Learning How to Draw: A Mindset, Method, and Exercises | Yuko Shimizu | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Learning How to Draw: A Mindset, Method, and Exercises

teacher avatar Yuko Shimizu, Illustrator, Instructor at School of Visual Arts

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.



    • 3.

      Exercise 1: Blind Contour Drawing


    • 4.

      Exercise 2: Drawing Hands


    • 5.

      Exercise 3: Drawing Small Objects


    • 6.

      Exercise 4: Using Anchors


    • 7.

      Exercise 5A: Drawing from Memory


    • 8.

      Exercise 5B: Drawing from Memory II


    • 9.

      Exercise 6: The Rodchenko Challenge


    • 10.

      Yuko's Work


    • 11.



    • 12.

      What's Next?


  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

This 65-minute class shares an accessible, enjoyable, and practical approach to learning how to draw so that everyone can enjoy the process of drawing!

Based on live workshops developed by award-winning Japanese illustrator Yuko Shimizu, every short lesson is filled with explanation, demonstration, and critiques of real student work so that students gain tactics for growing their own creative illustration practice. Plus, the class includes Yuko’s 6 favorite prompts for those starting out.

This class will not explore traditional inking techniques or media, but it will cover the essential drawing skills and eye training necessary to becoming an artist or illustrator. While the class is designed for the beginning illustrator, all creative enthusiasts are welcome to participate and revisit the joy that comes from drawing with confidence. These exercises are a great resources to remember and return to year after year, whenever you need a refresh or a way to relax and keep drawing.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Drawing with pen and paper. Yuko will show you how using inexpensive materials make the best drawings. Beginners — and experts — make mistakes, and pricey materials can scare you away from taking risks in your art. While you’re at it, you’ll learn to forget the eraser, too.
  • Blind contour drawings. This exercise instructs you to draw a face without looking at your drawing. You’ll learn to sit with a partner — or in front of the mirror — and capture the contours of a face with simple lines.
  • Drawing hands. Hands are notoriously tough to draw. Using the blind contour method, you’ll learn how to focus on looking at the most important part of drawing something complicated.
  • Drawing small objects. You’ll work on observational drawing with the most mundane item in the room — the eraser you’re not using? — to practice transforming a boring shape into the start of a full still life.
  • Using anchors. Learn how to turn that small object into the anchor for a more complex image by exploring the spatial relationships between multiple items. If you’re struggling with landscape drawing outdoors, you’ll learn how to anchor that landscape by drawing through a window frame inside.
  • Drawing from memory. You can improve your draw-by-memory game through observational drawing. In part I of this exercise, you’ll draw a common image from memory before you try it in real life.
  • Drawing from memory post-observation. Now it’s time to head outside. You’ll learn to strengthen your visual memory by drawing the same object, this time from observation, before trying again to draw it from memory.
  • The Rodchenko Challenge. Based on the famous 1920s-era Soviet Union photographer, this challenge will have you use unexpected viewpoints to draw everyday objects.
  • Take it from the expert. Yuko will walk you through some of her professional work, featuring botanic illustration and bringing color technique into the mix. You’ll find that her techniques stem from the lessons above!
  • Enjoy the process. Embrace drawing and make sure you keep it fun. You’ll find that when you love drawing, you’ll want to do it more, and the more you do it, the more technically accomplished you’ll become.
  • Practice, practice. Yuko encourages you to practice whenever you can. Take your sketchbook everywhere, join a figure drawing class in a classroom or on Skillshare, and draw blind contour sketches with friends.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Yuko Shimizu

Illustrator, Instructor at School of Visual Arts


Yuko Shimizu is a Japanese illustrator based in New York City and a veteran instructor at the School of Visual Arts (SVA). Newsweek Japan chose Yuko as one of "100 Japanese People The World Respects" in 2009. Her first self-titled monograph was released world-wide in 2011 and her first children's book, Barbed Wire Baseball, published in 2013.

Her work has appeared on t-shirts for The Gap and NIKE, on Pepsi cans, on VISA billboards, and on Microsoft and Target ads, as well as on book covers published by Penguin, Scholastic, DC Comics. Her work has also graced the pages of such publications as The New York Times, Time, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, and many others.

