Learn to Draw: A Comprehensive Intro to Drawing Foundations & Style | Mimi Chao | Skillshare

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Learn to Draw: A Comprehensive Intro to Drawing Foundations & Style

teacher avatar Mimi Chao, Owner & Illustrator | Mimochai

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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.

      Getting Started: Artist Toolkit


    • 3.

      Lines & Shapes 1: Learning to See


    • 4.

      Lines & Shapes 2: Exercise


    • 5.

      Lines & Shapes 3: Observational Drawing Techniques


    • 6.

      Lines & Shapes 4: Class Project Part I


    • 7.

      Lines & Shapes 5: Summary & Further Practice


    • 8.

      Value & Form 1: Intro to Value


    • 9.

      Value & Form 2: Value Study Exercises


    • 10.

      Value & Form 3: Intro to Form


    • 11.

      Value & Form 4: Form Rendering Exercises


    • 12.

      Value & Form 5: Value for Artists


    • 13.

      Color & Light 1: Seeing Color


    • 14.

      Color & Light 2: Plant Study


    • 15.

      Color & Light 3: Understanding Color


    • 16.

      Color & Light 4: Color Theory Exercise


    • 17.

      Color & Light 5: Using Color


    • 18.

      Color & Light 6: Class Project Part III


    • 19.

      Color & Light 7: Summary


    • 20.

      Portraits 1: Head & Face Basics


    • 21.

      Portraits 2: Upper Body & Hands Basics


    • 22.

      Portraits 3: Portrait Study Demo


    • 23.

      Portraits 4: Class Project Part IV


    • 24.

      Portraits 5: Summary & Further Study


    • 25.

      Portraits 5: Summary & Further Study


    • 26.

      Depth & Composition 1: Intro to Perspectives


    • 27.

      Depth & Composition 2: Creating Depth in Planar Perspective


    • 28.

      Depth & Composition 3: Intro to Composition Techniques


    • 29.

      Depth & Composition 4: Class Project Part V


    • 30.

      Depth & Composition 5: Summary


    • 31.

      Final Thoughts & Tips


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About This Class

Do you want to improve your drawing, but have difficulty staying motivated to practice the basics? We all know how important having strong drawing foundations is. This class teaches fundamental drawing skills using fun and beautiful exercises and my signature mindful approach. This class is for beginner artists and intermediate artists who want to learn the foundational tools to take their drawings to the the next level ✨ 

Our class will use cover five key topics using an 80/20 approach

  1. Lines & Shapes: How to see like an artist and construct your drawings
  2. Value & Form: Finally get a grip on value and learn how to communicate form
  3. Color & Light: Learn to see, understand, and use color in an intuitive way
  4. Portraits: A simplified approach to constructing the face and hands
  5. Depth & Composition: An overview of perspective and how to bring it all together

Our class is also anchored by our Drawing Explorer hero illustration, which combines the skills you will learn in each lesson into a beautiful Class Project. 

However, this class is not only about copying what you see or even just drawing realistically, even though you will learn how to do that as a result of completing the class. Rather, the purpose of this class is to understand how the artist's toolkit works, so you can use it to practice and express your own creative vision. 

Materials: This class will work for both digital artists and traditional artists, with drawing demos using Procreate, colored pencils, and acryla gouache. A full list of the materials I use in the class, along with drawing references and my favorite resources for further study, is available here: Class Materials & Resources

Downloadable Workbook: This class includes a 30+ page workbook with summaries of the key concepts and exercises from each lesson. You can follow along with the workbook by downloading it in the Resources section of the Class Project tab. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Mimi Chao

Owner & Illustrator | Mimochai

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Hello I am the owner-illustrator of Mimochai, an independent creative studio based in LA. I'm here to share skills in drawing and mindful creativity. If you'd like to be updated on my new classes, just hit the +Follow button

My guided community is at mimochai.studio My shop is at mimochai.com and my portfolio site is at mimizchao.com Follow me on IG @mimochai and @mimizchao

