah, I have never ended a video lesson before because the sun went down and I'm not going to start now because after I turned off the camera yesterday and looked at my postcard said, I just had this feeling that, I didn't know I was unfinished. That's all it was. When I took a look at the set as a whole, I could see why. When I look at these, my two favorite are these to a Roger and the outside sign, and what I noticed is that these two stuck to my original planning where I said that I really wanted shapes and values to be determined by the strokes of the brush, and I only wanted lines to be for fine details. Like here, the tiny little things coming off the rug or this little spikes. This one, a little bit of the palm tree texture and the splatters. This one in particular, the weakest in my opinion, it just feels overworked for one, but just fine. Like I'm saying all this constructively to myself, this is what we do as artists. But it felt overworked. I hated this random, this bad contour, the laptop and the weird lines on the screen. I felt like the focal point was just lost and these vegetables weren't really cute and everything. Then down here, the second to last weakest I'd say, it's close to these. It just felt like I like that this feels like really organic brushstrokes, just like one stroke got the curtains and once a few strokes got the books. This door looks really tortured to me. That's really the main thing and then I was upset, of course, that I don't know. I just felt like this was kind of mess. Anyway, after I turned off the camera, I took us another step at this one, just using the darkest values. Then I got the base in there just to see how the strokes would change, and already I started to see that I like how this is fitting into the set a lot better. I stopped what I was doing and I was like, okay, I'll record again in the morning even if it messes up the flow of the video, doesn't matter because this is how it works as an artist. You go away from things and you come back and you see them and you're like. I'm going to finish this one off, this second version of this one. Then the problem with this one is, I honestly I wouldn't change much, so I might just try and clean up the sides of the door to see if that helps. The problem is that since I feel my masking fluid away, this would be a great time to use it to paint in some of these squigglies for the wreath, and I cover up the lock on the door handle so that I could just paint with really nice bold strokes to do that door. But as you know, I threw my masking fluid way and I don't believe in it. I think it's a conspiracy, yeah. I have to decide whether I'm just going to leave that one as it is, which I might. Now that I fix this one, that was really the one that was an eyesore sticking out. Anyway, that's where we are, I'm going to get back to work on this one. The first thing I want to do is just put some light value, random shapes on here. I have a painting, an abstract painting that I bought by Sarah Golden that I really love hanging up above my desk, and so want these. They're going to be dry on dry shapes, I'm going to wait for that to dry all the way before a layer in new ones. But I want this to represent her painting on my wall. Then I do have that poster of vegetables. I'm trying to think of something would be better in these are, these even need anything, maybe they just need a few marks. I'm going to wait because I'm not sure. One thing I want to try is do really tiny little keyboard buttons. Maybe now the line detail in this one will just be the fens that are coming out of here, and then really all it will need is I want to finish this off and it will need some kind of gray wash. Maybe the gray will be the desk like it needs some, each one of these ones all has that mid-tone gray. I need to make sure that that's prominent in this one too so that it fits, because right now it's too stark black and white. I think that either the wall or the desk is going to be where that wash will be. Again, since this is going to be like maybe the only line detail in here, I just want to be, I don't need to be perfect, but I want to be thoughtful when I'm putting down a line. I want to make sure these marks are all the way dry before I do a wash over top because it'll be a real bummer if they blur. I'll wait a little bit longer, and I'm just going to paint some decorations on this vase. I think in this picture frame up here, I'm going to just do like a single line. I'll let that stick and dry. Yeah, I guess that did help a lot something about just sharing up those edges a little bit. Like the line might be more crooked now, but the corner is nicer, I guess and that's what makes a difference to me. Now I think what this one needs is some decoration on the door or on a doormat. See how these diamonds are getting imperfect? I think it's nice. This is what I was trying to talk about the other day when you lay an imperfect line down and you might try to go over it again to fix it, and then it just looks like a mess. Instead of trying to fix any of these, I'm just going to go with it, and because of it, even though now it's wonky, it at least looks a little confident. Just the doormat, and now the last thing I want to try is I want to try to dry brush a really light wash of ink to get some texture for this wall. But I want it to be really subtle. Same thing I did with the door is what to try and fix the bottom of this that it looks like it could have been done in just one quick brushstroke. It's looking much better as a set to me. Let me just go ahead and add the wash down here. It's best to just try and do it confidently. Trying to think if I want do a street across, I think so. I feel so much better about these now than I did last night when the sun was going down. The main things that I need to do are still the lettering. I'm just going like I said yesterday, I'm going to use some bleed proof white for that. It's just white opaque paint. I'm basically just going to use either a pen or a brush to put some lettering on my letter board sign here. Then also to the apartment complex sign right there. Now we're ready to get into finishing. 