Learn how to draw step by step. Art and Creativity.
4.6 (111 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.
1,254 students enrolled

Learn how to draw step by step. Art and Creativity.

Learn how to draw by observing, perceiving, representing shape and creating in a fun and simple way. Art and Creativity.
4.6 (111 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.
1,254 students enrolled
Last updated 2/2017
English [Auto]
Current price: $23.99 Original price: $34.99 Discount: 31% off
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This course includes
  • 2.5 hours on-demand video
  • 12 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • You will be able to draw everything you see
  • You will acquire freedom and conviction while drawing
  • You will be able to fit shapes correctly in a format
  • You will enjoy drawing
  • You will perceive objects in 2D
  • A4 or A3 papers and soft pencils such as 4B or 3B
  • Feeling like drawing and being excited about it
  • Other materials that I show you in the lectures (they are very simple and easy to get)

Artistic drawing course addressed to everyone who wants to learn how to draw, it is for everyone. From Art students ( Fine Arts, Architecture, Art workshops or schools) to beginners. Everyone can learn following the method created by Dr. Antonio García Villarán, Director and Professor in CREA 13. With simple activities you will educate your vision to achieve your goal. In this course, you will learn new and fun drawing techniques. The course contains more than two hours of lectures apart from original teaching material. If you fulfill the course goals I guarantee that you will learn how to draw what you see in a 3-6 months period. The course program consists in doing the activities suggested until you master them. If you want to learn how to draw, welcome!

The course program has an introduction where I speak about the “realistic measles", about drawing of representation and presentation and I establish the basis of the teaching unit. In the next section, there are activities to relax your hand, educating perception, working with fitting, proportion, volume, space and I end explaining the “Macarma" concept. You can download the extra material and consulting the bibliography if you want to learn more.

I encourage you to this course if you want to learn how to draw in a simple, fast and fun way.

Thanks for choosing this course.

Who this course is for:
  • This course is for everyone. From Fine Art students to beginners who want to learn how to draw
  • It is also for teachers looking for new teaching tools and exercises
  • If you already draw but you want to strengthen your knowledge, this course is for you too
  • Are you studying Fine Arts and you need to improve your drawing skills? If you do this course, you will accomplish so
Course content
Expand all 27 lectures 03:08:27
+ Introduction
4 lectures 14:34

If you really want to learn how to draw, you can do it. It is not a privilege for the chosen ones and it is not true that you have to be born with artistic qualities to be able to draw, that is not real. Drawing is a plastic discipline which consists of educating our vision in order to move our hand freely. You will learn with the following exercises, they are easy and fun, try them out and welcome to the course!

Preview 03:04

The “realistic measles” is a fictitious illness we must overcome; learning how to express shape exactly as we see it will make us being self-confidence and we will face our creative adventure within the art discipline with more freedom and sensitivity.

'The realistic measles'

This document contains the materials needed for the course

Material needed
8 pages

The line is our main tool while drawing. We will see how to work with it, how to achieve different results and little by little we will start becoming familiar with it.

Line and signature
+ Setting our hand free
6 lectures 26:56

The purpose of this activity is helping students to find its creative side by inventing new shapes starting from other simple shapes given previously in the course. We will try to produce the inertia of creation through the constant evocation of incentives so the main purpose of the activity, creating, is accomplished. I will provide templates full of circles and these circles will be grouped in two so they form a static geometrical image and students have to transform this into something alive or movable.

Students have to complete these shapes turning them into possible or impossible elements and each group of circles has to end being something different each time. As an example, two circles can be two eyes, two wheels or even two shirt buttons. While doing this activity you should limit your time so you force yourself to think faster and in a more effective way.

We can also work with other geometric figures such as squares, triangles, crosses or even other shapes as simple doodles. Eventually, the important thing is completing shapes no matter what they are at the beginning. Another version of this creativity test is to suggest a topic or a word and then forming images based on the word, always taking into account a geometric shape. As you can see, this activity has multiple options and it is interesting to be immersed in its metamorphosis in order to stimulate our mind and our creative soul for this would make us lose the initial fear that some people have when they start drawing.