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: As a former lawyer, turned full-time creative, I know how hard it can be to learn drawing foundations on your own. Even though I learned from books and classes taught by great artists, it wasn't always obvious how to connect the dots and evolve into my own style. It took a lot of practice, study, and experimentation to get to where I am today. I'm grateful to have worked with clients like Disney, Adobe, and Samsung. Now I get to create primarily for my studio, Mimochai, where I make my own illustrated products, do fun collapse, and host an international drawing community that helps people overcome their creative obstacles, and discover creative all being through the art of drawing. It was this community that actually made me realize I want to teach a class on drawing foundations in my own way. I remember what it's like to think maybe it's too late to start drawing or maybe I'll never get good at this. Or even I got pretty far without drawing foundations, but now I'm stuck and I don't know how to keep growing. I know drawing foundations can be really dry and boring to learn. It can feel uninspiring, especially for those of us who want to draw in a modern illustration style, renting a realistic ball and a shadow might not be that interesting to us. Most beginning artists I encounter want one thing, to draw beautifully in their own style. I totally get it, I was the same way. I mean, we get interested in drawing because we see other artists' works that we admire and we want to jump straight to that. Unfortunately, that's usually putting the cart before the horse. What I've realized over and over again on my own journey is that while you can skip over the drawing foundations, eventually you'll find that you're limited in how much you can really evolve into your own style and truly express yourself. What are the drawing foundations? At a basic level, these foundational techniques are what drawings and paintings are built on. Think of them like tools in your artist's toolkit or ingredients in your artist pantry. I group them into observation, line, shape, value, composition, form, color, and light. Learning these skills are important both for observing art, so you can break down your favorite artist's work and understand the choices they made, and for making your own art, so you can be intentional about how you use each as you develop your own unique style. What I found missing in this drawing journey when I was learning from books and classes was the how and the why to the whats when it came to bridging how to draw with how I want to draw in my own style. The problem for me was that most of what I was learning from was focused on just a few of the tools and didn't really explain how it all comes together in a really stylized drawing. The focus was almost entirely on realistic drawing studies and ends there, or on the opposite side, an artist's tutorial might teach me drawing in their specific style, but not explain all of the underlying considerations that would help me apply it to my own style. There's a big difference between knowing what the skills and steps are versus how they came together and why the artists made the choices they did. I decided to create a drawing foundations class using my own approach because I really wish that I had something like this when I first learned how to draw. A classic gives a clear overview of not just what the drawing foundations are, but how to connect these dots to help me draw how I want to draw. I comb through all of the hours I spent learning drawing foundations and used an 80/20 approach to put together a comprehensive yet digestible class that covers the parts that made the biggest difference for my own growth and improvement. I use one main class project as an anchor for all of the sections and included lots of additional exercises to reinforce each step. I explain how to see like an artist through line and shape, value and form, color and light, portraits, and depth and composition. Most importantly, I explain how all of these tools and skills connect and come together. This class is of course not a replacement for years of art school. Instead, this is going to give you a really strong foundation and starting point to learn all of the skills and have a path forward. I like to think of it as providing a map or guide for your own drawing journey. That sounds like what you've been looking for, let's get started. 2. Getting Started: Artist Toolkit: Over the years, I've experimented a lot and streamlined my go-to tools in drawing process into an efficient flow that works well for me. I also developed a few perspectives that have helped me a lot on my creative journey. We often deal with challenges like inner critic and fear. Here's an overview of what's in my artist's toolkit. I've broken it out into three parts. Although I started almost exclusively as a digital painter, I felt something was missing and started to experiment with traditional tools. Now, I love using both traditional and digital mediums as each has strengths and benefits. The tactile feeling of traditional mediums just feels so great and good for the spirit, while the flexibility of digital mediums are so efficient and powerful. I also find that learning one helps me improve the other. I've condensed my go-to drawing tools into a simple set that can fit into this little case. I have some graphite pencils, charcoals, brush pens and ink pens. I share how to use these in my daily pages class, which I'll link to in the description below. Right now, I actually do most of my drawing with Prismacolor colored pencils. I color with these as well and also like Holbein's acrylic gouache or golden acrylic paint. Of course, I love digital painting with Procreate on the iPad. Each of these tools has its pros and cons. Pencils are a great and easy way to start. They don't require much clean up and are easy to carry around. The professional ones blend beautifully and I also like the texture a lot. On the downside, they can tire the hand easily and you can't really lighten colors. If you go too dark, there's no turning back. Acrylic gouache paint has a lovely matte finish that looks like my digital paintings. Painting just feels like a joy once you know how to do it. The paint itself is very opaque and can also layer easily and make corrections or paint over entirely. On the downside, they require more prep and cleanup and are not easy to carry around. Digital painting is like having hundreds of tools and paints with you in a super thin pad with no cleanup necessary. The undo button, time up seizures and myriad of effects and adjustments are all awesome. On the downside, you often have to create your own textures more as an illusion rather than how it is with traditional mediums where it's a natural organic occurrence. In terms of tactile experience, it just feels a little less satisfying to me than traditional mediums on paper or Canvas. I've compiled a list of all the tools I like to use on a shared notion page. It's nice because I can keep this updated as I'm always experimenting with new tools and evolving my practice. Can find a link to it in the video description below. Remember that you can always just start with the tools you have. Don't let waiting for the perfect tool prevent you from getting started. A pencil and paper is just fine. Even the best tools did not make up for lack of skills, so let's talk about the technical skills in our toolkit. At a basic level, these are initial techniques on with drawings and paintings are built on. Observation, the ability to see like an artist accurately and without preconceived notions. Line, the ability to draw with artful lines that reflect what is observed or imagined accurately. Shape, the ability to construct drawings with building blocks and familiar shapes. Value, the ability to see and group lights and darks with intention and clarity. Form, the ability to communicate the form of an object using values including texture and mass. Color, the ability to see, understand and use color for both accuracy and expression. Light, the ability to render light and harness illusions in color. Composition, the ability to lead the eye and frame an image to your intention, including the use of depth and perspective. Learning these skills are important both for observing art so you can break down your favorite artists work and understand the choices they made and for making art, so you can be intentional about how you use each as you develop your own unique style. For example, in my illustration, you can observe that I use mostly shapes and no linework. Use a planner perspective, have relatively flat color, but bring in a 2-3 value system to communicate form and use a high major and minor key to invoke a bright and energetic atmosphere. Practicing and studying these skills is really important to improving our fundamental skills and our own style. To find a healthy balance as a creative, I've found that it's really important to have the right mental tools more than anything else. The main reason I find people stop being creative or never get started at all is because of their own inner critic and unhealthy expectations. Many of us can relate to having impostor syndrome, self-doubt or just plain fear; fear of failure, fear of looking stupid or fear of the blank page. Even great artists suffer from these. For beginners, I'll also add that there's a strong immediate gratification syndrome that can cause a lot of grief. By being aware of these hurdles from the outset and learn how to manage them, we can learn to overcome them and keep going. I find it really important to bring a sense of mindfulness into one's artist's toolkit. Mindfulness is defined as the kind non-judgmental awareness of what is happening in and around you in the present moment. When I talk about mindful drawing, I mean bringing that kind, non-judgmental attitude towards yourself and your work. Observe with curiosity and open awareness. It's natural and helpful to see room for improvement. But don't let your self-critical voice become so loud and so unreasonable that it prevents you from creating. When this harsh voices do inevitably come up, you can just notice them with care and gently let them pass. I think that these mental perspectives are just as important as any other tool or skill in my artistic toolkit, if not the most important. I personally have found mindfulness to be an incredible tool for creatives and the process of art-making. And I really believe that mindfulness and creativity go hand in hand. I hope you'll give these tools a try as you build out your own artistic toolkit. It's all in exploration. 3. Lines & Shapes 1: Learning to See: Let's get started with our first few tools. This section is all about lines and shapes. But actually the first tool that we need to talk about is observation. Learning to draw is really about learning how to see. As you gradually change your artist's eye, you'll start to notice details that you've never seen before even in things that you see every day that you think you know very well. You're also going to start to see new colors, understand what value is, and how light affects everything that we see and experience. Gradually, as you start to understand what you're seeing, you're going to then be able to pair it with your art skills and other tools to start to express your personal unique experience of this world, and that's what's really exciting. I wanted to start with that because I know that some of these drills can start to feel very dry or very boring, and although I've tried to make them as fun as possible, it's also just so helpful to understand why you're learning these things. So you can keep in mind that as you're doing all of these technical exercises, you're honing this superpower basically of being able to see the world in this new and much more vivid way, then each step is going to be so much more enjoyable. So with that said, let's get started with our exercises. Before we dive into the drills and the exercises, I want to explain how this all comes together in the drawing that we're going to be creating for our class project. When you look at this illustration, what do you think about drawing first if I were to ask you to recreate this drawing? Usually for beginners, they're going to be thinking about starting with a detail that they see or starting with something that isn't necessarily a shape. For artists who have been trained to look at observational drawing, they will start to break this down into shapes. So I want you to take a moment right now before moving on to just initially identify any shapes that you see. Let me show you how I would break this down. So really obvious, shapes are of course, this circle right here. Then let's say there's this whole wall right here, and there's an oval right here. There is this cylinder shape back here. Then there is oval shape of her head. There's also a triangle shape with her hair. There's another triangle shape here that might be a little less obvious. Then truncated triangle shape here, and of course all these little items are also small rectangles and small cylinders. There is a cylinder back here in the face behind. Each of these flowers, you could say is one big circle, or comprised of a few smaller ellipses. Then there's, of course, this arched doorway in the back, which is a semicircle. Her arms can be broken down into these trapezoid shapes or triangles. Then same thing on her other hand. I'm just going to imagine it going all the way through. Which is another important aspect of observational drawing as you are initially starting to compose or understand the construction of how a drawing is put together. Her whole body has this trapezoid shape. Then the book is this sort of rectangle in perspective. The pencil is a little cylinder. You can even fill anything out the cylinders or the legs of the telescope, and even her little features, you could see this is a triangle. This is another leaf shape, leaf shape. Then of course, all these little leaf shapes here. It's a shape that I use a lot. So I almost count the leaf shape as part of the circle, square, triangle rectangle grouping. So that is one way to break this illustration down into shapes. Then you can also start to think about big picture, what are the overall shape patterns that you're seeing in an image? For example, in this image there's this overall triangle composition here. Then the arched doorway does create this larger shape and frame behind our character. Then I'm also looking at the overall gesture of how things are placed and seeing how they're framing our character. Then over here we simplify this into a circle and a rectangle. Those are the major shapes that I'm looking at in this illustration. 4. Lines & Shapes 2: Exercise : Now that we know what we're looking for, we can go back and start to work on some warm-up drills on just regular pencil and paper. Our first exercise is going to just be drawing straight lines. A dotted paper is nice for providing some guidelines for that. But honestly, blank paper works just as well in my opinion. The point of this drill is just to get your hand used to drawing straight lines because it's something that's just so useful throughout drawing. Again, you'll be able to bring in some of that movement with your elbow and shoulder and get a feel for that so that you can try to recreate the naturalness of some of those drawings when you're drawing really tight with the risks, which is how you have to draw with a lot of digital tools. With that said, let's just start with some lines. With these I'm pivoting from my elbow, and it definitely feels different than if I just try to draw from my wrist, which right now I'm trying to do and it feels tight. What's more important than being perfectly straight lines, is that they feel natural and they give me that freedom of movement, and it prevents the really tight scratching type of drawing that beginners tend to work with. After you draw lots of straight lines, and I recommend doing pages and pages of these. I know it might sound boring, but you can do them when you're talking on the phone or you're watching TV, or when you're just waiting around for somebody, so that carrying a sketchbook is really helpful for that. After straight lines is also really great to practice curved lines. Again, some people practice these to make them as perfect and evenly spaced as possible. I personally find the 80/20 rule means that I want to just get a natural feel and be able to create the overall shape that I want, but it doesn't need to be exactly perfect like to the die. Now let's move on to shapes. After lines, next best thing to practice are circles and ellipses because they make up so much of our drawings. Many people are very impressed when someone can just draw a free hand, a perfect circle, and that just comes from muscle memory and doing it over and over again. What's nice about the dotted paper is that if you want to, you can practice training your arm or your iron hand coordination to fit it within a particular measurement. You can feel the difference between these tight little circles with your wrist and then a bigger one with your elbow and shoulder. Then another great exercise is draw ellipses which are just ovals. Maybe do them in different directions, different sizes. That's how simple your circle and ellipse exercise warm-ups can be. Again, same thing with the lines and I recommend doing pages and pages of these just so your arm gets that muscle memory of how it draws smooth lines and smooth circles. Now, I'm personally going to move back to the iPad and Procreate because that way I can screen record and to clear demos of what I'm drawing. But you are totally welcome to continue using traditional mediums to follow along. We have our circle, square, triangle, and rectangle. Of course a rectangle is just a squished, elongated square. But those that need to turn into the sphere, the cube, the cone, and the cylinder, which is why we include the rectangle at the end. For a sphere, we start with the circle, and then you can create these lines that suggests the sphere. Then again, another curve over the face of the circle. If you want, you can continue that all the way around so you can get a sense of the back of the sphere. You can start to see how that already comes together to suggest some of that form. With the box, again, you start with the square, and then you extend it and can just create these parallel lines coming out sideways. Draw the back of the box, close it off at the bottom and then closing it off in the back. Then you can create the dotted lines, these two form a square in the back to create the bottom face of our cube. With a cone, you want to create the first two legs of the triangle, and then create an ellipse at the bottom instead of a straight line. You can also draw a dotted line through the middle, ending in the middle of the bottom of the circle of the cone, to suggest the interior volume of that cone. Now with the cylinder, it's a similar because if you want to imagine two circles on the top and the bottom of the cylinder, and then a rectangle shape if you're looking straight on to the cylinder. Like the cone, you're going to start with the two straight sides, but then you're going to draw curved bottom and a curved top to suggests that ellipse. Again, you can draw a line through the middle, ending in the middle of the bottom to suggest that volume inside. I suggest you practice drawing those just like the lines and the ellipses over and over again so that you can start to get familiar with stretching them or showing them at different angles. I actually bought these wooden toys that are technically for kids, but they are great models for doing some studies of your own. What's great about that is that you can just look at them from different angles and draw them facing forward. Would look like if you were looking at them from below or from above, coming towards you or going away from you. They have basically every shape that you need. I think that these are really great because you can create some still lives of your own. Use them with lighting exercises that we'll talk about later. To get the whole set was not too expensive and you can use them forever. The next thing that I want to talk about is how you can do some quick warm-up exercises in a fun way. I know drawing circles and lines and the shapes aren't necessarily the most exciting thing in the world, and so I came up with this exercise that will hopefully be a way for you to just quickly draw something if you have, say, 5-15 minutes in the morning, it's a great way to be both mindful and getting your drawing exercise and practice these shapes. The idea with this exercise is that you are creating your own flower arrangements using basic building shapes. I began with this ellipse at the bottom, and another ellipse to create this shadow shape beneath it or a plate, and then the opening hole. Then I drew in my curve lines. A very simple way to approach this is just to draw two at an angle and then criss-cross one or two more going the other way and drawing some branches coming out of those lines. Then just following those lines and creating a bunch of different flowers just through simple circles. Then adding in leaves in-between those circles. I've obviously variated the shapes, the sizes, and then I added bigger and smaller leaves in-between. We're going to stop here for now. But of course you can continue this with color and with rendering and practicing shading when we talk about that later. It's really nice because you can be in the flow and just express your current emotions or your current mental state through these different shapes. You can, of course, bring in triangles and bring in boxes and add tea cups in the front, create a daily arrangement and maybe using color or the way that you use value, which we'll talk about later. You can indicate your current mood or just your favorite colors, whatever it is that you like. Very simple way to not need to think about anything other than getting in those warm-ups. Like I mentioned earlier, drawing straight lines is really important to practice, I know that it can get a little dry. This sketch is a great example of something where you can start with just some lines in the background, and I'll show you a little bit of how that would look so that you can create some interesting backgrounds and textures for your sketches. 5. Lines & Shapes 3: Observational Drawing Techniques: So that was an example of drawing something from the imagination or not any reference, but an important place for beginners to start learning how to draw is through observational practice, and so that's what a lot of this class is going to be focused on. I'm going to be using this photo that I've taken of some little billy balls and a vase. What's great about this is it's built up from really simple shapes, but is also something that's nice to look at and nice to draw. I'll be able to show you every single step of observational drawing through this very simple photograph or seemingly simple photograph so that you can then apply it to observational drawings. Before we get into the more technically accurate methods of observational drawing, I want to talk first about gesture drawing, which I think is really fundamental and important. Gesture drawings are really quick sketches that you use loose line work that we were just practicing and the goal is to capture the gesture and movement of your object. You can think of it as its essence or even its spirit. Oftentimes, your role as an artist is to bring out that gesture unless your intention is to have a very rigid or structural design. Either way, starting to train gesture as a natural instinct in your workflow will help bring more soul and energy into your final work. Our gesture drawing is most commonly taught in the context of figure drawing, everything has a gesture. A curtain has a gesture in the way it folds, a rock has a gesture in the direction it sits and it's angle. I want to show you that even this simple still life has a gesture. Look at how the balls are like little heads being tilted in different directions. Of course, the stems have this natural gesture that you can exaggerate. This vase and how it curves has a gesture as well. So here's how a quick gesture sketch might look for me. I might do this very lightly before I begin my block-in, or just have as a warm up on a separate layer. I want to keep this in mind and check back in when I'm done with my drawing to see if I've lost some gesture that I can bring back. I want to note that gesture isn't just in the individual objects of a drawing. Remember I pointed out earlier that the whole composition of our main illustration has a gesture to it. A whole landscape can have a gesture. But starting with noticing it in individual objects will help hone your ability to see it in the big picture and your ability to bring it out of your future compositions. Now that we have an understanding of a basic gesture drawing, let's talk about more technically accurate methods of observational drawing. We're going to be talking through eight different approaches to observational drawing. We're going to be talking about the block-in, then identifying the shapes, landmarks, angles, proportions, negative space, shadow shapes, and then checking your study with a grid or a flip. Now, all of those terms might sound very mysterious or unfamiliar to you right now, but by the end of this sequence, you are going to understand all of them and be able to use them in your observational sketch studies. A block-in means to first identify the overall frame of the object that you're drawing and creating the space that it lives within. I'm looking at basically this overall shape. At the beginning, drawing side-by-side with a drawing reference photo, or another illustration is a great way to practice your ability to measure with your eyes. It's a very similar direct comparison versus having it on the screen somewhere or a different size, and this is also sometimes referred to as site size measurement. As I'm drawing, I'm constantly looking back and forth between my sketch and the photograph. Since this is even simpler, I can even start to put in these lines that I'm seeing and maybe even this back table, so that can create the frame. I would add the frame to your drawing because the frame does help with a lot of the measurements. The next step is identifying the shapes that are within your reference. This one is very straightforward, but I think it's important to start with something simple and obvious because there are also going to be details that you might not have noticed in this thing that seems very obvious. Of course, these little billy bob flowers have this circle shape. These are lines, but also, you can think of them as very slender cylinders, and then there is, of course, this shape right here, which is the opening of the vase, this overall pebble shape. Maybe I even put in that shadow line there so that I can start to imagine it. Those are the things I'm looking at it, and then maybe this shadow down here as well. It's technically an opening on this surface. Then you can technically say there's a rectangle shape back here. One thing that I want to really emphasize is that you want to start light. So start with a very light pencil sketch, especially with the block-in. If you're using charcoal, for example, or graphite pencil, you want to start with the lightest possible touch, and then you build in darker and darker. If you start with a really heavy and dark block-in, those aren't going to be your final lines and they're going to stand out or be harder to cover up later into your drawings. So always start light and then move into darker and darker. Now, the next thing I want to talk about are landmarks. Landmarks or any point that you want to focus on on a object that you're looking at or something in real life. So for me the landmarks are this touching point right here, where these intersect on this vase, and maybe even the relation of where this ball ends and this vase starts. With this vase, of course, it's not important that it's super accurate on how big the vase opening is, for example, but it's great to start to train your eye to see those things because there are going to be things where it is really important, such as, somebody's face. Then from here, landmarks, angles, proportions, and negative space all work in harmony together. Let me talk through each of those. With angles, I'm talking about things like that, seeing how these angles come together, even how this stem is bending and then coming back. How this vase goes up a little before coming down. How this angle right hear touches the table. Basically, angles are clues, and they help guide how you're going to draw, and a great way to check for errors. So for example, earlier when I was looking at the landmark, I was noticing this landmark or this angle that was a little off, and that helps me correct this stem,. There's also this angle right here. Now it's already looking a lot better. Then I'm looking at the slope of this and how this angle looks, how it connects to the table. There's angles all over the place, especially at tangents, or where objects meet each other. In addition to angles, you'll look at negative space. When we look at an object, we tend to just look at the physical thing that we're familiar with, but it's creating a lot of shapes within the reference image or in real life that are just as helpful to our drawing. So negative space are just spaces like this that are created by the space in-between objects. And even these things would count as negative space in this shape right here. There's technically this negative space created over here, at the end just to see a detail that might have been missed earlier, a really good example of that. And then another thing we can check are proportions. For extremely accurate measuring of drawings, a lot of artists will use their pencil, for example, held out like this, or using their fingers, and that's a very common way to check how big something is. So say this is one villi ball and I'm like, okay, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. So there's about five little balls of difference between where the flower is and where the base starts, and so my drawing should have that as well. So I can count in or eyeball 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. That looks pretty accurate. I'm looking at this circle compared to this circle, and actually I'm just noticing it looks more narrow on this photo than I have in this drawing, so I'm going to bring that up a little bit. And lastly, one thing you can look at are shadow shapes. So a lot of people don't really pay attention in the beginning to light and shadow, but those are another great place to look for clues on how to construct your drawing. It will become even more important when we start to talk about value in the next section, but even right now, you just have to place in those shadow shapes and it will actually help create that sense of volume in a lot of cases. So here I'm seeing this shadow shape at the bottom of the villi ball, and I can technically get super detailed with the little pieces inside the flower, But for now I'm not going to. There's obviously this one, and then there's this big one over here. I am going to place that one, and there is this shadow up here and then there's of course this one at the bottom. The last thing that you can do is to just flip your drawing or add a grid onto both so you can check it. I can use this as a way to check my work and I can see that it's not perfect. I can start to see where I have miscalculated how far to the side the vase goes and how much the relation between the balls and the rest of the image are correct or not. And they can also flip this image just to check that it looks overall right and not distorted. And those become even more handy when you're drawing things such as human faces. You can always learn from that. In this case, it doesn't really matter that the face is a little bit longer than the one in the reference photo, but if I was trying to be super accurate, this is something that I would go back and fix and be mindful of because those are the little things that if you want to create a really accurate observational drawing are going to be really important. Instead of tracing which you can, I would recommend just keeping it on the side and correcting from there. This way you can really train your eye. One way I should have checked is by looking at this relationship. Here is obviously a lot smaller, and so that tells me that this guy is sticking out a little bit too far. Another way to check is to check this angle. A pencil is a great way to actually measure the angle, and then bring it down to your paper to make sure that it matches. I'm going like this, edge to edge. I'm just moving over here. This new line is looking a lot more accurate. And then same thing on this side, looking at this shape right here in relation to this, so this one's obviously a little bit wider, this one's a little bit shorter but not that much shorter, so I'm going to want to extend this a little bit more so that it looks a little bit more proportional to my reference. This is my sketch study and you want to clean it up for line work, you just create another layer, or use tracing paper or a light box to create clean line work on top of your sketch. And that's a great way to practice having the ability to clean up light work, to get those really straight lines in one and done. I'll do a little quick practice here and you can follow along or skip onto the next section. I actually want to film the block in, again using the grid overlay effect so that people can see what that would be like. When you're just starting out, it's helpful to use a grid as an option to help you train your eye of looking at landmarks and where things intersect and just how to do some careful measuring. I personally don't like to use this after some practice with it because it can become a crutch. You're not paying as much attention to your natural awareness of your ability to use your eyes, to just gauge it on your own without guidelines because there are no guidelines out there in the real-world. This can be a good way to start to train your eye, but eventually I would use it to check your work instead of always relying on having it to create a perfectly accurate drawing. This somehow has created the frame to match exactly. This is the mid point of the Canvas, I have them exactly taking up half the space so that I know that my proportions will be exactly the same. Again, I wouldn't necessarily be drawing with such thick lines or dark lines as my block in, but I want to make sure that it's legible for you. When I'm doing it on my own, I really love using a light peach color and much lighter hand so that it's just a very sketchy underlying drawing for my subsequent color on top. The grid lines might be a little bit hard to see and I just want to show you, you turn them on by turning on drawing guide on Canvas, and you can edit the drawing guide for many things like how thick the lines are, how big, so make them much bigger. I'm doing it with about five boxes across because to me that feels like the right amount of enough information, but not super tiny. Then you can change the opacity and of course, the color. So I like to have them pretty light, but that is how you would change it. Here I'm just going to show you that putting it over how accurate this method can be, and that's actually how a lot of large murals, life paintings are done using this grid method. Let's compare this final line drawing with the gesture drawing we did earlier. I'm noticing that I could angle the heads of the flowers a little bit more to make it look even more like they're leading into each other and exaggerate some of these curves to bring more life into them. It's nice to start with quick gesture marks because it can easily get lost when you get into the detailed measuring work of an observational drawing. 