INKS: Five Effects to Add a Dramatic Impact to Your Illustration | Anna Sokolova | Skillshare

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INKS: Five Effects to Add a Dramatic Impact to Your Illustration

teacher avatar Anna Sokolova, Berlin-based Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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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.



    • 3.

      Effect 1


    • 4.

      Effects 2 and 3


    • 5.

      Effect 4


    • 6.

      Effect 5


    • 7.



    • 8.

      Creating your own artwork


    • 9.

      Final thoughts


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About This Class

Ever wondered how just a simple brush stroke can catch the viewer's attention and cause a huge emotional reaction?

In this class I’ll show you my 5 favorite inking tips and tricks which can add a dramatic effect to your illustration, design or any artwork. Many of them I use in my works.

By the end of this class you will know how easily and quickly with some inks strokes you can lead the viewer's eye and bring any image to live.

Beauty is all around us, and and I'm very excited to show interpretation of it in this particular way!

Meet Your Teacher

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Anna Sokolova

Berlin-based Artist

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Anna's first book Brilliant Inks is officially published!

You can get "Brilliant Inks" on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository and
ALL the major bookstores in your area (Just search name "Anna Sokolova" or book title)

Begin your colorful journey today with Brilliant Inks and see how far your creativity can go!

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Anna Sokolova is an award-winning illustrator and artist based in Berlin, Germany.

