Live Encore: Unlock The Secrets to Sketching Impossibly Clean lines | Scott Martin | Skillshare

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Live Encore: Unlock The Secrets to Sketching Impossibly Clean lines

teacher avatar Scott Martin, Illustrator / Burnt Toast

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Drawing Lines


    • 3.

      Drawing From Memory


    • 4.

      Drawing Characters


    • 5.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Get your #oddlysatisfying clean-lines fix with Scott's incredibly fun and unexpected sketching tips and tricks!

Every artist has smeared their hand across their paper, broken their pencil, or otherwise defaced a perfectly good sketch. Say goodbye to infomercial-level torment in Scott's live session, dedicated to giving you the tools to prepare your sketches for rendering fast, easily, and with style. 

Alongside Scott, you'll learn how to:

  • Harness the magic of disappearing ink
  • Compose and rough out a sketch with rendering in mind
  • Use all of Scott's hard-won tips and tricks for not smudging your work
  • Make your sketch as clean and neat as possible for the next stage of your work

and more!

While we couldn't respond to every question during the session, we'd love to hear from you—please use the class Discussion board to share your questions and feedback.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Scott Martin

Illustrator / Burnt Toast


Burnt Toast is the working alias for Scott Martin, a Canadian–based freelance artist, illustrator, and co-founder of the NFT art collection Doodles. Scott’s exuberant but technically impeccable style is widely respected, and he has become an internationally known artist and freelance commercial illustrator. His art and his design process have been featured in numerous publications and campaigns worldwide, with a roster of clients that includes Google, Facebook, Dropbox and Red Bull.

Along with two cofounders, in 2021 Scott launched an art collection called Doodles, made up of 10,000 NFTs which sold out in minutes. The Doodles series includes colorful pastel-hued characters with whimsical and joyful expressions. 


