Ink Illustration: Bold Lines & Fearless Style | Ira Marcks | Skillshare

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Ink Illustration: Bold Lines & Fearless Style

teacher avatar Ira Marcks, Graphic Novelist

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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.

      Traditional Workspace


    • 3.

      A Short Film: Inking in the Dark


    • 4.

      Digital Workspace


    • 5.

      Software and Digital Tools


    • 6.

      Composing The Scene


    • 7.

      Ink and Shadow


    • 8.

      Celebrating Your Influences


    • 9.

      Playful Lines: Quentin Blake


    • 10.

      Fearless Hatching: Maurice Sendak


    • 11.

      Mysterious Shadows: Edward Gorey


    • 12.

      Your Class Project


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About This Class

Join artist and author Ira Marcks in his latest illustration class and learn to build stronger compositions, ink bolder lines, and utilize your inspirations.

This class is a close up look at the illustrative process. It begins in Ira's studio as he shares the two sides of his artistic life: traditional and digital. The following chapters of the lesson review composition layout, tools both digital and traditional, and Ira's favorite inking techniques and how he creates his professional work. But that's just the beginning.

Have you considered all the different ways a drawing can be inked?

Through a series of inking exercises, Ira looks deep into the styles of the artists that have inspired his work since childhood. Odds are, you know a few of them! This class is ideal for creative illustrators, visual designers, and everyone looking for new and exciting ways to draw and ink their ideas.

This lesson is filled with twists and turns through the inspirations and memories of an artist and wonders how we all find our unique place in the vast world of illustration. When you complete this journey, you'll never look at an inky line in the same way again.

Meet Your Teacher

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Ira Marcks

Graphic Novelist

Top Teacher

Ira Marcks is an award-winning and New York Times recommended cartoonist. His love of strange fiction and scientific research has led to an unlikely list of collaborators including the Hugo Award-winning magazine Weird Tales, European Research Council, and a White House Fellowship Scientist. His online courses have inspired 100,000 students.

