Creative Drawing With Simple Shapes | Jane Snedden Peever | Skillshare

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Creative Drawing With Simple Shapes

teacher avatar Jane Snedden Peever, Living the Creative Life

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Materials And Project


    • 3.



    • 4.



    • 5.



    • 6.



    • 7.

      Filling A Page


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About This Class

Are you looking for new creative ways to approach your drawing and designs?  Have you been trying to get back to the joy of drawing and just haven't found the spark you need to get that pencil to paper? 

In this class I will show you my techniques in using basic shapes to act as a framework and jumping off point to creating unique and fun designs.  We will use 4 basic shapes and I will walk you through creating 5 different designs within each shape.  You will end up with the techniques and inspiration to create numerous creative designs of your own. Then we will toss these shapes onto a page of paper to give us a framework to fill a page with designs and doodles.

What you need:

  • pencil
  • paper
  • eraser
  • pen
  • downloads I have provided

In addition I have provided you the downloads for the shapes I use as well as the linework I will be showing you in the videos.  I also have provided a framework of assorted shapes that you will be able to use to create a full page design.

Meet Your Teacher

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Jane Snedden Peever

Living the Creative Life

Top Teacher

Hi, I'm Jane and my favourite ways to relax are crocheting and doodling.

I love exploring creativity through texture, colour and shapes and sharing this with you through Simple and Fun Classes.

You can find me over on my blog with more tips, tricks and creative ideas.

