The Complete Beginners Drawing and Shading Course
4.4 (1,405 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
7,464 students enrolled

The Complete Beginners Drawing and Shading Course

The ideal drawing course for beginners. Super easy pencil drawing method. Everything explained in detail.
4.4 (1,405 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
7,464 students enrolled
Created by Cindy Wider
Last updated 10/2018
English [Auto]
Current price: $69.99 Original price: $99.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 10.5 hours on-demand video
  • 32 articles
  • 34 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Use basic shapes to easily construct drawings and outlines
  • Develop a real understanding of light and shade
  • Gain mastery of shading techniques to create the illusion of depth and form
  • Create drawings in one-point, two-point and three point perspective
  • Create a realistic drawing using just six pencil techniques
  • Understand the basics of portraiture by creating a child portrait
  • Suitable for complete beginners - absolutely no experience necessary
  • Pencils (HB, 2B and 4B) and a sharpener
  • A4 paper sketchpad
  • Plastic eraser (plus optional putty eraser & battery eraser)
  • Cotton buds (or optionally a paper stump)
  • Fine grain sandpaper (240 grit or similar)
  • A Ruler
  • A printer (if you want to print the course books and example outline drawings)
  • plus a genuine desire to really learn how to draw!

Have you always wanted to learn to draw?
Have you struggled to take your drawing skills to the next level?

You’re in exactly the right place. This course is for beginners and also for those who want to gain confidence with the fundamentals.

I start you off nice and easy - Basic shapes and construction drawing

Master these and you’ll feel your confidence growing already. Lots of fun introductory projects like ‘Peppie the Pup’ build your skills step-by-step.

Wow! It looks so realistic! - Shading and Form

Those skills you’ve admired in other artists for so long can be your skills too. Projects like ‘The Shoe Well Travelled’ will challenge you (but you are up to the task!) Your drawing will almost ‘pop’ off the page, amazing yourself and those around you.

One of the most admirable skills in art - Portraiture

Capturing a likeness is one of the most admirable skills in art. It’s so satisfying. Render individual facial features and create a wonderful child portrait.

Look at the world in a whole new way - Perspective and Proportion

How can you represent the three-dimensional world on a flat piece of paper? How do things we see change as they get closer, further away or turn towards us? These questions are all answered with perspective. Your eyes are now open to a whole new way of seeing and drawing.

Plus an extra bonus...
For additional inspiration I've include an extra bonus section where I detail my approach to drawing people and cute characters using construction drawing.

This is the beginners drawing course you've been looking for...

Even if you think you're not naturally talented my super easy methods and in-depth explanations will set you on the path from your first pencil lines towards creating professional grade artworks.

I've been teaching beginner artists for over 20 years. I know exactly what you need to get started the right way, and I've jam packed it into this course.

Plus, if you have any questions at all throughout your drawing journey, just ask. My team and I are right here for you.

With more than 4100 students enrolled the written reviews tell you all you need to know

"I am really enjoying this course. The explanations are brilliant and there is so much material (among videos, documents and exercises) to explore! However what I love most is the possibility to be part of the course related FB group. That is amazing indeed!! Cindy does give a lot of feedbacks and all the members and the administrators are great!!"  - Giorgio

"I'm learning things that seem so simple but have increased my artistic ability ten fold" - Gideon Swanson

"I learned a lot right from the beginning... I always wanted to draw and this lady is bang on." - Elizabeth Brown

"The step by step instruction is so in-depth, easy to follow and produces real results. Cindy and Tannis as well as the online facebook support group that goes with the course provides an extra dimension of responsive and kindly criticism and loads of support." - Helen Hanby

"Cindy Wider is a beyond amazing teacher! She constantly interacts with her students and gives lots of encouraging comments, helpful tips to make sure everyone gets the help they need... You'll never feel alone and got lost in the path of being a better artist!" - Zehra Eylem Kazgöz

"Great match for me - and the FB group discussion and feedback has been super wonderful, too!" - Ann Petrochko

" I love that she’s so thorough with the basics and love her accent too." - Rebecca Douglass

"Clear and appropriate for beginners... I have noticed that she is very active and helpful in the facebook drawing community... Impressed with everything so far." - Shak Man

" Cindy is very engaged with her students and is always very kind, supportive and encouraging!" - Patricia Gliniecki

"Great to have a course that starts off with the foundations and then builds upon them." - Andrew Bensch

"This course is perfect for complete beginners." - Lindsay Ferrara

My students say we have "the best Facebook group on the internet!"