In fact, illustration is Yuko's second career. Although art has always been her passion, she initially ch... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Hi, my name is Yuko Shimizu. I'm a Japanese Illustrator based in New York. So, I've been illustrating since 2002, 2003. I actually didn't start off this way. I got a job in PR in Tokyo and I worked on it for about 10 years, but I always loved to draw and paint, and I really, really wanted to pursue arts at some point in my life. So, after 11 years of working, I quit my job, moved to New York, and enrolled myself in School of Visual Arts, which is actually a school I teach right now. So, I wanted to teach a drawing class at Skillshare, and drawing class, there is not like an academic study-centered conventional way of drawing. I think what's the most important thing in drawing is to enjoy the process of drawing. So, in this class, I give you multiple different lessons in looking at drawings differently and hope the practice that you have fun with. I invited my current assistant, Tatiana Cordova, to draw with me on every step, and I think it's nice to see that we draw the same things and they come out differently. There is no right, wrong answer. It's just you and you do your work differently. The drawing you make, there is only one drawing you have made exist, and that's the beauty of the drawing. So, I wanted to have Tatiana to work with me throughout this task, and we will show you the different results we come out with. There are a lot of exercises, so I hope you get to do everything, and please share with us anything you have done. I would love to see what you have done and so are your friends in community of Skillshare. So, I'm looking forward to seeing what you have drawn. 2. Materials: Okay, I will talk a little bit about the materials we are going to be using, and it's very, very simple. You need a pen, any pen; ballpoint pen, Microns, gel pens. Those are good ones. I use gel pens. So, pen is what you need, and stacks and stacks of cheap paper. Tatiana and I are going to be using bunch of photocopy papers, which is great. It's the right size. The biggest important part of this is you should have inexpensive materials. Because when you have expensive papers, "Oh my god! Like I'm doing a drawing class. I have to buy expensive paper." and then you probably get so nervous because you don't want to ruin the good paper, and then your drawing will not come out great. So these cheap papers prevent you feeling nervous about drawing, and that's the whole point. So get a stack of cheap paper, and that's pretty much about it. I don't want this class to be something that you need expensive materials. Just have a pen and cheap paper, and that's all you need. So when you think about drawing class, you probably think about pencils in different darkness and eraser. Right? You can use pencils if you want. That's totally fine. In this class, eraser is banned. It's is one of the most important things in this class before we start. Of course, I use the eraser. This is my eraser, and it's been used. I use it. But for drawing classes, I usually make my students use pens, and here's why. Erasers prevent you from being confident with your drawings. 3. Exercise 1: Blind Contour Drawing: First exercise, we're going to be doing is blind contour drawing and blind contour drawing of a face. So, I will have my assistant Tatiana help me and we will draw each other and not looking at the paper. This is a good warm-up exercise if you have a partner to draw with but if you don't have a partner, you are doing this all alone, you can always use a mirror. For now, I have Tatiana, so we will draw together. So, I will explain why we're doing this blind contour drawing. It's a really great exercise because most of the time, people who are learning how to draw, the biggest hurdle is we tend to draw what we think we see but we can't draw what we actually see. So, to jump over the hurdle, the best way to go is just, forget about making great drawing and just focus on seeing, to focus on seeing the best way to go if not look at the paper. I know it sounds crazy because how do I make great drawing without looking at the paper? Okay. That's the point. You don't need to make good drawings. It is an exercise to learn how to see. Focus on seeing. Consider Tatiana or from Tatiana's side, me. It's like a monitor. Every one works on the computer and maybe use a pen tablet if you are an artiste. But even if you are not, you're using computer for whatever you are doing, you probably use mouse. But mouse is not on the monitor. Mouse is here, monitor's here. You're looking up the monitor and then you are actually drawing or going over where you are looking. So, think of your partner or what you see in the mirror as the reflection what is on the monitor. Then move the hand as slowly as possible and focus on seeing. You're just tracing what's on the monitor. So, forget about making great drawings. Once we're done, we will talk about how things will look and actually surprisingly, it will probably look nice but we can't talk about that after we are done. We're going to start from five-minute blind contour drawing. So, let's see how it's going to go. So, don't look at the paper and draw an actual size. Of course, we are not seeing so it's hard but try and draw as close to the actual size of the the head as possible. Five minutes sounds like a very short time but if we're doing this, not looking at the paper and trying to draw, five minutes might feel very long. If you have never done this, which happens a lot when I'm teaching drawing classes, you might finish too early then you can start over. If you finish too early, then try and slow down the next time you start. When I was in art school, a lot of my drawing teachers made us do this. One of the instructors said draw like an ant is moving crawling on your