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1. Introduction: Hey, I'm Ira Marcks. I'm an author and illustrator and generally creative person in upstate New York. For me, stories and pictures go hand in hand, whether I'm building a world in one of my books, creating cartoon characters for kids, drawing up a big colorful poster, working on an illustration assignment or any of the other things I do. I always find myself wondering what's the story happening just outside the frames of my own art? In this class, I'm going to indulge my own curiosity and finally look outside the frames of my work. I'm going to explore the worlds of a few of the amazingly brilliant, timelessly impressive illustrators that made me the person I am today. I hope you'll join me and my class, ink illustration, bold lines, and fearless style. The class begins with a brief overview of my tools and my workstation, then we'll get right to drawing. I'll cover my basic techniques on building a composition, then we'll look at how I ink and shadow in illustration. The next part of the class is really exciting for me, it's about celebrating your influences, and I'm going to look at three of my favorite illustrators. The ones that have left big impressions on me, Quentin Blake, Maurice Sendak, and Edward Gorey. I hope you get inspired by my journey to the roots of my illustrative influences, and look at the artist that inspire you the most and create a loving tribute to their work. 2. Traditional Workspace: This is my studio, I've been making art professionally for over 10 years now, and a lot of that time has been spent sitting right at this very light table. I've worked with really traditional tools just because my roots are in cartooning and newspaper comic strips, so that's the style that I began emulating, when I decided what tools I wanted to work with. My ink of choice is got to be Winsor & Newton brand ink, partly because the label is so cool, but mostly because of the opacity of the ink, it's a really solid rich black. It's got a little bit of a gloss to it. It's just a really pretty thing. I have a lot of brushes and pens, but honestly I only use one or two, and this pen right here is, how I do 98 percent of my traditional inking. It's just a medium size calligraphy nib. There's nothing special about it. I think they cost like $0.40 each. I also use some Winsor & Newton brand brushes for watercolor or doing ink gouaches. Round brushes usually, I like the Winsor & Newton. They have a nice, clean, pointy round tip. My paper of choice is something I discovered a lot later, which I wish I knew about early on. It's Arches Hot press Watercolor paper. Hot press means that they actually iron the paper as they process it, so it's great for scanning. Unlike a lot of watercolor papers, especially like the cheaper brands you buy, they have a texture tone which can sometimes work depending on what you want, but it's hard to Photoshop out that texture. Arches is totally smooth, so whatever your process, it's the paper doesn't leave any impression on your designs. Here's a piece I was working on at this light table, so I'll just show you my setup. I usually sketch everything out first. You could say this is a pretty detailed sketch that I did on my drawing tablet, and I place that under my Arches paper, and my process begins here with my light table. This is why it's so cool to have such a large light table. If you're an art fan like I'm, you really love to watch people work with traditional tools. It's just like a cool thing to see, so I made you guys a really cool, artsy video of me inking this drawing. It's got some nice close-ups and some dramatic music. Before we get into the actual class lesson, enjoy this short film. 3. A Short Film: Inking in the Dark: you. - You okay? 4. Digital Workspace: The sad truth is I don't spend a lot of time at my light table. I sit at my digital workstation here. It's hard to validate as a professional doing things in traditional ways when a tablet gets your work done so much faster. You compromise experience for productivity, so be it. I keep a lot of notes on my desk. I can't work with digital notes, I need to see them all at once, apparently. I write a lot more than I doodle, so there's notes here for different projects I'm working on like a book or of a reminder to do some sketches for some freelance, to-do lists, lists on Skillshare classes and whatnot. This here is my new best friend, my little egg timer. I set it for 60 minutes. I work straight through without distraction, and then, I take a five-minute break and repeat. I do that from eight a.m. to five p.m., and then, I go home. The arm for my digital tablet here is essential. It really saves my back from hunching over a screen all day. I just can't bend over that far for eight hours straight anymore. There in the center is my drawing tablet. It's a Yiynova MSP19U plus. You can get them for about $300 now. The screen is a little glossy, but overall, I like it. 5. Software and Digital Tools: While I'm designing this hatching reference sheet for you guys, I thought I'd give you a little rundown on the types of software that I use. Actually, I'm going to talk specifically about this one program. As much as I love the Adobe Suite and I grew up with Photoshop and Illustrator and InDesign and all that fun stuff. These days, I mostly use a program called Clips Studio Paint. As a cartoonist who's dealing with big documents comic with, 30 to 40 to 100, 200, however many pages. This program is designed to let you open and close those pages pretty quickly and work with multiple page documents really fast. Since it's designed for comic artists, the drawing tools are really prominent. It's got a bunch of built-in brushes, I'll talk about the ones I use in a minute. It's also good for doing dialogue in speech bubbles. The text