Creativity test

Figurative drawing is not always the best option to learn how to see lines within a particular space in a precise manner. Symbolism or figuration, approach us to how we think or believe things should be. We tend to draw an eye as we believe it is but if we analyze objectively that part of the body we can perceive it in other possible ways. The lines which compose an eye's drawing can be ascendant or descendant, these lines have between them a concrete distance and we have to guide ourselves with the different directions of lines we need to form our sketch. However, when we copy an unconscious drawing such as a doodle, we do not have limits and we do not assume anything what something we already know. Once our mind is free of figurative forms we are ready to immerse ourselves in a world where forms and shapes are pure, that is, we are not influenced by anything we have learnt before and we don't have any kind of expectations while drawing.

Doodling and mirror drawing

If you want to success at drawing first you need to sharpen up and activate your mind. We need to be aware of what we are drawing in order to control the artwork in an effective way. This can be achieved having fun, for instance there is an activity which consists in doing shapes using the mirror technique and we have to do it being precise and going as faster as we can. At the beginning, it is recommended going slow because we need to reflect and being focus on this type of drawings where we used so many lines but little by little you will achieve drawing faster. You can fill notebooks with this activity and I advise you to show your results to your friends so you can share the activity and do a sort of “healthy competition”.

Preview 02:45

Being afraid is what makes us doubt and it stops us when we start something. Fear generates indecision and stillness which is an impediment to creation. One of the exercises we propose to battle this is drawing using an imaginary thread. With this method we have a mobile line that we can lengthen, bend and twist as we like in order to achieve the shape we desire to obtain. This way of understanding drawing can make us lose our fear towards drawing and it will even make us understand how useful the continuous line as an element of the structural space is.We can draw with graphite, pen, pilot or other material that allow us tracing continuously without being erased easily.We can draw a person, a plant, a tree, a stone or any other object we find in our way, the important thing is not to lift the pencil from our paper.If we need to move the graphite to the other side of our paper to continue with the drawing we could do it crossing straight lines or curves but never going over the same line twice.

This is not about tracing an image which is formed by particular lines that happen in the same place, we have to break gaps and work with the possibilities that the continuous line give us. We can cross and join lines, go around the shape passing our line through the limits of shadows or we can also generate new gaps thanks to the freedom that this method gives us.

We don't call it limitation because the fact of not raising the pencil from the beginning of the drawing is a positive provocation that gives us new ways of understating drawing and specially the line.

This exercise can be done using a real thread. As we are saying over the course, drawing does not depend on the material we use to represent form is a matter of spatial order, valuation of chiaroscuros and having under control the formal aspects of drawing.

Continuous line
Great teachers
21 pages

For this exercise, you will need different daily objects such as some buttons, a piece of thread, some ropes, cables, pencils, fruits, etc. You will do a composition of your face, your friend’s or you can also draw a fictional character, the main goal is to give another meaning to our daily objects. This way, you will see for yourself that drawing is creating something in a format, regardless of the technique we use.

Once the drawing with objects is finished you have to draw your composition with a pencil or other technique, you can use ink, acrylic…etc. In this second part of the process you should try to do a realistic drawing, as realistic as you can, taking into account the proportion concepts, the rhythms, fitting and the use of chiaroscuro. This exercise, apart from being a game teach us to see the universe of objects that is around us, also, it sharpens our perceptual attention towards drawing a formal representation.

Drawing with objects
+ Perception activities
4 lectures 33:22

One of the basic ideas of drawing is the dot and emptiness. When we face the task of doing an image in any format we have to take into account these two realities. The human being usually pays attention to the positive space but the gaps shapes left, those aerial spaces are of great interest.

Gaps have a specific shape and it is important knowing how to see it as it is important to understand the reality that is composed by the development of dots and emptiness.If we understand emptiness as the bottom of the drawing, this exercise of visualization and shaping tries to indicate towards this direction.