paper. Move that slow. Focus on looking at the subject as much as possible, try to draw every single strand of hair or eyebrow, eyelashes, all that. Sometimes, we forget where we have drawn because we're focusing too much on looking and then you may end up drawing three eyes or two nose, but don't worry about it. When you're sitting down with a partner, try to sit knee to knee, close as possible so you can see the partner. You're kind of policing each other. If your partner looks down, you have to yell at your partner, "Hey, don't look. It's a blind contour drawing. So, do that." Oh, my God. I have no idea how i'm drawing. Also try not to lift a hand unless it's absolutely necessary. So, what happens is, of course, they look crazy but it's Picasso-like niceness, is what we're going for. I often teach class in blind contour drawing and students end up loving it because if you really look at the person, your partner or yourself in the mirror, they come out like a monster version of the person and that's what we are trying to aim for. So, this is our five-minute drawing. Then, if it's too hard, start for one minute, two minute. Try and slow down as you go. Like do ten minutes, 15 minute. Some people really get into it and get into like 30 minutes drawing which is great too. It is a nice thing to get into habit of doing. Every time you start a drawing and then start from this, is a nice way of warming up. So, I want to show you a few things I did. Things like let's draw slowly, not looking at the paper and try and not lift the paper. So, when you try not to lift the paper, you draw straight lines. A lot of the common mistake people who are still in the beginning stage of learning to draw is repeat one line over and over because the confidence is not there. So, instead of drawing this, a lot of artist starts with drawing like this. I'm not sure what I'm drawing. But hey, this is not the time you're making fantastic drawing to show off to your mom. So, let's just forget that. Again, think of your partner like your monitor and then you feel going on with a monitor, you don't do this, you do this. So, try to do this. Let's do a few other exercises. 4. Exercise 2: Drawing Hands: Next exercise, we will be drawing hands and small object. So, hands, this is how it works. You'll be looking your hand like this, like very simple straight on and this next one, and try to draw every line in your hand. When you're alone trying to get better at drawings, it's easier when you find something it's always there and then practice it. It doesn't take long, so hand it's always there. When we're not used to it, let's go from that very straight forward. What is great with our hand is that we can make different poses. When you're used to it, you can go something really hard like foreshortening and if you challenge yourself. So, you can do something simple and something really complicated at the same time and it never bores you. So this time, I am going to be drawing not blind contour, but you can do a blind contour, you can do it looking at the paper and looking at the hand. Either way it's fine. If you're a beginner, it's probably helpful that you start from blind contour drawing. So, you're still learning how to draw what you really see and not what you think you see. Once you get used to it, you can look at the paper, you can look at the hand and make drawings. So, the whole point is use what you have learned in previous exercises. Right now, we have finished the blind contour portrait drawing, and you're really learning how to look and not be conscious about making great pictures. So, focus on looking and use that knowledge and lets draw the hand. Which side, this side? Yes. Okay, then we will start from this side first, and we're not going to take too long. Let's try and draw almost the actual size. Hands are firm because there are a lot of creases and weird, like they look straight, but they're not and there are nails and my fingers and not straight. So while I'm working, I'm going to talk a little bit about another reason why exercising blind contour is important. We have tendency, everyone, that we want to make our drawings beautiful, it's our nature, but this nature is often the biggest enemy of getting better at drawing. When you want your drawing to look good, you think too much. I showed you example of what not to do like repeat the white lines over and over. That comes often from not being confident, and being not confident often comes from trying to make your drawing look beautiful. So, I said the big hurdle is drawing what you see and not drawing what you think you see. Another big hurdle we have to overcome is we stop thinking that we need to draw beautiful pictures. I know it's hard and it doesn't come easy for a lot of us. But let's keep that in mind and focus on looking way more so than thinking about what kind of outcome it will be. In that sense, if you are a beginner, it's probably better to do this hand drawing as blind contour because when you're not looking, you can think about making your drawing look fantastic. That eventually helps you in the long run getting better. So I suggest to beginners to keep doing this as blind contour drawing. So, let's try not just draw the outline, but really get into the details of your hand. You might have scars, you might have beauty mark, you might wear cool ring, you might have tattoos, let's draw all that. I would draw my watch, too. Again, don't forget what you have learned in the first exercise. Don't lift the pen unless it's necessary. Think of your hand as your monitor that you're looking and your drawing hand is your mouse hand. I think I'm done. It's fun because it's like drawing portrait. My hand and Tatiana's hand look very different, and that really show in these drawings. When you're ready, let's go do a little bit more challenging. So, make funny, hard to draw hand poses