Absolute Beginners Drawing Course
Sketch by Will Kemp, whilst eating gelato in Rome
Step-by-step Online drawing instruction course
The reason I’ve created this easy to follow, 6 part on-line video course is to help frustrated artists find a way to express themselves by drawing with confidence and to really understand how drawing works.
With over 4 hours of video tuition from Will, you can go on a creative journey to discover that you can pick up a pencil, wherever, whenever and actually start drawing.
What my students say about the drawing course:
‘I have really enjoyed the drawing school and it has made me draw more than I normally would. That is what I like about it – just the reason to get on with it.’
‘I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed this course. You’re a terrific teacher. Thanks again’
This is an example of one of my students ‘Before’ and ‘After’ on my 6 lesson drawing course – this is the same mug drawn 6 weeks apart!
It’s such a fantastic improvement on understanding light and shadow, if you notice in the ‘before’ the shadow is on the wrong side of the mug, but look at the ‘after’ and see how even the shadow of the handle has been keenly observed and the cast shadow is so dramatic it really feels like you could pick the cup up off the table – a real transformation!
Another example of one of my students ‘Before’ and ‘After’ – the same teacup was used for both exercises, but look at how flat the ‘before’ appears to be, compared to how much form has been expressed in the ‘after’ with a new confidence of mark making in the shadows.
Look at the difference in the observation of the handle, this student is now seeing with artists eyes.
As a teacher the 3 most common drawing problems students come to me with are:
1. I can’t draw
- It is a myth that artists are born being able to draw, it is a skill that can be learnt.
- Filmed in real time with simple lessons. Revisit each lesson as many times as you need until you ‘get it’
- Erasers are not the enemy, in fact they can be key in shaping your work.
2. I don’t know what to draw!
- Downloadable high resolution images to work from
- Compositions and perspective made easy with Will to give the best results possible
- Stops procrastination by giving you 6 bite-size video tutorials that produce successful results alongside home-study worksheets.
3. Lack of time
- Clear time indication on each lesson so you can be productive in your creativity.
- Access it anywhere, computer or ipad
- No planning needed, everything has been worked out to produce the best results in the shortest amount of time
Learning to see
I know what you’re thinking… Sure.. you’ve taught some people to draw but they were already o.k and I’m really bad…I mean so bad I draw stickmen and even they’re wrong.
Well, I can tell you if you can sign your name, drive a car or catch a ball, then you can learn to draw.
It is not the ‘holding the pencil’ or ‘choosing the right paper’ it’s a question of learning to see, really see.
What will I learn on this course ?
In my opinion drawing success comes down to 3 specific things, shape, simplicity and structure.
I want to focus on a very specific, yet simple set of principles that will give you instant results and give you the confidence to say ‘I know how to draw that’, even if your practical skills haven’t yet caught up with your new drawing knowledge.
The pleasure of drawing is in the adventure itself.
I hope to show you there is even pleasure derived when dealing with the pitfalls, the near misses and triumphing over perspective.
I can’t tell you how many drawings I’ve done that I thought were perfect at the time but on reflection, my vision was somewhat distorted but how happily absorbed I’ve been in their creation and how thrilling it is to see something clearly for the first time and say, ‘I’ve never seen that before!‘
- Shape - by focusing on the shapes of the objects (and more importantly the shapes between the objects) you will be able to view drawing a subject with a whole new outlook and focus.
- Simplicity - I’m keen on you getting results. So I want to concentrate on simple subjects and drawing techniques that will teach you the fundamentals of drawing yet still be very powerful when used together.
- Structure - by delivering each consecutive lesson weekly you will have a step-by-step structure that is easy to follow, without being overwhelming. Each week will be split into 2-3 smaller videos alongside worksheets, video transcripts and drawing assignments.
- Introduction to the theory behind drawing.
- The use of line.
- The importance of a frame
- Learning about value & understanding tone.
- The importance of contrast
- Using a coloured ground
- Introducing negative space
- The relationships between objects
- Simple composition
- Scale and using a unit of measurement
- Simple perspective
- Viewpoint and understanding angles
- Light logic
- Creating form with shadows & light
- Cast shadows
- Putting it all together
- Final piece
Q: How will I receive the course?
A: I’ve recorded over 4 hours+ of HD Video step-by-step tutorials. They are compatible on any computer or tablet, including ipads.This is so anyone can access it world wide with no shipping costs and bonus content can be added in the future and you’ll have instant access to it. You will not receive DVDs.
‘Home Study Instant Access’ £45 / $69
After you’ve logged in you’ll have access to all 6 Lessons immediately.
Each lesson is split into 2-3 short videos (10-20 minutes) where I will demonstrate and explain the techniques and theory behind learning to draw. This could be through a video demonstration, analysis of other artists drawings or going through basic materials needed for the best results.
Q: Can I download the videos on to my home computer?
A: Yes, you can download the tutorials to your home computer if you prefer.
You can also watch them online, whenever, wherever and as many times as you want to, even on your ipad, as long as you have an internet connection.
Q: What if I can’t draw a straight line?
A: We’ll use a ruler! and who wants to draw a straight line anyway.
I’ve taught drawing for over 10 years and all my students have had amazing journeys, from going on to study Fine Art Degrees to selling their work.
But what all of them gained was a new outlook on the world (and a holiday album full of sketches rather than photos.)