If we place a chair in front of us, this chair has a seat, a back and four legs. The positive space would be formed by the drawing of substance that composes the chair and therefore, the negative space would be the gaps created among the chair legs.

To achieve a better development of this experience is convenient to take an A4 carton format and then cutting with a blade a proportional rectangle next to the format we are going use to represent the offered image.This way, though verticals and horizontals of the rectangle we can see better the negative spaces of the shape we have to represent.

This exercise can be made with an object or with a group of objects. The result of the negative space drawing can be converted in a color plane to check its likeness with reality. For this exercise is preferable to draw with just one eye open so we can see the image better.

Negative space

Every object in nature has a structure which can be organic or mathematic. The best way of representing objects in a fast and efficient way is by perceiving their structure and understanding its internal and external rhythms. If we look at, for example, a palm tree, we can see the origin of their leaves and their structure.

In order to learn how to represent objects is advisable to draw everything we have in front of us, although I can also recommend you a specific exercise to advance with these concepts. The activity consists in drawing a white flat structure, that is, a paper folded in geometric shapes and placed in a specific position so it receives lights from different places. This way, we will be able to see the geometric figures with clarity and it will be easy for us to draw. Drawing oblicous and straight lines is a good perception exercise and

It would be simpler when we have just a color to represent, it is easy when there are distractions because of different patterns or changes within the paper color.The next step is to transform the geometric structure into something organic. To accomplish this, we wrinkle the paper and then we open it again, once it is opened we draw the new structure. We will start with the general lines and we will end with the particular ones. To finish this exercise completely, you can try to obtain different gray tones (using four or five tones).Also, I recommend you drawing wrinkle towels covering objects, with this technique you will get interesting shapes and rhythems which are very useful for our progress in drawing.

Structure and wrinkle

Letters are drawings with useful features that help us to see shape. We are going to do different exercises using letters. An exercise we can do is to look for letters in magazines or books and copy them on a piece of paper. Another creative exercise is to draw our name with ten different types of letters, we can look for letters on internet or in books.

In relation to the typography, we can say (in basic terms) that there are two types of letters:Sans serif” and the Roman letter, their difference relays on their arranging.The sans serif letter has not a particular arranging but the Roman letter does.

In addition, to finish, another interesting activity is to convert our letters into different objects, we can use letters to draw bodies, heads, fruits, lamps…or anything else that is in our imagination.

Drawing letters

This activity consists in drawing real objects without looking at the paper. We will train our vision from an intuitive point of view in order to decode the distances between lines without using eyesight. The result of this experience will be at first sight, an unstructured or disorganized drawing, but that is not really true. When we do not look at our format we ignore the problem of having to fit a composition within the limits of the paper.This way, our five senses will be focus exclusively on our goal which is to draw using the right direction of lines. Having our goal in mind we can produce our work of art without any pressure. The exercise consists in drawing our own hand in four different ways.

The first part is to draw our hand without looking at the paper and it is important to draw every single line of it. We have to draw the profile lines, wrinkles, negative spaces, shadows and everything you can interpret as a line. We can tape our format on the table so it does not move. If our pencil goes out of the paper while drawing, it is important not to look at the paper, we just keep on drawing outside the paper until we finished (it is part of the process).

The second part consist in drawing our own hand but this time looking at the paper. In order to go deep into this experience we will do a third exercise and we will draw our hand without looking at the paper again but this time the hand will have an object (a phone, a pair of scissors, some pencils, a pencil case…any daily object giving information for your drawing).

Eventually, we will draw the hand with an object without looking at our format. As we are going to do many repetitions, you will notice how you acquire intuition and agility while representing lines. And you can draw other things such a jar, a chair, people around you…everything is a good excuse to represent without looking at the format.The acquired abilities have to be internalised so they can be used in the future when we need to represent something.

Without looking at the paper
+ Fitting and proportion
4 lectures 32:47

This activity is about drawing daily modular objects as for instance toilet paper rolls or six identical forks placed on a table with a specific position. With this exercise we can see how the size of a tridimensional shape change constantly depending on their position on space when we are drawing in two dimensions. We will have negative spaces as a guide as well as the general composition. We have to deal with the whole composition as if it was just one object. In addition, you should use linking lines among the objects to put the form in place and giving shadows.