and let's draw that. So when you make poses, you can make the very challenging poses, and it might be that when you are drawing in the midst of it, it might not even look like hand or fingers because of how it looks. But don't worry about it and just keep going. If you make a mistake, just go over it and don't worry. Mistakes look like the biggest mistake when you are right on it, so don't worry about the eraser, just use the pen, keep going, and then we'll see what will come out of it. In the worst case scenario, you can always do another thing, another one since it doesn't take that long. When your hand is the model, they won't complain. So you can draw as much as you like as long as your hand is not too tired. Right now, my hand is not even looking like a hand but I will just keep going. So, what's great about these small exercises is depending on how comfortable you're getting, you can go harder and harder. I will draw some small object next, and then you can start from something very simple, and then once you get used to it, you can go a little bit more complicated and then keep moving like that. Don't ever start from trying to draw something really, really, really ambitious because it freaks you out, and then you might get bored or you might get too freaked out you don't want to draw anymore. The most important thing is you will have fun doing these exercises, and that makes you draw more and makes you drawing better as you go. I'm done. Okay. So, you want to show what we have done? Yes. Similar poses, completely different hand, completely different drawings. I actually made a mistake when I was holding like this and I think my hand moved a lot, I was just bad at drawing, so I initially draw this line. But then toward the end, I was like, "Oops, it's not working." I draw every single day and I still make mistakes and no big deal, I redraw the line. So, this is how we learn and get into the habit of not worrying about making mistakes. If you make a mistake, go over. If you have to redo it, no big deal. These drawings don't take long. More drawings that you do, the better you get. So, let's get that into your habit. 5. Exercise 3: Drawing Small Objects: In the next exercise, let's draw small object that's around you. I am starting with an eraser that I brought with me. So, start with something simple. Then, when you start something with simple, it's the same as the hand and hand gestures. You can get more complex as you go, and you won't be afraid because you are not jumping into something extremely, extremely complicated. So, something like eraser, it's pretty simple, but let's look closely because I've already used this eraser, and it has like nice edges, and shapes and dirt, and all that. Also, starting from this exercise, try and think about what they are made of and try to express that as much as possible. I know it's hard, but it's all about observation which you've been learning. So, slowly, slowly, and get into the habit of just keep drawing anything around you, and get used to drawing everything. So, I will start from eraser. Then I will draw a few other object, as I go. So if you beginner, you don't have to draw all these details inside the eraser. But since I draw for a living, let's try. But I'm really bad type. So, most part of it, it won't fit when I finish, but let's see. Again, not worried about mistakes. Okay. So I think my eraser is done. So, let me draw something a little bit more complicated. I'll keep going. Maybe notebook. So, I'm challenging myself, and you can do this too. What about I keep the eraser on top of the notebook? So, I'm actually drawing the notebook. It's a combination of two object, although I'm drawing one-by-one. So, I will start. Notebook can be kind of boring. So, let's look at this notebook I carry around a lot. I sometimes take it with me to business trips and workshop trips. I initially planned all my Skillshare classes into this notebook. So, when you are drawing kind of boring shaped things, the key is to find something that makes this object look interesting. So, the fabric bookmark, the beat up cover, beat up edges, scratches, and of course, it has the rubber band. So, that's the fun part. So, here, I filled in with black. What is great about art is there is no right and wrong. It's just depending on what kind of decision making you do. I made this part black because this eraser has nice white types, although most of it is scratched out when I felt in. So, I felt like rather than drawing in the type in black, it would be nice to leave the white, and fill in the black, and to draw it that way. But it's just my personal choice. Tatiana didn't draw the eraser, but if she did, I'm sure she would have made different choices. So, that's one of the biggest reasons why art is great. There is no right and wrong answer. There's just you, your personal decisions. That makes your art unique regardless of you're experienced or not experienced. It doesn't matter. Only one drawing exist in this world, and you are making it. I think it's fantastic. It's a nice hobby to have even if you're not aiming to be professional, to be able to draw when you bored, when you're stressed, when you don't have anything else to do, or when you have too much things to do and you need to unwind. But it's really nice to just sit and draw. So, we started off from very small thing. I started off on eraser. What did you start off on? I started with this eraser. The whiteboard eraser? Yeah. All of a sudden, we have a skill life. So, if you're starting out, don't go too ambitious. Maybe for some of you, this is too ambitious for you. Then draw these things separately. From here on, I will show you one more step. This is a bit of our ambitious step. So, maybe not for everyone. But those of you who are ready or when you're ready, you can come back and do this. For those of you who are more experienced, and