Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design - learn more

Online Beginner Drawing Course

Intro to Drawing

Think drawing is a gift that has to come naturally? Drawing is a skill that can be developed with practice. In this online beginner drawing course, you'll learn how to draw with proper techniques, discovering how to represent what you see through studies in contour drawing, perspective, positive/negative space, and value. With feedback from an expert instructor, you will improve your drawing and develop a deeper understanding of any subject you are trying to capture as an artist or designer.

Beginner drawing course image 

Still life drawing by student Joseph Langley

Workshop on basic drawing techniques

Instructor-Led Course

Feedback from design professionals

Creative Projects

Stretch your skills, grow your portfolio

Learn at Your Own Pace

Self-paced and scheduled programs available

Course Outline

1 - Intro to Drawing

How do we learn to draw? By learning to see and represent the world as we see it. Lecture One begins with a discussion of common conceptual barriers to drawing. You will learn what drawing is and explore its many different applications in art and design. In order to prepare to draw, you will learn the purpose of various drawing materials and how to use them.

Project - Blind and open contour drawing

2 - Making Sense of Space

Perspective and positive/negative space are two traditional and powerful concepts in drawing. Lecture Two introduces you to the influence of perspective on the way we see objects in the world. You'll explore how eye level, vanishing point, convergence, and foreshortening affect the appearance of objects in your drawings and learn how 1-, 2-, and 3-point perspective are created. You'll also learn how to identify and capture the positive and negative space in a subject.

Project - Perspective and positive/negative space

3 - Shedding Some Light on the Subject

Capturing the effects of light is a timeless challenge for artists. Lecture Three explores how light casts a shadow and affects the value in a drawing subject. First you'll examine how the strength, angle, and position of a light source affects a subject. Then you'll learn how to identify mid-tones, highlights, shadow edge, core shadow, reflected light, and cast shadow in your subject. Hatching and cross-hatching are discussed as simple techniques for adding value to a drawing.

Project - Value study and still life

Course Outcomes

Students in this course can expect to learn to:

  • Identify and address common barriers to learning to draw.
  • Identify and discuss the many applications of drawing in art and design.
  • Use basic drawing materials with a proper drawing technique.
  • Create blind and open contour drawings.
  • Identify the role of perspective and positive/negative space in drawing.
  • Capture the effects of 1-, 2- and 3- point perspective.
  • Capture the effects of positive and negative space in a drawing subject.
  • Identify how light casts a shadow and affects the value in a drawing subject.
  • Identify mid-tones, highlights, shadow edge, core shadow, reflected light, and cast shadow in a drawing subject.
  • Create a value study capturing a range of tones from highlights to core shadow.
  • Draw a complex still life composed of multiple objects.

Course Registration

Interested in this course? Scheduled and self-paced enrollment options are available. Ask Admissions about taking this course as part of a degree or certificate program.

Course LevelClasses startRegistration FeeTuition
Degree course
1.5-credit course, 7 weeks
Jan, Apr, Aug$200$510/credit
Vocational course
30 hour course, 3 months access
Enroll today, start tomorrow$50$619
* Registration fees are nonrefundable after 5 days from enrollment. All tuition includes a digital materials fee for updates to course or program content.

Software and Supplies

To take this course you'll need:

  • Computer with Internet connection.
  • Assorted supplies including: drawing paper, masking tape, drawing board, easel. (A full list will be provided in the course.)
  • Ability to scan or photograph your drawings.

Who’s Teaching

Course developed by Jordon Schranz

Getting Started

Enrolling online is easy and convenient.

Chat with our knowledgeable admissions staff to select course and program options.

Complete your registration entirely online.

Related Programs

Did you know? You can take this course as part of an award-winning certificate or degree program.