6. Lines & Shapes 4: Class Project Part I: l provide lots of reference photos and recommendations that I can continue to practice these observational studies. For now, let's start working on our class project to use that same training to observe an illustration and do the block and the landmarks, the angles, and all of that to our structural base drawing sketch. I'm looking to do my block in first. For my block in, I'm looking at the overall shape around the outside. Then at the same time, I'm going to start looking at the overall shapes and landmarks. Like I said, even though I showed you each of the methods of measuring as separate items, there, as you might have noticed, something that starts to all integrate together. When you're looking at negative space, you're also noticing angles. When you're taking proportions, you're also seeing your landmarks, so on and so forth. Here for the block in, I'm already starting to look at relationships of how far that line is from the edge of the borders. Some of these angles here between the telescope and the flowers and the telescope and this back doorway, archway. Same thing with this vase at the bottom, seeing how far that is from the bottom of my frame, and then coming back up. Noticing that this book is a little higher than the bottom of this vase. Same thing with the bottom of this globe, a little higher than this vase. Then this flow is getting to this edge right here. Then coming a little bit over this book areas and it's going to start to place a little bit of that. Then I need that point to start to sense where these flowers start to come up. There's this flower right here that's not quite touching the door and has a little less space than the globe does from the edge of the dry. I'm looking at that. Then I'm going back to this and noticing this angle right here and the distance. This initial line that I put in is actually a little bit too close to the edge. That's why it is like a puzzle. If you keep checking all of your measurements, can't go wrong because you'll catch yourself. I want to stop here as my block in and I can start to do a little bit of the girl. Her head starts a little bit below the telescope. Her hair is a little bit away from this flower here, like this. I'm starting to check angles at the same time, just looking at this angle of the telescope. Then her hair comes over here and I'm starting to look at this shape, this negative space shape that is being created. Same thing right here. There's this little negative space shape. Even though I haven't technically gone to the negative space check side, I'm at least naturally noticing and observing those things for my block in. I'm going to deal with all those little tiny negative spaces later. I just need to know where her general position is and I want to elbow and hands right now. Let's see. I'm going to place them here, noticing her arm in the book. Then her hand comes out a little bit past the globe. Next, I'm starting to notice the shapes that make up this drawing. I'm going to start to place some of those. Place this sphere over here. Here it's a rectangular shape. For this part, I'm drawing through a lot because I want to make sure that my illustration lines up. Drawing this shape in here, little opening. Same thing with the pencil holder on this side. I can continue to keep just checking that my lines match up. Then drawing in this ruler, you can get very detailed. Here you can check the angle and then notice the negative space and angle that is created between the pencil and ruler. This telescope has this cylindrical part here for the lens. It goes in a little bit and then goes down to about here past her shoulder. See, I'm looking at this distance between the two legs as well as the angle here. That leg actually needs to be past this pencil. This pencil is more over here. Then there's this leg. Then I can see that this leg on the back is starting from basically the edge of this doorway. That's another reference point, landmark. I can look at this negative space right here and place the leg of that. I can see that the leg comes into the vase right around there and has this little angle. Looking good. This leg, you can't see it but it ends right around this side of the pencil case. Then I'm just going to finish off this part since I'm here with this leaf, which almost touches her hair here. That's a good reference point. Then putting in this flower. With a flower, there's a few ways I can go about doing it. I can look very exactly with where the line is. I can put it in the overall shape first. You're constantly measuring and checking, come together like a puzzle piece and you just naturally catch your mistakes. It's natural to have a lot of those mistakes in the beginning and as this part of the process and the practice. Just be proud of yourself actually when you do catch those mistakes. Or just general inaccuracies so that you can go ahead and correct them and just train your eye to see more and more clearly and accurately. Again, I'm just constantly looking back and forth. This one I can see this edge is right here in relation to the doorway. There is a little leaf coming out right here. Then this leaf is within the doorway. There's this tiny little green corner of the vase poking out. The leaves on this side or like this in relation to, I'm looking at where does this sit to this flower? Where does this sit to this vase into this flower and then to each other? What angle is it that? Definitely, I'll be double-checking these flowers later because there's a lot of measurements that can go with her body. This flower too. I can see because the top of her head is going to be right around here, then this is actually only a little bit higher than this one, which is all the way down here and definitely lower than the top of her head. I need to bring that way down. Now let's get to the girl. What are some good measuring points? This hair coming out to here. Her hair forming this negative space here is what I'm looking at right now. Then there's this nice negative space there. I can bring in the hair like that. Again, trying to not think of this as hair. What is that shape? That looks like a fish, actually, a little black fish. Then this one right here looks like the curtain. Then her face. I'm just going to call that face so that we can reference the same thing as this angle like this. Then her hand comes out like this. Then there's actually this tiny little negative space between her thumb and her back fingers. Now I'm looking at her chin comes up a little bit above her hair, like that. Let me see if I drew this line in correctly. Then you can see this shape that is being created from her cone to her neck. Drawing in her jacket now. I can see the arm is about that far away from her telescope. Her jacket goes up here. Then it has this negative space here. We put in this shadow shape. With landmarks and angles, a lot of times I'm also looking forward to seeing the line all the way through and that's really helpful. You wouldn't necessarily think to associate the opening of her jacket with the pencil, but you'll see that that is actually a really helpful reference point. That's going to help me place my pencil later on too. I'm starting to get into the fine details now, so I'm looking at this negative space here. Actually, I use negative space as a what, as a measuring tool. I'm starting to see that all of these items are actually sitting a little too tall, which is an easy fix. But if we didn't notice that, that could become a big problem later on. This globe is actually too big. It's throwing a lot of things off. The top of the flower in there. That means this goes a little bit more in. That's part was throwing a lot of these flower measurements off earlier. These are actually perfect examples of things to look out for, so I'm glad. Now that's looking much better. I have the little cutout right here. I've seen this as a cutout. It's the space between her arm and her body. Then see this connection between the head of the pencil on the top of her underarm, so drawing that in. That's going to help me place my hand drawing hand. Looking at this little shape that's being created. We're not going to get into the details of the fingers right now. We will do that later for sure. But for now, I'm just looking at the overall shape, which is like a little box, like a rock. It's really starting to come together. I just have a few more details. The left in her face. This are super tricky, but so fun to draw. I'm going to just put it into the basic lines so that I can give myself a measuring tool. Then from there, you put it in her eyes. That is starting to look really close. Remember, you can check by flipping this image. That looks pretty good. Let's see the overlay. Pretty close. I can see that the globe still need some work, but a lot of the elements are right. The telescope up here needs a little bit more work. If I were to take the time to double-check, I should have remembered that I should have set a little bit further above her head than it is here. But overall, this is a great example of how you can use all of the tools that I showed you for measuring and looking to create observational sketches 7. Lines & Shapes 5: Summary & Further Practice: We learned a lot in this section. Let's go over a quick summary of key points we covered. Learning to draw is about learning to see. Letting go of preconceived notions allows us to see what's really there. Drawings are built out of lines and shapes, so we need to practice drawing these well and practice seeing them in everything we observe. Besides the shape and structure of an object, it's important to see it's gesture. Everything has a gesture, everything has a spirit. Last week we went over the eight observational drawing techniques that you can use to hone your hand-eye coordination and improve the accuracy of your drawings. So to continue your practice, just keep at it. Do draws in the pages of lines and shapes. Do them again. Try other images when it comes to observational drawings. I recommend practicing a drawing flow using the gesture drawing and then the eight observational drawing techniques. You can use my curated drawing references that I've provided or find your own or draw from life. These are really easy ways to fill up your sketch book pages, builds your muscle memory, and help practice mindfulness while creating. For deeper studies on these topics, see my recommendations in the class resources. When you're feeling ready, let's move on to the next section. 8. Value & Form 1: Intro to Value: Welcome to Part 2 of my drawing foundations class. In the first part we covered lines and shapes, and saw how they are the building blocks of all of our drawings. In most art training, the giant process is broken down into three stages. There's line, shape, and form. You can think of it as going from one-dimensional line work, to two-dimensional flattened shapes, and finally to three-dimensional forms. In this section we'll be moving from lines and shapes, and onto value and form. We need to start with value because that's what's going to lead to an understanding of how to give a 2D shape it's form. What is value? Value is how light or dark a color object is on a scale from white to black. For every color, there is a corresponding value on a gray scale. With white being at one end of the spectrum, and black being on the other end of the spectrum, and all of the shades of gray in-between. If you're trying to photograph or painting into gray scale, you're seeing all of its values. Value is also called tone. In digital painting tools such as Procreate and Photoshop, you'll see the value scale on the color selector. That's a simple way to understand that value is a measure of how much white or black is in a particular color. When studying value, we're looking at both the color of objects such as a white ball and a black table, as well as the lights and shadows, such as the many shades of white to black that is cast onto the white ball by a light source. Value refers to lights and darks, both the terms of the amount of white and black in a color, as well as lights and shadows. Here's a standard value scale. The grading at the top shows the full spectrum of hundreds of shades of gray. Below it is a nine value scale. This can be broken down into labels of shadows, mid-tones, and highlights. Notice that throughout this section, we're not going to be dealing with any color, just working in black and white. In fact, most formal art training starts with charcoal and pencil studies, and it stays in gray scale drawing long before getting into any color at all. This is because color can be distracting from understanding value. Color mixes in hue and saturation, and so it can be hard for a beginner to see the underlying value of color. By focusing on value first and really getting an understanding of it on its own will have a much deeper understanding of color later on, and be able to use value to lead the eye. It's a critical tool for designing skillful illustrations and artwork, and for seeing your reference photos or real life examples accurately. Now let's do some value exercises together so that you can get a real understanding of how this all works. 9. Value & Form 2: Value Study Exercises: The first thing I want to do to start our demo drawing exercises is to actually take a look at our main illustration and explain how value is the next step of our analysis. Here is our final finished piece and then I just go into adjustments, hue saturation. I just bring saturation all the way down and that gives me the values that I want to see. What I'm looking at here is, is this image legible? Is my eye drawn to where I want it to be. Here, the first thing I see is obviously the character. We look at her first because she has the highest contrast between her face and her hair. We also have this highest contrast as an object overall compared to the rest of the items. Then I've added these darker values, one to distinguish the shapes between these different objects and then two, it just starts to gradually bring your eye around the illustration. As for the objects on the side, I've chosen this middle value to still make sure that the objects are distinguished so you can see that the flowers don't disappear into the telescope or the pencil case, but of course, I could have created a lot stronger contrast as well. Here I want to show you a version where I made the flowers a little bit darker and while that technically is a little bit more legible, it actually goes against what I want to do, which is to keep the focus on the character because it starts to get a little bit to competing in terms of what our eye wants to be drawn to first. I like that actually, there's a lower contrast amongst these items and then the higher contrast this with a few smaller things that lead your eye around. That is what I'm thinking about when I check value and I'll talk more about that later in the section. For now, hopefully we understand how value plays into our illustration and artwork design. So we can get into some of the drills to get familiar with values, how we control it with our tools and then build up from there. I've set up this paper with these boxes already to save us some time but if you'd like, you can go ahead and make some squares for yourself, just five squares and then I'm going to demo three different types of tools. You don't have to do all three but if you're unsure which one you feel most intuitive with or which one you want to use the most, it could be a great way to just test out different things while also learning about value. Let's start with charcoal. Charcoal is one of those traditional mediums and amazing for learning about value because it produces a true black versus the gray that a graphite pencil can do. I feel like this is a really good place to start and just understand and have a very simple, very affordable tool to help you understand the range of values. Let's start with actually the darkest dark. I'm just going to make this as black as possible and pressing down as hard as I can to create a very dark square here. I want to point out here that in a two value study you're just looking at black and white. So literally could just be this. I'm using the white of the paper as the first value and then this which is the darkest dark. If you're just using two, you don't press down so hard. The black will already provide such a contrast, but those would be a two value study. For a three value system, you just want to create something that's 50% between the two of these. One way you can do that is of course just sketching back in here and it's just a matter of practice and feeling the weight of your hand and how the charcoal or whatever tool you're using responds to you to know how heavy or hard to push and how to achieve that middle value. With things like graphite, pencil, and charcoal, you can always erase and lift some of the color you put down if it's getting a little too dark. This is a shamoy and it's also called a shammy, and Artist shammy. And with this shammy, you can actually draw with it as well if you're using your finger and it's actually really helpful for big studies and so just using this, I'm going to actually start to put in my second value here. That looks pretty good. I'm just actually going to lift some of this charcoal that I have spilling over on this one to create my fourth value. The fourth value, of course wants to be 50% between the third and fifth value. I really like charcoal because it almost feels like being a kid again, it's getting to finger paint and then when you do charcoal studies, you're just amazed by actually by how good it looks when you're doing value studies without having to be super exact and that looks pretty even to me. Let's move on to the pen. You might not be working with something like a charcoal that can create different levels depending on how hard you're pressing. So instead, what you can do is use hatching or line work to convey the different values. Let me start again with the fifth value. Filled all the way in is going to be my fifth value. Now again, I'm going to leave this first one blank as my first value and then I'm going to create something in the middle between these, so I'm just going to use [inaudible] mark for this example. Right now I'm not trying to make the line super perfect, but just to give you the idea, it's better with pen to start lighter and then move into a darker hatch should I feel that I need to create that difference. I'm going to move into the fourth one now. I'm just basically going to double this amount of patchwork. Then let's come over to the second value, and actually what I think my work is just keeping the line weight very thin and spread out. [NOISE] It was actually nice about doing the charcoal version first it's a good way to compare and eyeball if your other versions are feeling generally the same as those. With all this hatching, it still looks significantly lighter than this totally dark ones. I'm going to go with these as my five values with a pen. Now finally, I want to show you a colored pencils and what's nice with colored pencils is that with [inaudible] color, which is my favorite brand of colored pencils, you can basically get them pre-made for you and they have one gray, cool gray, and French gray and you can just pick your five values and do studies with that. Of course, you can just use the black color, for example, and do lighter and lighter strokes like how I demonstrated with the charcoal. But I just wanted to show you what it could look like if you just use these pencils that are ready to go and that's actually how I enjoyed using colored pencils, usually with color, but the same idea of having a dark value and a mid value and a light value. I'm going to start with this black one here. I'm not going to do a standard graphite pencil or mechanical pencil because it's a really similar idea to the charcoal. You just won't get as dark of a black as a charcoal can do but it's the same idea, just starting with the absolute darkest mark you can make as your fist value and then keep splitting it into the midway for your third value and then your second value and your fourth value. What I really like about colored pencils is that you can get this pretty dark black and it doesn't smear and these particular more waxy colored pencils, the artists grade ones, blend really well together. It brings in a lot of the best of pencils and paints in a way, and charcoal, so a happy medium for me. I am going to do with the middle value next, just to continue with our pattern. This is the 50% warm gray. These pencils are broken down. There's a 10%, 20%, 30%, 40, 50, and then it goes to 70 and 90. Let me go into the 20 next. This is the 20% warm gray. I choose warm gray because I like the tone more than cool but again, each one has its place. There's no reason why you can only use warm gray for these exercises. You can use cool gray or French gray as well. If you're trying to convey different temperatures, you might mix the two together. This is the five value studies. Go ahead and take some time to finish yours out if you need a little bit more time and then we'll move on to the next exercise. We're going to continue with this reference photo that I've provided because it'll help you understand by reinforcing something you're familiar with and seeing how each step layers on top of each other. Let's start by creating a little value system for ourselves using these digital tools and I am going to just quickly swatch out the five value system. That is my darkest dark. Let's go here. My fourth value. I'm just moving it up the scale here. Then the white of our background can be our lightest light or what we can try to do is to use a tonal color. That's around my two and then bring in the white so we can really see any highlights that we want to add. I actually prefer to work like that for value studies and you're welcome to do the same using toned paper or just in the background of your tablet, if you're following along digitally. So at this point, I am going to take a moment to really look at this image and start to plan ahead of what are the different values that we see. Some obvious things are the shadow area and the opening of the vase are very dark, so those would be our fifth value. Then my brightest brights are going to be definitely edge of this flower. The yellow looks very light to me and then coming down the stem, there's some darkness there. When you're doing value studies, a big part of the task is to group values together. Of course, again, like we mentioned before, the photograph has hundreds of values in it. To make it really clear, value studies need to make some decisions sometimes where things are often in the gray area, and then need to decide one way or another which value is the closest that you want to put in there? Let's just get into it. We can always adjust as we go along and create a new layer to start my value study. I'm going to start with my middle value. I recommend when doing values that you're starting with the middle value and then going into your darkest dark and then putting in the range of the mid tones and then ending with the highlights. The beauty of working digitally is of course, you can undo and create new layers, but as much as you can, I recommend following the limitations of the traditional methods so that you can train your hand to really make good decisions instead of relying on the undo or delete button. I'm also seeing this shadow shape right here. That's really important to do any table from the wall. I'm going to just put a little bit of that there. With value studies, you're not really trying to be super accurate unless you want to. But the purpose is not necessarily to be super accurate, is just to convey the overall forms and shapes that you're seeing. Here, the optic basically blends into its shadows, so we treat them all as one shape. Again, I'm squinting because the billy ball itself is quite a complex thing. If you look at all the details, but if I squint and just look at the shadows that I'm seeing, I can definitely see the sphere that encompasses or makes up the billy balls. I'm just going to put in the show shape. Here's a good area where I'm making a judgment call. I can see that this stem is on the darker side, but it definitely pops against the back of the billy ball. I'm going to say that the stem is lighter there and back here for now I'm using the four. It might need to add a little bit of a five just to make that even more clear. You can bring that four and starting a little bit below so that I still get that part of the stem to show that it's going into the ball in the front of our view. Now I am going to start working on the top of this base because that to me is not looking like that. I think this three is going to be the highlight for sure. Maybe just like little specs that are coming in to indicate that there's a light bouncing off there. I'm noticing that it's coming down here and that's really nice to indicate the shape of the vase. I'm just doing a lighter strokes to start to get into that transition. Can definitely see that there is a lighter part on the outside of this vase where the light is reflecting in. We'll learn more about that in a bit. Having that knowledge will help you catch it in your observation as well. I'm going to add a little bit of the fourth value here, just to make that even more clear. That's looking pretty good. Maybe I can add a little bit of the wood green in this vase fine detail. But I want to try it so that you guys can see how much of a difference, just subtle value shifts in communicating our forms and our volumes because our little things that most people are not going to notice the first time they look at an image like this. But once you start to draw it, I appreciate that a lot more. Then I'm going to go back in here because I'm feeling like the top of this billy ball deserves more contrast. I'm going to cover up my base block in lines that we created earlier and look at this. I'm going to just add a few pieces of my third value on top. You can just see how that starts to look like, the texture of the billy ball. Of course I can get into even more detail on that, but I want to save that for later in this section. Notice the more I put them together, the lighter the area isn't, it may keep those spread out. The fourth value you can still dominate. Bringing in a little touch of the black certain areas. Let's just add a little bit of highlight. It's mostly around the edge of this billy ball that I'm seeing it. Then maybe we can add a little bit to the vase to just to make it pop. You can just see how powerful the white highlight is because of the contrast. Having this highlight here really clarifies that this billy ball is in front of the left one. What I like about this is I can think about in the form, which I want this flower to pop. That is my five value study of a billy balls. Take some time to create your own. Then let's meet with a slightly more advanced exercise with the same concept. Now that we've done basic value study exercise with billy balls, which we're familiar with, I want to show you a more complicated image and demonstrate how the same concepts apply no matter how complicated the image might appear at first. This is a great example to start with. You can use drawing guides if you'd like to the whole block and exercise. I want to go a little more quickly through this one and just show you how fast value thumbnails can actually be. Here's the horizon line. Here is this shape ends down here. Then I'm looking at shadow shapes now. Here's this one, there's big one right here. That's my basic blocking. Bringing in that same five values that I was using earlier, Sum, bring the background down a little bit so that you can see the white more. Again, I'm going to start with my middle value and I'm going to put in my big shapes. I'm going to squint and I'm going to see where my darkest darks are, where I think the third value is the truck or the van and then the sky and parts of the road are definitely the lightest lights, I'm seeing, then everything else is in-between. Let me just start to place in some of these big shapes and go from there. Remember that values are relative. Although it might seem like it's a little bit too much in contrast, is because we haven't put the rest of our values in right now. I am going to put in the fourth value in next and work into the darkest dark for this particular image. When I'm looking at this I'm really feeling the flow of the overall image. I really love this sweep. As I'm staring at the values, I'm definitely considering what I've seen in the photo, but I'm also starting to think about how to exaggerate maybe some of these shapes to emphasize that flow even more. Maybe I'll bring this one up a bit. That's where a lot of design considerations can come in, which you don't have to worry about in the beginning, but I want to show you that it would be part of this step as you start to get more comfortable with observing, in