Anna works with mixed media and is inspired by merging the traditional and innovative approaches in arts. A member of the NYC Society of Illustrators, Anna often collaborates with other international and local pro... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hi. My name is Anna Sokolova. I'm a Berlin-based artist and illustrator. Originally I'm from Saint Petersburg, Russia. In many of my works, you can see the trace of traditional beautiful Russian art. I've been doing different types of illustration and design for more than 10 years now. Today, I'm going to show you one of my favorite videos, INKS, and five also inking tips and tricks you can use to add a dramatic life effect to your illustration, design, or any artwork. I've been using such effect in this book cover. I've presented it recently. The character, you can see him right here. He is actually another really nice guy. He's a former doctor, now hunted for a murder. He was in prison. I wanted to show it somehow with a rush and bold strokes. This illustration has another view. You can see it right here. You can see I used the brushstrokes, the bold lines just on the background to show the feeling of the prison. I've been using such an effect also in another illustration, which made it to Society of Illustrators Annual, which I'm very proud of, I will show also. Here it is. In this illustration, I wanted to show a dramatic and a bit disturbing feeling by adding ink splashes on the background, colored like blood. This illustration is an editorial about Soviet history. Guys, I hope you'll have fun watching this class and learn something new. Are you ready? I am. 2. Materials: All you need is simple materials, like inks. The brand is not important but I strongly advise you to use water resistant one. You can also buy a small bottle, it's not that important. You'll also need a paper. I advise you to use the thick paper and it's better to use a white paper. You'll also be needing two brushes. I'm personally using Japanese brush, it can be Chinese brush or just the usual watercolor brush. The second brush I'll be using has this specific form. It can be cheap or expensive, it doesn't actually matter. The form is the most important thing, and you'll need a simple ruler. That's my favorite one. I'm always using the paper towels to make everything clean. You can find the whole list of materials in the helping material for this class. 3. Effect 1: The art of illustration begins with a line, so let's start with it too. The first illustration will look like this. At first it may seem complicated, but actually it's not. For making this effect, first, you need to pick the point on your sheet and to draw imaginal lines so you can show the movement. We'll fill our brush with inks. I like to make couple of strokes just to warm myself up. We're picking the point, I think so we're here. Now, we can follow the lines to show the direction we want to show to our viewer. Don't be afraid if the lines are scratchy or not the perfect, it's not the point, the most important thing to show is that the size of the strokes should be bigger at the end as it is in the beginning. I will be silent for a while and making the illustration work, maybe a bit more comfortable to make it like this. We will make small strokes here and the big and brave ones here. They can be ugly but this effect can be easily used for showing the rain or the explosion, or for many other things. Just don't be afraid to make the brave lines. Well, I advise you to use the small points at the beginning, so it's easier to go forward. You can add a couple of those here, also on the edges so we don't have any border. We can go here. For this part, it'll be more complicated but I was to turn our paper the other side. I personally like to use the effects of Chinese brushes because they have so much unexpected effects they can show you. They can take up to three times more water than the normal water color brush and if you could use it properly, it's really a gem. You can use any direction of your brush, it's always a personal moment. Some prefer to just go with the directions and some people are turning the image upside down to draw the stuff they need. Looks already like rain in here. If you just press a bit more, push a bit more, and then you release, you'll have this beautiful form, so small parts here, some small parts here. The left part is probably not so nice, we can fix that. I like to go over the border, so start here, here. I think, what is left? Well, left is adding some more small stokes here and maybe some bold ones here. I'm using the Japanese brush or Chinese, it's not a simple thing but worth it, I believe. This funny you need to hear while I'm speaking and I'm drawing. For this effect, even if your hand is slightly shaking, it can bring some interesting effect to these lines, so don't be afraid. Some people prefer to hold this kind of brush here but I personally do it always like here because I like to feel the control of the brush. We have some space left here and here. I think it's almost done. We did a great job and almost it, maybe a small thing here. Well, I think it's it, that's it. 4. Effects 2 and 3: Okay guys. So now, we're making this effect. It may look complicated, but it is not. I will show you how to do it. At first, we need to make simple points, but please keep in mind, where you want to move afterwards. So the simple points, just like these, they should be in the different positions, I think. Some may be bigger, some may be smaller, and we shouldn't wait till the inks are completely dry. That's the thing. Now, we are taking this small sheet of paper or towel, and here comes the magic. Well, I think we should wait a couple seconds. It's still very wet, but well, whatever. Now, we need to have a brave hand and just make this move. With this effect, you can show the space directions, the speed, the grain, anything, explosions. It's very comfortable to use. You can then make it again and again, and depending on what amount of these lines you want to show, you should think about the usage of the inks. So hopefully, you got it. Let's move forward. So guys, here's the next one. Exactly, this effect I've used in the book cover I showed you at the beginning, like the symbol of a prism. So it may also seem complicated, but I will show you a small trick how to achieve it easily. Are you ready? So for this one, I'm using this brush. The quality of the brush is not important. Actually, you can buy even the brush for oil, colors, and anything, the cheapest one, for kids, it doesn't matter. We're making an experiment. We're putting this brush in inks and see how the small parts of the brush are separated. Now, we are ready to experimenting. You just make this movement, and you can see what an amazing effect you can achieve. When you get used to it a little bit more, maybe it should be more dry, you can even stop at the beginning and continue off towards to make this grungy bold lines. So there's enough room for imagination. You can do whatever you want, and each new line will be authentic. That's why I like this effect a lot. So now it's your turn to try. 5. Effect 4: Okay guys, have you ever wondered how to make a straight line with a brush? Note, it's very complicated, and I will show you the very nice trick I've learned in the very old book, how to make the straight line with a brush. I like this effect. Let's go. I'm using the simplest ruler I got in a local store and I'm using my Japanese brush. I'm filling it with inks just a little bit to get to hard on it. I may use this for some excessive things. We don't want it to be so very field. We are making the ruler, we're putting it on the angle, and we're making our hand comfortable with this angle. We can make the angle like this, and with a slight touch, we're going directly forward. Is happening. Can you see it? When you using the watercolor brush or a liner, the lines can be as thin as you want them to be. You don't need to worry about the shaken hands or any other stuff we always have been drawing. This effect is perfectly for drawing the rain, showing a speed or maybe just relaxing. I don't know. I think I can fill the whole paper with it. Again, it's very important for you to feel comfortable with the angle, and the brush you're using. After trying this method for a while, you have no problems [inaudible] to your artwork. I think you got the idea. When you look at the slides, you can not say that they were made with the ruler, but actually it be much more difficult