like, hey, I can go a lot more ambitious. So, I will teach you how to use small object, and use that as an anchor, and draw a bigger picture. So, right now, I have a still life, but I'm looking at camera and people in front of here. So, they are here. When we try to draw big pictures and try to be ambitious, as I said before, we get nervous, we get too scared, and we can't draw. All that heat comes out, very frustrating experience. But when we start from something that's close to you, or something big in a picture, and we draw that, and slowly adding more complicated things, it's much, much, much easier to make this into a bigger picture. So, let me keep working on this, and I will show that to you. 6. Exercise 4: Using Anchors: From here on, I'm going to use this as a starting point and use these objects as anchor and draw the whole room. You don't see it now, but there are people in front of me and camera, and there is not much space left. So, there's not much I can draw, but let's try and see where I can fit in here. It makes so much easier if you use small anchor. Well, like anchor in somewhere to use that as a starting point and draw bigger pictures. It won't intimidate you as much. And basically, what I'm doing is just drawing what I'm seeing in front of me. So, I'm using water bottle as an anchor, and there is a person sitting in front of me, but she's a little bit far away from me. And basically, this is around the size I see her. And also, when you're making pictures, when you overlap things, so there's a water bottle. There is a notebook. It's overlapping to the water bottle, and there is overlapping to the person sitting in front of me. And by doing this, you are showing the viewers of the pictures the relationship between these objects. So, the water bottle is not a jumbo water bottle, and there is not a small person. It's a person far away, and if the water bottle and the person's not overlapping, it might give impression of that there is a small person, somehow in this room, and there is a gigantic water bottle. So, overlap shows, "hey, the water bottle is in the front. It's on the desk. It's much, much closer to you the viewer, and this person is not small person, but she's just standing behind far away." So, in photographs, of course, like everything you see is pretty much reality. So, it doesn't really matter if they're overlapping or not, but in pictures, it's important to show the relationship of where they are. And so, when you're drawing location, drawing it's one thing and also when you are an illustrator and illustrating something. Keep this in mind, and then you give way more convincing pictures than if you didn't use these tricks. By the way, if you go online, you'll see these photos of people holding the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, and there are a lot of them. That's actually using the same method that I just explained and using to their advantage to make funny pictures. That there is a big person holding a small Leaning Tower like a toy. And so, in photo, you can do something like that, but in actually illustration or you're doing drawings, it's important to overlap and show the relationships. I think I'm pretty good. So, this is what we did, and [inaudible] we drew these, and then I use the end of the table and this whole offtrack as an anchor and draw what I saw. Obviously, there was not much space left because this was not initially planned. We just keep drawing and hey, like I can squeeze one more exercise in for those who are advanced, so pretty much drew what I saw. In Tatiana's case, obviously, because we didn't plan it. She had the whiteboard eraser already, but she just ignored and used the table and drew what she saw. So, it came out some kind of surreal landscape. It's so much fun. When you get into it, you get in to have so much fun, and get to do a really little detail. What you just said, just feel really self-confidence while you're drawing. So, what you can do, how you can use this is, when you travel somewhere you bring your sketchbook, and you see a beautiful view and you want to draw. If you go outside, there's nothing to anchor, and it gets really, really difficult. But, you feel looking at the same landscape from inside, and you use the window as an anchor. So, you draw the real first window first, and just draw the part of the landscape you see from the window. All of a sudden, drawing landscape drawing is much much easier than if you are standing outside and you're surrounded by outside and no landscape. So, use this anchor technique, and when you're trying to expand your horizons in doing the drawings. 7. Exercise 5A: Drawing from Memory: So, let's move on to the next exercise and it's about visual memory building. So, you might be thinking, "One day, I really want be able to draw everything from my head." I think that's a great ambition and goal to have. Although it does take a long time to get there we can start little by little and in next exercises to build that visual memory. So, more you draw, more you look and draw, what passes through your head and through your hand onto the paper really stays with you. So, little by little by drawing things, visual memory builds up, and eventually you will be able to draw more from your head. But of course, I'm an illustrator, and I do use a lot of reference photographs. Even when I know what they look like but sometimes it's better to look at the actual thing and really have the presence of the object whatever that is that I'm drawing. So, it's not that you need to be able to draw everything from your head, but it's nice to build that visual memory. So, let's work on the exercise, and now, it's doing this thing step by step. But first, this team picked three things, that we draw from memory. Don't worry, it's a surprise. So, you probably don't know how to draw. I actually don't know how to draw