tool is okay, it's not great, but it's really good for panels and even it's coloring is pretty intuitive. For these classes, like I said, I want anybody to be able to use them. I'm not using any fancy tools or techniques in this. I'm just using a few basic drawing tools. A pen is pretty much digital simulation of a calligraphy nib. You can see how similar the line quality is to the ones in the video of me inking with the actual nib and I use the non photo blue pencil for my layouts and then I use the red pencil for my secondary sketches from time to time. The layout of the program is pretty similar to Photoshop. I have a lot of different layers of inking going and probably the best thing about any digital work is you can work without getting nervous that you're going to mess it up. Often I'll have a bunch of layers that are different versions of the same idea and I'll switch back and forth between the two. I try not to get caught up in that stuff because it's nice when things feel somewhat spontaneous and not over thought, so more and more I try to not zoom in and be hypercritical about every little line I make and I just try to keep it with a more natural feel. A lot of artists will probably tell you the place you want to get with your digital software is that same level of comfortability you are with your traditional tools. Avoid undoing constantly and repairing every error. People love to see a little humanity and there are, so don't erase all your mistakes, keep some of that because it's the truth. All right, as much fun as I'm having sketching these little cute penguins with all these different hatching styles, I'm going to show you my brush resource where I get the different brushes that I have. I have brushes from this artist named Frenden and you can Google him and this is his website. He does brushes for Clips Studio Paint. He is an Illustrator that has a very cartoony style, so if you'd like heavy, solid, sharp inclines, he's good for that. He also has a lot of software tools, a lot of pencil, brushes, crunchy, rough, sketchy looking inks. It's a pretty well-rounded mix and you can see that there's over 450 of them. Have I looked at all of them? Yes. How many do I use? Two or three, usually just one. It's fun to browse, but if you're going to really develop your art into a career, when you start jumping to a lot of different styles, sometimes you start to confuse your audience and you really slow down your own creative process. Pick the tools you like and just focus on your ideas. 6. Composing The Scene: In any illustration project, an artist is going to want to do some preparation for their design. It could be as simple as just placing some basic forms on the page to give them a sense of the layout and position of their characters and other visual elements or you could add another step to the planning, and that's what we're going to do here. We're going to create what you'd call a formal design template to lay underneath our drawing. You can see, I am going to break up my page and simple grid. I'm going to use this diagonal, define the center of the page. Then I'm going to break it into thirds, just like this. I'm going to dull that out. Now this gives me a real formal structure. We call it formal because the page is broken down. The center. It's just a clean symmetry. On top of this grid, I'll start to build out my design. So this illustration project, I'm going to keep the themes to animals in a setting. It's going to be as simple as that and your project is going to follow those same guidelines for my animal. I'm going to choose a cat because I like drawing cats, especially when they're sleepy cats. I'm going to put this cat in a fantastic jungle setting. It's just an excuse to make up my forms of the setting without basing them too much in reality, aside from what I remember of the jungle, the few times I've been there. The subject of the drawing, the cat is centered on that vertical line and you can see that I've used those horizontals. Not in any clear way. It's just a way to break down the page and free my mind up from just the oppressive giant space. I'm an artist that likes to do two sketches. I don't know where that came from. It's just something that I don't know if it's a confidence thing or what, but over the years I've found that I do a really loose, rough sketch that you could see is basically organic shapes, curvy lines, circles. On top of that, whether I'm drawing on hand or tablet, I do my second sketch and that sketch has a bit more sense of not a lot of detail, but the forms and the placement of those forms takes a little more structure. For example, on the top right corner, those leaves in the background, they're basically just framing the head of the cat. As I do my second sketch, they simplify a little bit and just become a little more confident in their shape. So the second sketch is really about just building a confidence and your design. Little things will change, you'll make new decisions. You might even go back to the first version. What you don't want to do really is overthink you're drawing too much. This is really just notes and guidelines to influence your inking. I'm doing some really loose hatching just to give a sense of where my shadows go. This is going to be a composition where the foreground has a shadow on it and the mid ground is really like the brightest layer. So I'm getting a bit more of a sense of where my light source is coming from. You'll see here I even go in over that main flower, which has become a pretty prominent part of this design now that I think about it. I'm just redesigning the petals a little, making them more expressive. After the second sketch, I'm going to add in another step. It's more of an exercise. That's not something I usually do, but I think it's something as a student you might find interesting. I'm