Drawing & Mark-making | Emily Armstrong | Skillshare

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Mark-making Project


    • 3.

      All About Pencils


    • 4.

      Mark-making & Line


    • 5.

      Mark-making & Texture


    • 6.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Have you ever taken the time to really explore what your humble pencil can do?

In this class learn about grades of pencils and how they can be used to create different types of line and texture.

This is a practical exercise for testing the potential of your pencils and discovering new marks that can be applied to your drawings.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Emily Armstrong

The Pencil Room Online


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

I love the simplicity of drawing and I value doodling from the imagination as much as realistic drawing. Drawing doesn't always need to be serious, it can be simple and playful and it can change the way you see the world!


I teach learn to draw courses an... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Emily Armstrong. I'm an artist in a teacher. And this is my studio, the paint silver. So welcome as an artist, I've worked in lots of different mediums from drawing to painting, sculpture, ceramics. But after studying for my masters, I really embraced drawing. I've been teaching it at schools for about six years now, and I found that I could really help my students improve their drawing skills by changing the way that they look at what? The drawing. And that's what I focus on in these classes. I'm not gonna teach you how to draw one particular thing. Really? Really Well, I'm going to help you learn to see your subject matter differently so you can draw anything that you like during is my passion. And I hope you'll join me in this class where we explore the humble pencil and create a library of their own unique Max. All you need is a sketchbook. If you have one. Otherwise, just a piece of paper and any people so you can find around your house. I'll see you sing 2. Mark-making Project: for the project in this class will practice mak making and create a visual representation of the potential of your pencils. First will focus on line. What quality of line can you get from your different pencils? Then we'll focus on texture. What different affects in patterned skin you get from European sores. I encourage you to work along with me in real time, and you can organize it anyway that you like. Part of being an artist is embracing your own style in This includes recognizing the processes that works best for you. For example, I tend to work loosely and creatively so my Max will be organized intuitively. Other, after slighted the source material to be very organized so they might work and swatches or in a very linear fashion. You should work in the way that fuels best for you. Try out different pencils and try out different brands of pencils that Amis to find out as much as you can about the pencils that you have 3. All About Pencils: Let's have a quick talk about pencils or pencil leads. Have a grading system, which tells us how hard or how soft a pencil. Leaders in different pencils can be used for different things. The grading system uses the letters H N B that extends for hard in the higher the number knicks of the H. The harder the lighter in the shop of the pencil will be. These pencils are useful for sketching at the start of your during when you want to keep the max nice and light, the B stands for black and the higher the number next to the be the darker and the softer the pencil lead will be be pencils, A really useful for shading and building up depth in your during an HB pencil is right in the middle. A to B pencil is a really good general pencil for drawing because you can still get a reasonably sharp mark out of it. But at the same time, you can get some dark tones, which is good for shading as well as your standard wooden pencils. You can also get mechanical pencils, which can be filled with leads that followed the same grading system. This one here has a handy button on the side, so you don't have to keep pushing it down at the top with your thumb. I prefer to use mechanical pencils when I'm working on a large during, so I don't have to keep stopping a shopping. 4. Mark-making & Line: So it's experiment with the line quality off the pizza was that we have. So I've got to h pencil, which I'm expecting to be quite a light pencil and give me a light shop back. I got to be in. Remember to be is a good general pizza sketching. You get some reasonably shot max, but you can also get a range of times for shaving. And lastly, I've got a six big pencil and I'm expecting this to be a very dark, thick, soft Mac. You might have more or less pencils. You might have different grades that I missed to figure out what potential Europeans was. So as I mentioned, you can organize this anywhere you like. If you're very organized person, you might like to have some swatches with some squeeze seat up and you can work within the squares in each one. Well, we're gonna feeling any affection. What I might do is divide my page and 1/2 so that on this side I will show you the lines of my pizza was in on the side of showing the textures when we move on to the next video and, you know, have one shaped, which forms my library of Max. I'll start with the two HP pencil. It's make some general marks get used to using that pencil the scene that I'm going to see how light I can make this piece. So what's a very largest Mac I can make and I can't go pretty like with this, so I could probably get it to just disappear into the watches, the page having to this ink. Let's see how back we get from A to H. It's a very shaft clean. What happens if I use a pizza in a different way? I can use it in a very controlled manner. So my hand is on the page. I'm steadily moving my pencil. I can use it in a very loose man at this wealth. So my hand is moving in a looking pizza across the page. You see the different Max there. This one is very, very straight and looks controlled, and this one is a bit more energy to it, since it's my two HP. Like I said, if you want to make this very organized, you could write down what we've done. So this is darkest. This is largest this is controlled. This is loose. We repeat this for the other paints with you. This is my too