When you enroll in this course you can join my Facebook group "The Beginner Drawing Family". It really is the most supportive and friendly community you'll find anywhere. My students call themselves 'DrawPj'ers" (after my website).

It's family friendly place where you can ask questions and request feedback from the community. When you're feeling confident you can share what you've learned with others taking the same exciting journey.

I'll be there too with my team too. I look forward to meeting you and seeing all the wonderful things you create.

Who this course is for:
  • Complete beginners
  • Students with some experience (but who need fundamental drawing skills to progress)
  • Hobby Artists
  • Students setting out on the journey to becoming an artist, illustrator or designer
  • Crafters who want to go beyond pre-made designs
  • Adults and Children (10+)
Course content
Expand all 97 lectures 10:30:34
+ Essential Skills - Just Pick Up Your Pencil!
12 lectures 38:22

In this series of essential skills I'll be showing you the very beginning steps of learning to draw. We'll start right from how to hold your pencil for sketching. These essential skills form a valuable foundation for drawing so many objects.

Preview 00:46

Welcome to your Drawing Family! Connect with fellow students, share your drawing journey in Cindy Wider's supportive Facebook Group created especially Cindy's students.

The Beginner Drawing Family Facebook Group

In this lesson I'll show you how to hold your pencil for sketching, and then how to sketch.


It's vital that you master the ability to halve a line or halve an area. In this lesson you'll learn how to halve a line without using a ruler.

Halving Lines

The ability to compare a line to horizontal or vertical is vital when drawing a likeness to a subject. In this essential skill I'll show you how to compare angles so you can create better drawings immediately.


Discover how the simple concept of  basic shapes helps you easily work out the structure of your subject so that its so much easier for you to draw.

Introduction to Basic Shapes

An easy way to draw accurate rectangles by hand.

Drawing Rectangles

An easy way to draw accurate triangles by hand.

Drawing Triangles

An easy way to draw accurate circles by hand.

Drawing Circles

An easy way to draw accurate ellipses by hand.

Drawing Ellipses

An easy way to draw accurate bell shapes by hand.

Drawing Bell Shapes

A summary of all the essential skills you've learned so far.

Essential Skills Summary
+ Essential Skills - Projects
7 lectures 50:00

Learn how to work with the project resources provided to create your your awesome outline drawings. The subjects might look cute and cuddly but don't be deceived. They will challenge you at just the right level to test your learning so far!

Introductions to Projects

Downloadable course book for the Peppie the Pup project

Peppie the Pup: Downloadable Course Books

Discover how to create the outline drawing of Peppie the Pup from basic shapes.

Peppie the Pup - Part A: Construction Drawing

Learn how to create your Peppie the Pup final outline drawing from your construction drawing.

Preview 16:41

Downloadable course book for the Tallulah Ted project

Tallulah Ted: Downloadable Course Books
Tallulah Ted: Part A: Construction Drawing

Learn how to create your Tallulah Ted final outline drawing from your construction drawing.

Tallulah Ted: Part B: Outline Drawing
+ Essential Skills - Bonus downloadable projects
6 lectures 01:01

Bonus course book which helps you further learn how to see basic shapes in everyday objects, which is really useful when you are drawing from life or from photographs.

Learn to See Shapes in Objects

Extra bonus construction drawing practice course book containing a selection of simple man-made objects.

Simple Man-made Objects
Marmalade the Rabbit Project

Bonus downloadable construction drawing practice course book for Oscar the Cat.

Oscar the Cat Project

Bonus downloadable construction drawing practice course book for Cyril the Squirrel.

Cyril the Squirrel Project

Bonus downloadable construction drawing practice course book for Cuddly Cat Bobby.

Cuddly Cat Bobby Project
+ Pencil Techniques - 'Six Pencil Techniques'
10 lectures 35:57

Get oriented with the Six Pencil Techniques section of this course. First of all you'll practise all the individual pencil techniques and then you'll complete 'The Old Hay Shed Project' which cleverly allows you to use every single technique that you've learnt so far.

Get started with Six Pencil Techniques

For all sections of the course which follow  (including this one) you'll need just a few extra drawing supplies. All should be readily available at your local art supplies store.

Drawing supplies required for all sections of the course which follow

Learn how to create a beautiful smooth shading technique.

Introduction and Smooth Shading Technique

Learn how to prepare your pencil and master the broad stroke pencil technique.

Broad Stroke Technique

Learn how to prepare your pencil tip and create the perfect chisel point stroke.