Below is the material list, most of it is quite simple but there’s a little bit of extra effort to get a couple of the products, however a little extra time spent here will truly help you learn quicker.
Most things are inexpensive or some you might already have.
- Writing Pencil HB
- Drawing Pencil 3B
- Drawing Pencil 7B
A note on drawing pencils: When you’re first starting just buy a reputable brand, such as Staedtler Mars Lumograph, Faber Castell 9000 Pencils or Derwent Graphic pencils.
But as with all things, it’s personal taste.
For the course I’ll be demonstrating with Staedtler Mars Lumograph pencils, 3B & 7B.
- Pencil Sharpener
When sharpening pencils I use a Stanley knife because you can get an extremely fine, sharp point and you can sharpen it so there’s more pencil lead exposed (and you feel slightly like Bear Grylls.)
If you have an aversion to using a Stanley knife or blade, then a standard pencil sharpener will do the job just fine.
- Kneaded/ Putty Eraser
- Plastic Eraser
These are key tools in your drawing kit. The plastic eraser is good for getting clean sharp lines and the putty eraser is great for subtle blending and drawing… yes, drawing.
I will demonstrating with Cretacolor Plastic eraser and a Winsor & Newton Putty rubber. Staedtler is also good.
(If you can’t get either of these you can take a tip from Turner who used stale bread!)
- Graphite Stick 4B
They come in rounds, squares or rectangles. It doesn’t really matter on the shape, but the wider flatter shape will give you the most coverage.
These can sometimes be hard to track down in the U.K, but I believe in U.S.A and Canada the Kimberly Graphite Sticks are easier to find.
For U.K students I recommend either going to a good Art Store as they will probably stock them or visit Heaton Cooper Studio online store where you’ll be able to get most things on this list.
Cretacolor Graphite Stick 4B (Rectangular 7mm x 14mm – 4b £1.65)
If U.S.A is closer to you for shipping then Dick Blick Art Materials will have it all. See link below for the Kimberly Graphite Sticks 4B
- Wipe-clean/Non permanent marker pen – Black
Medium Tip (Stabilo OHP Pen or similar)
- Permanent marker pen – Black Fine Tip
- Plastic Ruler 30cm
- Kitchen Timer
- Kitchen Paper Towel
- White typing paper
- Cartridge Paper Drawing Pad
A note on paper: Drawing Paper can come in many shapes, forms and tones.
For this course we need a medium weight, smooth cartridge paper, weight between 80gsm -150gsm 25-30 sheets. Size: A4 or 9 inch x 12 inch (as long as it’s bigger than 8 inch x 10 inch.)
For the course I’ll be demonstrating on a Sennelier Dessin Blanc Drawing Pad,125gsm.
This has a natural white colour so is more forgiving than a bright white.
Anything around this requirement will be fine, if you have a sketchpad already, you can use that.
More suggestions for drawing pads:
Canson 1557 Drawing pad, Daler Rowney 130gsm Smooth Cartridge Pad
U.S.A – Strathmore 300 Series Drawing Pads
- Black lightweight card to make the Viewfinder Frame & a Perspex sheet/Plexiglass to make the Picture Plane
So basically these 2 items will combine to create a black frame with a perspex window.
This is going revolutionize your drawing and we’ll use it from Week 1.
Black lightweight card – This makes up your frame you will need:
1 piece of black card, A4 or 8 x 10 inch, depending on what size you can get your perspex in (see Picture Plane below.)
With a 5. 5 x 7. 5 inch cut out.
You can of course make this frame yourself using thin card but it’s those Stanley knives again!
For ease you could go to your local framer and get them to cut a piece of black mount board A4 or 8 x 10 inch outside edge with a 5. 5 x 7. 5 opening cut out to make the frame.
Often you can ask them for an off-cut to do this with as it’s quite a small size.
- Perspex/Plexiglass Picture Plane – This makes up the window of your frame you will need either:
- a clear Acrylic Perspex Sheet – A4 Size or 8 x 10 inch. Ideally 3 /4mm thick
- a piece of plexiglass out of an inexpensive frame – A4 Size or 8 x 10 inch (whichever you can easily get)
U.K students: I have trouble getting 8 x 10 inch in the U.K unless you get it cut bespoke.
So the easiest thing to do is buy it from Amazon A4 size - make sure you get your frame outside edge A4 as well to match, it just makes life easier.
UPDATE : I have just had an update from a student who has been to a Hobby Craft Store and got hold of a:
Pre-cut black frame mount – 8 x 10 inches with an inside cut out of 5 x 7 inches - £2.19
You would have to cut the inside hole a fraction bigger to make it 7.5 x 5.5 inches - but easy and a good price!
Hobby Craft store also had cheap ‘click’ frame 8 x 10 inches with plexiglass front – £1.49
The Plexiglass front is only 2mm thick so not as hardy - but if you are having trouble picking up the 4mm thick perspex a good alternative and a great price.
I recommend 4mm thick as we will be drawing on top of this acrylic sheet and wiping off, so ideally more resilient, but if you’re not too heavy handed, then the plexiglass out of a frame would be adequate.
Glass is obviously not advised for safety reasons.
- Bulldog Clip
This is to clip the viewfinder frame to the perspex.
If you have any questions on the drawing course, just drop me an email. (I’m super friendly)
The Drawing Course is now available to buy – Online Drawing Course