- Lesson details
Join Ukrainian-born artist Iliya Mirochnik as he passes on a 250-year-old academic method preserved at the Repin Academy in Saint Petersburg, Russia and seldom taught outside of the Academy and never before on camera.
The Russian Academic drawing and painting approaches were uninterrupted by the modern art movements that transformed representational art in the West, and as a result, they provide a unique and clear lineage to the greater art traditions of the past. As a powerful approach that is both constructive and depictive, it combines the two methods that prevail in contemporary representational art.
In these three drawing Courses, we have set out to condense the entire program, spanning over eight years into a logical, step-by-step procedure. We have made improvements and added resources and exercises to explicitly drive home the concepts that are required to work in this approach.
We have also structured the course so that it is not only useful for professional and experienced artists but also artists with no drawing experience whatsoever.
The first course: the Fundamentals is our most comprehensive beginner-level course to date, including everything you need to get started.
In this second lesson, Iliya shows you the necessary marks that you will need to master for drawing. You will learn how to create straight and curved lines, point-to-point lines, flat tones, hatch marks, and a combination. Special attention is given to assignments that reinforce hand and eye as well as pressure control.
The New Masters Academy Coaching Program directly supports this Course. If you enroll in the coaching program, you can request an artist trained in the Russian Academic Method including Iliya Mirochnik himself. Click here to enroll in the Coaching Program.
- Graphite pencils
- Kneaded and Hard Erasers
- Sharpening Stone
- Utility Knife
- Roll of Paper, Smooth Sketchbook paper
- Staple gun
- Light source
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now that we've covered our supplies and stretched our paper and put
it aside for now, let's actually start making some
marks on paper.
Don't use the paper that we stretched on the panel until the final
assignment. So just open up
your pad of paper to a clean sheet,
take your pencil in your hand, and
we can get started on it.
Before we begin the only thing that I'm going to
tell you is how to hold
the pencil in your hand. Now I think
you can see it on the camera here. The important -
the importance of holding it the way that I have it here so that
the pencil is basically -
you're simply - like it should be on -
it should be in your hand without you actually holding it and then you
just slightly keeping it in place. If you hold it
the way that I'm holding it here, as far back as possible,
it can give you the largest amount of -
the largest amount of movement
to begin with but also won't
cramp your hand and will just feel like
an extension of your hand. So
now we begin by making a mark or two. So
just put your pencil on the paper and begin to move it around without picking it up
play around with how
dark you get the line, get the darkest line that you possibly can then immediately
drop off and get the lightest line that you can,
then pick the pencil up and do a line that's not as long.
a light line that becomes a dark line, practice making a dark line that becomes
a light line. If you see that you're moving
that you're sort of - like that if you
move across the page
in one particular
direction, counter that by going
the other way.
So all these are are lines
You can do a
straight line or two, as many as you want actually. As many as you feel
that you need. Also, experiment
with the angle of the pencil in relation to your pad
of paper. So play around with keeping the pencil as
perpendicular as possible to the paper that you have
and you can see that it usually lends itself to a line
that is a bit stronger, a bit heavier.
Then play around with putting your pencil as parallel to
the surface of the paper and you can see that it's actually much easier to make
a lighter - a line that's a lot lighter
and then experiment with both of those
at once. And just move it around. Like the key here is to
almost not be aware that there's
a pencil in your hand.
That's all there is to it.
sketchpad sheets of paper with all kinds of straight and curved
lines. Explore the different effects you get by changing the pressure
with which you apply the pencil, as well as the angle
you placed the pencil to the paper.
marks on paper without any control
involved. Now let's add an element of control
and planning. So all you'll need again is
your pencil and your pad of paper. So all
we need to do here is to place
anywhere on the paper. Then
what you're going to do is place another point
about an inch and a half to two inches
away from the other one. And then you're going to
So let's - let's
try that exercise again but now placing the point slightly
further away from our initial point.
And then you're going to connect them. And you're going to aim
try to make a line that hits both points. If
you're slightly off, for one that's okay, but you can also
just try again. And it's
easier to correct that line because you already have
the line that's incorrect, which makes it easier to
evaluate, is the other line above that one,
below that one, and so on.
So I would keep practicing until you get to a point where you
can get all the way across -
all across the page. So
in order to achieve,
to put a line in between those two points, you might have to step away
from your paper and
approximate that angle, estimate it,
think about it, and then -
I know that my point is slightly
higher. So I'm just gonna try to keep that and that
went off again. So just keep practicing
this. The importance here is you don't need
to be extremely exact
but you just need to keep
taking it from point to point.
And if you've been going
across now it's time to go from top
to bottom, from the bottom
to the top.
So that's just it.
going to fill four big 18 by 24 inch
sketchpad sheets with point to point lines.
As soon as the page fills up and all the lines get too confusing, move on to the next page.
Your goal with this assignment is to connect two points at
complete opposite ends of the page with a success rate of at least
80 percent. Good luck.
connect point on paper, it's time to practice putting down
a flat tone. What you
will need for this is your pencil and the
ruled notebook paper that I asked you to buy.
So in order to begin
I would ignore
the lines on the paper, I would tilt
the pencil so that the angle is as
sort of as parallel to the paper as possible
and then without lifting it off
the paper, you just
move it in the way that I'm
showing you here. Then
you can go over this at a slightly different angle.