going to hold my breath and I'm going to ink this drawing as quick as possible. Why am I holding my breath? That way I won't overthink any line choices. You probably noticed as a young artist, when you're making certain lines for the first time, you're inking style or your line work. It's not very confident. It's only through practice and knowing where you're going with your line, that you get smooth, clean, expressive lines. So by holding my breath, I don't get to overthink this process. Here we go. Catching my breath here. So here's the result of that exercise about a two-minute inked version of cat sleeping in the jungle. So the takeaway here is, what were the lines that were most important to capture in this design? Obviously, the outline of the cat, some of the facial features to represent it's sleeping. The log that it's sleeping on. The flower in the foreground with a bit of detail. A couple other visual elements in the foreground, the mushroom and the little, I don't know, mold or mosque growing on the log, whatever that is. I didn't have time to think about it and then the framing elements, we have the little sprouts on the left and the big tropical style leaves on the right. Notice a lot of the detail didn't have time to fill out. So that's good. This is the bones of the illustration. Any inking that I do from here on out and this final version is going to capture these lines and then from there I decide how much detail I'm adding and how much I'm leaving out. 7. Ink and Shadow: Let's turn off the quick ink exercise and starting confer real. Again, I'm using a brush pen and I'm just going to start with my basic line work. I'm going to leave in all my undoes as well just so you can see the shapes and personality of these visual elements develop. Like I said earlier, this flower in the bottom left has really started to take on a prominent personality and visual accent in the design. The leaves have a lot more character to them, they're a little wobbly. That also means I'm going to keep these other visual elements simple, the mushrooms and the mold on the bottom of the log. I'm so familiar with the composition at this point. I can see patterns occurring and the types of lines I'm making. Again, this project is really all about line that's what we're focusing on. In fact, you're going to hear me reference the emotive or abstract role of these lines more than the subject matter themselves. Like the little sprouts we're looking at here, in the back of the cat what do they represent, their framing element? I also want them to guide the eye towards the center of the illustration. I've even gone so far as to second guess my second sketch and simplify the line work of the little sprouts. Same thing with these tropical leaves on the side, everything points toward the dead center of the image. When you arrive there's not much cleaping cat faces even off center a bit. The lines are all bringing the eye of the viewer into the center of the page, we're drawing the viewer into the design. The details of the cat for me are the tricky thing here. I'm not sure what I want to add in terms of detail with those, I don't want a Garfield look, but I want the cat to have a bit of roundness to its form. I'm going to do like a wobbly striped line that resembles the broken part of the log and also slightly resembles the tropical leaves in the deep background of the top right. Now that we have the basic inking done, we're going to start to look at the shadow. I'm going to say my light source is coming from the upper right foreground, so the light is shining right down on the cat's head. That'll give me a point of reference for where my highlights lay. I don't have a lot of formal instruction in my art education of placing light sources, so I'm just going to make it up and decide what feels right. I'm going to start by designing shadow around the cat, almost every other element gets blacked out, maybe it's the cartoonist in me always trying to create a sense of contrast with the design. Heavy shadows in this cases become a real prominent and aesthetic in my digital work, because it's so easy to make nice clean lines. Something I want you to try when you're inking is over ink your design, bring more shadow into it, than you usually would. This is an advanced technique and we're often afraid to overdo our designs, infact we're afraid to start them a lot of the time too. But there's something magical that starts to happen when you build shadows in the shadows become shapes and they almost become the new version of the illustration. Now that I've turned off all those sketched layers, I'm free to re-interpret this design in different waves. For example, the shadows within the lug almost look like characters themselves. We have to unravel the meaning of this image. In fact the idea of a cat sleeping on a log might not even jump out to you at first glance, it has to be revealed through observation. I always think a drawing that requires you to look at it a little longer is a better drawing. 8. Celebrating Your Influences: One of the best things about being an artist is getting a chance to celebrate the art you love. About a quarter of my studio space is dedicated to reminders of the art that I've loved, whether it be things I've found as a grown-up or work friends have shared with me, things I've learned about in college or books that I loved as my earliest childhood memories. I'm going to use this opportunity to dive into three illustrators. They really influenced my art at an early age, ideas that are rooted so deep in my style that I don't think I could ever pull them out. They're fundamental to how I work. As I talk through my process of re-inking my design, you're going to start to see where that influence comes into play. I hope that you're going to take this challenge on yourself, to find either new influences or celebrate the influences that have made you become an artist. 