In this course I will take students through the methods I employ to create a black and white illustration using traditional paper and ink media. Along with demonstrating step by step the working methods I use, I will also give my thoughts on some of the broader topics surrounding picture making and design. I will discuss what I think are the strengths of working through a project using traditional media and why I believe it is still the key foundation to visual creativity as well as the importance of keeping a regular sketchbook.
A brief overview of the course and it's goals, from materials and thumnail sketching, to final illustration
In this first example, we begin to explore ideas by thumbnail sketching, using a Pentel pocket brush pen on copy paper. The idea is to work very small and rapidly generate ideas, while avoid getting caught up in excessive detailing at this early stage
Here we continue the ideation process with another thumbnail drawing, working on a variation of a similar theme of a science fiction inspired landscape. Still working at the same small size with the same tools, we can see how quickly we can explore different ideas.
In this third thumbnail drawing, we begin to narrow down towards choosing a final composition for the full sized illustration. I will also discuss how this method allows you to quickly generate many ideas which can be developed and refined later, as opposed to jumping into a full sized drawing unprepared.
With this fourth and final thumbnail, I arrive at the chosen concept for the final large scale drawing. With this, even though it is a very small and quick drawing, all the major elements of the composition are in place that will appear in the final piece.
In this lecture, I take the chosen composition and make a slightly larger and more detailed preliminary drawing, using a Copic Fineliner and Pentel brush pen. The purpose of this is to flesh out the concept a little further and make certain all the essential elements are working, before committing the time required for a full rendering.
Here, we begin the full sized illustration by first adding loose pencils. The goal initially is to deal with establishing the larger shapes before coming in later to refine the details. I will also discuss working with different types of pencils in terms of lead softness, as well as the qualities of bristol board as a medium for both penciling and inking.
In this chapter, i will refine the pencils and work into the drawing, adding the final layer of detail. The goal is to now take the drawing to the point where the inking process can begin so we make sure everything is in place and use a ruler to ensure the angular elements are precise.
In this chapter, the inking process begins and we will learn how to be methodical, by starting with the foreground first. I will also discuss using the Pentel brush pen to create heavier line weights, in order to sell the illusion of depth. I also cover the inking process and how bristol board reacts to inking compared to paper.
In this section i will begin inking the middle ground of the drawing, which is also the second focal point of the drawing. As well as discussing the narrative thought process behind the illustration, I will demonstrate using a new tool, the Zebra brush pen, to create medium line weights, helping to achieve a balance of detail versus clarity. Another area I will discuss is the danger of over detailing when drawing and the use of white gouache paint to make corrections.
This chapter covers the start of the inking process for the background and second focal point of the illustration. This is the most detail rich area so the Copic fineliner will be used extensively to flesh out those finer details. I will also discuss using reference when depicting landscapes and making small adjustments to details that were previously unplanned.
Continuing work on the background, just fleshing out the details on the landscape and structure.I will also discuss some of my influences and employ the copic alcohol marker for the first time, to cover large areas in black.
Continuing work on the background section I will use a ruler initially to clean up some outlines. I discuss how as the process continues, I tend to switch tools more often and some different approaches one could take to rendering in ink, including traditional brushes and ink nibs. I also discuss the differences between tools in more detail, as well as the variations in black ink.
In this chapter we are drawing close to the finish, mainly now just finishing smaller details and making minor corrections and cleaning up where necessary. I will also discuss some broader topics, like working consistently with a sketchbook to level up your skills and how there are no shortcuts to putting in the hours. I will also discuss how important influences are but how it is important not to directly copy and give my thoughts on other visual artistic fields.
In this final chapter I will finish the final details and add the starfield using some undiluted white, gouache paint. I will also summarize the overall process. Also included with this final chapter is a downloadable .psd file of the final scanned line drawing with the line art on a separate multiply layer.
I am a largely self taught designer and illustrator working with both traditional and digital tools. I am passionate about preserving the place of traditional media in the creative process, although I also recognize the great flexibility and utility of digital tools as well. For me, the process always begins with drawing on paper as I feel this is the quickest way to brainstorm ideas and is also much more satisfying in a tactile sense.
I'm a graphic designer, illustrator and design teacher for more than 10 years. I create clever logos and cute illustrations, I like to inspire, share my knowledge and make people think and laugh!
I use Inkscape, an open source graphic design program in most of my design, and I was teaching this to my students too in a college in Budapest.
I am constantly sharing knowledge about design and life as a freelancer. I teach on Udemy since 2014 and work together with some of my friends now, to create better courses together by sharing my online teaching experience
Exploring new ways to create and sharing my knowledge is what I like the most - so don't be afraid to ask, I'm here to teach!.