big. So let's see what kind of mark. It's a shop pizza, but I can already see that line is a lot softer than my two h. I can see the ticks trip Piper. Coming through in a society wide is the largest possible max I get with my to be, and it's quite difficult. I can't make this line disappear into watch like I could with two H meats in the darkest mark I can give. It's definitely much darker in my darkest to H mark, moving on to the Controlled Max. Keep my hand, various study and the big kids was a softer than I H pencils, and you can see that this one is starting to get blunter. Marcus getting wider in my loose box court like that once. But this, like Apache one you mean flick at the other range creates a bit of a point. It's definitely a lot of energy that Mac computer, this one. This is my tubing darkest. You can even get an idea of the it's when you're writing with a swell lightest. Maybe I should have risen. This is with a very light it controls and loose to be a bit creation with the way you label beings even moving onto my six beeping. So I'm expecting to get some very soft max from this one quite wide dark max. Stop with just making some max getting used to the pizza. It was very like, Appreciate that it's actually quite dark, even with light pressure, and it's getting very blunt very quickly. See how markets getting wider. It's gonna love the texture to it. This is quite a smooth paper, but you can still see the grain of the paper coming through the pizza. You know how lights amount. Can I get this? Six? Be expecting it to be pretty difficult, and it would be impossible to get this pencil to fade into the white of the page. So it's not a good one for starting off your shaving when you want a very special differences. But it is a nothing students quite delicate, and it seems the darkest max did I get out of this six big. You see the big difference between the darkest market to H in the darkest market. Six. Big. This is probably Onion MIT grad, with the six figure approaching black. So it's a great one for putting in the finishing touches you're drawing sweet Welcome. Some really deep shares. The Controlled Max Do you really high seeks this last just making maps for the sake of making Max not worrying about what things look like. We just discovering and so loose marks. That's a beautiful map. I really like that one. See the difference between spirit uniforms in the smack with a lot more energy? As the flat dark into disappears, we will look off the page. It's my six B lightest and darkest controlled, and it's crazy with others loose. I really learned something from that exercise in terms of what kind of lines you get from your pencils. In a moment, we're going to look at texture and pattern. What kind of potential opiates was 5. Mark-making & Texture: it's look a texture, so texture is created by repeating you Max in a pattern. We can create very uniform peasants or we can create random patterns is where the aim again is to find out the potential of your insults for creating texture. I've got the same three pizzas here, my to edge, to be in my six baby. I'm going to start with a very standard head, and that's often used for shading, just repeating lines next to each other. Another very stated peasant for shading is cross hatching one way and then coming back another way, his two pictures that I've created. What else could we think off the hips? Scheiding. It's a very loose max, very close to get them about dots saying Why we've been from lot to dock. We were looking at the line potential pizzas. We could do that without patterns and textures as well. So, for example, the cross hatching what happens when you got a lot darker and what happens when you go shaving? What watch on one side and a doctor on the other side in the dots, more fighter and also gets the appearance of lighter dots. If you spread them out in dark adults. If you bring me a lot closer to either, this is how we stopped. Create formula shading going from light to dark, going to try those same patterns with my other two pizzas. Too big Dr Carson. It's a lot of cross section Liza shaping duck God's because you're using quite aggressive adopts are already quite docks. To make them like we've been spread make the pattern appear like that. We can speak the dots out to make the pattern of your doctor. We can put the doctor what places to get there. This is my six being pain. So Dr Cross Section light across itching because I can make this fetal very light because it's a six b. I could get the appearance off light across hatching the same way I did with dots by spreading my lines further apart. Go straight into dots here. Let's get much big adults. But this cancer, because of softer in its planter, gets plant and starts. So I tried out four different patterns here with my three pixels to be, which is my genome sketching Kinzel, my two h, which is a good one for if you're thinking about tone for putting down your initial layers of tone and my six bay, which is good for your induction eating. So there's space down here. I want you to see if you come up with your own mats. Your own patterns and pictures helped you come up with something that nobody's even thought about before. I've done this in classes of students before. They get a bit crazy, which is really great. So you have students strolling hits. Was that the paper to see what kind of max second gives? What happens if you roll the pizza across the paper can use the other end of the pizza. Now that might not be something that you use an extra drawing, but it's a really good way to start thinking creatively about how you can use your pencils and create your own unique max. So I hope this is encouraged you to explore your materials and find out what kind of potential they had for Mac making and texture. It's also really nice exercise to do. If you just want to have some mindful time, not worry about anything else, just practice making so much with your tools. It's a great 6. Final Thoughts: So you've ended up with a library of visual max that you might use when you're starting a new drawing. If you're thinking about what kind of takes, just use what kind of line quality to use my next to videos. Look a line in shading. So if you want to put what you live today packed, it's be great to have you along the most classes, too. Thank you so much for joining me in head story.