9. Playful Lines: Quentin Blake: For my first inking reference, I'm going to go with for me a really challenging one. I'm going to ink in the style of Quentin Blake. He has written and illustrated around like 300 children's books, but he's probably most famous for working with Roald Dahl in books like The Fantastic Mr. Fox or The BFG. He's such a great children's book illustrator because as you can see in this clip, I found on YouTube, he doesn't overthink his drawings at all in fact, in these examples, he's not even using an under drawing. There's no sketch or planning. It's all about just coming directly from his imagination, which is why his drawings feel so energetic. He might not be the best representational artist. His character designs often look really similar. There's not a lot of detail and the anatomy of them, but his line work is instantly recognizable. That's because it comes out so clearly and confidently with a sense of fun. There's a technical background to his work, but when he gets down to it and he's working for young people, it's best to relate a sense of freedom and fun and imagination, instead of technical accuracy. We're back to my second sketch of the cat sleeping on a log. For this Quentin Blake approach, I'm going to work really quickly like I did and I'm holding my breath exercise. I'm going to make sure that the drawing looks like a line. If you remember in the videos, Quentin Blake is using a brush pen, very similar to the one I'm using. But the way the pen moves, you never forget that he is drawing. I'm going to work really fast. I'm going to keep the lines soft in flowing. I'm not going to hit any hard corners. Just as a challenge, I'm going to come back like if you look at the tail here, I've roughed it up a bit to give it a sense of texture. There's no hatching and this style Quentin Blake uses ink washes. I'm not going to go that far with this idea. I'm just going to use expression of texture in the line work. Before you know it, I've got a Quentin Blake sketch. He works really fast and confidently, which is probably why he was able to illustrate over 300 children's books. 10. Fearless Hatching: Maurice Sendak: There are few artists who have left as much of an impression on me as Maurice Sendak. It's a combination of his storytelling, deeper stories of childhood experience, and for me, his drawings really compliment that narrative tone. You can see right from the inside cover of a copy of Where the Wild Things Are, the heavy crosshatching that he uses, even when his illustrations are colored, the ink overpowers his world so much. Everything seems to take place at a perpetual sunset. The sky is overcast and the light's coming from some distant place. A lot of his stories are set in the dark or at nighttime and it really comes across in his drawings. It gives them almost like a nightmarish type of quality. But not in a bad way, but just in a way where you're being asked to look at the deep unspoken aspects of yourself. Without getting too heavy on that, let's get into Maurice Sendak inspired illustration. The first thing that has to come to mind when I'm looking at Maurice Sendak's inking style is it's rooted in hatching, meaning there's not a whole lot of outlining in his work. I'm not saying this is the truth, I don't have any good footage of him actually working, but to me, this is the approach I imagine he's taking. I'm using my sketch as the guidelines of where my hatching goes. I'm not going round and outlining first. I'm going to start with the cat in this case. I have to have a sense of where my light source is because as I mentioned earlier, there's a darkness to his work, with just minimal light. I'm going to do all the fur. It's important when you're hatching to understand the shape of the form you're hatching on top of. Right away, the lines need to be curved. The cat has to have a roundness to it. Hatching references just a single line direction and the density of the line represents the density of the shadow. Crosshatching is when you come back across and that's what's so distinct about Maurice Sendak's work. It's crosshatching, not just hatching. We'll look at another hatching artist soon enough. I've got a general sense of the cat and now I'm going to work into the background. A lot of the hatching I'm doing now is representative of not only the light but the textures that come through in the light, so I'm really going to build this up. As I was preparing to do this video, I was watching some footage of interviews with Maurice Sendak to see where his influences come from and not surprisingly, one of his big influences was poet and illustrator, William Blake. William Blake was around in the late 1700s, in that romantic age of visual art and poetry. He was a poet and he also illustrated a lot of work by other writers and poets. Maurice Sendak talks a lot about being fascinated with William Blake's art, even if he didn't really understand a lot of where he was coming from. You don't need to be a master of your references to take them on in your own work. You take away what you want from people and what you can put to use in your own points of view. I'm working in sections here as I ink across this design, constantly building the shadows darker and darker, but being careful to leave highlights in certain places. For me, the face is a real challenge. I almost feel like I've overworked it so I'm going to pull some of this away on the tail and the face. Now that I've got a more comfortable sense of this style, I'm going to go back through and re-ink the tail and the face. It's a little too dark. I want this to still be appealing and not frightening. There we go. Now that I've turned off my sketch, I can get some sense of the ratio of light to dark in this image. It's like I'm dimming the lights in the room and keep pulling light away by building up the darkness. Throughout, I can reveal more aspects of the texture of the world. You notice even in the background elements, nothing settles into complete blackness. There's always a sense of light bouncing from some place in the setting. There we have cat's sleeping on log in the style of Maurice Sendak. 