15. Finishing: Well, I've got that happy and light feeling from rendering the final artwork from my postcards and now there are just a few ideas I want to show you to help finish off all of our hard work. If you're ready to send them out in the world, first of all, you need to flatten them. You can put them under some heavy books and then cut them out using scissors or an X-Acto knife and a cutting mat, be careful. Then you'll want to use a ruler and a marker or a pen to draw some lines for the note area on the back of the postcard and then make sure you leave some space for the recipient and return address as well as the stamp. You may want to add any captions on the front if necessary or if there's any customized lettering for the recipient. With that, you're postcards are ready to go out into the world. If you want to fancy things up a bit, you can bring your scanner and computer into the mix. If you're nervous pervis about your lettering skills, you can totally letter on a separate sheet of paper and composite the lettering onto your artwork using Quick Mask Mode in Photoshop. You'll of course just have to print your postcards after that. I shared this process in my first-class digitizing hand-drawn sketches and my 11th class digitizing your paint. You also have the power to correct any mistakes that may have happened, as well as tweet contrast levels and composite in extra textures, you can digitally paint on top of the artwork. Again, these are all things that I've shown in my digitizing-your-paint class. If you plan to get these postcards printed, you could skip drawing the lines and mailing information and you could do it digitally. If you plan to use your pieces in your portfolio, it's definitely smart to save a digital copy of the file, even if you don't plan on doing any of those jazzy things, it's not a bad idea to scan in a copy to archive it for safe keeping, or just have the best of both worlds. Archive and digitize a copy and then send the original to someone worthy of all your hard work. I'm going to do a quick demo here of how I'd finish mine off in Photoshop just so that I can show you. But I'm definitely not going to do a deep dive into all these tools since I've already taught them before. If you need more help on how to tackle the finishing techniques, I'm about to show, check out the class resources in the projects and resources tab right sidebar, where I share a list of supporting and supplemental classes. I have scanned in my postcards and I haven't touched them at all. They're just scanned in and I'm just going to do a quick run-through of how I would clean these up. The first thing is, I'm going to make a new document that's four by six inches and I'm not actually going to get these printed, otherwise, I would probably do a bleed but this is just to show you just to do a walk-through, so four by six at 300 is good. I'm going to go ahead and work on this first one. What I'm going to do is, I'm going to use my polygon or lasso tool and I'm just going to use the lines that I drew to cut this out. I'm going to hit Command X and go over here and hit Shift Command B. That's copy and paste, which you can find in the edit menus and at command T and reverse this. I'm going to resize it so that it fits nicely in here. The first thing I'd like to do is correct the contrast and I'm going to do that with a levels adjustment. This slider right here is basically saying, how bright should my whites get? I'm going to drag that a little bit to bring the whites up a little. Then this one down here is controlling how dark the darks are going to get, so I definitely want to bring that down. Then this middle one will affect how overall light and dark it is. Looks good there. I'm going to go ahead and just bring all of these over. Now, I would normally adjust separate things like this, separately. Meaning I would not use the same adjustment levels for it or the adjustment layer. But since these were all painted on the same paper with the same materials and scanned in with the same lighting, I think I'm going to be pretty safe being able to just drop this under that adjustment layer and have it affect this one too. If not, then I can duplicate it and give it its own adjustment, so maybe these blacks are a little too black, that looks better. I'm going to go ahead and group these by selecting both of them and hitting Command G, we're going up to layer, group layers. I'm going to group this one too and name them. Now they're all brought over and the contrast levels have been adjusted. However, there was one glaring issue to me and that is the color temperature and they just look a little bit too warm. I'm going to grab my hue saturation adjustment layer and bring that down. I can see it by like any other undertones, but I think I just want it to be like that. Then if I wanted to add some warmth back in, I would still do this hue saturation layer to get them all uniform and then I would just go in here and add a photo filter. You can see if I turn that on and off, that just gives us a really nice, just little bit of warmth, your preference. That's how I would go ahead and work on contrast. Next, I would look to see if