identifying different values. Everything has a gesture, even these shadow shapes. That's a really nice thing to learn when you're developing your design. It really did helps to define the edge. Then I'm just going to keep putting in some of these shapes back here. This is a really nice gesture of the hill coming down. So far you can see that I've only been working with two values, three plus the background. It pretty much looks very much like the image. I could stop here is actually a good value study. I'm just going to now go in with a few more details to show you the difference between a threeish value to a five value. Let me go in with my second value now. Like I said, the more values that you have, the more realistic it will look. You can start to see the forms being pulled out as I add in this second value. I'm not trying to match the image exactly for these rough studies but I am starting to, again go back to thinking about the overall feeling that I want to give through different gestures and how I put in the values which was I want to emphasize and which ones maybe I want to play down a little bit. This area is actually one bigger shape when I squint. Let me try to put that in. I think that looks better. That has this flow with this back shape like that. Let's start putting in my darkest darks and like the hazy feeling of this image. I'll only really bring it in, in a very few select areas. Draw the eye to the car a bit. See how just that little bit of black really helps make this become even more clear and pops and we add some white, it'll be even more so. You can see how really choosing where to place my values to emphasize or not emphasize certain things. That's just starts to become an artistic choice that you can practice by doing. We need different value studies, ideally the same image. Hopefully you can see now how these five value studies can be applied to very simple drawings and then worked up to even very complicated drawings. They're a beautiful way to study photos that you enjoy and you start to practice learning to see lights and darks 10. Value & Form 3: Intro to Form: Now that we have an understanding of value, let's go back to what we were talking about at the beginning of this section, which is how value relates to form. Remember the three stages of our drawing process going from lines to shape and then form. We have our lines and shapes in place. How do we then render it to communicate its form? Its mass, or its depth, or its textures. It all comes down to skillfully placed values. Let's start by talking about value in the 2D versus 3D world. In a 2D world, value helps communicate in images big shapes. It can also be used to create a value pattern, which helps us use the distribution of lights and shadows to guide the eye. In a 3D world, value is what communicates the form, texture, and volume of an object by using lights and shadows. The more values are, the more realistic it will look. Let's talk about rendering form. Remember this shapes that we drew together in Part one of the section. Let's talk about how we can shade those so we can make them look 3D. It's helpful to learn about the classical order of light for this purpose. Understanding this across all of the basic 3D shapes will help you render many other things. This is the classical order of light, but you really only need to know three major areas, the light side, the form shadow, and then the cast shadow. But knowing these additional terms will help you understand and talk about the full range of light. Doing highly rendered value studies might seem tedious, especially if you want to draw in a modern flat style. But doing at least a few will help you understand how to adjust your style to be more flat or more realistic. Studying a range of value and maybe doing a scale like this so you can see where along this spectrum of flat to realistic that you personally like can be really helpful. Finally, an important aspect of communicating form to learn about is texture and stretching. To communicate that something is fuzzy, bumpy, what in, or whatever else is actually a matter of value variation. Try practicing creating a sheet of different textures and hatches so that you can experiment with what you would want to use in your work. Some basics to start with are stippling, scribbling, grass hatching, crosshatching, and contour hatching 11. Value & Form 4: Form Rendering Exercises: Let's do a few exercises together now on form so we can start to get a hang of how to render 3D shapes. Now let's render a sphere so we can really focus on understanding how much of a render we enjoy and also how to achieve it. I'm going to start by drawing in the core shadow line and then putting in the darkest dark. I won't go all the way here, but just having it so that I can start to see the form of my sphere already. I'm using charcoal. We're quickly demo the shading because I can blend it easily with my chamois. I'm just following the shape of the bowl right now. [NOISE] I'm also going to think about the highlight being right here. I'm going to give myself some charcoal to work with. I'm going to put up all the way around here. Now I am going to take my chamois. I'm going to start to blend in this core shadow area. It's okay if it's not a super sharp edge. It's perfect because obviously the more I'm blending the more I'm losing the charcoal piece, so I'm just going to carry it all the way up and over. You can get very detailed and technical, especially in like atelier training, render like a perfect sphere and create very gentle marks. But for our training purposes, I think that this is a great starting point and you can dive into more detail if you'd like. This is already looking pretty good. I'm just going to start to darken certain areas to bring the form out even more. With the charcoal I'm not working in just straightforward five values, I'm trying to bring in all of the different tones available. The shifts in value really communicate the shape, the light, strong that light is. Shadows also have their sharp edges and blurry edges depending on how strong light source is, where it's positioned above it. That's why studying from real life is really helpful because you'll start to get a sense of how that behaves in real life. You want to sharpen your edges with charcoal. Your eraser is absolutely a tool. With your eraser you can pretty much draw with, especially when it comes to charcoal. Let me just show you really quickly how adding a little bit of white would look. Like I said, the white also blends just like the dark. Now that we have some experience rendering a sphere, let's move back to our Billy Ball reference image so that we can practice adding texture. With this study, we're going to focus on adding texture. Studying texture is a great way to observe many different things. One exercise you can do is just create a whole sheets of different textures. Studying natural things, just plants and wood and rocks, but also studying maybe some synthetic things such as how to render stainless steel or how to render plastic. I'm going to start with actually a dark color. I'm just putting in my shapes and I'm not trying to be super accurate here. Your darkest value or maybe your second darkest value is a nice way to approach rendering these types of detailed textures, for anything like leaves and foliage because bringing it out is more intuitive. Actually it's how the object is structured if you think about it. Like the darkest dark is within the Billy Ball and then the lightest lights are the pieces that are coming out. This is the sphere if you think about it. There's this sphere or ellipse comes out like that. The core shadow is around here. Then the light area is this whole area up here. There's light coming in from above and then reflect off the floor from below. But this would be our shadow area. That's how to think about this sphere as a general matter. It's something to really keep in mind throughout the whole process because it's easy to lose yourself in the little details and then not pay attention to the overall shadow structure and how the value plays out on this object that you're observing. Especially because it's in color, it's easy to get distracted with all the little details and then eventually you almost forget to keep checking your values. Even though when you first started this class, you probably looked at this Billy Ball and was like, that's a yellow Billy Ball, yellow flower, one color. You can see there's an infinite number of colors, an infinite number of values that you will now learn to group together into your limited value palate and to see how few you need to really communicate to that texture. You'll see that the darkest parts definitely get thicker, so that's something you want to keep in mind so maybe extend these parts out a little bit more and then keep these parts pretty clean and tight. Then if you think each of these are cone, and so I'm also seeing them this is where the light is hitting them at the top. Even your little main shapes can then be broken down further into tinnier shapes. White. I'm going to keep it just focus to this area and maybe the edge a little bit. I think with fairness you want to be really selective in where you want to draw the eye. Even if you technically see the same highlight elsewhere, the highlight is just really powerful. Now you know how to render these textures. I would just keep practicing if this is something that you want to incorporate into your style. You can draw a bird, you can draw leaves, you can draw flowers, of course. If you can really get this down with just gray scale is going to help so much more when you get into color 12. Value & Form 5: Value for Artists: Now that we have a basic understanding of value, let's dive a little bit deeper and talk about how it helps us as artists. Value helps in many ways. But to me, the most important ways that helps is one, allowing us to see the essence of an image behind all the details. [inaudible] has helped by squinting. Two, setting up a strong base structure for our drawing. Remembering how we work from big picture to details. Three, helps us pick the right colors which we'll talk about in more detail in the next section. And finally, it helps us manage our color and light relationships. An easy way to check the legibility of your drawing is to check its values, which it can do by turning it into grayscale. If it's still legible without color, that's a strong value setup. When I'm working with my own artwork and coming up with something original and different, I tend to start with color first and then I check it with values afterwards. I can adjust the colors as needed, and this is just for me, a more natural way for me to think about my process. For you, I recommend starting with these foundational belly studies, getting understanding of it first, and then trying it both ways, and just see which is the most helpful for you in terms of getting the best final results. I also want to talk about describing value in terms of major and minor keys. I learnt this concept from teacher built Perkins at New Masters Academy, and I find it really helpful to think about value this way. Major key refers to the proportions of whites to darks within the entire image. High major key means the image has mostly light values, while low major key means the image has mostly dark values. Minor key, on the other hand, refers to the range of contrast between the values themselves. A high minor key means there's a lot of contrast, while low minor key means there's not much contrast. You can see how the different pairings of the keys creates these different moods, which makes sense because these combinations have a lot to do with lighting and atmosphere. How bright or hazy a setting is or isn't. Another aspect to keep in mind as you're doing value studies are Value thumbs, is that a valley can appear light or dark depending on what values is surrounded by. The same shade of gray can appear totally different depending on its surroundings. You can try this for yourself by recreating this image. Training your eyes to be able to proceed is visual illusions is really helpful. Now it's your turn. You're going to take everything we learned in this section about value and form and bring it into our main class project. We started this section with a discussion of how value follows the lines and shapes exercise and now it's your turn to do a value study of the illustration and you can check it by simply turning the provided illustration to grayscale. Also just provide that as an image so you can compare. For this one, I'm not going to do an example alive just so we can keep this class at a more manageable length, and this is something that you can just practice on your own and compare it with the provided images. The same concepts that I've been demonstrating to you with the billy balls and landscape studies are the same in this situation. The few additional exercises that you can incorporate include after you finish putting in the values that you see, you can play with adjusting them so that you can create different moods based on the major and minor keys that you learned about. Then from there, consider potentially rendering some of the objects based on the 3D shapes that they take. For example, we can render the globe a little bit more and see if you like that as you more realistic style. I know that was a lot, but I hope it was helpful and interesting. Let's go over a summary of what we learned together in this section. In this section, we learned, value is the study of lights and darks. Understanding values helps us design art that is clear and easy to read or if it's not, that's intentional on our part. Planning the value is a critical tool in creating a mood and directing the viewer's eye. A painting can still work if the colors are wrong, but the values are right. It's generally not true vice versa. When studying the values in an image, what do we to see more clearly is to squint. Squinting is a legit tool that's taught in art schools and professional art books. When giving a value studies, the fewer values, the better. A black and white photo has the full spectrum of hundreds of values. You really only need 3-5 to do and effective study. It's all about grouping related values together which squinting helps with. Before you start drawing, really study the values and find a pattern you want to intentionally depict to focus the eye. Finally, the most important thing is just to keep practicing through lots of value studies from photographs, real life, and other artwork and it will naturally start to hone your sense of light and dark. When you feel ready, let's meet in the next section, we'll finally talk about color and light. I'll see you there. 13. Color & Light 1: Seeing Color: We've finally reached color and light, which I know is many people's favorite part. In this section, we're going to be talking about basic color theory, color relationships, how to pick a color palette, and seeing how it all comes together by doing guided studies. Grab your tools and let's start exploring the world of color. Color is one of the first things we learn about as kids. We learn about the colors of the rainbow are blue ocean, are green trees, but understanding color as artists is much more complex. For some, picking colors and working with color is intuitive, while for others, the whole process is very challenging. Either way, don't worry. Understanding basic color theory can help you regardless of which camp you are, and it will bring a whole new appreciation to how you see the world. Color is beautiful and complicated and you can spend your whole life learning about the science and the art behind color. Again, here I'm approaching it with my 80/20 principle. I will provide resources for you if you would like to dive deeper into any of these topics. As for what tools will use, you can follow along this class with digital or traditional tools. But I do want to note that I've personally find learning color theory is best with traditional mediums. This is because with traditional tools, you're really forced to think about how colors are made and really feel what it means to mix colors together. Digital tools, on the other hand, are really great for experimenting with color palettes because you can use all those great adjustments to your advantage. That's why I'll be using a combination of both traditional and digital tools in this section. What should we tackle first? Most schools would start with basic color theory when talking about color. But I personally found it helpful to start with studying color and understanding some nuances to get my feet wet before diving into the technicalities. This way, I was understanding why I was learning color theory so that I could see color better in practice. Instead of the color wheel, let's start with nature. Here's a picture of some beautiful leaves. At first we see objects just as an obvious color. As a kid, we think about a red apple, a yellow lemon, and even as adults, we still think of the world generally in these terms. But as you really study objects, especially for artistic purposes, you start to see all these beautiful subtleties in everything. Here in this photo you might say, there's a green, yellow, red, red orange, orange and darker green leaf, which is all true. But take a closer look and see how many colors each leaf actually has. Feel free to take a pause here if you'd like some time to study it on your own first. Let's talk through some of the colors that I'm seeing. Starting with this green leaf at the top, I can see many shades of green, yellow green, yellow, brown, dark green, and shades of gray and maybe even some hints of blue in the shadow areas. In this yellow leaf, I'm seeing some browns, some dark browns, hints of some purples, red violet and hints of green as well. In this red leaf has really beautiful deep wine color, and in the shadows you can see it almost gets to black. There's definitely some pops of yellow, some magenta, red, and maybe even hints of green. In this red orange leaf, similarly, there's a lot of yellow around the edges, some reds, and then some browns and some black spots that are covering the leaf. Moving over to this dark green leaf, I'm seeing definitely some browns and yellows, some reds. In this yellow leaf over here, there is predominantly yellows and yellow oranges, but also a lot of browns. I can even see some hints of green at the tip, and it would bring in some reds in some of the detailing. What were some of the colors that you picked? Were they even more that you saw that I didn't? This is a great way to start to exercise your eye and start to think about what colors you would be using in order to create this type of image. We'll get into more of that later. But first I want to show you this quote by Winston Churchill. "Gradually the veil over my eyes was lifted and I could stare at an object and see what my instructors saw, an ephemeral mingling of color." A great way to hone our ability to see true colors is by doing still life paintings. But doing observational color studies is important even if you don't want to paint super realistically. Developing an understanding of how real life works is square one. From there, you can interpret and stylize. Without it, your drawings and paintings will be built on weak foundations. 14. Color & Light 2: Plant Study: So let's bring these concepts together by doing a color study of this photograph. It's a great reference for our class because it's a step up in terms of complexity from our billy balls and also moves us towards our initial benchmark drawing photo. It has these great lines, shapes, values, and colors. We can bring all of what we've been learning together. First I want to talk about our different coloring mediums and the pros and cons of each. I want to spend a little bit of time just talking through the three materials that I tend to use the most and the benefits and drawbacks of each one. Starting with colored pencil, because I think it's just the easiest to access and most familiar because we've all used colored pencils as kids. I love these colored pencils for just having something quick and easy on the go. It leads to a lot of happy accidents and just feels great to have pencil put to paper. It gives me these great textures and I love how a lot of the pages turned out. This is when I started to use colored pencils a lot more in my sketchbook pages. They just have this really nice quality to them. They're able to blend really well and I'm able to experiment and then carry these pages into my digital practice and create prints or anything else with them. The downside is that it's hard to go back sometimes. There's a certain point and color pencils, if you go too dark or too deep into one hue, you can't really fix it. Sometimes having those limitations is a good thing. But to address that, we can then bring in our next friend. This is done with gouache, it's actually acrylic gouache. It's both acrylic and gouache, which I like more than just plain gouache. These are really great for having this extremely matte finish. It's almost like a digital painting and that's why I like it, because it really can emulate my digital style very well or vice versa. But it's still also has these limitations that helps me work out problems traditionally. And I was able to go back over it with these dark colors and highlights. I can't pull this off with just colored pencil. That's what I really like about gouache. Gouache, on the other hand, does not give me that pencil texture that I really love from colored pencils and of course it's not as easy to carry around and use anywhere. I tend to like to do that more at home and then colored pencils outside. Then lastly, we have digital. Digital is amazing for being able to experiment with these different colors. Also be able to bring in my traditional keep those textures and then create new colors or textures and experimentations on top of that. You have big layers, of course, and you can clean things up very nicely and so keep it looking very traditional or make it really abstract. Digital has so much potential and power to it and I really think it's such an amazing tool. I still use digital most of the time. Bringing these two together has been really helpful to my own practice and I really think that there are pros and cons of each. I was at the downside of digital, is that it just feels different. It doesn't feel like you're in the flow as much as when you're working with paper and pencil. Sometimes the fact that there are hardly any limitations makes it really complicated in terms of picking the right color palette or coming up with the right textures. All the textures that come really naturally and beautifully with paper and pencil and paint have to be created manually in digital. Those are the pros and cons of the three materials that I like to use the most. I encourage you to experiment with all sorts of things and just see what feels best for you. Now, I'm going to start the demo from the beginning. This gives me a chance to bring together everything we've been learning so far, starting with the blocking and doing an observational drawing. I'm starting with my peach colored pencil because it's great for lightly laying and guidelines for my coloring and painting. If I need to make adjustments, I just draw over it so that trains myself not to erase and also notice where I didn't observe accurately. As I'm laying this in, I'm going over the observational drawing techniques that we learned earlier. I'm really paying attention to the gesture of the overall branch, the overall triangle shape of this object and then the individual leaf shapes, landmarks of how the leaves are overlapping each other and where they line up with the leaves around it, directly the below or to the side. I'm also noticing the angles of the edges and how they meet the branch, the overall proportion of how big and small the leaves are to each other and the branches, and of course the negative space between the leaves. Once we have our observational drawing line work put in, next I'm going to show you a bit of my colored pencil coloring process and bring in some of our learnings about value. At first, we might look at this photo and just think, a green plant, you might think of it as one color. But now you'll notice that there's so many different colors that make up this study. In this stage, I'm paying attention to the values and starting to notice the color shifts. I'm starting with a medium green coloring in at about 50% of my hand weight. But I'm also going to need to add dark green, dark brown, and even indigo and black colors to get those shadow shapes and value changes. The value shifts are how we can see the form of the leaf where it gets folded and where it casts shadows. I also need to add in yellow and blue-green hues to shift the temperature as a light reflects on the different angles of the leaves. I can really see here how the different warm greens versus a cool greens look very different once I take a closer look. You can experiment here with seeing what other colors you notice. Colored pencil is intuitive and familiar. But you'll also notice that once I put down a darker color, I'm not going to be able to lighten it again with colored pencil alone. There's definitely pros and cons, which hopefully is obvious through this demo. That brings us to gouache. First I'm just laying out some of the basic paints that I know I'm going to need to use. If you don't have any of these particular hues, don't worry. As long as you have the basic colors, you'll be able to mix a close approximation of them. For example, with blue-green, you don't necessarily need to have that color. You can mix blue and green together. I'm using the Princeton velvet touch brush line, which is really great for acrylic and acrylic wash. I'm just coloring directly over my colored pencil study, starting with this yellow green color because it's the biggest color shape that I can see. I'm just placing that wherever I feel like I notice that color in my photo reference. I'm looking at the photo reference a lot going back and forth. This is just my first bottom layer. I don't have to be super exact. Trying to place it in as many places as I can notice it. Colored pencils and gouache actually work really beautifully together. Gouache can cover up layers completely. You cover up any mistakes and colored pencils or just adjust things that you want to change that you can't do through colored pencil alone. You can be selective about having the parts with that lovely pencil texture showing through while leaving other parts with the flat matte of the gouache. Now, I don't normally cover up my colored pencil studies with gouache like this but this demo will help demonstrate the same exercise with this new medium. Now I'm mixing color green by bringing in the blue into my green color, adding a little bit of white to lighten that up. Another tip is that you can mix colors with these little palette knives. What's nice about this is soon as you mix with your brush, your brush gets really fat with lots of paint and it's hard to really scrape it out and get a nice delicate touch with the paint again. And so these palette knives, one can be really great at mixing paints because it has this broad surface, and two keeps your paint brushes for painting instead of color mixing. I'm going to start to put this color down wherever I see that cooler green hue. With gouache, there is a little bit of time where you can blend the colors together but it does dry quickly, so a lot of times it ends up feeling a little bit more like separate colors which can be a challenge if you're trying to get a very blended look or a great benefit if you like that really clean and more digital look. Now that you've started to notice the lights and shadows of objects from our value and form class, you can think about the main colors you see and how they are shifting from lighter values to darker values. Keep an eye out for that suddenly changing color. Even without knowing any color theory or the science of light and shadow, you can simply observe what you literally see before you. As much as you can try to isolate a color you're observing. So many times we think a color is different because of what it's surrounded by such as a gray that looks really green because it's surrounded by really potent reds. And swatching out some of the colors at the top here so that you can see the difference and the shifting temperatures of each hue that I'm using and creating this little palette up here. It's also nice about trying little swatches, either directly on your study or it can have a little scratch paper next to you, is that you can preview a color before putting it down onto your study. So when you're mixing, I really recommend mixing in small amounts first to see this getting to the right temperature. I'm just putting in my dark color in where I see my shadow shapes. Something so organic like a leaf is a little trickier because there's not like that really hard edge, clear shadow shape that you can often get with man-made objects, but I think this is a great exercise. Just start to really see how these little changes can really make such a huge difference, and it's going to be a little bit delicate about how you put down different colors and how you can go back and color on top of them to create the effect that you want. So knowing we're starting to see three different values at this point, overall, we have this really dark shadow color, the lighter yellow-green color, and this middle cool green color. Just with three values, like we've talked about in our value form class, can I create so much definition and form? Of course, it's flat, but it really makes a huge difference going from one value to three. So now I'm just going to mix in some of my highlight colors. Can already see just what a huge difference that added value creates. Now, because gouache is really opaque and dries quickly, I can add back in lighter colors and highlights or fix colors that didn't turn out the way I imagined. This is really helpful and feels a bit like digital painting actually. I love how opaque and vibrant the paint it turns out. Now I'm adding in some yellow, creating this warmer highlight. So adding in this yellow to this mane yellow-green that I had earlier, it's interesting to see the slight shift that it creates making it a little bit more warm in the center. Now just adding even more warm and brighter highlight. I'm starting to notice that the contrast between the cool and warm parts of these leaves are going to feel a little bit too different, so I know I'm going to need to harmonize that a little bit more moving forward. This is really amazing to observe how these shifts and color temperature and value really start to bring out how this form is angled, where the light source is and making this whole painting look more dimensional. That's also where you can really start to get the sense that color is so relative and it depends on the colors that it's next to. This green that looks really cool. Next to this warm green can look a lot warmer if it's next to say a blue or a purple. And even though these two greens you probably thought were really similar when you started to mix them can feel so different if those were the only two things you're trying to compare. Now I've created this slightly less saturated shadow color and I'm placing it anywhere I see some of that shift and the shadow shapes of the photo reference. Even within these really dark parts of an object, there are shifts that might be hard to notice at first but do make this big difference in terms of how the form is rendered. You'll notice that doing the colored pencil study plus a gouache study also helped reinforce observing color. For me, I catch things the second time around that I didn't notice the first time. And because I've already blocked in the drawing with pencil, I can focus entirely on studying value and color it with my gouache painting. I'm really getting into the details, defining the branch more and putting in some of those little kinks in the leaves, trying to really pay attention to how the different leaves are angled to the branch, making sure that I'm showing the right overlaps, right tilting towards and away. All right so that's looking pretty good. I decided to add some clean up around the whole image is putting in this really light green shade, covering up all of my pencil marks, but that's not necessary. I actually think it looks cool with some of the pencil marks showing up underneath. This is also helping me really clarify my negative spaces and crisping up the edge. So now I'm using this filbert greener three-eighth inch brush, which is really cool. It has basically this thinned out brush head and it creates these little hatch marks. So I'm just going in with my highlight colors. Now that you've seen a full demo with both colored pencil and gouache paint, encourage you to try this for yourself if you haven't already. See how you like using each and maybe see how you like using them together. Keep in mind that it takes practice to start to get into the flow with these materials. My colored pencils set on my desk for years before I found out how I like to use them, and my first few attempts with gouache look so flat and lifeless and sad that I put them aside for a while before picking them back up again. For both gouache and colored pencils, I found that the key was understanding values, layering, and color mixing to get the most out of them. That's why we went over valued form first, and now we're going to move on to discussing color theory. When you're ready, let's meet in the next class. 