Adobe Fresco & Brush Pens: Drawing an Oil Refinery

This video demonstrates techniques for drawing man made structures, focusing on an oil refinery.

Media used in this tutorial are Adobe Fresco and brush pens with a water brush.

Explored in the video is how to tackle large, complex structures in a drawing, what to focus on, and how to compose the piece in a way that balances the larger shapes with the details.

Demo by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artist Mia Rozear.

Video Walkthrough

  • The way you approach color is heavily influenced by the art medium you are working in.
  • Prof Lieu organizes her brush pens into very light colors, and very dark colors.
  • Copic markers and refills.
  • Brush Pens are more similar to a painterly approach.
  • Marker tip shape and softness greatly influences your drawing experience.
  • Worn out brush pens can be great for sketching.
  • There is such a thing as too much blending with marker drawing.
  • Painting water into the brush pen drawing with a water brush can produce watercolor effects.
  • Limited color palettes can be easier to work with, fewer options!
  • Burning out as an artist
  • Life after art school and the new challenges it brings.
  • Dealing with rejection as an artist.
  • Drawing with a ruler can be more time consuming, and it doesn’t always get better results.
  • When using a reference photo, how much should be stylized, vs. copying the reference exactly?
  • Drawings you spend more time on are not necessarily “better” than drawings that don’t take as long.
  • Often times its easy when you work on a drawing for a long time to overwork the drawing.
  • Think about the oil refinery as an object, rather than as a gigantic structure.
  • Simplify the way you begin the drawing, try to see past details.
  • Resist the temptation to draw details too soon.

Prof Lieu’s Tips

Clara cartoon

Some drawings drive us crazy, AND we don’t like the results, whereas some drawings we really like, and felt totally effortless? Weird how that turns out, often the pieces that I bang my head against the wall for are the worst ones.

Gesture Drawing: Drawing Cats

Then there are drawings that practically draw themselves. I think it’s all about taking a lot of shots at it, I think it was Wayne Gretzky who said you’ll “miss all the shots you don’t take.”

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