Modular drawing

This activity consists in working with shape using memory to represent it on paper. The basis will be simple black and white designs which can be letters, numbers, recognizable silhouettes or other abstracts simple shapes, we will work the composition and the concepts of depth and emptiness. The aim of this is to show an object to students for a period of 10 to 15 seconds , during these seconds students cannot draw but they can communicate verbally what they are seeing. This helps to memorize the shapes they are seeing. Then, making use of the visual memory, they should try to represent it in an A4 format.

I recommend using an A4 format because of its features. Its length and other elements are needed to fit shapes or figures in a concrete space. It is very important that the image's format and the format we are using to draw coincide in size because this way we can later check the exercises,working with measurable and concrete values. I recommend using from 20 to 25 drawings per session. A possible variable of this exercise is to show a more complex drawing and leaving 15 seconds to students to extract all the meaningful information they find in shapes. Of course, this exercise can be repeated as many times as students consider opportune.


When we do a figurative drawing we tend to represent the picture we have in our mind of a certain object. We usually see eyes drawn like almonds or noses like sausages. These drawings do not match with our visual reality, but our mind plays with us because we don't train our perception that much. We can solve this problem by using a “shock therapy”. We will do realistic inverted drawings. This way, we will trick our own mind into seeing line per line. We have to try to represent a reliable shape, taking care of framing, proportion, direction of lines and modulation. The purpose is to control all these factors to fight against our own vices while drawing. You can download some of the drawings in this website to start working.

Inverted drawing

In this lecture we will learn to fit and to put in place the shapes we are drawing within our paper, this is from vital importance to control the format. We have to control our space of representation because it cannot control or limit us. We have to be able to put in place whatever we want to draw within the limits of our format, taking into account the margins and borders. Here I show you how to do it.

Fitting and proportion
+ Volume and space
4 lectures 29:20

Paper Toys, as its name indicates, are toys made of paper and you can download the templates from the internet and put together the pieces easily by yourself. Also, they are very useful to understand shape, form and space through drawing.

Preview 05:26

When we draw, the act of tracing lines produce stains in the format, this usually happens in a two-dimensional format (2D). If we do an exercise based on a three-dimensional format we have to interpret it without taking into account one of its dimensions so we can convert it into a two-dimensional format. To learn how to see three-dimensional formats as two-dimensional ones I suggest to use acetate or a crystal and place them in front of the object or composition we are going to represent.

Once the acetate or crystal is placed, you can start tracing the lines you see (with an eye closed to see in two-dimension) using a indelible marker or other suitable material for this support. The result will be a drawing which is closer to reality. We can choose as our composition a landscape, a hand, a figure or anything you want. The second part of this exercise consists on drawing what wee have done on the acetate but this time on a piece of paper, using soft pencils. It is important to copy the drawing in a format with the same proportions as the previous one. Another variable for this exercise is to do it using a graticule.

These exercises accomplish a double purpose; the first is about the conceptual space. The problem with the 2d vision is that it tricks us because we see two flat images (one with each eye) and the brain interpret this as three-dimensional. This action is something inherent for the human being although for theplastic artist is an unconscious acquired vice. From the moment a kid open his or her eyes, he or she needs to interpret whatever is perceiving according to the how they see the object in reality but the representation of this in a different thing. We have to learn how to do it and this exercise will help us to achieve it.

The transparent window

When we are drawing is important to be aware of our format. We can draw a ship in a 5x5metres wall or we can also do it on a stamp format. The size of objects can be transform depending on our needs. That is the reason why it is important to control the limits of our printed material, to understand it, playing with form and figures to adapt them to what we want. In order to represent what we really want it is essential to know how to expand and reduce a specific shape or form.

In this activity we will draw a small daily object such as a pair of keys, a smartphone or another small object that can be expanded. We can use an A4 paper, an A3 one or even a bigger format.

