Drawing Fundamentals

Part 9: Hands and Feet

This is the ninth lesson in the Learn to Sketch series! In this lesson we’ll focus on sketching hands and feet. I’ll show you how I approach sketching hands and feet, looking at simple shapes. I will also show you what you need to keep in mind when sketching. As always, it all comes down to practice and putting in the hours. Good luck!

I’ve added the exercise file I used during the demonstration. Of course you can also grab your own reference images or use your own hands and feet as reference!

Skills Learned:

  • Simplifying Shapes: Begin by breaking down hands and feet into their most basic forms. For hands, think of the palm as a rectangular block and group the fingers together before detailing individual ones. This method helps in reducing complexity
  • Understanding Structure: Pay attention to the underlying structure of hands and feet. Noticing the arches in fingers and toes, as well as the volume and cushions where the digits attach to the palm or foot, is crucial
  • Proportion and Alignment: Learn to measure distances between joints and ensure that the width of the wrist is narrower than the palm. Recognize that fingers and toes are not uniformly straight but have varying lengths and alignments
Drawing Fundamentals

Part 8: Animals

This is the eighth lesson in the Learn to Sketch series! In this lesson we’ll focus on animals. I’ll show you how you can approach sketching animals and the different approaches you can use. I’ll also show ways to exercise and train your animal sketching skills.

I’ve added the exercise file I used during the demonstration. Of course you can also grab your own reference images or go plein-air sketching!

Skills Learned:

  • Sketching from the Outside In: Starting with angular, box-like outlines to capture the overall shape before moving inward for details
  • Sketching from the Inside Out: Visualizing and constructing the animal’s form with basic shapes like circles, cylinders, and rectangles
  • Utilizing References and Anatomy: The importance of using reference images and understanding animal anatomy for accurate sketches
  • Creating a Feedback Loop: Comparing your sketches to references or basic shapes overlaid on your work to identify and correct mistakes
Drawing Fundamentals

Part 7: Landscapes

This is the seventh lesson in the Learn to Sketch series! In this lesson we’ll focus on landscapes. I’ll show you how you can approach sketching landscapes and what you can think of when creating your landscape, like textures, line weight, working from big shapes to small shapes, creative freedom, etc.

I’ve added the exercise file I used during the demonstration. Of course you can also grab your own reference images or go plein-air sketching!

Skills Learned:

  • Sketching from Big to Small Shapes: Start with the overarching shapes of your landscape, such as mountains and clouds, before honing in on the details. This technique helps in laying down the basic structure of your sketch
  • Creating Depth through Line Weight and Texture: Learn how to use varying line weights and textures to differentiate between the foreground, midground, and background, enhancing the depth and dimensionality of your sketches
  • Creative Freedom in Composition: Break away from strictly adhering to reference images or real-life views by rearranging elements in your landscape. This encourages unique compositions and personal expression in your artwork
  • Thumbnail Sketching for Composition Exploration: Develop quick thumbnail sketches to explore different compositions and perspectives before selecting your favorite to develop further. This practice boosts creativity and helps in visualizing various possibilities
Drawing Fundamentals

Part 6: Textures

This is the sixth lesson in the Learn to Sketch series! In this sixth lesson we’ll focus on textures. And in our exercises we’ll put the main focus on just texture. That way you won’t get distracted by shapes and angles for instance. Texture exercises are great to loosen up and get comfortable with your pencil.

I’ve added the exercise file I used during the demonstration. Of course you can also grab your own reference images or find different textures to sketch around the house.

Skills Learned:

  • Differentiating Textures: You’ll learn to distinguish between smooth and rough textures, noting how smooth textures have gradual transitions between light and dark areas, while rough textures display a more pronounced contrast
  • Capturing Reflectiveness: Understanding the reflectiveness of surfaces helped us grasp how to depict various materials accurately, from shiny, smooth surfaces to more matte, textured ones
  • The Importance of Edges: You’ll discover how the edges of objects contribute to the texture’s appearance, with smooth objects having crisp edges and rougher objects having more blurred or undefined edges.
Drawing Fundamentals

Part 5: Angles

This is the fifth lesson in the Learn to Sketch series! In this fifth lesson we’ll focus on angles and exercise sketching subjects from different angles. You can easily practice this by sketching household objects. We’ll practice seeing the basic shapes as 3d shapes in different angles.

I’ve added the two exercise files I used during the demonstration. I’d highly recommend sketching from life for this exercise though. But of course you can get started with the exercise files. You could also make your own reference images by photographing object around your house. (the photos I used are from Shutterstock and can be used for practice purposes only).