15. Color & Light 3: Understanding Color: Now that we've gotten a taste of seeing the subtleties and color, let's talk about basic color theory. As we dive into color theory, I want us to keep in mind that at the end of the day, we're really talking about nature. Color is a part of our natural experience. It's in everything around us and everything that we perceive. So even though these topics have been broken down into these diagrams and these charts and these theories, keep in mind the big picture context, which is that we're talking about nature and our ability to better see the world around us. Let's start with this basic color wheel that you're probably all familiar with. It captures the colors we see in the visible light spectrum made most clear to us when we see a rainbow. We have the primary colors of red, yellow, and blue, then the secondary colors of orange, green, and purple, and finally the tertiary colors in-between produced by mixing the primary and secondary colors together. Some of you probably already know that the colors opposite of each other on the color wheel are considered complementary, such as red and green, blue and orange, yellow and purple. By being on the opposite ends of the circle, they cause each other to pop when placed next to each other, making them complimentary. Also note that when we mix them together, we produce a neutral color. I think that's a really beautiful aspect of both art and life. We understand that in theory, but to get that into our unexperienced, let's actually make a color wheel together. Now let's talk about these colored pencils and how are we going to do the color wheel exercise with them. I've selected the 12 hues that are in our color wheel as close as I can with what the color pencils offer. Let's actually start by just penciling really quick little circles for us to do. We have 12 hues in our wheel. What you can do is just start with north, south, east, west. They don't have to be perfect, but this will be for you to fill in later on. The hues create two equally spaced circles between each one to get your 12. What we're going to do is we're going to put one of these hues into each one of these and then we're going to pick a lighter hue and then a darker hue to place inside and around it. Then we'll start to see how the color palette is reflected in our palette and then also be able to mix them together on the side of the page. Let's get started with our red. Just go in and fill in your circle. You can always make them bigger or smaller after closest move along. Next I'm having the red orange, which is pale vermilion 921. Then next up having orange 918. That goes here. The reason why I'm not starting with red, yellow, blue, and then mixing it into a secondary green, orange, purple, and then the tertiary colors is because with these colored pencils they aren't going to mix perfectly like that. This exercises now that we understand the basic color theory of how the color wheel works, now let's see it in practice with their actual materials. Then yellow-orange, which is the sunburst yellow 917. Now we move on to yellow. I've picked this canary yellow, which is 916. Then this yellow green, which is our chartreuse 989. Then our true green, which is going to be a little more blue than you're going to expect, at least that I'd expected. You see that they're on the opposite side from its complimentary color red. Then blue-green which is just going to be aquamarine 905. Then here we have true blue 903. If you want, you can put the little numbers next to each circle if you want to remind yourself which ones they are. Then we have cobalt blue hue 133. Now I have violet 932. Then finally we have red violet, which I've picked up as mulberry 995. The next exercise is to pick the light version and the dark version of each hue. If you were to get a scratch paper and just add white and black to these, you're going to get something like this. That's not exactly the colors that we want to have. Some of them work in the darker ones. But especially up here, this is just not like the dark oranges that we're going to want to use our illustrations. A good exercise is then to just go through your pack and pick the closest that you see to be the dark and light version of each one. Even if you don't have exact same hues that I'm using, just use the closest ones and this is part of the experiment so that you can see what colors you have. For red, I've picked blush pink for my lighter color and then crimson red for my darker color. I'm just going to put a smaller circle here. Then with the crimson red, I'll put this darker circle outside here. Let's make it a little bit bigger. It doesn't really matter. You find you pick one that you're like, actually that doesn't really turn out the way I expected. You can always mix in a closer adjacent color like something deeper or something lighter to try to get closer to what you want. But this is a good way to get to know your palate. For red orange, I've picked salmon pink as my red one, 1001 and poppy red as my darker hue, so 922. Continuing in my little circle and doing my big circle. You can really just start to compare and see how much more orange it is. Whereas on its own you might just think it's pure red. Next for orange I've picked this cadmium orange hue 118 and then this Spanish orange 103 for my lighter one. Again, feel free to take your time, enjoy this process. You're learning about all of your tools and how to use color, but at the same time creating something that's very beautiful. Then I will use Spanish orange as my darker yellow orange. For this lighter one, going to try this jasmine color 1012. Next up to the light yellow, I've picked deco yellow, which is 1011. Then for the darker one, I picked goldenrod, which is 1034. I'm going to put it in this deco yellow 1011. Then the goldenrod, that's darker color. That's a little too dark for my preference. What I'm going to do is actually bring in the yellow-orange, I mean the sunburst yellow because actually I do feel like that's a darker color version of that. That's yellow ocher 942 is finally getting closer to what I would imagine a darker yellow to be. Now moving on to chartreuse. I've picked up this yellow chartreuse. It's number 1004. You can start to see that chartreuse and the yellow chartreuse sometimes when you want to lighten something, you don't necessarily need to add white. You might need to add its adjacent brighter color. Then for the darker color I've picked up the spring green 913. It's not going to be a perfect match. I'm going to go in a little lighter and then see if I can adjust it from there. It's a little more green than I feel like it should be. Let me actually bring in the chartreuse itself. That looks a lot more like a darker version of that. You see mixing just the darker or the adjacent hue into it will be better than adding a black. For light green I've picked this, light green 920. Then for dark green, I've picked grass green 909. Now let's move on to this blue-green. I've picked the light aqua. Then for the darker version, I've picked this cobalt turquoise 105. Then we get into the blue. I'm going to do the sky blue. Actually, for the dark blue I'm going to use this blue denim 1101. Then I could do want to try adding a little bit of blue into the sky blue light. Maybe a little bit into here too. Whenever you're adding your original hue into whatever color you're trying to mix it into is that of course it starts to harmonize it more. That's looking nicer already. Then let's move on to this blue violet. I have picked blue lake color, like a periwinkle. Then for our dark version of that, ultramarine. It looks nice. Getting into our violet. I've chosen the lavender as our light violet 934. I'm adding imperial violet 1007 as my darker color. Then for the red violet, picked out this pink rose 1018. Then for the dark red violet I've picked out this Dahlia purple 1009. That was hopefully relaxing. It's like doing a mandala. Here you have your nice little color wheel. If you'd like, you can go in and clean it up a bit or I move on to the next section. For this next section on this side, we're going to talk about blending with these neutral grays and blacks and browns. You can pick any hue, but just pick one out of these main ones. I'm going to be using grass green because it's a color that I use a lot and would be really helpful for me to see how they interact with all these colors. I would recommend picking whichever hue that you like. It's best to start with one that has room to be blended. Maybe not something that's super dark like this. If you're going to pick one of these, I would pick one at the middle colors. I'm going to start with grass green, but you are, of course, welcome to start with whatever you like. What I'm going to do is I'm going to draw eight rows of five circles and they're all going to start with this green hue. Then I have collected here a group of four of each of the neutrals that I want to mix with. Starting with these browns, I have beige, light amber, dark amber and black. Then I have basically the 30%, 50%, 70%, and 90% of each of the grays. If you have all of these hues, go ahead and collect them. If not, you can just watch the demonstration and see how they interact with each other. Then actually you can use that and decide which ones you like the most and maybe just get those specific colors, if not all of them. Let me just start with the five circles. All of our circle and line practices will come in handy. There's going to be eight rows of each, and you can add a label here on the side leader, which is why it's a little bit leaning that way. Let's start by actually just filling all of these in with your green. I wouldn't go as hard as that, but maybe like about 50-60% filled in, so it gives us some room to blend. Feel free to put on some music or an audio-book and fill out your circles. When you're ready let's move on to blending. The goal is to basically have a light to dark version. We want to see how we can achieve the different colors that we actually want. With this top one, we're actually going to start with green. Then I want to see how it works with putting in an adjacent warmer colors. I will put in yellow, then an adjacent cooler color, blue. Then what it looks like to put in actually complimentary colors, so neutralizes it but how. After that we're going to put in our ambers. I'm going to put in our just u for amber and blacks and beiges and then we'll do our three grays. We're going to do French gray, warm gray and cool gray. Starting with green is going to be similar to this exercise. This is why colored pencils do have a limitation, obviously with like paint or on digital if you mixed more and more white, you could get very light color. But with colored pencils, there's a limit to how much you can go back. What I like to do is to start with a medium weight hand and then blend in as needed. Next, I'm putting in a light green. It's noticing how those two interact. This one is going to be my true green. Then I'm going to keep mixing in a dark green. First I'm going to just do maybe like half, maybe about 50, 50. Then for this one over here, I'm going to go very hard so they can get as much as the dark green as possible. Those are my top five for now, mixing in just different versions of green. Next one, I am going to try yellow so I can actually try these different yellow, yellow oranges and see how they affect my color. I'm going to start with this cream color. It's one of my lightest yellows, 914. Then let's see if I can try this deco yellow. That was the one-zero, one-one. Let's put in yellow, yellow. That's going to be our canary yellow here. You can see how that really starts to bring it more into this yellow green color. And then let's try yellow ocher. Again, you can add the little numbers at the bottom if you would like to keep track. Let's try Spanish orange next, and then lastly, I'm going to try goldenrod, it's a pretty dark yellow, orange. We just start to see the difference between these darker greens and what kind of effects we're trying to achieve. Now let's move on to the blue. This is going to cool down our greens. So I'm going to start with this sky blue. It definitely gives a little mint here feel. This is blue slate, 1024. Then I'm going to do true blue. Let's start to see how different those two are. Then let's try this darker denim blue. Definitely looking like a pretty cool blue-green now and then let's try ultramarine, just kind of get that range of blue and seeing how they all affect. Ultramarine obviously is a lot darker than these yellow color, so it's able to bring it closer to its color than the yellows are. You can start to learn how much you can push a colored pencil to its lighter hue versus a darker hue. I added in the red, I started with the pink and then moved into poppy red and then true red, crimson red, and Tuscan red. You can see how much that muddied it up right away and turned it into this really deep Ox blood color. And then I moved into the umbers, so I did beige, light umber, dark umber and black, and then the three different grays. These are 30%, 50%, 70%, and 90%. You can just see it. They're very subtle shifts, but definitely like one is a warmer gray and one is a cooler gray, and then French gray kind of has this other different tint to it. What's good about this is when I want to do a study I can refer to this of how I get to the shadows that I want. It can really depend on whether you want to do something a little bit more realistic or something that's a little bit more stylized. I'll pipe work more in this realm, but it's good to know how to bring in the blacks and the grays should I want to get colors closer to this range. This is straightforward enough, but this only covers the most basic hues. What do I mean by hue? Every color has three properties that we can measure it by; hue, value, and saturation. Hue is probably what most people think of as color. In the color wheel we just looked at, the names we gave each color is more accurately thought of as the name of its hue. Now, recall how we learned that each color has a corresponding value. Remember that there's that full spectrum with hundreds of values. What about all of those corresponding values to any one particular hue? That's where we start to see lighter and darker versions of each hue. You add black and white our values to lighten or darken a hue. So by adding white to lighten a hue, it's called a tint. By adding black to darken a hue is called a shade. Finally, we can consider our third property, saturation. Think about how any given hue you be more intense or more muted or pastel, so that's saturation. We're talking about the brilliance or intensity of a color. So 100% saturation will be a pure hue or adding any value, whether it's white or black, will desaturate that color. Now that we know about hue, saturation, and value, let's look at a more thorough color wheel. I like using the color disk in Procreate, which is the digital app that I draw with because hue is on the outer ring and then the saturation and value controls for each of the hues is on the inner ring. Compare this to a more traditional gradient at color wheel where you might think all the colors are present, but actually value is measured on a separate scale in these cases. The Procreate disk is very intuitive to me. You can also compare this to the classic color selector and digital painting tools, which has the three control sliders for hue, saturation, and value. This might be a better way for you to start to understand the levels of hue, saturation, value in each color that you pick. So we've talked about basic hue, saturation, and value, but one aspect of color that is really important, that isn't included in that traditional conversation is color temperature. Color temperature isn't an exact measure like it is with hue, saturation, value, but you can definitely feel it. So even to an untrained eye, you can feel when something feels warm or feels cool. Looking at these two famous haystack paintings by Monet, which would you say feels cool and which one feels warm? This probably seems pretty obvious to you, but really think about why and how an artist needs to convey these feelings. At a high level we think of the reds, yellows, and oranges as warm colors, and then the blues, purples, and greens as the cool colors. But think about how within each of these hues there are also cool and warm versions of each of those. This is where it gets really interesting. Think about how you can have a really warm green, those tend to be a little bit more yellow, and then a really cool green, which tends to be a little bit more blue-green, and then see how many uses a blend of pinks and blues for this haystack painting. If you look at this one, does this is feel cool or warm? On the one hand it looks like wintry, but there's also pink in it. So traditionally, you would say it should be a warm color, but overall, it feels pretty cool. Being able to mix these different hues together with different values, different temperatures, can help you achieve the right atmosphere that you're trying to go for. Note that temperature is found even within whites, grays, and blacks. The same idea applies about making them warmer or cooler. So by adding a little bit of yellows and oranges, you get this warmer whites, and if you add more blues and purples, you get these cooler whites. The same is true for grays and blacks. Now that we're color masters, let's talk about color and light. Scientifically speaking, color is the part of the spectrum of a ray of light that does not get absorbed by the object. We're seeing the part that is being reflected. Understanding this helps us process what we're seeing when we're doing a photo or lifestyle. When you start to understand why a color is most clear where a light hits an object and darker and less saturated in the shadow, or why things get lighter and more muted in color when it's farther away or covered by atmosphere is because less light is getting to our perception. This knowledge will also help us create believable color without reference. Now that we've covered the basics of color theory, let's bring all of that together in our next color study. 16. Color & Light 4: Color Theory Exercise: Now we're going to do an exercise together that I call the color garden. By creating these florals, we'll be learning about mixing different color temperatures and how to vary our hue, saturation, and value. Here are the materials that I'm going to be using for this color garden study. I have my Holbein Acrylic Gouache here in red, orange, deep yellow, green, light blue, ultramarine deep, violet, titanium white, burnt sienna, and primary black. Next, I have this small Masterson stay wet palette, which is really great for keeping your paints wet for a longer especially something like gouache, which tends to dry really quickly. As for brushes, I'm using these Princeton Velvetouch mixed-media brushes, which I really like. I have a filbert in Size 8, an angular shader, and a 3/8 inch and then this little tight spot liner, but any small thin liner in about a Size 0 would be good. We're going to be doing this exercise where we experiment with different temperatures of green for the leaves and the stems and then experiment with a different hues of the color wheel in the flowers above. We can begin with our basic green color and then I put in the deep yellow on one side and the ultramarine on the other so this is going to give me my warm green tones and on the other side my cool green tones. I'm also going to have a bit of white to work with if I want to lighten any of the colors. Let's just go in and start to mix that warm green color that's going to be our first leaf and stem. There's no exact measurement of how much yellow and how much green to use. It's really actually your preference to see what kind of warm yellow-green you want to have. I've had quite a bit of yellow with my green to have this really nice warm yellow and green. I'm actually going to start with my peach-colored pencils. I just put in a line at the bottom so that I can make sure everything is nicely spaced out and I'm just putting in ROYGBIV, so R-O-Y-G-B-I-V to keep track of which hue I'm going to put on which stem, so red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. Now I'm just going to start putting in the leaves and stems so this might take a little bit of getting used to, but it really is quite natural, just with the flow of the brush so I'm using the angle tutor here. We can achieve a very similar effect with the filbert. Starting with the edge tapered, then pushing down to create the thicker part of the leaf. Then for the longer stems, just not pushing down as much to get the fatter parts but still getting a little bit of that variation of line thickness and weight. I like to overlap the stems and the leaves a little bit to create a natural look. You can stagger the leaves so some are higher and some are lower. There's really no wrong way to do this. It's supposed to be something that's enjoyable, relaxing is just beautiful to start to see the leaves and the stems come together. You don't necessarily have to have a plan of exactly how it's going to look but something that just feels organic and you can start to just fill in some of the empty spaces with additional leaves, a little branching off of the stems and just making sure they have enough to place all your different hues on top. If you want, you can start on a scratch piece of paper first just so you can get the feel of tapering that angle going over a few just to get the right shape but it's something that should really feel natural. If you notice any spots that you feel like a little blank or you want to thicken up a bit, you can just add a little bit more paint to it. As I'm going down the line, I'm just lowering the amount of yellow. In the middle, I'm getting pretty much just the pure green hue and then from there, I'm going to be mixing in more of the blues. So far I haven't done any straight lines so in some way it's, a little less challenging by creating a more natural look. It's already starting to look and feel like there's this warm sunlight on the stems and leaves on the left. I'm getting into this cooler shaded area of our forest or our garden over here on the right. What I like about this exercise is that puts it in this real-life contexts. Green is a great way to observe nature and it looks like something that has the light and shadows affecting it just by experimenting, exploring color temperature within green. We don't need to [inaudible] too with this. We can always go back and add some more color after we put in our flowers so at this point, let's move on to adding our colored flowers. I'm going to start with this pure red color. Now I'm using the filbert brush, and I really like this brush for creating these nice little petal shapes. Again, just using the natural curve of the brush pressing down and then lifting up to create the petal shape. As I'm thinking about the flowers, I'm just varying the thickness of certain petals, adding in a thinner pedal on the side to convey the edge of the petal. What I'm doing here is starting with just the pure hue out of the paint tube so this is a red flower. Then I'm adding in white to see how that affects it. It gives me this nice rosy pink color. Then I want to see what happens if I add in its complimentary color and also what happens when I add in black. What's just the difference of darkening that red through these two different hues? This is giving me ox blood color practically and then this is really dark and the last almost all of the red hue. That might be a color I want to use, say if I have a really dark shaded area of a red object or red flower, and I'm just going to experiment with placing that a little bit on my flowers to see and contrast and whether that works as a shadow color. Now let's move on to orange. Again, I'm just putting in the pure hue out of the paint tube to see how that looks and I'm thinking of poppies at this point, so I'm just doing these really nice little petals with a thicker one in the middle and then I'm going to mix it with my red to get my red oranges. I'm mixing in some white getting this nice light orange color. It could be a great peach, apricot, then trying some black. That gives me this brown color that touches the table, actually. I tried complimentary color just getting that really dark muddy color. Now let's move on to our yellows so again, we're going to bring in our yellow hues and then mix it in with orange to get our yellow-orange. First I'm just mixing together this yellow orange is really more dominated by the orange right now. Mixing in some black, mixing in some complimentary colors to see how it darkens this color. Now let's try the pure yellow just straight out of the tube. My paper's still has a little bit of color that didn't get washed off, so it's looking a little muddy, but also nice. Those are some of the happy accidents that can happen when you're painting something that you didn't intend for it to be that way but actually creates a nice effect like this one. It looks like it has a bit of nice shading and value to it now. That's how a lightened yellow with some white looks. Now mixing in some complimentary colors. Now let's start moving towards yellow-green. Again, I'm going to try some different shapes here, but still keeping it all within the same idea because I started with a deep yellow, it's going to give me this darker yellow-green. I can also add in some white to lighten it up and then from there we can move into our green green. For this one, I'm going to make it a little fern. Now we can move onto our blue-greens. I'm starting with this light blue that I have. This is out of the tube it has this really rich sky blue creating the lily iris shapes. Now I want to see and go backwards a little bit of what that blue mixed with green will look like because it's really beautiful blue-green color. I love that teal color. Now we're going to go into our deeper blues as we move into your indigo and violets. I'm going to put out some of my ultramarine deep. This is really nice, rich, medium blue. Now I'm just doing the ultramarine again, gouache is pretty forgiving so it turns out to be a shape that you don't love you You always add a little bit more or paint around it. Now we're finally at our final hue so I've brought in the violet and I'm going to be mixing it in first with the ultramarine and adding some white in it because with violet, more so than any other color, I find it needs a little bit of white to bring out more of its color because you'll see how the pure paint looks. This is the violet straight out of the tube compared to a violet that's been mixed with blue and some red and some white on top of it. Let's just really see how much it desaturates it. Let's try to bring in some of that saturation back. Now I'm just going to mix a red violet, See how it looks so we can close out our loop. Now I'm just experimenting with adding some pinks at the end. I've gone in and added some white to my red, but also added a little bit more purple to see how that affects things because the first time I did it, I did only with red and white. You can see here the difference between the pink all the way on the far left and that rosy deeper pink that I did at first. Now I can just do some final cleanup, you want to fill in any blanks with maybe your favorite colors or experiment with a little bit more but now you have an idea of how to do this color garden exercise and you can do it anytime. It's a really relaxing exercise. You're just experimenting and playing with color. You don't even have to use all of them maybe you want to do one that is just focusing on say, reds and oranges and yellows or all of the cool tones and experimenting within there. You can mix them up and not have them in the specific order and just start to experiment with relationships. There's so many potentials, but at the end of the day, just wanting it to be something that's relaxing, enjoyable to do while learning about color theory. 