Preview 08:21

This class is useful to understand the rhythms of nature and to analyze the internal structure of plants.

Organic drawing
+ Tones and textures
3 lectures 12:35

This time we will work with a simple grayscale using 4 main intensity tones. This activity will help you to simplifly the chiaroscuro and you will start to understand volume.

The grayscale

Drawing should not be understood as the representation of what we perceive. The eyesight is one sense we really need to work with to learn how to draw but we can use all our senses. This time we are using touch and this will give us different stimulus to understand textures and diverse shapes. In order to do this we have to use an eye mask or eye patches. The teacher or the person helping you will have different objects ready for you to touch, they should be different textures: sandpapers, a piece of a bark's tree, some pieces of clothing... any object with a interesting texture to draw.

On the other hand, we have to take objects made by men but also objects from nature so we can see them with our hands, grazing its wrinkles, guessing its superficial tension and perceiving its shape through touch.

Once we have the objects, the teacher will cover the student's eyes and the object will be placed in his or her hands so they can touch them. After that, they have to represent the texture without looking at the paper. We repeat this with five textures and five objects. When they have finished drawing they will uncover their eyes and they candraw some conclusions comparing their drawings with the textures. The second part of the exercise consists on drawing the same objects using this time sight and touch.

Drawing textures

To understand and dominating the chiaroscuro we are going to this exercise in which our perception of greys is influenced by the black background in which we will be drawing. We start staining with soft tones to achieve light. We need the following materials: black posterboard, pencil or white and grey pastels.

From black to white
+ Conclusion:
2 lectures 06:53

When we are drawing, painting,shaping, in short, creating, there is connectivity among our neurons and this connections depends on each individual. Theses changes depend on our mood, weather, or different sensitive factors within our brain, there are different ways of confronting the plastic creation. Our brain emit thousands of electric impulses every second and these connections are named brain synchronies, and these are the reason why thousands of cells are linked.

At least we have one hundred thousand millions of nerve cells or neurons in our brain. When they are connected our cells produced what it is known as synapse and this allows neurons to pass electrical signals one to another. When these neuron conjunctions are above our conscience in regards to the sensitive world a mental state is created and this it is called Macarma. Have you ever started a drawing and hours have gone by like minutes? Have you ever starting a painting with a particular theme but then you have transform it into something else without realising? or have you make a great progress from representing into presenting something in minutes? I have called this state "Macarma state".

The human being is different from the animals because of their creative abilities. Our function is not to born, grow, eat, reproduce and doing our best to keep our body temperature to keep on living, we are continously doing activities which in are not basic for our survival. We are the only animals (apart from some macaques) who declare and make wars with our same species. However we cannot forget that we are also animals and this is what makes us act according to our physiological needs, this is also part of the Macarma state. Macarma is the connection between these two realities, the animal and the civilised one.

Thanks to neuroplasticity we can move foward with our knowledge and creativity withing the plastic field and the creative though. The property that makes our neurons fuction, modulating the stimulus perception make the human being able to grow intelectually through cognitive stimulus. This dinamic leaves a trace in time whic modifys the transference activity's information in our brain. These traces are elements which built our world viw, in which the past alters the future perception. This way, neuroplasticity allow us to create new connections among neurons regards to the different experiences we have. Every cognitive act implies the coordination of numerous nerve cells.

The Macarma state has a magical and mystic sense within us. Science makes progress every single day and what is certain today can be simple non-shown conjectures in the future, but the mental state is produced in the human being when we express in one way or another, is something that has been always with us. Facing this phenomenon it is necessary, metaphorically speaking, to get ready the land or filling the bottle so we can later fill the glass. The accumulation of knowledge produced by our neuron movements will be what make us advance making decisions which will influence our mood, our interests or out abilities. For this reason this is a way of acting positively about the creation of plastic or artistic personality of each individual, through exercises of Fuzzy Logic. To acomplish this is important to guide our brain to new paths and new horizons.

3 pages