11. Mysterious Shadows: Edward Gorey: Think about the art that's really stuck with you over the course of your life, the illustrators that you can almost remember the day you were introduced to them. There's usually a sense of mystery that's connected to that initial reaction. You've had probably a book, you might have been sitting on the floor of the library. You had some images, words, and at best an about an author page. Before you had a chance to run to Google and look up this person, their whole history was mysterious. There's something that's really alluring about that. For me, Edward Gorey is the epitome of the mysterious artist. You would look at his work and think it was created with a quill dipped in ink by a recluse in the mid 1800s. But in fact, Edward Gorey is a contemporary artist and spent a lot of his life hanging out in New York City and later in Cape Cod. There's a lot more to say about him, but first and foremost, this is a man obsessed with hatching, and as an observer and a kid discovering his work, I became obsessed with his hatching too. Before I continue my rant on that, we've got a lot of hatching to do, so let's just get started. I was really excited to have an excuse to draw like Edward Gorey, not that I didn't spend most of my 20s drawing like him. If you somehow had a copy of graphic novel, I wrote and illustrated when I was 22, 23, 24. You would see a lot of Edward Gorey influence in that book. He's like the rock star of illustrators I think, just partly due to the mystery that I mentioned earlier. But he got to work on so many cool projects like illustrating Dracula, and covers for HG Wells' War of the Worlds, lots of famous poets. He was involved in the theater. In fact, if you look at his work, there's a lot of body language that comes from the theater. You could call it uncomfortable and awkward in the moments he chose, but really it's just theatrical language like ballet, basically. Because he attended a lot of ballet. Anyway, you can see I'm building my hatching. In this case, I'm starting with the background. I'm so familiar with this composition at this point. It doesn't really matter where I start. I have a pretty good vision of where I'm going to go. Edward Gorey's hatching plays a lot of different roles. Sometimes it represents shadow, texture, clothing, fabrics, grass, clouds, rain, smoke, blood, carpet, so you get to decide its role early on. In this case, I'm going with a horizontal approach, a technique he would use a lot just to fill in that we're not super important. You can see the hatching on leaves in the background is just horizontal, meaning it's nice and mellow and even. I'm going to go through and change some of the forms I have, make them a little more menacing. You can see me over here on the left dealing with those sprouts that are poking up. I'm going to take the usual round forms that I work with and make them pointy almost like they're beaks of small carnivorous birds. My hatching is going to change here a little bit. It's going to represent a shadow and hopefully give a bit of form to these shapes. In terms of light, I'm taking an approach much like I did with the Maurice Sendak illustration, determining a light source. In this case, it's almost overhead, I guess. The highlight is on the top side, and the bottom side is full shadow. As I build this illustration out, I'll decide more specifically how deep the shadows get. At this point, you can see I have full white, and then I'm operating like a 90 percent shadow on the bottom edge. In your project, I hope that you take some time to look at illustrators you'd really admire and also dig deeper into what influences them. Usually, it's almost like a game of telephone. With art, everybody's borrowing each other's textures, and tones, and approaches and building them into their own unique formula for illustration. The artists you love are inspired by other artists that you would potentially be super into. I pulled up some clips of Edward Gorey. There aren't a whole lot of couple of interviews with him where he talks about his influences. While we're waiting for this drawing to render itself, let's take a listen. Well, I think I've been influenced a lot by things like [inaudible] and Lewis Carroll, and Edward Lear, and the whole tradition of English nonsense verse and stone. Well, of course, I suppose it goes back to Thomas Hood who wrote some really quite violent, not necessarily for children. Well, I mean, Lear was a great friend of Tennyson or something, and some of his stuff really sounds like Tennyson going slightly askew and whatever. The idea of nonsense is really prominent in Edward Gorey's words as well as his illustrations. We're talking about his illustrations for the most part here, of course. There's a lot of non-sequiturs, thinks that just seemed to come out of nowhere and have no sense of where they came from, or where they're going in his drawings, and part of that adds mystery, and part of that also just speaks to the idea of the mystery of childhood, and how you just dropped in, in the middle of this bigger story, and you can stare as deep into these ideas as you want and we pick and choose what we look into. But really the world is mostly mysterious 98 percent of the time and like I was saying earlier, I can so distinctly remember staring into the hatching and trying to almost find a message within it, almost like it's words pushed together but of