17. Color & Light 5: Using Color: Doing all these observational color studies is a great way to hone your ability to see color and understand how to render it according to real life. But of course they're going to be times where you're going to want to come up with your own color palette. Maybe you're doing an original imaginative painting or you're doing a study, but you want to abstract the colors into your own interpretation of it. Either way, how do you pick a good color palette? Here are some tips on how to approach that. To start, I recommend keeping it simple. Focus on a complimentary color families and keep your values clear. You can do a lot even with just a three color palette. When I say complimentary, I'm referring to what we were talking about earlier. There are actually many other traditional relationships in color theory. Let's talk about each one of those here. There's a monochromatic relationship, so having one hue with different shades and tints within that hue, there's complimentary, so the hues that are opposite each other on the color wheel such as red and green, which we've talked about earlier, then there's split complimentary, so one hue plus the two others that are equally spaced apart from its opposite complement. There's also double complementary, so similar to the split complimentary but with two on each side. Then there's analogous, which is a grouping of adjacent hues together such as red, orange, and yellow. Finally, there's triadic relationships. Three hues that are equidistant from each other on the color wheel. As for me, I actually very rarely think about my color palettes and these traditional color relationship terms. I tend to find color very intuitive when it comes to picking color palettes, not necessarily rendering color. That when I'm thinking about palettes, I'm really more thinking about the emotion and the moods of what I'm trying to convey. I very rarely use primary colors and very basic relationships of say like blue, yellow, and red, but try to find more nuanced versions of each hue and match them accordingly to a general complements such as warm, cool relationships. When I'm talking about the emotion and mood of colors, there actually really is a whole study of emotion and psychology of colors. While it's subjective and often dependent on culture, but still there are a lot of patterns that emerge in these studies of how people perceive color. But think about how within each of these hues, depending on which version it is, it can indicate something very different. Even though green tends to indicate nature, it can also be used to convey feelings of envy, or maybe money, or maybe even something icky and gross, so something quite different than nature. What I recommend is just to study these general color psychology concepts and then observe your own gut reaction to colors, and use that to guide how you select colors depending on what it is you want your image to convey. With all of this knowledge in mind, the next step is just to experiment. A lot of happy accidents happen while using traditional mediums, especially paints and digital tools are a great way to experiment with color palettes. For example, you can flatten your image and just use the hue and saturation adjustments to experiment with how it might look like in totally different shades and also just go out and explore. There really is this inspiration everywhere. Nature is a great place to start, but I find a lot of color palette inspiration in things like fashion and in man-made objects and architecture. Literally everywhere has inspiration, even covers of magazines and book design, I mean, I could just name pretty much everything, food, interior design. There's so many ways to get inspired with color palettes. If you'd like to start with an existing palette, some resources that you can use are, of course, Pinterest, there's also Adobe Color and procreates color picker. Procreate has this cool option where you can upload a photograph or image with colors you like, and it will generate a color palette for you. As for me, I very rarely start with a set color palette from an outside source. Usually when I'm creating a drawing, I have a general color palette in mind because I have a mood in mind. That's what I lead with. Usually there's a dominant color, whether it's a darker one or a lighter one, and then I complement it with a warm or cool color. I use a lot of navies and peaches are darker greens and lighter oranges and corals and peaches. I personally really like those color combinations right now. That said, let yourself evolve when it comes to color palettes. I used to work so much in this really blue and purple fantasy world. Recently I've been liking to work in more of these warm, natural colors, but I'm sure I'm going to evolve beyond that as well. It's all about experimenting and playing and just really feeling into what it is you want to communicate through your artistic voice. I'm going to show you some quick demos of how I come up with color palettes. I tend to personally have a color that I like to start with. Let's use this peachy orange. Then I usually like to have a few different shades of that color. Let's say a darker color. Then I compliment that with a cool color, usually a blue or a green. This is a color that I'm enjoying a lot lately. Then from there, we usually have a color that is like a dark version of that, so almost black. Then oftentimes, I will have a highlight color that I feel like just adds a punch. Lately I've been living a really bright yellow, have that as the accent color. Even with this one, you can adjust it to see whether there's another accent color that you like. Maybe a little warmer, maybe a little bit more bold. Try little brighter. I have this feeling right now. But keeping them on different layers, you can use the adjustments to play around with that. Then you can also group them together, flatten it, and then keep these same value and saturation relationship. Then try different hues and see if there's anything in there that peaks your interests. Or desaturate it and see like, oh do I wants me that's a little bit more muted or something that's super bold and puppy. Then also I want some little bit more blown out, something a little darker. I will see you in general, if you're gonna go lighter, then you can also adjust the hue and saturation to match. Usually it's not going to work to just only change the brightness. Another cool thing is that you can import a new palette from a photo. Say you take this photo of flowers that you think are very beautiful and then it will create a color palette from that image. Then it's created this color palette for me. You can see it's not perfect. So it's maybe a good starting point. But what I would say is like, okay, why don't you start to pick up the colors that you really love. But remember that a photo has tons of little pixels. Depending on where you place your eye dropper, even though it seems like all the same color, you're getting many different colors. Sometimes what I'll do is I'll pick the color, but then I'll adjust it based on what I perceive the color to be. This might be technically the right color, but it's not giving me the color that I feel like I'm seeing. I'll just go in and adjust it a bit. This is how I feel like it looks same thing with this yellow. Yellow might be technically correct, but it looks a little bit dull. I'm just going to bring that up. Now that looks a lot closer to what I have in mind. Then you can keep going like that. It's picking this color. That looks pretty nice. Picking out this color and see, you thought this was a white flower, but this color inside is this mint practically. Let's see what this color is. This is like a gray, and I'm sure this looks like a yellow flower, but actually has this really, really dark red, a little too dark for me. I like that color. Just going around and pulling out what it is that you like about this photo. What's interesting is we just look at this palette. I don't know that I'd be like, oh, that's such a beautiful palette, but looking at them altogether in this photo, I can really see how you can make it work. Having these to compliment each other in your process is a great way to figure out the colors and color palettes that you enjoy as well. Take some time and just type to collect color palettes that you like. You can look at actual color palette, say on Pinterest, or finding them online, collect artists work that you like or the color pallet speaks to you. You can also look at magazine clippings or find inspiration in photographs that you have on your phone to start to build up your library of which combinations of colors you like. Maybe it's an exercise you'd never really thought about before, but you just have a photo you know you like, you haven't thought about looking at it on why those colors work together. This is a great time to start to do that, and it can be a lifelong practice. But for now, just start to get your feet wet. I'm thinking about the color palettes that you like. Then when you're ready, let's meet. In the next section, we'll bring all of this together in our class project 18. Color & Light 6: Class Project Part III: Now let's work together on our class project. I'm going to first do a demo of coloring in the image exactly as it's shown. That exercise is going to help us think about the color palette. Why the complimentary colors work together? How we did some adjustments to create some different variations and some interests, and the choices that I made along the way. For this one, you're welcome to try to mix the colors by eyeballing them first and then checking with the color picker. For the sake of time, I'm going to be using the color picker directly so we can focus on discussion of color selection and technique of digital painting. In general, I'm thinking about putting on the big layers of color, so large shapes, and then working into detailing at the end. At this point, I'm not trying to make perfect edges but I will go in afterwards to clean up all of the edges. For this section, I recommend keeping your colors on separate layers so that in the next section you'll be able to adjust each layer and experiment with different color palettes easily. Now this bright orange color for the flowers is worth talking about because you'll remember in the value section, I talked about how I purposely chose this more middle value that was close to the other colors so it wouldn't be as distracting from our main character. We didn't think about the values. You would just think, well, this orange is extremely distracting. Maybe you would not have guessed that the values of the different colors were actually so close together. I also could have considered different shades or tense of the orange In the flowers. That's definitely an option. I could have considered rendering them more. But this is starting to become more stylistic choice of having these really flat graphic flowers, keeping them all one color, and just having them be this nice frame around her instead of drawing a lot of attention to them by adding more detail and more value shifts within them. Already you can start to see the contrast between this cool green that I've used compared to these warm yellows and peaches around her. Even though technically in color theory we learned that red and green are the complimentary colors. I find that using the adjacent colors can be really nice. Here I am mixing warms and cools together, but instead of red and green or orange and blue I'm using a shaded blue green, and then bringing in some deep yellows and a bit of red orange. I didn't just start out with this palette right away. I knew I wanted it to be green and have some warm colors around it. But within those hues and the range, I would do some adjustments of maybe making it a little bit more blue or a little darker, making the orange a little bit more saturated until I just got that relationship that I'm looking for. We have our basic color layers in place and I'm just going in and put in the detailing of her face, which can be really challenging. In the portrait section, we'll talk more about the human typical phase proportions. But even without knowing the typical face proportions, you can just observe and use the same observational drawing techniques that we learned earlier of how does everything align? Where is her mouth in relationships say to the bottom of her shirt, where the v intersects, or where is it aligned next to her fingers, or the flower next to her face? Then from there where eye is placed, how much space is between those eyes? How much space is between her eyes and her lips? All of those measurements that we learned in the first-class apply just as much to human face. That's actually how people came up with the measurements and the proportions just by observing and noticing patterns. Here are a couple of tips on finessing your coloring and your color palettes. What I find really brings a piece together and harmonizes a palette is when you mix them together in subtle ways. This is based on real life science of reflected color and light, and also just something I've personally found through experimentation. For example, I added this orange highlight to her hair, is some orange being created in her skin interface that's echoing the orange in the colors of the flowers. These are all things that people might not notice in your illustration, but they can definitely feel it even if they can't explain it. Another tip is to remember the color is relative. Peak can look more red, get surrounded by green, more pale if it's surrounded by reds. There's this great book on this topic called the Interaction of Color by Joseph Albers. I'm sure you've seen those images where a color looks totally different depending on what is next to and you swear they are different colors, but when you place them next to each other, they're truly the same. It's interesting is flat of an illustration as this is. There really is still a lot of consideration of the highlights and the shadows to bring a little bit of that form in that really makes a difference between a super flat drawing and something that has this little almost, barely noticeable but really important sense of form and deaths. We can clean up all of our details of this image. It's looking good. We learned a lot about observing color choices and when you look at other artist's work now you can really think about the different palettes that they're using, and why they work together, and start to observe how they are doing their coloring techniques as well. You'll also notice that this illustration is likely set in the daytime, or in a well-lit area. One experiment that you can do is to bring in those major and minor keys that we talked about earlier and also all of the different moods we talked about with different colors. Combine those and think about how you can create different atmospheres within this image. For example, if I wanted her to feel more like she was working in the twilight evening hours. She is working and there is this really magical feeling. Then I might experiment with lots more blues and purples. Just think about different variations along those lines, coming up with different color palettes, just playing around. A great way to do this if you're working digitally, is just to save out each layer and then adjust the color from there. I hope that that was super interesting and fun to experiment with and you learned a lot about color through the exercise. When you're feeling ready, let's meet in the final summary section. 19. Color & Light 7: Summary: We learned so much together in this class. And now you have a really great starting point of understanding this really important aspect of drawing foundations. I encourage you to continue to explore and experiment and see how you like to work with color. For now, here's a summary of everything that we learned together. We started off by talking about seeing color. Seeing color like an artist reveals all these nuanced interminglings of color. Color is composed of hue, saturation, and value. Temperature is another important aspect of color. As a general matter, we can think of it as when you're moving more towards the reds on a color wheel, it becomes warmer, if you're moving more towards blue, it becomes more cool, regardless of which hue you're talking about. Color is reflected light, and without light, there is no color. This helps us understand why we are seeing all of the shifts that we do when you're looking at different objects in the light. Studying color helps us notice these subtle shifts in hue and value as well as reflected light and illusions of color. Finally, when picking color palettes, start by keeping it simple, harmonious, and mood appropriate. There are lots of emotions and psychology associated with colors that one can study. When you're ready, let's move on to the next part. We're going to be talking about portraits 20. Portraits 1: Head & Face Basics: Welcome to our portraits class. Drawing portraits is something that's really personal and most people want to find their own style for. In this section, I'm going to be introducing you to the basic understanding that I found to be the most important to approaching how to draw portraits, and also the things that I'm thinking about these days as I do drawing portrait studies myself. Drawing the human face and figure encompasses everything that we've been learning so far. Observational drawing skills, how to communicate form through value, and really starting to see and understand how to apply color. In this section, we're also going to be introducing a basic understanding of anatomy and the standard human measurements so that we can complement our observational drawing skills with an understanding of the construction underneath. This is also going to help us learn to draw from the imagination. Drawing portraits is a great way to hone all of your drawing skills. It's also something that most people enjoy because it's so immediate to our human experience. Having that understanding is that you'll learn in this class will take you to the next step to be able to better draw what you see so that this process can be even more enjoyable. I'm going to cover basic face proportions, upper body landmarks, and basic construction of hands. I'll also give you resources if you want to take a deeper dive into any of these. We're going to start with our heads and our faces because that tends to be the most interesting for people to learn first and also is one of the most challenging. When people first start to draw faces, they really focus on drawing an eye, and they draw this really big face, usually on a tiny head. But really starting to think about our head in terms of those shapes that we've been learning about, the sphere, the cylinder, the columns is going to really help us think about our heads as a 3D form, and also better see the proportions and how things shift as we tilt our heads. Thinking of all of these in terms of these shapes is really going to help because oftentimes when people just draw a circle to represent the face is going to be a little harder to communicate what you really want. Starting with that basic circle and then some sort of V or triangle shape jaw shape that's attached to that is going to help as a foundational spot. We're then going to take that head measure and then measure in our individual features. So let's talk about constructing the head and the face at a very basic level. I'm sure you've seen these mannequins before, and they are handy for drawing the different proportions of the human face. But I want to talk a little bit about what I personally found really helpful when studying anatomy and how I think about drawing the face. One thing that I find really important is just thinking about shapes in space. So you can think of the head as a sphere, basically, and there's this shield that is our jaw and our front of the mouth and of course these are not quite proportional, but you can think of it as this shield covering this sphere or egg-shaped part of your skull, and then you can think of our neck as this cylinder, so this shield and this sphere sitting on top of a cylinder. In terms of actual construction, I'm sure you've seen many different ways of constructing the head. I think of it more or less as an oval shape that's made out of this upper circle with the jaw line built-in. Thinner jaws tend to depict feminine features while wider jaws tend to depict more masculine features. But it's really a matter of starting to observe different people and seeing how you like to draw jaws. But you can think of it as coming out of the temples and then meeting either in a pointed shape at the bottom or a wider set shape, a little more rounded. You can play with all these different shapes for the jaw. Now, I'm just going to start to fill in these shapes with some color now that you've seen the basic construction lines. So I have my head shape. And the neck comes out from underneath the skull, but it's important to make sure it's not too thin. For females, it tends to come in a little bit in-between the chin and the outer part of the jaw and for men it's a little bit closer to the outsets of the jaw. Then in terms of how to start to place the facial features, the head measurement is the most common way to measure the figure proportions. So this is one head measure and within this head measure, there's several important landmarks just so you can start to have a starting point. So we have this halfway point for your eyes, and then that's just the halfway point between the very tip of your crown of your head all the way down to your chin, and then the halfway mark in-between your eyes and your chin is going to be the bottom of your nose. So I put that as a quarter. We can also think as just another half of the half, and then in-between the nose and the chin and other half or an eighth is going through the bottom of your mouth. Another helpful measure is to keep in mind that the ears tend to fall in-between the bottom of the nose to the top of the eyes. Then to place a few more features, we start to look at the hairline. So think about the top of the face is at the top of the head, and then break that into thirds. So the top third is going to be about where your brow is, and the bottom third is going to be where the bottom of your nose is, and it perfectly aligns with that quarter mark that we made for the bottom of the nose. So it's a nice way to double-check around where the bottom of your nose tends to be. So those are the horizontal measures, but there are also some good vertical standard measurements that are helpful to play some of these features from a vertical point of view. So the eyes tend to be spaced about another eye width apart. So I'm just drawing in an eye width measure. The edges of the nose tend to fall right around where the corners of the eyes are. Some people are a little bit more narrow, some people are a little bit more wide, and then the edge of the mouth tends to fall in-between the corner of your eyes and then the inside edge of your pupil. So a little bit further out from your nose. I find all of these measurements to be really helpful to keep in mind. So just to review, we have the eye width that we're facing out the face measurements into. The nose bridge at the very top of the nose tends to fall in-between the eye and the brow. The middle point is a safe place, but sometimes I find that some bridges are right in-between the eyes. The nose width, again, is about the size or the width of an eye, and the mouth width is just a little bit longer. So that again, is something that you can play with because different people have different sized mouths. But I find a comfortable measured tends to be like right in-between the inside corner and the inside part of the pupil. So those are your basic measurements when you're looking straight on at a face. Now let's talk about this exact same measurements from a profile view. From a profile, again, it's helpful to start with the circle. I tend to find that actually our skulls are a little more egg-shaped like an oval shapes. So if you want, you can add a little bit of a bump outside of the circle, but the circle is a great place to start and then you have the jaw, which connects right in front of the bottom of the ear. And of course our faces are not so flat. So this is just measuring straight line that's going down your face, not considering your nose and your mouth, but we can place in those shapes sticking out. So again, we see the halfway mark with the eyes, the ears in-between the eyes and the bottom of the nose, which is halfway between the eyes and the bottom of the chin, and then the bottom of the mouth in-between the corner mark and the chin. So again, I'm just going to color in those shapes so that we can start to visualize it in terms of our oval sitting on top of our cylinder of the neck. And then here I started to just place some very basic shapes to indicate where all the features go and this is already really helpful map. So I have this bar basically for my eyebrows and then these little oval shapes for my eyes. A triangular shape for the nose coming out, and then a heart shape for the lips. And it's just important to study people from real life or from photographs. You'll start to see how there's that rhythm of the face. So that's the head in profile. Now let's talk quickly about the head at a tilt. So again, we want to think about our forms in space, and that's why it was so helpful for us to think about the sphere and the cone and the cube all in space in our first class together. So it's also really helpful to draw all of those in perspective because then you can start to really think about, okay, if my face was here on this sphere and I tilt that sphere, how is that going to affect all of those different features that I've placed onto the sphere. So of course they get distorted at the right perspective angle and so you just want to start to visualize if that sphere is turning in space and looking down, then you're going to want to tilt all of those features along with it. So here I've placed in my crosshairs again for my basic eyeline and center of the head, just so I can start to visualize that tilt, and then let's put in those same measurements on top of the tilt. So here are our top of the head to the chin. So again, think about where that top of the head is on a sphere. It's not at the edge of the circle we've drawn, it's going to be in the middle, and then the chin is still at the bottom, but now it's at an angle. So when we start to place in our eye measure, our nose measure and our mouth measure, those need to be a little bit more skewed on the vertical axis so that it's starting to go more down as the head is tilting. So obviously we just drew it as it looks straight on, then it won't look like the head is looking down. So here I've placed in these features again based on this measurement. So the eyes are along this curve, we're looking down and then we have the nose, which if you think about it as a cone that's pointing downwards or this pyramid, it's covering actually where the bottom of the nose is sitting on the face, the tip of your nose is going to be covering that. So the bottom of your nose is actually going to be a little bit underneath where you might see the tip of your nose. And similarly for the mouth, the chin is going to look smaller because now it's tilting away and down from your view. So all of this is to just really emphasize that we want to think about our face as this form that's in space and that it's tilting down or up depending on which direction your character is looking. [inaudible] or to place in some of the features without the measurements and I'm really thinking about how it's sitting on top of a shape. I've put in this hairline and it's really wrapping around the sphere of the head. When I start to think about hair, I'm still thinking again about wrapping a form. So even though my style is very flat, you can still convey how things wrap around formed just like a simple curve, like how her hair is going around her ears and this is the back part of her hair, and you can see it in our class demonstration image too, because the way that her hair curves on her forehead really indicates how it's wrapping around her form. Then you can play with different hairstyles and try adding layer in the front and you can start to see how this affects the feeling of depth. Here I had just this lighter value brown where it's showing that it's in front of her face and I'm covering her ears and you can just experiment with different hairstyles from here. On a profile view, it's similar idea, having this hair piece in the back that's in shadow, so it's a little bit darker, and then the piece in the front where now I've put it over her ear that's a little bit lighter, so we can start to feel that depth again from the side view. With hair, you really want to think of it as this piece of cloth almost our shape that's wrapping around the form of the sphere of the head and not like drawing little strands of actual hair. Another helpful piece of anatomy to know is that a lot of times we tend to draw the neck as either like these swooped curves or just like a straight up and down cylinder when it's a combination of both. So the way our anatomy is, is we have our neck is more like a cylinder, and then we have these trapezius muscles that are coming out in this triangle shape from to form the beginnings of our neck shoulders. Here I'm just doing a really quick demo of what the basic skeletal structure looks like for the head, we have our skull, which is really more of an egg shape like I mentioned, we have our jaw bone that connects right underneath the ear canal, which is in the middle of it all, and then finally the spinal cord, which connects in through the skull at its base in the back. So this is very simple knowledge can start to help you visualize the under workings of a head. And what's beneficial about that is more when you want to construct your own pose in your own head, you just understand why certain things are at a angle or how to see things in perspective. If you're studying purely from, say, a real life study or a photograph, it's not as critical that you know the underlying skeletal structure. But it's still helpful to have that knowledge because it'll actually fill in some of those visual gaps and illusions that we've been talking about this whole time. So that is the head and the face at a very basic level, looking at it straight on and in profile at different angles. So I recommend taking some time to practice out some of these measures yourself. Maybe create your own charts and then we can move on to the upper body. 21. Portraits 2: Upper Body & Hands Basics: Now let's talk about the basic proportions of the upper body. Of course, we have the full figure and that can be broken out into our typical head measurements. A very high level, I just want to show you what that looks like. The average person tends to fall in 7-8 head measures and of course, we have these mannequins that can show you these proportions as well. For this particular class, I want to focus on portraits and just focusing on the upper body. We're looking at the first three head measures, starting from the crown down to the chin, into the chest and waist. Using the head as a measure is a very common way to do human proportions. There are other ways to do as well, but I find the head to be one of the most useful and the one that I think about the most. Let's take a closer look at the upper body. I've configured her pose to somewhat mirror our hero illustration so you can see a one for one example. Another helpful measure is that the waist is right around where your elbow is and even if you want to take a moment to squeeze in your elbows and see where it falls along your body, you'll see that those two landmarks are another nice helpful measure. Now, when we start to think about the shapes of our torsos. For females, we tend to think about them maybe as an oval or a slightly more narrow rectangle and then for men we tend to have wider shoulders. I'm going to stick here with the female figure and we tend to measure the shoulder width at about one-and-a-half head length wide. I don't always do this at a very specific like I actually measure out one-and-a-half, but just making sure I keep that overall silhouette of how the angle from the head goes out down to its shoulders. Just keep in mind that above the shoulders, we can think of the shoulder joints as these two oval shapes. We have our neck and then the trapezius muscles coming out almost like a coat hanger. It's not a straight up and down 90 degree angle from our neck over to our shoulders. From our shoulders it's helpful to think of our torso and this trapezoid shape. Then the head is a good measure for a few more important body parts here. Our upper arm and our lower arm tends to be about one head length long and then from behind our wrist to the tip of our hands tends to be another head length long. You can actually check all these measurements on yourself as well. It's helpful to think of all these basic landmarks of the upper body in terms of these joint ovals that are connected by cylinders and wedges and trapezoids. Those are the basics of her upper body. But let's take a closer look at the hands. Here I've created a really simple template to start to think about the hands. Again, we're using the head as a measure and what's really helpful in terms of proportions is that we can think of our hand being about the height of our face. Not the top of the head to the chin, but our hairline to the chin. Again, of course everyone has different sized hands and this is the starting point, it's a great way to have a measuring tool to get them to look at least generally correct. Now let's think about the back and the front of our hands. Here I've used three different values so that we can see each major part clearly and I've laid it out with a back view showing where the knuckles are and showing a little bit of the fingertips. There's that swoop from our index finger to our thumbs. Then on the fingers themselves, you can also break that down into two measures. About half of your middle finger and then you can notice that your pinky starts close to the middle of your middle finger so that's a good way to keep track of what the natural arch tends to look like. Another thing that I find important to keep in mind is that our knuckles are further down in our palm than a lot of times people think. Some people tend to draw their knuckles at the very edge of the palm, but it's a little deeper if you look at your hand itself. Then on the other side, there's this oval-shaped or I think of almost like an egg shape muscle that we have in front of the palm. We have our three major sections. We have the fingers, the palm, and then the thumb area. We can also break this down into two measures. One is the length of the fingers, since we're about the length of your palm, so that's one and two. In terms of the shapes of our hands, you can really think about the palm as this bendable rectangular wedge shape. When you look at it from the profile, you can really think of those like platform doorstop shape. Then this very bendy thumb shape, like this egg that can wrap in the front or go out to the side and then this muscle going down the thumb can be a really good landmark to put in. Starting to break her hands down into shapes is really helpful if we start to think about it in space. Just like I was talking about with the head and the sphere and cylinder and the jaw, our hand can also be broken down into these constructive shapes. I have basically that wedge shape I was talking about for the palm and we have one piece for the thumb at our thumb knuckle, and then the three sections of the individual fingers so two joints that bend into three. Just keeping this in mind is going to help you think about the hand a lot more clearly. Well, if I wanted to turn my hand to the side, what would that look like and start to visualize how those shapes start to overlap, how that wedge shape can start to bend, and how we do a little bit of overlap of the fingers. Then with a fist and think of it almost like a rock at first. You have these sides of your fist that are a lot like a rock. But then also thinking about in terms of the shapes we discussed, so you have this wedge shape and then your three cylinders from your fingers dig into that and then your fist wraps around that. I've mirrored the pencil holding fist that I have in our illustration and just starting to break that down into how that looks like. If we looked through the fingers and we see the edge of the wedge of the palm, we would see the thumb egg shape in the back, and then we see the tops of our fingers and then having them curve in. Lastly, I just want to quickly talk about clothing on the body. When you're drying clothes, you want to think about wrapping the form of the body. That's really critical, even if you're drawing in a really flat style like mine. When you have clothing like if you're going around the neck, so it's very similar to what I was talking about with the hair. You want to think of it as this shape that's wrapping the sphere of the head. You want to think about clothing as really wrapping the 3D shape, even if you're only conveying a very flat look. If you think about, for example, the sleeve here, how it wraps around the lower arm and really conveys that form. Same thing with the elbow on the other side. These very subtle differences compared to just drawing a very straight line are really important to start to move your drawing skills from something that is based in reality and then stylized versus something that doesn't have that root understanding of basic anatomy. Then in terms of conveying some fore into very simple values can make a huge difference. Even here I have only two values, but there's a highlight and a shadow and that helps bring a little bit more realism into the illustration. If you would like, I recommend that you take some time right now to create your own map of the basic landmarks and measurements of the upper body and combine it with the head ones that we did earlier and then when you're ready, let's move on into the next section where I'll demonstrate how I like to do a portrait study. 