The ... See full profile

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1. Introduction: I feel like people are intimidated and feel like they need to make beautiful piece the first time, when that's not the case. Hi everyone, I'm Scott, I go by Burnt Toast. I'm a freelance illustrator. I've been doing that for about eight years, and I'm happy to be here. I've worked with clients like Google, McDonald's, Samsung, Facebook. Today's class is about getting comfortable with pencil and paper, and using some of the tricks that I've learned during my time as an illustrator that will help you draw more confidently. I chose this topic because I think a lot of people are intimidated by the sketching process when they really don't need to. Today I'm going to start with set-up and talk about how you can make most of your workstation. We're going to through some exercises that help with accuracy and confidence in your line work. Then we're going to try some doodling and drawing from memory, and then lastly, we're going to draw characters with expressive poses. All you really need today is pencil and paper. It would be helpful if you had some light-colored pencil crayons and if you want to follow along digitally that's totally fine too. I'm hoping people will leave this session with some tips and tricks on how to draw cleaner and a little bit more confident. Just wanted to note this class was filmed from the front room of my house and it was a live session, and I got to interact with the audience while it was happening. Let's do this. 2. Drawing Lines: Hi, I'm O'Briana, a senior producer on the classes and content team. I use she, hers pronouns. We're super excited to have Scott with us today. Scott, thank you for being here. Tell us what we're doing today and why this drawing clean straight lines is what you wanted to focus on. To the point about the murals, I think even a mural starts with a sketch. Everything starts with a sketch. If you are storyboarding animation, that starts with a sketch. If you're working on a final vector piece, that starts with a sketch. It's good to have those skills in place. It's fundamental really before you start anything else. I know this class is called impossibly clean sketches, but I wanted to know the fact that sketches shouldn't always be impossibly clean. It's more important to just have a sketchbook nearby and get your ideas down, so you can keep them and come back to them later. That's more important but, it is nice to have a nice finished product that you can maybe sell or hung on fridge, or whatever you want to do with it, I don't know. But these skills are more just about calibrating your hand with your brain and drawing with intention. That's what we're going to start with, is some warm-ups and then we're going to see doodling and eventually get to character with expressive poses. I feel the hardest part for an illustrator is actually touching the pencil to the paper. Let's just think, draw a little happy face in the corner and just get that over with. I love this. This is the first time I can get that. That's the hardest part, and that's out of the way now, you're an artist. But again, this is just a sketch for our exercise. But what we want to do here is just draw a dot then another dot, and then a couple more. Then you just want to lock your wrist. You can turn your page and then just try and pull in one single motion, a straight line to this dot and try and land right on the dot. See if I can get it right. Just keep connecting them. You're rotating the page, so you're always bringing your hand. Yeah. I like to pull down. If you're more comfortable going this way or whatever. But the idea is planning your attack and landing where you need to, like drawing with intention. Imagining your line and anticipating your line. Then you can start to do things like add curves. I'm trying to land at the same spot. I usually hold the other hand. It's weird I don't actually ever articulate what I'm doing, this is new to me. Maybe try to make some even dashes. Maybe try going over one of your lines. This is all about connecting your hand and your mind? Yeah. Exactly. Calibrate it so that you're not just drawing endlessly. This is super important when you're trying to draw from memory. Now and you're trying to reproduce what's in your mind on paper, you should have a connection with your hand and then turn the pencil. I know that's boring, but it's worth drawing I think. It's art. Is that a warm-up exercise? When would you do something like this? I draw every single day for a living, so I don't necessarily need to do this. But if I had been away on a trip or was just new to the scene, then I would recommend doing this probably every time. But yeah, I'd be lying if I said I did. You just turn your page over. Let's do something similar. Again, lock your wrist and just try to draw a circle as best as you can. Then we're going to draw another one, but I want you to come around and try and touch this one as you do. This is same vein as the last exercise, just not straight lines. We'll just keep going. Man, easier said than done. Yeah. Easy. Then so when you're doing smaller circles, you do unlock your wrist. Bigger movements you should lock your rest and draw with your forearm. Smaller details you can use your wrist. Does it give you more control when you do lock your wrist, does that why you are doing it? I've being really asking myself. I guess so, you have more control. That makes sense. This is harder, but try and draw a line inside your circle and stay parallel with the one that was there. Obviously, I can do that. This is cool. It's like going back to the roots of drawing, but in such a deliberate way. You need to start there. I think everybody just wants to sit down and make exactly what's in their mind and make something beautiful. This is quite beautiful, but it's not realistic [inaudible] 3. Drawing From Memory: The next thing I want to do is start with a light pencil crayon if you have it. We're going to draw from our memories. We're just going to draw inanimate objects, and you can follow along with me too if you want and just draw what I'm drawing. I don't know if you want to put things in the chat and I'll draw those. Let's do that. Yeah, someone dropped in the chat, what would you like Scott to draw? A stapler. A stapler. Then request for pizza, which I attach a lot of emotion to pizza. I'm just drawing an egg and a pan for now, but I will do the stapler and the pizza next. Stapler, what's a stapler look like? You side here you're not focusing too much on making perfect line quality because you're going to go over it and clean it up. This is really the idea and the shape down. Right. That's kind of a shit stapler look. A gas pump, that's a tough one. Gas pump? Look like. It's a good one. That looks delicious. I don't know what a gas pump looks like? I don't either. Also, fruit is another suggestion. Can we be more specific? I say a kiwi. Cherries. It's probably more visually compelling. Good point. I'm getting hung up on this gas pump thing. Yeah, that's dangerous if you operate it, it takes Justin's from the chat. I know, but it's what I signed up for. Rob, you haven't thrown in a suggestion yet. I feel like Robzilla on the chat, probably has crazy ideas. That looks pretty good. Was it cherries? Cherries, yeah. If anybody else is drawing their own thing too let us know what inanimate objects your drawing. Anything else? What else do we have, magnifying glass? Shoes or a magnifying glass. A pencil or a pencil crayon, if you