Then you could work to get a larger area -
larger area covered. So you
will be able to see some of these lines and that's okay.
Because of the way that we have - because of the way that
we have sharpened our pencil, there's a large amount of graphite
to use. So if you are able to turn it
and almost place it on the paper.
Okay so after you've filled up a couple of pages of this, it's time to
do the exact same things within
the margins of the ruled notebook.
So you can pick
any point on the notebook and just do the
exact same kind of technique
in between the lines. It doesn't have to
be exactly in between them but
do the best that you can.
And then after you fill in
this place, maybe it's time to move onto
a larger - so instead of
one margin, now you're working within
two or more.
I would also - I would not only work away from my hand
but then also practice working
toward your hand.
The next thing
after you get a bit more comfortable here
is to work
within the margins but start with a lighter tone and then move
into a darker tone,
make it as dark as you can and then
you can move that tone out again
into a tone that almost -
that should seamlessly blend back into
pages of your ruled notebook with flat tones.
Practice moving the pencil in different directions and changing the angle of the strokes.
Don't skip this assignment, the skills you gain from this
will be instrumental for all the exercises in this program.
placing a flat tone on paper, let's move on to
hatching. So here I'm gonna ask you to do
something slightly differently. You're going to begin
by actually thinking about the margins that you have
here on the paper. So - and the other thing that I would ask
you to do is to now turn your pencil
up to about a 45 degree angle or so.
by doing the same exact thing that
you did when you were placing a flatter
tone on paper. And you see you
already have something that resembles a hatch considerably more
because you're working more with the point
of the pencil than of a side
of the graphite. So after you fill
a few lines of this, begin by
picking your pencil up ever so slightly
work within the margins, and try to keep the lines as parallel as
possible and use the movement that is the most
comfortable. So, in my case, it's from top to bottom
at this angle.
Afterwards you can try and speed this up.
So after you've
gotten a few lines of that, you
can now alter the angle
and go the other way.
is I would not go from top to bottom
but go from the bottom to the top
of the margin.
Then at a
step after this would now be to angle our hatch
but still stay within the margins.
And then the other way.
So after a couple pages of this
you can then begin practicing a hatch that's curved.
From top to bottom and from the bottom
to the top, then change the angle
do the exact same thing but with a curved hatch. Except that you will also need
to practice curving the other way.
you've gotten that in, now it's time to begin to expand
our hatch to now take up
more than one of the margins.
So that's all there is to this assignment. The
importance here is that you can't think too hard
about it because a hatch has to become completely automatic. So
you see that when you're starting out you will be thinking
about it and getting the angles accurate but
it's important that you do it enough
that you realize that you're not thinking at all
about what's happening on the page in front of you.
fill up six pages of your ruled notebook with hatch marks.
Practice moving the pencil in different directions and changing the angle of the hatch
marks. Try straight and curved marks in all directions.
It is important that your hatching becomes intuitive and automatic.
Remember, when you catch yourself thinking about something else, just keep
going. Around page two or three turn on some
music or an audiobook to help you lose focus.
to hatching and placing a tone on your
This is almost easier because you don't have to stay,
at least at the beginning, within any kind of
margin. So I would just start out
with placing a flat
tone on the paper,
go away from your hand, then move
toward your hand,
and you can do
a small area
of tone, you can try a larger area of tone,
then you can experiment
with moving out of sort of a medium tone
a tone that sort of seamlessly blends into the paper
and then you can start out with a lighter
tone and push it gradually darker
now it's time to practice our hatch marks. So
you see that when you hatch on the larger pad of paper
there's more a movement -
it will require more a movement of the hand.
So I would begin by making a hatch that
And you can
curve them and you can have a curve that moves,
you can have a straight line that moves
into a curve, it can start out
as a -
it can start off small and become larger
as you go, you can do a large
curve and then you can hatch across
that curve. And see in here I'm using
almost my entire arm.
And so - and so
after you get a page or two of this,
what I would recommend is to combine
the skills that you got by hatching in your notebooks
and on the paper.
So what you need to do is create a shape
and then hatch
within that shape.
could also sort of begin by
creating a shape with the hatch.
The key here is to anticipate
what that shape is going
the importance of controlling your hatch is that you'll see that you'll actually be
making an edge with
the ends of the hatch marks.
fill up four pages of your 18 by
24 inch sketchpad paper with both hatchmarks and
flat tones. Start by working your way around the page.
Once you feel comfortable with a larger hatch, draw some enclosed,
organic shapes and fill them in with hatch marks, paying particular attention
to stay as much within the contour as possible.
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3m 37s2. Straight & Curved Lines Instructor Demonstartion
24s3. Straight & Curved Lines Assignment Instructions
3m 9s4. Point-to-point Lines Instructor Demonstration
27s5. Point-to-point Lines Assignment Instructions
3m 40s6. Making Flat Tones Instructor Demonstration
25s7. Making Flat Tones Assignment Instructions
4m 23s8. Making Hatch Marks Instructor Demonstration
36s9. Making Hatch Marks Assignment Instructions
4m 23s10. Combining Hatch Marks and Flat Tones Instructor Demonstration
30s11. Combining Hatch Marks and Flat Tone Assignment Instructions