22. Portraits 3: Portrait Study Demo: I've actually found this reference photo on Unsplash that is really close to the pose that I created for our class project illustration. I think this is a good example to demonstrate to you how I like to do photo studies for portraits in figure drawing, and what I'm thinking about as I'm doing them, and how I tend to stylize them. Let's get into it. I have the grid on here just to go back to our first class and demo what it's like to be able to draw with a grid. I've just split this photo right in half and have my photo reference on the side and drawing right next to it so that I can do a direct measure one-to-one. That's going to be helpful to just start to place the general landmarks. Again, we're doing our block in, our observational drawing techniques just was trying to bring in some of that constructive drawing that we've been talking about with our shapes and our forms. I'm going to start with just the oval shape for her face and coming down into her chin. Then starting to block in her hair shape. You can go in and start to just put it a very basic cross for her face to start to place her eyeline and the center of her face and how her head is tilting in space. I'm also thinking about the shape of her head in space. You can think about the sphere and her jaw resting inside of a box and how that box is floating in space and taking up space. You can see that she's tilting over to our right, her left, and then her face is not quite straight on the camera, but a little bit off to the side. Next, she has her hand resting on her face, so I'm just going to start putting just that very basic rectangular wedge block shape that I was talking about earlier and also that cylinder that attaches as her upper arm. What's helpful about this approach compared to just looking purely at observational landmarks and all the angles that we talked about earlier, is that for some people, it's still really hard to see what's really there because we just have such a bias towards what we want to see and what we think should be there. That's why sometimes when people try to draw a hand in perspective, it's so hard because they just really want to draw what they think the hand should look like and not what is actually there. When you start to think about it as shapes and forms and space, and really break that down into the different perspectives, it can really help us start to really see more accurately. They really go hand in hand and help each other, these two approaches. Here I'm looking at both the landmarks and where her fingers and her hands are in relation to the grid, but also drawing in the shapes so that I can really think about how this is being constructed. I have the wet shape of her hand, little cylinders for her fingers, the cylinders for her upper arm, a little bit of her clothing put in just as landmarks. Now I'm going to look at the cylinder shape of her neck and start to place that in. I'm looking at the lines and where they land for her clothing now, putting in that shoulder, trying to keep gesture in mind as well. At the very beginning, you want to think about like, what is the pose here and what about it is something that you like and how you can continue to keep that sense of gesture in your study then of course for her other arm, another cylindrical shape. Then going back into the details of her clothing a bit. Really these types of photos are great to study folds of fabric, how much and how little you want to include what you convey what's there without getting into the tiny details unless you prefer really highly rendered look. Then just filling in the other side of her jacket here. That we actually already had the basic blocking of our portrait here, I'm going to just put in a little bit value to show her hair shape. Then I'm just going in and trying to be more careful about the ins and outs of her face. Like I mentioned in the face measurements and landmark section, your face has this wave that goes in and out from your forehead into your eye sockets, over your nose and your cheekbones, and back down over your lips and your chin. These subtle variations really makes such a huge difference in conveying a person's facial structures. Here ever always do is in my drawing, so if I do you think is really helpful, especially for a beginner to start to place in the measurements that we've been learning and talking about and thinking about how they sit on this plane of our portrait studies face. I've put it in the half mark for her eyeline. I'm measuring the thirds from her face so I know her brow and her general nose and mouth placement. I'm just going to block in these really simple shapes to see where her eyes and her nose and her mouth go. The face has so many details on it, but the exact same observational drawing skills apply here. Right now I can see that the inner edge of her pupil lines up with the inside part of her mouth and a top of her lapel and her wrist of her left arm. It looks like the right side to us. Then how far away from the palm that is and how far away that is from the other side of her face. This is a constant going back and forth of noting your different landmarks, noting your proportions, and how everything sits in relation to each other. I'm starting to put in a little bit of detail on her features just to start to give some of that form of her nose coming out, continuing can think of that kind of pyramid cone shape. We have the plane at the top that's a little bit more in light and the two sides that are in shadow. With lips, you can get really into the structure of it. But for our purposes, I like to keep it more or less about two values, maybe three with the middle of darker part of the mouth. But just starting with a heart shape, like wide heart shape is a good starting place of putting in the mouth. I really like her strong brows, so I'm going to keep that in. Then for eyes, I personally like to do a simplified eye, I don't personally prefer a really realistic portrait. When I do portrait studies, this is the level of detail of eyes that I like to do. When I do portrait studies, they're usually a little bit more complicated than the way that I end up drawing characters in my own work. I like the more simplified look because I tend to draw on these really simple graphic shapes, and if I have this highly rendered person, it just doesn't quite feel right. But by doing these studies, I really find that knowing where I want to add and subtract detail is really helpful for being able to get my style to match where I want it to be and not just be constrained by what I can and can't draw. I would say at this stage for me the most important elements to get in are the hair shape because I really convey the shape of the head and often place a strong contrast with the jaws and the forehead. Then of course the facial features, but really important is that shadow underneath the head and onto the neck. I find that really defines and clarifies where the form sit in relation to each other. At this point, we're still purely in the line, shape, and volume section of what we've been learning in class so far. This is why I think learning value and form is so important because it's really just this invisible underlying foundation of good drawings that is really hard to see these go straight into color. Even though I know it's not as interesting, it really is so important. Here I'm just focusing on how the shadows and all of the form changes that wrap around her body and then indicate her clothing folds. It's really helpful to communicate what's going on. Again, it's a really good moment to check in on your gesture. A lot of times when I'm doing these studies and doing the block in, I find that it's starting to get a little bit stiff. Just adding a few arrows will help me keep in mind that I want to maintain what I like about the gesture of this pose. For now, I am going to start to bring in some color. I'm going to be working with five values. What I like about starting with these five values is that it gives me a starting point to put in my darkest darks, my have tones and then my highlights, and we usually ends up happening is that within each of these values, I'll then pick another like lighter version and darker version of that color so that it starts to become more and more realistic, and I can control how much I want it to be flat versus a little bit more rendered. I have my base drawing around the four-value color right now, and I'm going to go in with a third color and just start to put in a little bit more forms. I'm going to start with her chin because I find that the shading and the form conveyance of the outside of the face is really important even in a flat style. Of course, in our reference photo, she has a lot of different light and shadows from her environment, but I'm really focusing on what is actually communicating the form of her face. I'm not going to be copying or studying the light in this particular photo, I'm just looking at how she might look like with this normal surrounded light. You'll see as you start to put in the values of the face, it really makes such a huge difference. The more values you add, the more realistic is going to look, as we've talked about in the valley and form class. Just putting in the second value is already making such a huge difference in terms of seeing how underneath the eyebrow space dips in, how the nose starts to come out and goes back into the face. I am thinking again about the tilt of her head and how to convey the way that your face starts to bend, tilt away from your view just like a sphere going into the backs of the space, and just being able to convey that so that the face can remain flat in color, but still have that more realistic form. I'm adjusting it a little bit because it turned out to be a little pink. I made it a little bit more orange. Then I'm picking this green color, which one complements her skin color well, but also is like our class project drawing, so it's a nice reference. I'm just going in with one flat tone right now. You can collect both above or behind your lines. I definitely recommend keeping it on separate layers so you can move it around as you like. For this type of study, it's nice to keep it behind because then I can use the lines as needed. If I were trying to finalize this for say, a print then I would definitely clean it up. I'm just going to put a little bit of this, looks like a trunk that she's resting on to ground this portrait a bit. I'll start to go in with our darker value so that we can define our form even more. So you can see in the reference photos have really high contrast between the dark color of her hair and her skin. So even though we're not doing a one for one study in terms of exactly how his portrait looks, we can bring in some of that here. As you get more comfortable doing these kind of studies, you can start to experiment on the go as you do these studies. You can, for example, change her hair completely, maybe give her very different facial features and just keep the pose. But for now I'm trying to show a middle way of like, I'm not copying the portrait exactly like a realistic, highly rendered portrait and I'm able to practice my style more, but I'm also still sticking more or less to the main elements of the drawing so that we can make sure that that's the focus of our study. Now I can also go in and start to detail some of our features. So I'm using both the dark color, but also bringing in a lighter value to start to pull out the whites of her eyes. You really notice that for most people, the whites of her eyes are not really white, it's actually just a little bit lighter than our skin color usually. You can bring in a lot of shadow because of course your lids are casting these shadows onto the eyeballs. Rendering out the face can be really tedious work, but it's also really beautiful. So take your time to enjoy the practice. It's going to start off a little bit junky, but you'll be able to get closer and closer to how you want to draw people the more you practice as just keep all of these different techniques and anatomy, construction, shapes, and space that we've been talking about together. Now I'm just playing out of more pink colors to give her some cheek color. This is a good example of where I start to stray from the photo reference. This is how I like to draw people. It's something that you can experiment with a lot of times as a matter of observing other artists that you like and how they render people. You end up picking and selecting different things from different artists or just different styles and bringing them together in your own unique take. Just going to lighten the lips a little bit here. Here's a good example of a very subtle shift in the values of this peachy rose color that I've selected and starting to show that form of the lip. So adding a little shadow to the bottom of each portion, really thinking about these little pillow shapes can really help to start to convey that movement of the lips, even if it's a flat style. I can bring this third value in to indicate the middle of the mouth. Then having the shadow underneath the bottom lip to show that form as well. Now I'm just going to start to pull in some of those values that I've been creating into the arm. Continuing to think about it as a cylindrical shape. Her fingers of course, are also tiny cylinders. We can really start to bring in some of those details, even more. There's very subtle shifts that you might not notice that first glance like putting in this slightly darker peach color on her face, on the side of her face that's further away from us. More cast in shadow. Adding that does make to me, a significant difference even if it's not noticeable right away. There's a lot of things I feel in drawing that you might not technically notice and be able to pull out, but without it, you really feel it's difference. That's where I really think a lot of drawing foundations comes in, in terms of being able to advance your drawing technique from a beginner to a more established and strong foundations style. Now we're just going in and putting some finishing touches using the darkest dark. It's like line work, but really thinking about where to place the line work based on where our shadows are to convey that form. This was something that took me a long time to figure out because I knew I liked that style where the lines aren't just a complete outline around the object or the character. But I had to really understand drawing foundations to be able to appreciate or understand how artists knew where to put the lines to begin with. That's another great example of how you might think that, of course it seems like a very simple line and it's maybe the artist just intuitive, but no, it's always based on the foundational knowledge. In this last step, I really just starting to think about the gesture again as I start to put in these highlights, I'm trying to exaggerate some of the movement. I love the way that the shoulder is popping up on the right side here and maybe using even the lapel to convey a little bit of that gesture. It's a highlight, but it's also having some gesture to it. Can put a little bit more dark green in if I want to render out the clothing worn, but I also like the super flat style for the clothing. A few more tips is by bringing in some of your colors to areas that you might not expect, such as adding this green into some of the details and some of the peach into her hair, that really helps to unify your color palette in your drawing. Let's put a little bit of this peach onto her green jacket. Then I'm going to put a little bit of the green into her face. These very subtle details, again, just really help bring everything together even if you don't notice it, you notice it subconsciously. So I'm going to do some final cleanup and detailing and that's pretty much done with my portrait drawing. If you'd like, you can put in some of the surroundings as well. I just want to quickly show you with this shale brush, how quick it can be to create some of these really beautiful leaf shapes. Of course, you want to add a little bit more value, but I'm just tapering it and using the pen pressure to create these palm leaf shapes. That is our finished portrait study, a stylized study, but still really faithful to a lot of elements of this photograph. You can start to really see how you can take a photograph and use it to study all of the concepts that we've learned from lines and shapes and value all the way to color and anatomy and then now we're going to start to get into composition. But first, let's meet in our next section, where we're going to talk a little bit more about how to practice this in our class project 23. Portraits 4: Class Project Part IV: We're finally at the class projects part of this section and we're returning to our hero illustration that has been anchoring everything that we've been learning so far. Of course, we've already done the line observational drawing and a color study of a character and the scene. For this section, we're really going to focus on one, observing the construction of how this is created, combining the anatomy and measurements that we've just learned with our observational drawing techniques. Then going to encourage you to come up with your own version to start to see how you can draw from imagination and use those standard measurements to create your own characters. As a starting exercise, I encourage you to place the landmarks on the character's face and body and compare this with your benchmark drawing now that you have a foundational understanding of standard measurements and anatomy. You can start with the circle shape for our skull and attach to the triangular shape for our face, place in some of the measurements we've learned about the halfway mark for our eyeline. Then the third's for the facial features from the hairline to the brow to the nose, to the chin. Then check that with a quarter and one-eighth marks for the nose and the bottom of our mouth. You can also place in the cylindrical shape of our necks and then the shoulder and elbow joints. Of course, the cylindrical shapes for our arms, both the upper and lower parts. Just having that as a reinforcement and then I'm just going to go into a quick freehand draw of how I am thinking about constructing my characters when I'm drawing them from scratch. Just like how you learned in the class, I start with the sphere for the head. Thinking about the tilt as I place in the triangular shape for the face, and I sometimes tend to put in body parts that you can't necessarily see. In this final drawing, you can't see her ears, but I will place them in just in case. I'll then also put in the hair shape and then start to block in her upper body. I tend to then put in some very basic wedge and cylinder shapes for the hands. Now I don't always do this, but I think it's a good practice, especially in the beginning to check your measurements. Here I'm just doing a measurement of the head. I'm just starting a little bit lower since her head is being tilted and that looks good in terms of the placement of where our chest line and our waistline would be. I also have the basic face measurements marked off so I can start to put in some very basic eyes, nose, and mouth shapes. Again, keeping in mind the tilt. Now I'm just putting in a little bit more details of the eyes, the eyebrows, and then doing my vertical measurement check to see that my eyes are correctly spaced in relation to each other, the nose and the edges of the mouth. What we can do with portrait studies, is first do a constructive drawing such as this based on a pose that you're looking at. Then go in and do some of the detailing with observational drawing techniques. This is of course, easier when working with a photograph so someone's not moving around, but working from a live model or just observing in real life is also really great practice because you have to place some of these measurements really quickly. It's also good challenge if you're starting a pose and someone you're observing moves, are you able to fill that rest of the information in based on the anatomy that you have learned? Normally next what I do once I have the upper body in place, I'll start to put in some of the forms and this wrapping of the clothing, and so to clarify some of the shapes in the details. For this exercise, you're welcome to take it to as finished of a completion as you'd like, or stop at just the sketch stage so that you can just practice observing and constructing. Can do another quick check using the head measurement to check our upper body and our arms and our lower arms. Another challenge that you can try in this exercise is to start drawing your own character based on this pose. Just changing some of the characteristics such as the hairstyle, or the eyes and the nose and the mouth shapes, and maybe trying on a slightly different piece of clothing based on, for example, your favorite outfit or something that you're pulling from a reference photo. You might also try challenging yourself by taking a self portrait reference photo and then drawing yourself into the scene. Here I've given her different hairstyle. Now you can see her ears, so placing in the sketch points is helpful and then changing the shape of her face slightly, just giving her a different top and outfit. Similarly, simplifying the nose and trying one of many different ways you can draw eyes. If you really want to have fun, you can start to add different accessories such as glasses or headphones or jewelry and again, thinking about even these accessories in terms of shapes and then having them wrap around the form of her head and her body are really going to help you think about how to construct that from imagination. Have fun with this experiment and when you're ready, let's share the project and then go over a summary of everything that we've learned together. 24. Portraits 5: Summary & Further Study: Now that you have a foundational understanding of drawing portraits, I really encourage you to continue to draw, practice, observe, and deepen your understanding of anatomy and the basic measurements as you see fit. First, let's go over a summary of everything that we learned together in this section. We learned the basic measurements of the human head and face starting with a constructive circle shape connected to a triangular shape, placing the eyes at about the halfway mark, and then finding the brow line, nose, and mouth at the thirds of the face. We learned how to connect that with the cylindrical shape of our necks, and how to use the head as a measure to approximate the size of our upper torsos and place the chest, waist, arms, and hands. We know that the hands requires some special attention and learning to construct them with the wedge, egg and cylinder shapes will help us draw better hands. We also learned the basics of wrapping hair, shapes, and close around the form of the body, and why thinking of our figures in 3D shapes is important even in a flat style. Finally, we learned that we can experiment with our understanding of values and color to draw people and portraits in different levels of realism and stylization. That it's a matter of practice and continued observation to find our own people style. For further study, besides Juliette Aristides books which I have recommended in previous classes, you can also look at books specifically about drawing the human figure and anatomy by Andrew Loomis and Morpho. I also recommend the lessons on New Masters Academy for more classical figure studies and Skillshare classes on how to draw cute stylized characters. When you're ready, let's meet in the final section where we're going to talk about depth, composition, how this all comes together. 25. Portraits 5: Summary & Further Study: [MUSIC] Now that you have a foundational understanding of drawing portraits, I really encourage you to continue to draw, practice, observe, and deepen your understanding of anatomy and the basic measurements as you see fit. First, let's go over a summary of everything that we learned together in this section. We learned the basic measurements of the human head and face, starting with a constructive circle shape connected to a triangular shape, placing the eyes at about the halfway mark, and then finding the brow line, nose, and mouth at the 1/3 of the face. We learned how to connect that with the cylindrical shape of our necks, and how to use the head as a measure to approximate the size of our upper torsos, and place the chest, waist, arms, and hands. We know that the hands require some some attention, and learning to construct them with the wedge, egg, and cylinder shapes will help us draw better hands. We also learned the basics of wrapping hair shapes and clothes around the form of the body and why thinking of our figures in 3D shapes is important even in a flat style. Finally, we learned that we can experiment with our understanding of values and color to draw people and portraits in different levels of realism and stylization, and that it's a matter of practice and continued observation to find our own people style. For further study, beside Juliette Aristides' books which I have recommended in previous classes, you can also look at books specifically about drawing the human figure and anatomy by Andrew Loomis and Morpho. I also recommend the lessons on New Masters Academy for more classical figure studies, and Skillshare classes on how to draw cute stylized characters. When you're ready, let's meet in the final section where we're going to talk about depth, composition, and how these all comes together. 