there are any mistakes that I needed to fix, anything that I wish, any mistaken brushstrokes or something. Like down here on this one where the plug is going into the computer went a little bit far. If I really wanted to, I could use my lasso tool to get in there and then I'm going to use my clone stamp tool, this guy over here to fix that. I can correct mistakes, I can also, let's say that this postcard, let's say that I didn't do the sign. I'm going to go ahead and plot this out. Just for speed, I'm just going to paint one color on top of it. Let's say that this is how I scanned it in and I wanted to add lettering. You can see I have over here these pages of lettering that I had worked on, and so I've already scanned them and adjusted their levels so that it's perfect black and white, because for Quick Mask Mode, which is how we're going to separate these from the background because right now it's all one layer is Quick Mask Mode. If you've never seen it before, this is not going to be the demonstration that's going to help you. But if you're a seasoned Photoshop user, then it might be a good tip. If you don't know it, you can check out my digitizing-your hand-drawn-sketches class. But so basically I'm going to make a new layer. I'm going to set my colors over here back to default, and I'm going to hit Q to turn on Quick Mask Mode. Basically, Quick Mask will take any artwork that I paste in here and it will use the black and white levels to determine what pixels are visible and which ones are not. I brought this in here, this is my G. I'm going to hit Q again to turn off Quick Mask Mode and you can see that I'm left with just the selection of that letter. Now it's actually the inverse of that selection because of how masks work. I drew the letters in black, masks ignore black and so I just need to inverse the selection by hitting Shift, Command I or going up to select and inverse selection. It doesn't look like anything changed but actually I'm going to hit Command Z to show you. If I had tried to fill that letter like this, you can see it would have filled everything except the G, which is why I'm in reversing the selection. Now I've inversed it and now it's good to go Command D. Now that G has been brought in and it has no background to it, I can make it any color and it's good to go. I could sample my paper color and fill it with that and then bring that G down on top of the sign and then I could set up all the letters to do greetings from Phoenix or whatever I wanted. You can definitely composite things in that way. Another thing you can do is digital painting. None of these need any digital painting in my eyes but if you wanted to use some of the awesome Photoshop brushes that are in here to just add a little bit of texture or whatever you may need, that's totally an option. But one thing I might do is, you can add in additional textures. I have some paper textures somewhere. Let me plug the right hard-drive in. This is a good, this is such a quick win, let's see if that comes up. Paper textures, I bought this pack of paper textures and all it is are these nice paper and actually I'm going to open up a different one so I can show you more dramatically. We'll use this one because it's so obvious. What I can do is just copy all of that, paste it on top of my artwork, and hit, Multiply. Now you can see the effect that I get. That was a really yellowed piece of paper, and I usually would turn down the opacity. I usually don't use it at its strongest, but even at 36 percent, you can see that it just adds really nice dimension and some texture that might be missing or you just want to turn it up a little bit. You can add in textures that way. I could also work on the back of the postcard. We're going to turn all of this off, go to image, image rotation 90 degrees clockwise, and now I could use my line tool over here to drag out some lines. You could make yourself a dividing line and then maybe a little spot for a stamp up here, pretty big. Basically anything your heart desires, you could work on that too. You can see there's a lot that we can do digitally if should you choose to do that. I chose this project because I wanted something that if you just need a break from the computer, you can get one and so you don't, I'm not going to do any of these things for my work, I like the postcards as they are, but if you wanted some extra stuff. Then of course the last thing is to always save working copies of your files. I would go to where these are being saved. In here, here are my scans and I would say, postcards working and I'd save that there. There we have it, four handmade postcards representing where we're coming from and sharing a tiny bit of our story. Not only that, but a new medium under our belts, a new method for jotting down illustrations and a budding catalog of marks and textures to refer back to time and time again. 16. Thank you! : I love making these classes and your love for them right back makes this just one big wonderful experience. As a fellow Skillshare student, I know how hard I nerd out about my favorite teachers, and so knowing that I'm on that list for some of you really warms my heart. Thank you for being an awesome student, thank you for trying new things, thank you for bravely sharing your work with others to help inspire others, and thank you for being part of our community. Please go create. If you'd like to keep in touch with me on a regular basis, I invite you to follow me on Instagram @Bydylanm. If you want the highlights, you can subscribe to my quarterly newsletter, and if you just want to know about new classes, a click of a Follow button here on Skillshare will do the trick.