Lightbox Drawing with your Mobile Device


Drawing Basics


Lesson Info

Lightbox Drawing with your Mobile Device

Now we're gonna go back to some tracing. And tracing has a little bit of a bad rap. Because a lot of people will just trace something directly off a photograph, and not release themselves from looking at the photograph and continuing on in making their drawing how they want it to be. They just stay really tied to that drawing of the photograph. But we're just using it a little bit for just some placement, and just to get that first rough draft down onto the page. I use it all the time professionally, 'cause it really just speeds up the process. So. Light box drawing, it's the fun part. This is what we've been waiting for. You have your iPad. Online we have supplied a bunch of different photographs for you. We're gonna go to one that is called Dog Lick, or something? It's a picture of my dog. He's a little bit of a pain, but he's very cute. And then we also have trophies, all kinds of different subjects you can draw, not subjects, but varieties of trophies, and I think we're using troph...

y number five. So I'm gonna go to, I have downloaded them, they're in My Photos. Here's my picture of my dog. And I've decided I want to draw a picture of a dog on top of a trophy. So I'm gonna get a nice piece of Bristol board out. You have any Bristol board there you want to use? Okay. That's probably the thicker one and it doesn't have a ruffly edge on it, probably. I think I might tape this down again, too. Okay. Now, depending on where you have your photos in your device, they're gonna move around a lot. So what you might want to do-- Can you bring it up a little bit? Okay. They're gonna move around. We're gonna try really hard not to touch the screen, we're gonna try and just touch the edges, but what you might want to do is make it as your wallpaper, that way it won't move. So, first what I'm gonna do is, I've decided I want to put the dog on top of the trophy. And I know that the trophy is just about the same size as the dog right now, so I need to make my dog smaller. So, I'm gonna make my dog smaller. This is little bit of a trick. I'm gonna make my dog smaller, and then I'm gonna take a screen shot of it. Okay. And then I'm gonna go back to My Photos, and I'm gonna go to my Screenshots. Okay. And here's my dog. Now he's the right size. But he's still moving. So I am going to hit this little button up here, and I'm gonna say, use as wallpaper. And I'm gonna say, set home screen. Okay. There it's set. So when I go to my home screen, and I scroll over, I usually always have a page that just has one tiny little icon up in the corner, the icon moves, but the dog does not move. Very good, now I can mess with it as much as I want. I'm gonna take a piece of paper, and tape it to the screen of my device, being very careful not, actually, I don't have to be careful not to touch my screen now. I usually use a finer pencil for this, so I'm gonna use my HB or maybe my 2H, and just trace around it. I always have my fingers kind of right here so it doesn't move without... I don't think these tracings have to be that great. 'Cause I don't want to be tied to something that's really good, I like to be able to have the option of moving with myself. So I've traced my dog. You're just getting placement, sometimes it's really hard to find where things line up. Now, one of the good things about tracing a photograph, is what? You can do something like take a picture of a dog tongue and a dog that's moving really quickly. If you're gonna try and hold up your hand and do the whole pencil measurement, by the time you get all in position your dog's gonna be gone. Or, you like to use this because you're drawing an object you don't own. You could draw a really nice house (laughing) that you don't own, a boat, anything that doesn't fit in your studio, draw from a photograph. Okay. So I've done a little tracing. Oopsies. I just moved something. Okay. So I do a little tracing of my dog. Here's one that's already finished. And I'm gonna do the same thing with my trophy. Okay. There. There's my trophy in position. I'm gonna lay that down. Tape it down. Usually I don't even bother making it my wallpaper, because I just do a really quick little trace. So I've got that one done. Now I have these two nice elements. Okay. Now what are we going to do with these on the page, how are we going to line them up? In this case, I know that I want to line them up with the dog on top of the trophy. But you can do so many different things with composition, so I think I'm gonna go through a few quick rules of composition on another piece of paper, just have a little side track, but just to teach you some art school lessons.

Class Description

Do you want to learn how to draw but don't know where to start? In this class, professional painter & illustrator Cleo Papanikolas shares fun, beginner-friendly drawing techniques that can turn anyone into an artist. This class will help you overcome your fear of the blank page and focus on putting pencil to paper so you can draw the way you always wished you could.

In this class, Cleo will cover the fundamentals in drawing including:
  • Using different pencils for line quality
  • Applying different shading methods
  • Practice measurement and proportions in your work 
Cleo will help you embrace imperfections in your work with step-by-step exercises that apply key drawing techniques. 

Join Cleo and get started drawing today! 


Rhonda Bender

This class is about two hours long. Overall it is a friendly and accessible approach to introducing some basic drawing techniques and tools that is appropriate for those who are nervous about or just novice to drawing. It lets the student jump in by tracing a basic outline which is then detailed. Towards the end the instructor demonstrates a more advanced type of tracing using a tablet as a lightpad, and there is also helpful information on how to trace one's own work to transfer it to better paper or slightly alter the drawing to be larger/wider/etc. The middle portion has overview information on types of lines and methods of shading. These aren't super thorough examinations of those topics, but should be ample to complete the exercises and drawings included and recommended in the class. Likewise, the overview of drawing tools and papers is an overview, but strikes a good balance between overwhelming with too much information, and giving students enough info to know what tools they need for basic drawing and how to use them. There is a brief overview of how to use the sight size method to draw freehand more accurately. This is a subject that could easily be an entire class topic on its own. Some will find this enough info to get going, others might prefer expanded information and more details on this. The more complex subject of ellipses in perspective is touched on only briefly. (Perspective is also a complex subject that needs a whole class of its own, so this is understandable.) In contrast to some other reviewers, I did not have a lot of issues with the filming and camera angles. A lot of time was spent on the angle of looking at the drawing in action. However, it is clear that material was edited out from the live version. The edited version doesn't follow the drawing of every exercise through to its conclusion, and sometimes segments end or start abruptly.


I like it. it's not very in-depth but it gave me the courage to start drawing, and I had so much fun. Great for beginners.