See full profile

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1. Intro: Would you like to draw more, but find that blank page just stares back at you? Are you looking for creative ways to get your designs to start flowing? Hey everyone, my name's Jane and today we're going to light that creative spark. I'm going to walk you through my techniques step-by-step in using shapes as frameworks to help get your ideas onto the page. I'll show you how to tackle that blank page by filling it with simple shape frameworks that you can work your designs into. In this class, I'm going to show you how drawing within another shape can really spur on some great design ideas and help you fill that page with lots of beautiful designs. I will give you multiple ideas on how to fill each shape and then I'll show you how to make a full page design using the ideas we worked on. Join me today as we explore some creative ideas. Hit and roll, and I'll see you there. 2. Materials And Project: You don't need very much to get going: a pencil, eraser, some paper, I use blank eight and a half by 11 inch, same as what I have in my printer, a pen for inking, any black fine tip will do, and you'll need the five downloads I provided for you. They print out nicely on eight and a half by 11 inch paper. I also suggest masking tape. I use small pieces to secure my blank sheet of paper on top of my frame worksheet to hold it in place while I draw and the tape comes off nicely. I suggest and I use this method in my videos is to place a blank sheet over the frame worksheet so you can use it as a guideline through the paper and then re-use the frameworks as many times as you want. First, we will use an assortment of circle shapes to create different liner, which you can ink into your preferences. Then we will move on to squares, diamonds, and triangles. For all of these, I've also provided a download of the line artwork as an extra help you can use to follow along with me in the tutorials. Once we're done with the shapes, I'll show you how I use these designs on a tossed framework to create an all over design for a page. My focus in this class will be on creating the line art. If you would like ideas on how I add detail to my ink designs, I cover that more thoroughly in my class, creating depth and dimension. Your project will be to share your designs that you have created using any of the simple shape frameworks we've learned. As an added challenge, you can use the assorted shape framework and share your filled page design with us as well. So set up your circle framework with a blank sheet on top and let's get started. 3. Circles: So the first shape we're going to work with is a circle. This is my favorite shape. It's my go-to shape. So we'll start with a simple circle and I'm going to do a basic flower shape with floating petals inside of it. There are an infinite number of designs you can do in each shape and it's great to bring these shape frameworks with you to doodling and get different ideas you can use in larger designs. You can even draw your own framework shapes in your sketchbook to work with. Your framework shapes don't even have to be irregular shapes. They can be any type of form that you can use to design something within. So the second one of these has three circles within each other. So in the first ring, I'm going to make a simple flower. It doesn't matter, I really don't bother too much with symmetry when I'm just sketching like this. So you can have six petals, seven petals. I just keep drawing until they fit. So the second ring, I'm going to base on the first ring and use it as a jumping off point to add a different shape of petal. Then I'm going to add an inner petal to add some interest on these that mimic the outer petal. Then I'll outline the whole design all the way round. These designs are a free-form concept, but we use the shapes to help define the area in which we are designing. It gives us a jumping off point for our ideas and help stimulate new ones. So our next idea will be in this circle with two inner rings. I'm going to add petals joined to the center that slightly overlap each other, and then I will add an inset on each of the petals to give them a little depth and shape. I add a lot more detail after I do the inking, but I add little lines in the sketching phase to give myself ideas for later when I'm inking the design. So the fourth circle, again, has two center rings. I'm going to put a small flower in the center. Then I'm going to use a little wavy pattern to go around the next ring. Then I think I'm going to use the same pattern to fill the third ring, but maybe make them a little closer together so that there's a little bit of difference between the two rings. You can use similar patterns in the same design, but because of the different sizes of the shapes, they'll show just slightly different from each other. Then I'll add some little circles all the way round, again, just a little more interest into the design. So our fifth and final circle is actually the same framework as the one right before it, but we're going to do something different. So in the center, I'm just going to do little inset design that's different than the flowers. Then in the second ring, I'm just going to add some free floating petals. Often when I'm adding in the petals, I'll do a top and a bottom in either side and then I'll work the rest of the petals in between those so that I get my spacing right. Then on the outer ring, I'm going to add these S-curves all the way around. It gives the ring a bit of a twisted spiral look. So just by experimenting with different patterns and because you have to fit them into a shape, you can actually come up with all sorts of new ideas. So you can have five very similar circles and you can create five completely different designs. 4. Squares: Now we'll move on to squares. Our first square is simple. I'll estimate a center, and then we'll add petals in to fill the entire space with a slight overlap all the way around. I've used this design to fill in a circle, but it looks quite different when you fill in a square. The second square has a center circle in it. I'll add floating petals starting at the top, and then I'll add them down each side, slightly curved down towards the bottom, and then I'm going to add up the bottom part, a clump of petals attached to the center just to mix it up a little. Then I think I'll outline the entire design. Again, I like to outline my designs because I find it gives a little bit of added interest and gives me a little more to work with when I go to ink the design and add in more details. But it's personal preference and you can leave it off if you want to. The third square has two squares, one inside the other. I'll outline the inner square with tiny circles, and then, I'll fill the center square with floating leaves, making one leaf the dominant one and filling in smaller ones either side of it. Then I'll repeat the small circles outlining the outer square all the way round. Finally, I'll add a couple of large circles to fill in the space that lies in between the two squares. In each of my classes, I explore different techniques and different shapes so you can find out more about the way that I work in my other classes as well. Now we're into our fourth square, and it's just a larger square with a small