most of them, but let's try. Then, once that's done, we will go outside and actually draw them. So, we pick three things. Wherever you are, a property around you, pretty close to where you live. So, first thing, mailbox, where you put the mail in to send, so for your poster service. The second, a car, any car. We're in New York so we might try and draw a taxi, but it doesn't need to be car. Another one, third one, is traffic light. So, we are going to try and draw those from the memory and then we go outside and see what happens. So mail box. Mail box. Looks like a car but it doesn't look like from this period. Embarrassing as it is, we're going to show. Here are the drawings we've done. Tatiana drew the traffic light from Colombia where she's from, and my cab looks like the cab from 1960s. At least we really really thought hard when we are drawing. So that's the point. We draw hard they're okay, but let's see what the reality is outside. So, we're going to go outside now. Luckily, the weather is super, super nice today. So, we're going to take this to the street. 8. Exercise 5B: Drawing from Memory II: So let's look at what we did outside and here they are. For us car was a challenge because we decided to draw a cab, and obviously in New York City cab never stop for more than 20 seconds. So, they are hybrid cars, not in the way a hybrid like eco-hybrid, but hybrid of multiple different cabs but we able to draw one. So now, there's a third part of this challenge that I didn't talk about before as now we have built up visual memory, let's see how that will work. We will put these two away and try to draw these three again from the memory. Let's hope our visual memories building up. Ready? Yes. Okay. So let's start. Ready? Yes. So, here is what we did from the second memory. For me, cab was hard because we were chasing after the cab running. So, I was just too concentrated in finding the cab. I did pretty well in the front part and then I realized I didn't have a good memory of the back part. But, if I compared this with the first one which looked like the cab from 1950s movies. Yeah. Huge improvement. So, this is how we build visual memory and more we built, more we draw, more we build, and the more building of visual memory it's like a visual encyclopedia in your head, more things you remember and more things easier to come from your head. So those of you who are interested in eventually I want to draw from my head completely then, keep drawing everything you see around, big things, small things, anything when you have a free time and then you will start building up visual memory. Of course it's never perfect but it's good enough. It's good enough to get your drawing going and of course there are reference materials when you're making a final painting or final alterations then you can utilize some reference materials on top of visual memory too. So, I want to talk a little bit about visual memory. I am not that great with drawing cars or traffic light or mechanical things or buildings, but when I started art school, I took a lot of drawing classes and my goal was, I have things in my head that want to come out onto the paper. But when I look up the paper and start drawing they don't come out the way I visualise in my head. For me what was the most important thing I wanted to achieve was to draw figures from any position that I imagine in my head that comes right to the paper. That was my goal setting. So, I took a lot of figure drawing classes. By the time four years of art school was over, this connection between what I picture in my head and what comes out to the paper when it comes to figure was pretty connected and direct. This was coming out to here. So, you can do your own goal setting. Want to be able to draw a self-portrait or I want to be able to draw, I don't know water bottle. I just draw Water bottle. That's cool. Like start from something small, but then when you're getting better at it, build a bigger goal like I did with my figure drawing. And then eventually it takes time, nothing is achieved overnight. We can keep having fun, not be afraid of drawing and by now I think you are not afraid of making mistakes and be confident with your lines and all that and it eventually you can accomplish anything in drawing. 9. Exercise 6: The Rodchenko Challenge: So, the next exercise is a little bit different from what we have done before. We will be focusing on the artist's viewpoint and I'll explain what it is. So, I call this Alexander Rodchenko project. Alexander Rodchenko was a famous photographer/graphic designer from 1920s and 1930s, Soviet Union. He's mostly known for in photography for viewing things that is ordinary from completely unordinary point of view. So, if you look at his photographs of buildings, what he does is he lies down on the ground, and looks up, and see a completely different picture of a building that looks ordinary otherwise. So, why we are artists is because we can look at things from the point of view ordinary people won't look at, and that's why we we want to do this Rodchenko assignment. You can go outside and you can draw outside or if you are inside find anything that is ordinary and find a viewpoint that is a little bit unordinary. Then let's draw that and see how fresh your viewpoint for the drawing is. This is what i picked, so, looks good, and I'm going to go inside. You have to do this for art. I think I'm good. It's a little uncomfortable to draw but I can manage. Rodchenko is known for his amazing compositional skill and representational things become just shapes, abstract shapes. So, they end up looking like abstract paintings, purposely or not purposely, I don't know. But, it's very interesting because they don't look like the things you know anymore, and they just become shapes and depths. Probably one of the reasons why he's so respected in the art field. Anyone who