to make it just straight by hand. You can try it yourself now. 6. Effect 5: Guys, here's my favorite one, a nice butterfly. Now we are trying to make that together. I've made a small pencil sketch, so it will be easier to draw it and now enter the body of the butterfly. So it can be any animal you want. It can be just beautiful silhouette of an animal or subject, I don't know. Maybe some space, I'm talking about space all the time and you probably noticed that. So I'll try to paint it in silence maybe, and more inks. So after it will be dry, we will add our magic effect to it. Okay, so it's a small head of our friend, it's pretty difficult. But we will handle the situation. Some rough strokes to save the time where all were very busy. It should be connected to the small body of our little friend. It should be more accurate, this second wing of a butterfly. The thing with silhouettes is that they can be very nice-looking and not complicated to draw. So you probably noticed a lot of them, as it covers our impulse cards. Maybe this one should be a bit thicker, just a bit. We miss some nice wings. We can make it more of that. You'll see such a butterfly in botanic garden but, you've got the idea I think. So once our friend is ready, we want to add some action. As you can remember in one of previous tasks, we did this awesome effect with a paper. Now we're trying to repeat it, you can wait a little bit until the inks are dry and well, they're almost dry I think and add some additional. Well, at first, I think I should prepare some paper for it. It's should be enough, we're adding some spots, some dots on places where we want the action to be shown. Probably, obviously its wings. With birds, it works just great and with all the flying creatures. We add this small dots. Now you'll see you've got lucky or not. It's a fine butterfly. It is, well, actually it is. So I encourage you to use this wonderful effect on any silhouette image of your choice. 7. Scanning+Photoshop: Now we need to scan our creative effect and add it to the illustration or design, of course if you want to use a digital lab. You can see the settings I usually use. The most important thing is you use a big resolution, so it can be 300 or even 600. Well, I personally use 300. I advise you to use the black and white version or gray scale. It will be easier to avoid the pixels that we don't need. After we scanned our effects, we go in our magic for the Photoshop program. I've prepared some illustrations I want you to show, of course. I'll begin with book cover, which I actually showed you at the beginning. This is the brush effect I showed you before, and now I want to add it to my book cover to make it more dramatic. I've already tweaked it a little bit. Usually I use curves, why it doesn't work I don't know. You can change the contrast with it to make the lines more bold depending on what you want. I have already made it so I don't need it anymore. I'm satisfied with what I have, and now I've added it to the illustration. I just drag it. I want to turn it like this, of course I've done before so it's much easier. The layer option, I want to put it under program, and the layer option will be multiply. It was good so we don't need to erase anything, like that. I am almost happy with composition. Now, I want to clean everything up. I'm using the simplest brush and the vacuum [inaudible]. I'm just erasing all the stuff we don't need. It will take some time. Of course I don't want to spoil anything so sometimes, I even make that opacity a little bit like this, so I can see the important lines of illustration. Notice for [inaudible]. Depending on the effect you want to achieve, the work can be more or less detailed, here and right here. You can enjoy the music while I'm doing all this work. I want to make everything pretty neat, that's why I don't want to ruin the open points. My goal is to make the effect that it was painted right away at the same time, all of it. Of course you probably guess it wasn't. Then maybe here, maybe here, maybe here and here we have collided [inaudible] here. Maybe we can use this tool. This works too. Now I'll bring the opacity back. Let's see. Looks good. Well here, not very nice, I think so. I will just copy this part and probably edit here, and maybe edit here. Well, I think I need more than that. This piece looks nice, and I'll bring it here. Oh, well, no. I don't like it so I will undo that and maybe just leave it as it is. Here's the cover I showed you. Now I'm going to show you two more examples with postcards I'm planning to make. I guess we're finished with this one. There you go. Don't save, I already have it. The next one will be the various feed postcard with an angel, and the effect I wanted to add is a butterfly, so they go together. I've painted this with inks and some Photoshop. As you can notice, I've already added some splashes. I like the music theme. Something is missing, and I want to add our small friend. It will bring some movement and will fulfill the competition. I just make the selection and I put it right away. Of course, the layer option is multiply. Looks beautiful. The direction of the inks shows the movement, and I think it will be beautiful to have one more butterfly just very near, pretty close. I duplicate the layer. I made it, and it gets smaller, and tweak it a little bit like this. You can see now this space is filled, and the postcard will look more beautiful, more balanced. You can see it right here. Just remember that the small pieces you add should be in balance with the illustration itself. Like if they're very dark or the contrast is very high, there should be also the pieces of illustrations for such a contrast. Like here, we have dark shadows and here also. Are you ready for the next one? Don't save, I already have it. Here is my favorite one for today, it's the little snowman. It will also be a postcard, as you've probably guessed it's a winter season. He's scared, something happened. Well, I think we can add wind to this illustration. We have this wonderful effect, very simple and very attractive. We can just grab it right here and put it into our illustration. We can imagine the wind, how does it blow. Obviously, not like this, so the head would be in another position. We need to flip it like this I think, and make the multiple layer option. It looks much better, but still I think we can make it even better. Let's go to the image, adjustment, and exposure. Here, you can play with this stuff. I like to say play, like play with the fonts of a king, but you go with what I mean, you can change the exposure here. Here, we can make it more this way, more beautiful. Now, we can even delete something. Well, the face of the character should always be seen, so I advise you to delete some stuff if you don't need. Don't be afraid, it's a big messy, doesn't actually matter. Now, we have added the movement for direction and I find the illustration is much better now. It's black lines but, probably maybe it's wintertime, you want to make them white. I will show you the simple way to do it. Let's hide it. Let's get back here. It's maybe not a very nice way, but it works. We're just deleting the background with magic razor tool. We are getting here again. We are making the same thing again. We flip it to vertically. We scale it a little bit like this. Don't forget to hold Shift. It will be transformed in the right way. Maybe it's not the clean way to do it, but it will work. Let's go to the image, threshold, and make the lines white. We can make the layer option screen. For a snowman, it may work. As you can see, there are not very clean lines, but it's a very quick way. There are many other ways how to do it and more beautiful, but it's the same of another class. Here's what I wanted to show you. Oh, I personally prefer the black one for sure. I hope you enjoy it and see you in the next class. 8. Creating your own artwork: So today we've learned that with simple strokes, you can have an effective impact through your artwork. Your task, will be to create a new artwork using this new tricks or add them to the already existing artwork. In the description, I want you to explain what emotion effect or impression you wanted to achieve. I'm very excited to see what you come up with. 9. Final thoughts: Thank you for watching this class. I hope it gave you some inspiration and courage to try new things. Remember, there's nothing quite so fascinating as experimenting, it's just the best thing in art. Have fun and see you next time.