square inside of it. I'm going to go around the outside with a small S-curve that gives you an overlapping petal look. When I hit the corners, I slant them in so that they meet at the corner, and then I'll fill the center with some floating leaves as well. A little bit different design than the last one, with some small circles added in there as well. Then I'm going to go around the outer ring again with a second line. This is the stage at which you're just sketching. Let yourself play with the designs. You can adjust them later, you can add things in or take things out. You can play with the balance, if you don't like the way some of the petals are lying, that's when the eraser comes out and you can readjust things as you go before you ink the design. In our last square, we have three squares within each other. I'm going to fill the center one with some floating petals that are curved around, spiraling around the inner square. Then on the second ring, I'm just going to mark off the corners for the moment and then, I'm going to go ahead and work on the outer ring. I'm just going to go around the outside of the square with my favorite wavy pattern, and when I hit the corners, I'm going to slant them so that they all slant inwards towards the center. When I come back to it, I'm going to work just a simple diagonal line into the center area that's still blank, and just follow along the lines than I initially put for the corners, just to give it another unique look. You really just have to keep playing around with different ideas and different designs and see what you like and what really flows for you. There's your five different squares with five different designs. 5. Diamonds: Now we're working with diamond shapes. Our first diamond is simple, and I'm just going to use S-curves, that join at the top and the bottom to fill the entire shape. The second diamond, I have a circle in the center, which I'm going to use as a large bubble and place a small oval to give it that light reflection look. Then I will surround it with a wavy pattern that touches the edges of the diamond. Then I'm going to finish it off by outlining the wavy pattern all the way around. If you want to see more about the different patterns and shapes that I use in my designs, I address this in my class, Basic Shapes Beautiful Designs. The third diamond, again has a small circle center. I'm going to surround it with floating point leaf petals that extend to the edges of the framework. You can see in each instance the framework is helping give definition to the arrangement and shape of the elements you're drawing within it. You can draw this design inside of a circle and you'll get a different look. I like to outline my designs to give me more to work with when I ink them, but you can leave them without the outline. The fourth diamond, I will use the center circles to create a flower and then I'll surround it with floating petals. I like to fill in the top and the bottom in either side. That helps me keep the balance in the design. Then I'll add the petals in-between these. Sometimes I'll curve them as I'm doing here or sometimes I'll just leave them straight. Just by curving the petals in different directions can really add a different look to the design. So in this fifth diamond, I'm going to do something different in the center. I'm just going to add a whole bunch of circles lying around each other, using the circle underneath as the framework. Then I'm going to add petals all the way around to create a flower, but using the diamond shape again as my border that the petals will touch. Then I'm going to add in sets into the pedals. Then I think I'm going to outline this design as well. One of the reasons I really like working in pencil first is because it's just getting the ideas on the paper and then I can make as many changes as I want to this design before I ink it. Then when I ink it, I have the basic frame of the line work. Then from there I can add a lot more detail as well. Now you're going to have five different designs based on the diamond shape. 6. Triangles: The final shape that we are going to work with is triangles. I'm first going to use a tall triangle, and I'm going to draw it S-curves to create a spiral or swirl effect down to the base of the triangle. Then I'll go back and I will mimic that line with a second line all the way down to the base as well. When I ink these designs, that's when I start to adding a lot more of the detail. I address a lot of my techniques in my course, creating depth and dimension on how I add a lot more value to these designs. The second triangle is two triangles within each other. The first one I create petals around the center, and the second one, I used my favorite wavy pattern, making sure that I stay within the form of the triangle. Then I'll outline the entire design. In the third triangle, I'm going to make a half flower in the center, and then I'll put larger petals that fit the shape of the triangle. Again, staying within the form of the triangle. Then I'm going to add a center to each of these pedals as well, and that one's fairly simple. The next triangle is a wide triangle, and I'll divide it in half with an S-curve. On the left, I'm going to mimic the S curve, and then on the right-hand side, I'll put some floating petals in, always being aware of that outline of the triangles. I'm trying to bring those petals to the outer edge of the triangle. Then I'll outline the floating petals, and then I'll add a little line work into those. The last triangle shape I'm going to add in different shapes to fit within the space, this is my favorite thing to do with all the shapes, is I take a lot of the shapes that I showed you in my last course, the basic shapes, beautiful designs. I like to just fill the entire space with them. I'm using petals, I'm using leaf patterns, and I'm using circles, and I'm just fitting them in wherever they go, having them flow around each other. Then when I'm done, I'll outline just the outer edge of everything. So you end up with the basic idea of the shape, and there you have five different ideas based on the triangle. 7. Filling A Page: Now that you have pages of design ideas, let's put them to use in filling a full-page design. I've provided you with an assorted shape framework about the size of a notebook page. Place a blank page over top and using the design ideas we have learned, fill your shapes in first. Then when these are complete, we can use free form doodling to fill in around the shape designs. Use whatever doodling that you like the best. I love to use petals, circles and I'll fill in small flowers where the space is larger. Just work your way around the page, filling in all of the white space with whatever feels good and whatever flows around each other. In my course, basic shapes, beautiful designs, we learned how to fill a page, and in this course we've taken it to the next level by using our shapes to get more intricate designs onto the page first. Then we can just fill in all of the white space with whatever feels right for us. When you have the whole page filled, you can ink the design and you can finish it anyway that you like best. I'm looking forward to seeing your projects and I hope these techniques help you step into a creative habit of drawing for fun, relaxation, and beautiful designs.