Skills Learned:

  • Sketching Basic Shapes in Different Angles: Enhancing the ability to recognize and draw basic shapes like cylinders and circles from various perspectives
  • Understanding Perspective and Foreshortening: Learning to depict objects accurately as they appear smaller in the distance and adjust for foreshortening, where an object’s length seems shorter due to its angle
  • Drawing Over Photos: A method to train the eye for 3D shapes and perspectives by sketching over images, using dashed lines to visualize the basic shape in three dimensions
  • Creating a Feedback Loop: Utilizing a technique of drawing over sketches with a separate layer to identify and learn from inaccuracies in sketches
Drawing Fundamentals

Part 4: Add Interest

This is the fourth lesson in the Learn to Sketch series! In this fourth lesson we’ll focus on adding interest to your sketches and drawings. We’ll do this by adding variety to line weight and adding irregularities. We’ll practice this by sketching fruit and vegetables.

Skills Learned:

  • Variation in Line Weight: Understanding how varying the thickness of your lines based on lighting and shadow adds depth and interest to your sketches
  • Adding Irregularities: Learning to incorporate wobbly lines and slight imperfections to give your sketches character and a more organic feel
  • Sketching Fruits and Vegetables: Focusing on these subjects as they are forgiving and excellent for practicing shapes, angles, and volume without the pressure of precise replication
  • Measuring and Angles: Enhancing your ability to measure distances, compare sizes, and utilize negative space effectively to create more accurate sketches
  • Layering and Refining Sketches: Starting with basic shapes and angles for easy measurement, then refining these into more complex and detailed sketches with emphasis on texture and light
Drawing Fundamentals

Painting Fur

This is Flo’s Fundamentals! In this series I show how you can paint different fundamental subjects. Pieces of the puzzle you can use in your digital paintings. In this third class we’ll be diving into the subject of fur!

In the first part of the video, I’ll talk about the theory. What are the characteristics of fur and what do different types of fur have in common? How does fur flow and what colors should you use when painting it. I’ll also explain how less detail can be more and tell you on what areas you should focus.

In the second part of the video, I’ll be doing a demonstration and show you how I approach painting fur. I’ll be demonstrating four different types of fur. I’ve attached the study files, you can use these to both check my work up close and to make your own study. I would also recommend checking out my Pinterest Board with fur reference images. Try making studies from different reference images to improve your fur painting skills! And if you ever struggle or have questions, please feel free to reach out. I’m here to help!

Skills Learned:

  • Observation of Fur: Understanding the flow, color variety, and types of fur, emphasizing the importance of studying fur’s natural patterns and tones
  • Layering Approach: Building fur in layers, from the base to individual hair strands, using various brushes for texture and detail
  • Selective Detailing: Learning when to add intricate details and when to keep areas blurred for a realistic focus effect
Drawing Fundamentals

Part 3: Line Weight

This is the third lesson in the Learn to Sketch series! In this third lesson we’ll focus on line weight. How can you add variety to the line weight in your sketches and drawings and where should the light and heavy lines be? We’ll practice adding line weight variation by sketching organic shapes like branches and rocks.

Skills Learned:

  • Understanding Line Weight: Learning the significance of line weight in sketches. It’s all about the boldness or thinness of your lines, which can add depth and interest to your drawings
  • Practicing with Organic Shapes: Through exercises with rocks and branches, you’ll started to see how varying line weight can bring these natural forms to life
  • Incorporating Light and Shadow: We’ll explore how line weight can be used to depict lighting conditions, with thinner lines where the light hits and thicker, bolder lines in shadowed areas
  • Considering Distance and Gravity: The tutorial teaches you to use thinner lines for distant objects and thicker lines for closer ones, and how gravity affects the perceived weight of objects through line weight
  • Adding Texture and Detail: By sketching rocks and branches, you’ll learn to add texture and detail to your sketches, making them more realistic and visually appealing
Drawing Fundamentals

Part 2: Measuring

This is the second lesson in the Learn to Sketch series! In this second lesson we’ll focus on measuring. What and how can you measure? We’ll look at some images and think about how to measure and compare lengths, angles and more. I’ll tell you how I look at things and turn them into sketches.

Skills Learned:

  • Measuring Techniques: Learn to accurately measure dimensions in your sketches, such as lengths and angles, without relying on tools
  • Comparison Skills: Develop an eye for comparing different elements in a drawing, like the angles of shapes and distances between objects
  • Understanding Negative Space: Gain insights into identifying and utilizing the negative space in your sketches
  • Building Observation Skills: Improve your observational skills, crucial for sketching from life or reference images effectively