does art, they pretty much love what he's done is because of his viewpoint as was his compositional skills. That makes things into abstract shapes. Right now, I'm aiming for representational things that look abstract. The chair from here doesn't even look like a chair, but then that makes me look right because when I know I'm drawing a chair, I might just draw a chair that I think is a chair and not really looking carefully, but because from the angle I'm looking at the chair doesn't look like a chair, so I just really need to look. Then from a chair, I see the ceiling and all these things I normally wouldn't look or study and I really do, and then I'm studying form a completely odd angle. So, everything becomes like I'm just drawing what I'm seeing and not thinking about what they are or what they look like because they don't even look like what they're supposed to look like. If that makes sense. I can't draw straight lines because I'm drawing upside down, so forgive me for that but you will see what I've been doing. Okay, I think I'm good. So, let's show what we've done. I'm sorry I was drawing are little eew, like not as nice because we're drawing upside down. This is mine. It's the bottom of the chair and the leg of the chair, and these are actually what's on the ceiling. So, that's what I drew. So, what's fun about this assignment is that it's the representational meets the abstract. So, things start to look like abstract and which is kind of in the way cool, and it's a good exercise because we've been stressing about drawing what we see and not what we think we see. When a chair looks like this, we can't draw chair from how I think chair looks like, I just have to lie down there and draw what I see. So, it's a good exercise to see more and obviously, there is a chair something close up, anchor and then the rest and they're high up in the ceiling and I can draw bigger pictures not just one thing but the whole big picture without getting afraid of, "Oh, it's a big space I'm drawing or it's the architectural things I'm drawing." I just draw what I see it and it's a good exercise. So, keep doing that. Tatiana drew lying down on the sofa looking up to the light, and also to the ceiling. So,this is what we did, and have fun, lie on the ground, lie on the floor, and do some cool stuff from the artist point of view. 10. Yuko's Work: Here are some of the original drawings for my illustrations, and then I want to talk a little bit about them and relating them to the drawing class. So this one, I did for Wired magazine about cyber bullying, and so these birds were actually colored blue. This hand, I can draw a hand from my memory but it's better to use reference. We illustrators often end up doing is we pose in front of camera or in front of my computer and take a photo or just, this is left hand then I'm righty. So basically, what I did was fold my hand like this and just drew that onto the paper. So, this is my hand. As for the birds, of course like they are like Twitter birds, so it's little cartoony. But I downloaded bunch of photos of birds because it always helps to have good reference materials. Same for this one, I downloaded the photos of flowers, then I downloaded photos of hummingbird's, so they're believable as possible. When I'm using reference photographs, what I do is, it's the same method I talked about in drawing small things. Each bird I look at the photo like I'm actually looking at the bird and then draw, and then draw, and draw, and eventually it becomes the full picture. Here's the illustration that actually it was never published. I did it for a client. It was supposed to be album cover. So, the client wanted pretty girls in the music situation. So, this is what I did. I could have drawn these girls a more conventional perspective but I wanted to have the perspective from above. So, it gives it a little bit more freshness, rather than seeing them from sideways. As an artist, we did the world Schenkel project. It's like this, I always think of myself as if I'm carrying a camera, where should I put the camera? In this case, above is more interesting than side which is the first thing we think about. But as an artists, we shouldn't settle with the first composition we come up with, and then try and see if other perspectives might work better. This one I did for Fantasy Publisher Tour, and they have an online portal, tour.com and they publish short stories, and this was for that. Obviously, I needed a photo of a bottle, and photo of a desert with clouds. I drew from photo pretending that the landscape is in front of me, and just try to draw as real to what I see as possible. So, that's what I did. So, it's not like about weird perspective, but I wanted to do an unconventional seascape. Initially, I thought of cutting it here and putting the sky there which would have worked. But then, that's the most conventional way of thinking composition. So, I wanted the sea to go all the way up to just the top of the paper, and then fill the whole thing with the water. Of course, I love drawing water so I download a lot of photographs of water. How I use reference materials is usually it's not one thing, because there is also this thing about copyright, which I don't get into details here. But my creation is copyrighted to me, and other person's creation is copyrighted to them. So, what I'm trying to do is download multiple photographs, if I need to reference photographs, and sort of using the method of drawing, put them together as one. So, it's completely different from the reference materials I have used. This is the city from bird's eye point of view. I had idea of this European city in my head, but it was not somewhere I had been. So, I went online and look for a lot of reference photographs of European cities in nighttime in snow. Eventually, I found photos of Prague and that was closest to what I had in