Urban Artist in the Making!

I haven’t been blogging here for the longest time. Just as I thought that I would be blogging like crazy when the pandemic hit the world last year, I fell out of my progress. Instead, I ended up concentrated in the art courses that I enrolled during that time. In fact, the last blog entry that I posted here was about stealing like an artist from last spring.

I mentioned about enrolling in courses from the Korean learning platform Class 101 last year. After many months (almost a year actually) since I enrolled in some of them, I finally finished one course. The course is called Travel and Lifestyle Illustrations – Learn Pen and Marker by Korean veteran illustrator and teacher, Rini.

This entry also serves as a review of the course from my personal perspective. Because this is a paid course, I’m not going to include any screenshots and such over here. Instead, visit the link, view the previews, and if interested, enroll in the course. Also, please follow the wonderful instructor too, as she posts beautiful (digital) art too!

Overall General Info & Materials

The core subjects of this course are the following:

  • urban sketching/illustrations, objects, nature, scenery
  • drawing using liner pens/archival pens and alcohol markers 1

Rini’s pen and marker course also happens to be the Top Ranked favorite/popular course in the entire Class 101 platform, and after finishing the course, it does deserve its current spot. The course is simply wonderful, easy to follow, and even though it’s subtitled in Korean, Rini replies to student comments in Korean, English, and Japanese. She also has another course in tie with this one called Detailed Urban Sketches With Only a Pen, which teaches drawing basic art concepts and detailed scenery with only using a (liner/archival) pen. Some students stated that we should have taken the pen-only drawing course first, but Rini herself (at the end of the pen and marker course) mentioned that it’s recommended to take both, regardless of the order, so that we can build a more solid ground in drawing urban sketches on our own with our own subjects. While still taking her pen and marker course, I also enrolled in her pen-only course.

One of Class 101’s features is that you have a limit of 20 weeks to access the course. 2 And periodically, they will release new courses too, in which you can earn up to 32 weeks access to those new courses if you pre-enroll early on before the start date begins. Lastly, you have the option for Class 101 to send you the materials for that particular course for extra cost (including overseas shipping & handling). Though the courses are quite expensive, you also have the option of paying them to small installments so you can pay for them periodically.

For the pen and marker course, the course materials are as follows. You don’t need to enroll/purchase for the full package. You can shop your own materials, as long as it is similar to the ones the instructor recommended:

  • 200gsm A5 drawing/mixed media sketchbook/pad
  • Staedtler Pigment Liner pen set. You only need 0.1 and 0.05 point pens for this one. You can use any pigment/archival ink pen as you like, as long as they can withstand the Copic marker ink. I used Copic Multiliner SP pen set 0.1 and 0.05. 3
  • Copic Ciao Markers (colors used are listed in the course description). Because they are alcohol markers, you can use other brand alcohol markers as long as you have the colors similar to the instructor’s recommendations. Rini chose the colors carefully by herself, so if you want to use Copic Ciao, you would have to purchase them separately since they don’t come in packs/kits like the way Copic markers are sold.
  • Soft eraser
  • Light flesh/light peach colored pencil. Rini uses Faber Castell Polychromos light flesh color, but I used my old Sanford (now Prismacolor) Col-Erase light peach pencil, since they’re easily eraseable.
  • Opaque white ink pen. Rini uses Sakura Gelly Roll white pen. I have a Gelly Roll white pen, but I opted to use the Uni-ball Signo White Pen instead because it’s a lot more opaque. I use it to correct some mistakes here and there too.
  • Mesh pouch – to put all your stuff in and carry it with you whenever you go out and do all your illustrations on the go. It’s optional, of course, but very handy.

In the All-in-One package, Rini also included a booklet of sample materials and reference sheets. But if you ordered the class-only option, you can download and print out these same reference sheets included in the course.

What you’ll be learning

  • The very basics from how to hold a pen while drawing/sketching, how to use Copic markers, basic strokes such as straight lines, curved lines, hatching, light and shadow, drills, etc.
  • How to blend colors using Copic markers (or whatever alcohol markers you use)
  • Draw simple objects from flowers, plants, to food.
  • How to use your pencil to measure the subject of your reference photo and “translate” that measurement to the size of the paper you’re drawing on. Rulers won’t work because exact size measurements using the ruler may not fit your paper.
  • Draw facade sceneries
  • Learn basic perspectives (1-point and 2-point) and draw a scenery/landscape artwork
  • Combine all tasks together
  • Tips on creating your own artwork and how to draw your own art while you’re on the scene (urban sketching)

This is a very beginner-friendly course, so for those who have never drawn anything before or just don’t feel confident in drawing in general, this is a perfect class to start with. Rini also has a very pleasing, patient voice and a very clear diction, 4 and she clearly explains every step with ease so you can relax.

Practice makes progress!

Rini reminds us periodically that there is no such thing as a “perfect” artwork, which is why she prefers the word “progress” over “perfection.” Every beginner will always mess up on the first try, and that’s natural. The projects she’s given us only has one goal: for the beginner artist to understand the lesson/technique and how to apply to them. The artwork itself doesn’t have to look completely professional perfect.

I’ve already taken photos of some scenes around my hometown as reference photos of my future pieces. However, I’d like to complete Rini’s pen-only course to have a more solid grounding of my illustration skills. I think for anyone who wants to draw characters (and character art is my desire too!) that starting with drawing sceneries and objects is a good starting point. Once we get all the basics down, I think we should be ready for character art in the near future.

Conclusion

Definitely solid 5 stars for me! I really highly recommend taking her course! And Class 101 has plenty of intriguing courses that are mostly beginner friendly 5 from traditional art, digital art, and even crafting too. I’ve also enrolled in a few others, so I really look forward to starting those courses once I’ve got everything done.

Plus, art courses are a lot of fun, at least I had fun with this particular one. You won’t have any deadlines to worry about, so you have as much time as you can to work on your art without any pressures. And, that’s what art in general should be in the first place anyway.

In the future for this blog, I plan on writing reviews and personal experiences of all the art courses that I enrolled and finished. I won’t also just going to focus on Class 101 courses. I signed up for different platforms too, such as Domestika and Udemy. There are other arts and crafts platforms around the net, such as Skillshare and Craftsy and Creative Bug that I also plan to enroll too, but for now, they’re not priority.

Back to pen artwork now. Till next time!

(I'm officially a Class 101 Ambassador. I will be earning a small commission for every purchase you enroll. Click above for the course I''m reviewing above. Thank you very much!)

Little Notes

  1. To be more specific, Copic markers.
  2. This is to motivate you to get into the course, do its homework projects, submit them, communicate with the instructor and classmates, and earn points.
  3. Sakura Micron pens are the obvious most popular liner pen set, however, the ink bleeds a little bit when used with the Copic marker. You have the option of using Copic Multiliners instead, but Staedtler pens are so much cheaper, so I’d go with Staedtler if you can’t afford Copics. I got mine as a gift, so I didn’t need to purchase them separately.
  4. Maybe you can feel Rini’s mentor-like voice if you understood Korean, but for me as a non-Korean speaker, I can really feel the sincerity and patience from her tone.
  5. The course descriptions will indicate whether the course is beginner-friendly or for intermediate level artists