Chisel Point Technique

Learn how to draw wonderful fine lines.

Fine Lines Technique

Discover the best way to create the very useful hatching stroke.

Hatching Technique

Learn to create a beautiful pencil cross hatch.

Preview 01:25

You can use your eraser to draw too! Learn how to use your eraser for artistic effects.

Erasing Techniques

Summary of all the pencil techniques that you have learnt so far.

Six Pencil Techniques Summary
+ Pencil Techniques - Major Project: The Old Hay Shed
7 lectures 01:30:23

Downloadable resources for the Old Hay Shed Project.

Introduction and Project Resources

Before you can create the Old Hayshed you'll need an outline drawing on your paper. In this video you'll learn various ways you can transfer an image from one sheet of paper to another.

Introduction and the Graphite Transfer Method

For the Old Hay Shed first of all you'll start with the shadow areas...

Pencil Stroke Placement and Shadow Areas

Now it's time to have fun creating the trees and the leaves. They are going to look great when you use the pencil techniques you've just learnt.

Preview 25:22

Next you'll add some background elements like the bushes. Again the illusion is created by using just a few pencil techniques.

Background Elements

Deft use of the broad stroke instantly creates the illusion of a corrugated steel roof.

The Roof Area

And for the grande finale you'll fill in the foreground elements, again using the pencil techniques you've just learnt to add the finishing touches. Admire your work! You did this!

Completing the Foreground
+ Pencil Techniques - Bonus downloadable projects
4 lectures 00:12

Bonus downloadable six pencil techniques course book for the Tulips in the Tub project.

Tulips in a Tub Project

Bonus downloadable six pencil techniques course book for the Giant Cherry Cupcake project.

Giant Cherry Cupcake Project

Bonus downloadable six pencil techniques course book for the Happy Campers project.

Happy Campers Project

Bonus downloadable six pencil techniques course book for the Shining Lighthouse project.

Shining Lighthouse Project
+ Shading - 'Three Ways to Shade'
6 lectures 44:16

In the Three Ways to Shade section you'll learn three different ways to apply shading to your paper, Gradation, Soft Edge and Hard Edge. But first, you'll create a value scale which you will use in your shading projects a little later. 

Three Ways to Shade Introduction

A value scale helps you to decide exactly how light or how dark you should shade your drawings. You will use this technique time and time again throughout your drawing journey.

Create a Value Scale

Have you always wondered how you can shade from one level of darkness through to a lighter tone? Wonder no more! I'll show you how to created a lovely smooth shaded gradient.


Learn how to make the edges of your shaded areas soft beautiful.

Soft Edge

Need a hard edge between the light and dark areas in your drawing? This is how you do it!

Hard Edge

Summary of the techniques you'll be mastering in the Three Ways to Shade section.

Three Ways to Shade Summary
+ Shading - 'The Theory of Light and Shade'
6 lectures 25:56

I'll show you how to recognise the major areas of light and shade in objects so you can render them in a beautifully realistic way.

Introduction to the Theory of Light and Shade (plus resources)

Learn how to realistically shade the most basic of 3D shapes... the cube!

Shade a Cube

Use your gradient shading skills to realistically render a lovely sphere with the illusion of depth and form.

Shade a Sphere

It's amazing how just a basic cone shape can really test your skills when you shade it realistically. I'll show you how.

Shade a Cone

All the shading techniques you've been mastering so far can be use in the cylinder. It's an excellent test of your technique.

Shade a Cylinder

Summary of everything you've learnt so far in the Theory of Light and Shade.

Theory of Light and Shade Summary
+ Shading - Bonus downloadable projects
4 lectures 00:10

Bonus downloadable shading course book for the Bob the Boat project.

Bob the Boat Project

Bonus downloadable shading course book for the Puddles the Boot project.

Puddles the Boot Project

Bonus downloadable shading course book for the Frangipani Dreams project.

Frangipani Dreams Project

Bonus downloadable shading course book for the Holiday project.

The Holiday Project
+ Shading - Major Project: Silver Kettle
3 lectures 34:16

A silver kettle seems like such a simple object, but it will be a real test of your shading skills to make it look metallic, shiny and realistic. But don't worry. If you've successfully completed the exercises up to this point you are more than ready for the task!

Silver Kettle Introduction and Project Resources

A step-by-step walk through of creating the Silver Kettle, with every stage explained.

Silver Kettle Tutorial

See the creation of the entire shaded silver kettle from start to finish. Use it as a reference when you create your own silver kettle.

Silver Kettle Speed Drawing