26. Depth & Composition 1: Intro to Perspectives: [MUSIC] Welcome to our depth and composition class. I'm going to share my approach to perspective and how I communicate depth, and then we'll work on creating a composition together. My personal experience with perspective is that I've never wanted to draw realistic linear perspective drawing. I spent the time to practice 1, 2, and 3-point perspective exercises. I used only the bare minimum in my drawings, such as the book in our class project illustration. For a long time, I thought learning the intricacies of mathematical perspective was the right way to learn how to draw because that's how it's emphasized in most teachings these days. However, as I came to understand what style of art I was drawn to, over time, I've come to see a different perspective on perspective. In this class, I'm going to provide an overview of different approaches to perspective and composition techniques. Then I'm going to show you how I like to put together an illustration like the class project. To better understand perspective, I found it helpful to learn a bit about the history of perspective and how it has evolved in art and culture. I promise that this is not a boring history lesson but something that is really relevant and will help you understand how to study art that you admire and how to translate it into your own expression. At a basic level, when we think of learning perspective, we think of linear perspective. Linear perspective is a mathematical approach to constructing objects where all parallel lines disappear into a single or multiple vanishing points on the horizon line. This is especially useful with man-made objects, such as buildings and roads. There's one-point, two-point, and three-point perspectives. Linear perspective, as we know it today, did not always exist in art. In fact, it wasn't established until the Renaissance by architects Filippo Brunelleschi and Leon Battista Alberti. This technique arose out of a desire and need to convincingly convey space and buildings and depict structures from a viewer's point of view. It was a truly remarkable feat that changed how many artists, especially in the West, depicted scenes in their work. This was especially important before the time of film and cameras when the need to convey realism was a priority. Historic paintings from other cultures, including China, Japan, India, and Egypt, had different artistic priorities than their Western counterparts. In many Eastern paintings, for example, the goal of art was to convey the spirit of the subject and the artist's personal experience of the subject, rather than an observationally accurate depiction of it. Furthermore, since many paintings were on long scrolls meant to be experienced as a whole and by viewing individual parts, a single vanishing point simply would not have served its purpose. With planar perspective, Eastern art communicates depth via overlaps, basically laying the subject matter on three separate planes. First, the foreground plane, then the middle plane, and finally the background plane. The distance between each plane was accentuated by the level of detail, hue, and value; all concepts that we've been learning throughout this course. Buildings and geometric objects that were suited for linear perspective were instead drawn in parallel perspective, which avoids vanishing points while still achieving a sense of space in relation to the subjects around it. Large groups of people in many different spaces were thus able to be depicted with this perspective, which couldn't be achieved in linear perspective. These paintings communicate artistically and effectively, even if not technically realistically. You can see how linear perspective can be limiting, including sometimes rigid placement of subjects not being able to convey space relations outside of the standard individual human viewpoint. Planar perspective, on the other hand, also has limitations and that it does not accurately depict space, especially the view from a person's standpoint inside a structure or outside of it. So each really serves its own purpose and is needed at different times. Having an understanding of the different approaches to perspective will allow you to mix and match to your needs and your artistic vision. As a beginner, I recommend that you start to really identify, observe, and study what your favorite artists are using. Having an understanding of the prospective approach that they employ, and then practicing and exploring those on your own will allow you to come to an understanding of how you would like to communicate your expression and views. [MUSIC] 27. Depth & Composition 2: Creating Depth in Planar Perspective: [MUSIC] Most of the modern illustration that I like uses some form of planar perspective, and that's the illustration style that I like to draw in as well. They started as just my personal aesthetic taste that I couldn't really explain, but after coming to a better understanding of the history of planar perspective, I realized that I really relate to that priority of expressing the spirit of a subject and my own personal experience of it over a technically accurate depiction. I think, for me, it really boils down to, I like to draw things in a way that you can take a picture of in real life. I also like to combine different approaches to perspective and continue to experiment with ways of mixing together views that you don't expect to go well together yet work. For example, in this illustration I made called The Courtyard, it has a layered planar perspective, but also includes a top-down line work on the ground that depicts tiles. I prefer this over a one-point perspective view of the tiles because, for me, it creates a subtle feeling of surrealism, which of course is a complement to the very large giant flowers that is surrounding our character. I want to emphasize that a flat style of illustration doesn't mean that it can't have depth. To create a simple feeling of depth and a flat illustration, I typically think of having the character in the middle or foreground and placing objects in the foreground while having a simple background. This can apply in more intimate settings, such as the vases and the gate in the courtyard illustration, as well as in larger landscape settings. Here, in my illustration, The Reflection, the characters in the foreground, but there is an added depth created by adding rocks even closer to the viewer. The middle plane then becomes the reflection in the mountains, which is also a major focal point. The background is the sky and the clouds. It's all very simple but communicates depth by deploying the three separate planes. Take a moment here to break down what's in the foreground, middle plane, and background of our class project illustration. What sense of depth is created in your view? Where does it feel like you're standing in relation to the character and how far away does she feel from you? Think about how this was achieved by layering depths despite the fact that this is a flat style of illustration. Can you think of ways to make the character look closer or further away? Now that you're beginning to understand how depth is achieved in a flat style, really observe and think about the choices that were made in order to communicate this in artwork that you admire. [MUSIC] 28. Depth & Composition 3: Intro to Composition Techniques: [MUSIC] Now let's talk a little bit about composition techniques, because that's a question that a lot of people have at this point. You have an understanding of observational drawing, but how do you come up with your own designs? Let's explore some basic composition techniques that can help you get started. For me, the most popular and frequently used rule is the rule of thirds, often used in photography and film. The rule of thirds just means that if you place a tic-tac-toe grid on a frame, the focal points fall around the intersections of the lines, or at the thirds of the images. You'll see many examples using this technique if you just start to place this type of grid over images that you see. Another common approach that I use to composition, is simply centering a character and then creating environment around them. Many teachings will recommend avoiding centering a composition, but I do it all the time and so do many illustrators that I admire. It's really about what you're trying to achieve and I can see why in certain situations, you won't want to center a composition. I personally find it very effective for portraits and character centered narrative art. Studying the composition of your favorite photos, movie scenes and of course artwork, is a great way to start to hone your eye for composition. Ask yourself when you're observing something you like, why does that composition work for you? Even if you don't have a clear answer right away, as you continue to observe and reflect, patterns will emerge and you'll start to understand how you like to incorporate it into your own work. Remember that your favorite artwork was a result of many different thumbnails and concepts before the artists reach their final design. Exploring and experimenting is all part of the process. Some other basic tips are, think about leading the eye, use focal points and different rhythms and patterns in your artwork to draw the eye and be intentional about where the viewer looks. Always keep the overall flow and gesture of the piece in mind. As you really start to observe artwork that is masterful or just stuff that you like, you'll notice that there are a lot of connecting points that might have been unintentional but work, because these are the lines and patterns and rhythms in a drawing, that an artist use to their advantage to communicate and control where the viewer looks. Another helpful tip is to think in groups of threes. Three is often considered a magic number in composition. It's active and avoids feelings of pairings that come up with twos, or too much symmetry with groups of four. Anymore than that and your mind starts to think in groups again. This can also apply to focal areas or the shape of your flow. Triangles, a three pointed shape, convey a feeling of balanced activeness. In our hero drawing, although there are technically seven flowers, they're grouped into three clusters. There are also three golden objects around her forming a triangle. There are also three green objects, including her jacket and they're all spaced apart in a triangular format. Of course, you can see that the rule doesn't apply to everything strictly everywhere. For example, I have pairs of leaves, but you can begin to play with your own patterns with this starting place and then decide if you want to break the rule where it doesn't feel awkward. Other common issues to be aware of are to avoid awkward tangents, where the edges of different objects are barely touching, or just overlapping in an awkward way, usually where you can't tell where something begins or ends. You also want to avoid unclear plane hierarchies, such as not being clear what is in the foreground, what's in the middle ground and what's in the background. Usually this is just a matter of overlapping your objects in a clear way and again, making sure you don't have any awkward tangents. Avoid too perfect symmetry if that's not your intention. Having a little bit more of an organic flow to your illustration will help make it feel more balanced. Finally, make sure your values support your structure. It's one thing to intend to lead the eye with an interesting subject or action, but if your values do not support it, your viewer may become confused where to look. Values can incorporate color as well, so for example, you don't want a bystander in the background to be wearing a very bright red in a very dark composition. Instead, you want them to look somewhere else. Think about where the artist might have intended you to look and then consider whether they were successful at it. Did you look at different details as your eyes float around in a natural and organic way? Are your eyes drawn to the places where it seems like that should be the focal point? If so, think about why that worked and if not, think about what could have changed. Just starting to notice and observe is already a big start in starting to hone your ability to think about strong compositions. [MUSIC] 29. Depth & Composition 4: Class Project Part V: Now let's return to our anchoring class project. We started this entire series with observational drawing, but actually the very first step of your own original drawing is going to be thumbnailing. It's concepting different ideas, doing really quick sketches, and then refining those thoughts and ideas with the line, value, color, and portrait skills that we've learned. That's where this class brings things into full circle. We're going back to the beginning, but with a fresh perspective. Together, we're going to come up with a concept, create many thumbnails, and then refine our chosen thumbnail and finish them off with all of the skills that we've been building throughout this class. We're going to work with the prompt of designing a cover for a drawing foundations class. They incorporate everything that we've covered in terms of line and shape, value and form, color and light portraits, and then putting it altogether. This was literally what I was thinking about as I was designing the hero illustration or class project for this class. So I'm going to walk through a very realistic example of what that process is like. You can work digitally or on paper. I personally find that I think best on just scratch notebook, sketch paper, and I personally like to use this blue Col-Erase pencil by Prismacolor. You can, of course, do the same thing on the iPad. The iPad's really great for being able to easily move things around. But when I just want to get some quick ideas out, I find a piece of paper is best. So let's start with that. If you'd like, you can start off by just creating little boxes. If you have a piece of paper about the size of mine, I'll do six. If you have larger ones or smaller ones, just adjust accordingly. When you're working on, say, a client brief or even coming up with your own illustration, there's some initial parameters that you're going to want to know or at least know that you're going to need to know such as how big is this illustration and where is it going to be used. You can keep all of these considerations in mind as you design. First, let's just come up with different ideas. Obviously, it's a drawing foundations class. So having someone drawing seems to make a lot of sense. So let's start with some ideas around that. This is a very basic starting point. I have someone drawing at their desk. As I'm going along, I need to really start to think about whether it's checking all the boxes. How can I best express thinking about line and shape, value and form, color and light? I can start to see those in my mind because even though this is a sketch drawing, I can imagine what it might look like in color. You notice I'm starting with very simple shapes. Not quite a stick figure, but basically they're little drawing mannequins, and that's more than enough to get a sense of the overall composition. At the thumbnail stage, we're really focusing on what content we're going to be including at a very high level and what's the overall composition. With the second idea, I have been thinking about maybe just showing a notebook. Maybe there's no person in it, and it's depicting these flowers and just objects around it. This is top-down view of a desk more or less, but with some skewed perspective. Of course, I'm realizing that now I don't have the portrait section included, so maybe I can add a little portrait here. Now it's not a character drawing, but the drawing is of a character, but it still gets the element of having all of the aspects of the class included covered. Again, I don't need to detail it, just enough so that you know what is going there. That's a little bit more of a graphic approach. Let's think of something maybe a little bit more abstract. My idea is here is almost maybe like a stack of books, and then there's this pencil going through that has the lines and shapes. Then maybe this part would have some value and form, and then this part of the pencil would be colored. This is definitely not the strongest in terms of showing portraits. Even though this doesn't hit all of the requirements, it's good to have these kinds of explorations that are just really different than what you've been doing so that you can test the limits and see what makes you feel like is the strongest contender. I'm going to try just a scene, an outdoor scene maybe. Maybe this person isn't drawing. It doesn't necessarily need to be so literal. Let's see. Maybe they're in a world of drawing somehow. Maybe instead of a tree, I could actually show you a mountain. That makes more sense. Building a foundation and working your way up. This help emphasize the drawing journey aspect as well. Maybe the pond on the floor looks like a color palette. It's interesting idea, but one, I don't think it communicates portraits enough, two, I think this might be a little bit too abstract. Not be clear enough this is a drawing foundations class. I do think the hand is maybe a good example of something, like the hand holding the leaf. This communicate that there is this branch here, and maybe the branch is what has the different aspects that actually can be really cool. You can write little notes to yourself, too. This has line, shape obviously. This one would be in value and showing its form. This part would be in color. This would represent the portrait class because we talked about hands as well, and then there's the whole composition. That's an option and that's a nice way to anchor a whole class in an illustration and what I was trying to get with our final design. Let me talk about our final design. Of course, you can continue to make as many thumbnails as you'd like. The more that you come up with, I think the better your outcome will be because you've thought through all of your weaker ideas and then come out with something strong. Usually, by the end, when you really like, "I just can't think of another idea," that's when you'll come up with an idea. You really didn't expect. But that said, I also sometimes just have an idea and I just go with that right away, and I don't do a ton of different thumbnails. So each drawing is its own experience. Let me go into this concept of someone sitting at a desk drawing. Let's think what kind of mood she is in. I've already decided that's a girl. Is she at a super exciting environment? Is she calm and relaxed? Is she frustrated? Is it very active or is it a balance? Like I've mentioned, I want it to feel peaceful but engaging. So active yet calming. You can play around with different poses. I thought it would be nice to show her hand resting on her face, both contemplative and also just a little more active, and also so we can see both hands. Then I thought about what do I want to surround her with. This can be an exploration in and of itself. But you can say so much about a character by what you surround them with, what you dress them with, and just every single aspect of them. I had the idea that this would be like a drawing journey. So I wanted to give her an explorer vibe. That's why I put in this telescope and then I added the globe. I'm here working with the knowledge of what the class illustration look like, but realistically, I wouldn't necessarily known exactly where all of these things go. Maybe the globe started over here or maybe the telescope wasn't this tall. But eventually, I would move things around until I feel like the composition felt right. I want things to overlap, so it feels like she is immersed in all of these things around her. We're looking at her through the objects standing basically at the front of her desk. I wanted to bring in a sense of nature and maybe a little bit more surrealism like imagining you're in a dream or the flow state when you're drawing. So that's why I had these flowers surrounding her. I knew I wanted them to give her a frame. This is where something like not having it too symmetrical comes into play. Of course, the flowers could be exactly symmetrical and that's one look. But for me, I like things to feel a little bit more flowy and organic. So that's why there's this frame that is not symmetrical, but instead has a nice flow to it. I was starting to think about different shapes I wanted to incorporate, so that's how I decided the rest of the objects here. I had this egg-shaped flattened ellipse sphere for this face, and then I had a cylinder for the pencil case and I overlapped those two. The ruler was a rectangle and the pencils were smaller cylinder still. Over here, I had a tall cylindrical vase and the globe of course is an obvious big sphere, and then the telescope is also a nice cone. Those are all considerations as I started to think about what I wanted to place here on her desk. Now to finish this off, I knew I didn't want to create a full scene because then it would be difficult for me to place it on, say, a horizontal image or just different aspect ratios. So having it be something that is more of a spot illustration was going to be helpful for me. I just finish it off with this archway in the back. It could be seen as a door, but I thought of it more like a window. Her desk is positioned where the back is facing a window. That is my little thumbnail. Let's now move this into our iPad and go from there. We've talked about our prompt, we've done our thumbnail sketching, and thinking about the framing and the overall composition. Now let's start to clean that up a little bit. All I've done is taken a photo of this literally with my phone, airdropped it to my iPad. Doesn't look like much and I could obviously recreate it. But there are times when actually your very rough sketch is going to be a great guide to your finished piece. I like to just have it there on a layer. You can always just hide it and just reference it later on. But I'm going to demonstrate how I would think about cleaning up some of the line work., how I organize my layers to really take advantage of the digital tools when it comes to working on composition. Now let's really start to go back and think about line, shape, structure, leading the eye and all of those things, but now from a design point of view. You might be following along to recreate the class project again with that new perspective, or you might be working on your own design based on the prompt. Whichever one it is, let's just go through each step with the same goals and focuses in mind together. There's a few ways to approach this. You can do it all on one layer and then just select things and move them around, or try to draw each object on a separate layer and then have that be easier for you to move around. This might just become a matter of experimenting what works best for you and your flow. Around this stage, I will start to pull up reference images. In this sketch stage, I'm not looking at any references. I'm just drawing from imagination what I think things look like. But around here, I'll start to actually look up what a globe looks like and where those important details are. Trying to think about gestures. One, considering how her head is tilting and this gesture of her body, this overall triangle shape. Now with the sphere, there could be just a straight up and down aspect to the sphere. But if I tilt it, it echoes the tilt of her head. With the telescope, that was a little tricky because I could have it pointing in many different ways. Want to have a rhythm so this globe is down here. That's why I thought maybe it'd be good to have a telescope on this side pointing in another direction. But again, tilted. Even things like the legs, how far apart they're spread out are all design decisions and can affect things in a very subtle way. Having this leg here in front of the book clearly communicates where in relation the book the telescope sits. If I kept it here, I wouldn't really be sure where exactly it sits. Is it behind the book, next to the book, further away? Maybe it's a very tiny telescope or a very huge telescope. Having it on a separate layer allows me to play with that. This has a slightly different oval shape, more of an ellipse, and that's why I want to paste it here. But this is a good little object where I could really move it around all sorts of places. If it goes back here, it would look like it's behind. At first, I think I had it more on even plane with the globe. Then realized by moving it just a little bit down, it just creates more of this rhythm hopping back and forth. Now with the things inside the pencil folder, I could have made it very complicated. Maybe she has a ton of things in here. But I decided that this is a more minimal space. I don't want to distract with a ton of things in this tin because that's not the point. Just enough to be able to communicate that she has some drawing tools at her table. You'll see I like to draw all the way through oftentimes because I'm not sure where things are going to end up, and you can easily do the final line work without these later on. But this way, you will really ensure that you have some accurate lines. A lot of times with beginners, if they don't draw all the way through, say, this was an elbow, then the shoulder will be here and then they might forget that it needs to connect, and then the elbow will be a little bit off. Those are good reasons to draw all the way through and just do checks for yourself. Then start to put in those flowers. Just overall thinking about the shapes. Here definitely a group of three. I could have the option to put two up here and one down here or vice versa. I ended up with having two at the bottom and one bigger one up here, but let's just leave that in place for awhile. You can look here, are there any strange tangents happening? I think this part's feeling a little confusing. Maybe what I do is bring this more clearly in front of the book closer to us. Then maybe arrange the globe and the vase a little bit more clearly that way. Now the globe is covering the top of the vase. To make sure that's sticking out, I'll have this. Then now this little part of the globe is touching the edge of the vase, which causes this strange tangent. I can just go into my globe and tilt it some more. To add a little bit more detail, I added these very simple leaf shapes. This was just putting whatever I felt like some space needed to be filled in. You can also keep these on separate layers so that you can move them around as needed. Again, you can say that this technically breaks those rules of threes that I mentioned earlier and I could've included another one here. There's no right or wrong here. For me, the leaves are more like compliments. So it almost becomes a pairing with the flower. There's a grouping of three here instead and a grouping of three here. When I was thinking about her clothing, that's part of the design, too. Again, what does it say about this person? What is she wearing? Is she wearing a cozy sweater and all snuggled up with a mug by her side? Or is she wearing something more professional? Maybe she's getting ready to work. You can try many different approaches. But just remember that clothing is part of the storytelling, is part of the visual design. I ended up giving her this nice green outfit and it's a little bit like a blazer. So definitely feeling very structured. Also it gave me the opportunity to talk about things like having this V-neck point to or other focal areas as well. We, of course, are looking at her, but also subtly thinking about drawing. In terms of her hairstyle, I kept it very simple and clean. But I was, again, thinking about the shape language. I thought it'd be cool to talk about the sphere and then her face, and then this triangular shape of both her hair and then the rest of her upper body. I took a reference photo of myself in a similar pose to make sure that my anatomy was looking accurate. Put in a little bit of the details of her face more to think about the expression that she has. Is she looking? Was her eyes open and looking at you or looking off in the distance because she's thinking about something? I decided that she was going to look calm and contemplative as she was working on her drawing, and then have a slight smile. Let's turn off my sketch layer in the back and see how that's coming along. You see it's going to be very similar to, of course, the observational drawing that we did together. But now think about it in terms of this drawing didn't exist before. So there was nothing to observe. Now we put together this original drawing from our imagination and our understanding of various foundational skills all combined. As you are working on yours, think about all of these concepts together and you can even have a list of the tools at your disposal or the different aspects at every stage of what to keep in mind. Feel free to continue to experiment with your composition and when you're ready, let's move on. After we have our basic sketch composition in place, you can either clean up the line work here or do a quick value thumbnail so that you can make sure that you have a little map for yourself as you move into selecting a color palette and refining your line work. Keeping everything that we've learned in mind, including avoiding tangents, making sure that the separate planes are clear, and drawing the eye to important focal points, let's start to use our five value system to start to think about how we might want to sign and group different values into our sketch. I'm going to start with my fourth value on her hair. Just know that I want to create a high-contrast doing her face and her hair. Then using my lightest value for her skin, it could also be vice versa. Then working my way around the illustration. By using these values and all of the concepts that we've learned, I can make sure that there's clear differentiation that's supporting my drawing composition and structure. Even if I've overlapped objects, which is already one clear way to define different planes, I can also use contrasting values to make that even more clear. I can use stronger values where it's more closer to the viewer, and then lighter values in places where I don't necessarily need the viewer to look right away. I'm also using the contrast of the darker values in the vases and the leaves so it draws your attention all around the artwork after first looking at the character. Then a lighter value for the background because I want that to be more in the background and also not necessarily draw attention to it right away. You'll find as you work through the five values that you may need to adjust it sometimes. For example on her jacket, I wanted to have two values that clearly showed a difference between the shirt underneath her jacket and the jacket itself, but not a super huge difference. So I just slightly lightened the jacket color and slightly darkened the shirt color for my three and four values. This is a good moment to pause and consider the difference between a value study and then doing a value thumbnail for your own work. Here, there's nothing I'm observing and copying from, but the value studies help me really learn to appreciate how others use value to make a really strong structure for their drawings. When it comes time for me to do value thumbnails for my own pieces, I can really start to pay attention of how to group values together and also how to have a good balance between all of my different values. I'm thinking about the major and minor key that I want it to feel very bright and lively. So I'm using a high major key and also pretty high minor key in terms of the level of contrast. I have my darkest darks. I have some whitest whites. I make sure a lot of the contrast is here on her face, but also here around her writing. Then just the overall balance of having it feel like a bright setting, but also calming. I've started with the five basic values, but you saw that I had made some adjustments here and there. I'm probably working almost more with a nine value or almost 10 value scale because there are some areas where I want it to just have a little bit more subtle of a difference. With this, I already have a roadmap for my color palette when it comes time to think about how to pick colors, where in the range of value do I want to be collecting the hues from. Even though I know I want it to be green, and orange, and peach, what kind of oranges and what kind of greens am I looking for? Now, I don't want to repeat too much of what I talked about in the color class in terms of the emotions I was trying to convey and what the color psychology was and how I ended up with my green and orange palette. In this stage, I'm just going to talk a little bit more about creating depths and what I was thinking about in a composition viewpoint. As you learned in the planner perspective section, there's a few aspects of color that we can think about such as making her a little bit more desaturated and brighter because she's further away. But for me, because I wanted to keep the attention on her, so I decided to keep her just as vivid as the rest of the image. I wouldn't say that the greens that I used on her or the reds and the oranges that I used in the details are really that much more desaturated or further away than the things in the foreground. We don't really experience that distance or that shift in values and hues anyway when things are in such close approximation to each other. But I did choose a more neutral and toned down background color for the archway in the back. When I was thinking about rendering and how much value to put into the objects around there, I decided to keep things very simple, more flat, and a little bit more subdued. If you came up with your own drawing or recreated this one now with your own understanding of how everything comes together, I would love to see how it all turned out. 30. Depth & Composition 5: Summary: [MUSIC] I hope you've learned so much in seeing how everything we've been learning comes together in this final class project. I can't wait to see what you've made. First, let's go over a quick summary of what we learned together in this depth and composition section. In this section, we learned about the evolution of different approaches to perspective, including classical linear perspective and planar and parallel perspective, and why they might be used for different purposes in artistic expressions. We learned how to create depth in planar or flat perspective by utilizing the foreground, middle ground, and background, and varying the details and tones. We learned classic composition techniques, such as the rule of thirds and groups of threes, and how to lead the eye with focal points and different rhythms in lines. You put it all together by going full circle and learning the first step of an original drawing, ideating and thumbnailing. For further study, I encourage you to continue to practice, especially with little thumbnails and just sketching and coming up with different ideas and, of course, observing the artworks, pictures, and movies that you enjoy to better understand what compositions feel strong for you. You can also check out books that have composition techniques that are relevant to your interests. For example, I have these really great detailed books on Hokusai and Muka's work, which really helps me study their approach to composition. Spend some time exploring and going through the competition exercises for yourself and when you're ready, let's meet in the final part of this class [MUSIC] 31. Final Thoughts & Tips: [MUSIC] Congratulations on reaching the end of this drawing foundations course. We've learned so much together and I hope you're proud of what you've accomplished. We now have a solid foundation and understanding of how our tools of line, shape, value, form, color and light can come together to start strengthening our observational drawings. From there, we know how we can use those same tools and add in perspective and composition and grow into our own artistic expression. Continue to practice the exercises from this class and you will improve. For your convenience, I've compiled the key concepts and exercises into a workbook that you can refer to any time. If you enjoyed this class and want more support on your drawing journey, I welcome you to join my drawing studio for guided prompts, more classes, and live sessions with me and a friendly, intimate community in Mimochai Studio. Either way, practicing with the knowledge of the tools you've learned in this class is going to be way more effective than just practicing blindly. As you continue to practice, remember to keep your explorer's mindset and draw what you love. That way, you'll stay motivated to keep going on this journey and see this as a drawing adventure. I also invite you to leave a review and a comment for this class, as it's super helpful for both me as a teacher and for other students considering taking this class. Thanks so much for joining me. Until next time, take care and keep creating. [MUSIC]