will. But see, that's where our parallel lines is coming. Oh yeah. What else we got? Cake. Cake. Yeah. Everyone who's asking questions in the chat too, these are great, and I'm taking some down for Q&A at the end. What are they? Do you have a pretty good plan in place in your head what lines you're going to draw? I think so. Yeah. Yeah. Do you just see it? You've practiced so much, you can just see like this is the burnt toast version of what this thing would be? Yeah, and I've been doing this long enough where I probably drawn everything on this page already once in my life. Maybe not a gas pump, but definitely drawn pencils, cake, pizza, a stapler. Because you get clients that asked for like a sheet of 20 drawings, 30 drawings. Right. Anyway, let's move on. A knife. Let's just do a knife quick. Yeah, do a knife. This is very cool. It's amazing. It's nice to see like how little time you spend on these. You're not getting hung up on any single one. Again, it's like this is just the blank page and get something on it. Don't tell my clients how quickly I work. Fellow. this is a day and a half of work. Yeah. Well, it's all that lifetime of practice that goes into making you able to draw these. Sure. Yeah. I said these should be parallel but they're not great. You go back and you take your pencil and you have a second chat. Those of you who want to take these to Photoshop, I cover this in one of my Skillshare classes, but you can scan this in and then just hit, I think it's Control U or Command U, and then it will bring up your hue and saturation dialogue and you can just turn off the reds. Then all you'll have left is the yellow paper and the black pencil and the reds will disappear. You can bent your way away from the first lines, scan this in, and you'll have these impossibly clean lines. Cool yeah. Impossibly clean and yet still hand-drawn feel. Yeah, they still have that quality. Yeah, cool. Another question, how long did it take you to figure out your style and how did you? That's a great question. I get that question all the time. I always had a certain sureness in my work where it was like a solid line. It has bent over time just with following trends and stuff, but it's a hard one for me to answer. I want to say it's just inherently mine, but I think it's also just each steppingstone I took with my style has landed here here, if that makes any sense at all. Yeah, totally. It's a hard question. Do you feel like your style is that or do you ever look back and you're like, "Oh, man, my style really evolved over this past year?" Yeah, I know you would think it would just stop. Instagram is a great way to go look at your portfolio in a chronological order. If you just scroll down a little bit, you can see your colors just changing slowly or your approach changing. It's pretty cool. I like Instagram for that reason. 4. Drawing Characters: These are heat activated markers. I don't expect anybody has those right now. My partner showed me these. They are erasable basically so friction will erase them. If you are using them for embroidery you heat them with a hair straightener or hairdryer and they'll disappear. We use those for the characters. They're fun, they're gimmicky, they're not necessary. Cool, let's start simple. Let's just start with a guy walking. I always start with a bean-shape. I probably start about there. I'm going to just put the bean this way then back this way, like that. If you get it wrong, just go back and fix it. It's all good. Give him some legs. Even his feet are bean-shaped. You'll see I drew right over top of this, you see this line here, you won't be keeping that line but in order to have lines that make sense it's okay to overlap. I bring this line down and again that's going to, I don't know. Mr. Bean. Wow, he's cute. How's yours looking? I got to say you can tell I am not an artist but he is abstract and cute. This guy I think is going to be impaled with a pencil. Is that how you're feeling with all your freelance work nowadays? I actually have some really exciting stuff going on right now I can't talk about it but we're doing pretty good. That's good. Excited to see when it comes out. Good enough. Nice. Now I'm going to just reassess, I'm missing some pieces. My guy is not as good as yours but he's there. Now I'm going to go trace over frankly with this pencil. People who are working virtually should lift up to a new layer and clean on it and then they can turn this layer off underneath. Obviously, people are working with pencil pen can't do that but it's all good. I hope this works out, I haven't actually tested it too much. Just selecting the lines you want to keep and ignoring the ones you don't. How are you choosing? I guess it's just a natural instinctual thing but. No, that's a good question actually, what I could do is go through so I can see these two lines here and here, and this one goes out straight when I was correcting my drawing it was left behind. Sometimes especially I'd find my painting or something and I know I need to paint over this line. I'll just give myself a little signal and just put a little dash to it so I know that is not going to be kept. This one is not going to be kept. The pencil will be behind this arm so these won't be kept, that won't be kept. I'll give myself little hands like that. That's super-helpful. This is not going to be a masterpiece by any definition. I'm so excited at the end for those who are brave enough to hold up what they're working on to see everyone's version. I hope sharing my really junky one has just, let that be an encouragement to all. This is the judgment free zone. Scott might be silently judging mine but he wont judge yours. Absolutely not. I think it was Roosevelt who said, comparison is the thief of joy. That's a good one. That's a keeper. I didn't follow my own rules I smudged my work. What do you do when a smudge happens? Well, I usually scan it and then you can just erase it in Photoshop. But you can use an eraser and I actually had a point about erasers, I never use erasers but when I do or used to, I always remind myself to swallow the spit in my mouth before I blew away my eraser shavings because I used to spit on my work by accident. That's a learn in the hard way. Do you have a memorable horror story that comes to mind of just like a big mistake, like, oh, your hand smudged all the way across the page or like, oh man, I learned the hard way with this sketch. Not really. You just make it work. I wish I did. I usually draw everything three or four times even if I think I got it right, I draw it again just to see if I can get it even more right. I'm not really attached to my work in that light. That's freeing. Here is this guy running with a pencil that is stuck through his belly and we have all these working lines. I'm hoping I did it right and can you see? Now, because these markers are heat activated I realized that you can just rabble a lighter on them. Wow. Do not do this at home folks. You can. Safely. Please, make sure you move your lighter fast enough that you don't light the paper on fire. But [inaudible]. This is so cool. [inaudible]. I love it. I'm smearing the pencil with my lighter too. I don't know if they're impossibly clean per se, but this is where the title of the class came from. Wow. It really feels like magic is happening. It really does I know. Wow. 5. Final Thoughts: Thank you so much for taking this class. The only way to get good at illustrating is to never stop. Just get as much practice as you can, you'll surprise yourself with how good you get.