my head, and so I downloaded bunch of them. It's actually not Prague as it is, but for multiple photos of Prague. So, this is how I drew. Of course, I needed a good reference for the swallow and the rest is composing different things. When I'm drawing statue, I have to look at how statues look like and how the shadows, or how the lights are, and then try to put down on to the drawings. So, it doesn't look like a person but it looks like a statue of a person. Of course, the big sky. Sometimes I start drawing and I don't know what I'm doing. But then, I try to just keep going. Okay, here are the reference materials. I just used them and get the sense of the sky, where the storm is coming and try to express that as true to the reality as possible, although my work is not realistic, of course not. This one was for DC Comics. I used to draw covers for DC Comics Vertigo series. This is for Mother Jones and it's about climate change. I talked about anchoring things to make things easier. So, this was a very ambitious drawing. I had to do and it took a long time obviously and it looks that way. To draw the cityscape with all these people doing all these different things. I get overwhelmed if I start from something small or I try to picture everything out once. So, I do kind of layout quickly with pencil first. Here is Empire State Building because I want that in the middle, and then it's the groundlessly flat iron area. Then okay, the buildings that come out this way, and there are people in the front. I actually start it from this guy, not these or the details, because I talked about anchoring things to make things easier. So, if I draw him, and then draw her, there is an overlap and there is a relationship. This guy is in the front, this woman is behind him, and then I can start adding other people who are a lot more behind them, and then I can go into smaller details, then eventually go into buildings, everything to the back and finish with the sky. So, this is basically what I taught in this drawing class. Of course , we talked about a lot more basic things. Eventually, you can utilize that knowledge to draw something this complicated without getting freaked out, you're making a huge picture. This one is also for DC Comics, the series I used to do the cover for. I wanted to show this because it also had an odd perspective. It's not from the side and it's from above. It was fun looking a whole bunch of candies, some are real, some are just photographs of candies. By looking closely, I really understand how these things are made and which was part of the fun. Of course, if it's not a real landscape, but it's a landscape made out of candies with people in it. Never start from the detailed part, start from big parts and use that as an anchor to spread into more detailed things that recede far deep into the space. This was something I did for New York Times Book Review a while ago. I thought it was a fun one to see. Because obviously, it's about playing pool and the book was about eight-ball. So, the woman reflected on to the ball, which is a hard perspective. You know what? I drew this with confidence and the rest doesn't matter. Actually, if you take a photo of a woman doing the same pose and reflect that onto the eight-ball, I can guarantee it won't look this way. But one I did talk about, I took a lot of drawing classes, so I can draw figures from my head onto the paper. The rest, I make it up the way it feels right. It feels right, and then if I did the under drawing to the point it feels right, I just confidently put the ink on. You know what? It's not real, but it's believable. So, confidence matters. If you are one of those people like me who really want to be good figure drawing, it helps to take a lot of figure drawing classes, and that's another fun thing to do which I didn't cover in this class. Also, weird perspective. I did this for a magazine long, long time ago, but recently used it again as a protest poster. Anyway. So this, again, is not the right perspective. But it doesn't matter, because it looks right and that's how I draw pretty much. Also, another one, which is not exactly the way it should look, but it looks right and that is okay. It's the story about outer space. So, every color has characters in outer space pretty much and I have to differentiate and come out with something interesting. So, I put most of the interesting things in middle, the center, and top is empty. There is a strong V shape. So, it's like Schenkel's style but not by looking at actual situation, but constructing compositions that's uprising. Also, again, the perspective of the people are [inaudible] by having the camera close to their face. It's more interesting than just have the full body shot of them. 11. Conclusion: So, this is it for the exercises for this class. I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope you will keep doing these exercises, and most importantly enjoy the process of drawing. When you love it, you will do more, you do more, you'll get better, and that's the goal. So, always keep your sketchbooks with you, and whenever you're bored, you have extra time, you're taking a commuter train, bring your sketchbook and pen and draw anywhere. Those of you who want to learn more, I think there are a lot of drawing classes in skillshare, including for your drawing classes, so you can explore those. Or maybe where you live, there are small figure drawing, classes, or drawing gatherings. So, I hope you will be able to opt in goals, and make friends, and exchange information about drawings, and enjoying more and keep doing more. There were a lot of exercises you have done in this class, and we will love to see what you have done. So, please, please share what you have done in any stage of any exercises with us, with me, with your community of skillshare peeps, and hope to see them soon. 12. What's Next?: way.