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Drawing Basics

with Cleo Papanikolas

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  •   Trailer

  •   01 Class Introduction

    02:26
  •   03 Line Quality

    18:27

Class duration: 2h 8m

See all 10 lessons
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  • 78% recommended

    19 student reviews

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About The Class

Put Pencil To Paper And Start Drawing


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! 


Lesson Plan

  1. 01

    Class Introduction

    02:26
  2. 02

    Get Started Drawing

    13:07
  3. 03

    Line Quality

    18:27
  4. 04

    Shading

    18:59
  5. 05

    Drawing Supplies

    15:19
  6. 06

    Drawing Supplies Exercise: Draw Spoons

    17:26
  7. 07

    Measurement

    12:08
  8. 08

    Lightbox Drawing with your Mobile Device

    06:48
  9. 09

    Learn Composition

    10:17
  10. 10

    Refining and Shading the Layered Image

    13:39

Meet Your Expert

Cleo Papanikolas

Cleo Papanikolas is a painter, author, illustrator, and maker of Cleomade products. She has a BFA in printmaking from California College of Arts (and Crafts), and an MFA in painting from the University of California at Berkeley. She is the author and illustrator of Cook Until Desired Tenderness (North Atlantic Books). She illustrated The Comfort Queens Guide To Life (Random House) and a line of over 100 licensed products based on the book. ... read more

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Bonus Material

Access your course materials here!

Get access to exclusive bonus content when you purchase this class.

  • pdf Line Quality
  • pdf Shading
  • zip Lightbox Drawing Photos
  • pdf Drawing Tools and Materials List

78% of students recommend this class.
See what some of them have to say.

  • Rhonda Bender

    June 2017

    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.

  • Kelsy

    March 2017

    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.

  • Creativelive Student

    Creativelive Student

    December 2018

    There was a lot of good information in this course: types of shading; analogue versions of digital tools like guidelines and centring. I had an ah-ha moment when Cleo talked about ellipses. That alone was worth the price of the course. I also loved the part about using a lightbox, as well as tracing and graphite papers as tools - but in a way that doesn't impinge on copyrights.

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