course that doesn't exist. Eventually you pick up a pen and you start drawing for yourself. As I'm working through this drawing, I know it's sped up, but I enter back into the same place that I always go. When I hatch in this Edward Gorey style, you have the composition built, you're not making any critical decisions aside from how many lines belong in what space and those things can always be adjusted later. It a meditative brain shutdown state you can go into, which isn't something you get to do a lot in life, whether it be art or any other type of career you enter into. I could see that an artist that really indulges a technique like this, part of it is to escape their over thoughtful mind and just space out and enjoy a moment in a simple process and know that it's building towards something else. You can see the personality of this whole composition changing as I work on the different parts. Here I am in the foreground dealing with the flower, it's almost like a poisonous plant. The petals are sharper and they fall down to the center of the bud and turn nearly black and whatever what you call, the part of the flower that's in the middle. Anyway, the middle part of the flower almost looks like a Venus flytrap. Notice I've turned the cat and the sketch off completely, so I can just focus on the textures I'm making with my hatching. I'm having a lot of fun with this one. As I ink the log, I put a couple guidelines and just keep my hatching on track, I don't want to go totally mindless here and lose track of what I'm doing. These lines are going to be a horizontal moving down the length of the log, given it a sense of movement. But I'm avoiding single lines, everything is built on hatching, little jagged, lightning type gestures. There's no smooth, graceful movement. Even though when it all builds together through just visual closure, you'll get a better sense of the motion of the whole image but at this early stage, everything's heavily textured and almost like violent in its motion like attack to needle approach. I really love the way the shapes behind the leaves are turning out. They almost seem like supernatural forms; some ominous nebula, black blob that's going to overtake the scene. Really, every aspect of this composition has taken a slightly different feel right down to the mushrooms. No longer the round soft mushrooms, they're bullet-shaped caps now and they're silhouettes, dark shapes in the foreground. I'm working on the front part of the log, the jagged edge, I didn't include it in this version of the drawing, but I still want the log to have a lot of texture so making the darkest points to the log right where it hits the rings, we're really creating that strong frame here for the cat, I can't wait to get into it and see how I deal with that. It's almost like a phantom floating there in the center at this point. Time for the cat, cats have a very specific place in that word Gorey world. One of the most famous cat illustrations he's done is for the cover of a collection of TS Eliot poems and they're like the wine whimsical character in the world of Edward Gorey. They have a different shape, they do feel they have a big broad head and a generous smile. It seems to be a lot of influence coming from, as you mentioned, the Cheshire Cat and Lewis Carroll world. I guess maybe that's his point of reference and I'm going to take that cat and bring it into this drawing. The cat's body shape is changing a lot and I'm thinking that it's going to be mostly solid black so I'm just going to cheat here and fill this thing in total black right off the back and I like that. The shape of the head is changing a little bit and now it's a careful game of what do I need to leave white? Keep a highlight around the edge of the head and the tips of the ears can turn white and the tip of the tail and a couple of highlights on the top of the tail but really the cat's going to be solid black. The cat is still asleep, but the position of the eyes is changed. Now they're in Edward Gorey language, they're up a little higher and side some of these highlights, there's not a lot of light in this world. I'm feeling pretty good about this. Maybe a bit more shadow eliminates some of these rings on the tree and bring in a bit more depth to some of these leaves, I like to flat lap, but it's almost a little too flat for this version of the world. There needs to be some depth as they move behind the cat and block some of the light. Edward Gorey's noses are very specific so I'm just going to borrow that whole look and there we have it. A cat sleeping in the jungle, this time in the world of Edward Gorey. 12. Your Class Project: That's that. I hope you enjoyed the class and watching me work and explore my own creative influences. Let's talk class project. Here's what we'll do. We're going to build an illustration inspired by another artist inking style. You're going to begin by designing a composition made up of an animal, and a unique setting. I'll provide you with some worksheets to guide your process. I've created a composition template that will allow you to break up the page in ways you may have never thought of. I'll provide you with references for hatching, and even a list of inspiration for subjects and setting of your design. Your goal is to expand on what you know about illustration, and find new influence, and build on top of the skill set you already have. When you finish your illustration, please share it in the class projects section. By sharing your work, it inspires other students to watch the class, create their own designs, and that in turn inspires me to create new classes for you guys and give you more reasons to draw and explore creativity. Also, if you could write a review for the class, that goes a long way to getting it out there and exposed to more students. I'll see you next time.