The School of Drawing

Drawing Natural Forms: LINE, SHAPE and FORM

Hey it's great to welcome you to "The School of Drawing". I've put together a host of animations; many films shot in different styles, helpful assignments, and worksheets you can download and use at your leisure. This course is perfect for those of you who are just starting out with drawing, so don't worry if you have no prior experience. I have structured this course on the seven elements of art: Line, Shape, Tone, Form, Space, Colour, Pattern and Texture. This film concentrates on the first three elements of line, shape and form and will enable you to understand these critical elements and be proficient in using them.

Please carry out the homework assignments and post your drawings so I can give you feedback. I find students who put the most effort in and almost go beyond the assignment's expectations make the quickest progress. To take part in this course, I recommend keeping a sketchbook and completing each assignment on a double page. This way you will be able to monitor your progress and have that satisfying feeling of filling up a sketchbook.

I want to turn this natural forms drawing course, into a dynamic club with weekly tutorials and workshops.  I've got some exciting new projects coming very soon! So far I have recorded the first three elements Line, Shape and Form. New projects are being added and eventually I will add the other four elements on this course.

Let's get started!

Domestika Deer Drawing Course

Drawing Animals with Life and Movement

I've teamed up with Domestika to create an online training course to tackle the challenges of drawing animals from life. 

Click here to preview the course.

Drawing live animals means tackling movement. The briefest of moments that the animal holds the pose means there isn't time to create a complete, polished drawing. Often, the pose is shorter than the time it takes to get the subject down on paper. Study sheets involve working on a double-page spread of an A3 sketchbook or A2 paper on a drawing board and making many half-finished drawings in various poses, often returning to develop these as the animal assumes a similar posture. You will need to hold shapes and edges in your visual memory. Background knowledge such as anatomy, in terms of this course, the skeleton, a few muscles and a single tendon can help, as well as looking hard and drawing fast. I want to introduce you to a host of traditional and contemporary drawing ideas and techniques by focusing on essential skills working with artists' quality colouring pencils. Colouring pencils are an ideal medium to focus solely on the intention of the lines and shading to capture animals with life, movement and expression.


To take part in this course you will need:

Colouring Pencils: A set of twelve artist quality colouring pencils. 

Mid tone paper : One of the benefits of using mid-tone paper for artists is that it can provide a unifying base tone that can be used to draw down to the darks and up to the highlights.

Sharpener: A pencil sharpener with a container collects the pencil shavings, minimising mess.

Putty Eraser: A kneadable putty eraser work by absorbing colour rather than wearing it away. 

Prussian Blue Colouring Pencil

Drawing in blue is a great way to ease into the drawing process. It feels less pressured than using traditional graphite and allows you to gradually build up to committing to an edge or shape. Plus, there's something psychologically soothing about using blue. It's less intrusive and feels It also feels like a new start as we learn to draw from fresh perspectives. I recommend using a dark blue for the training exercises.

Final Major Project

For the final major project, you will create a fallow deer study sheet on a mid-tone paper. Drawing on a mid-tone can help you use a broader range of values; the paper offers the mid-range value for which you can leave open areas and combine with your shading to go both darker and lighter. The spots on a fallow deer, known as "fawns", can range from small circular spots to larger, more irregular shapes. Overlaying artists' quality oily colouring pencils and creating white highlights can help your drawings pop out.

Tuning the Hand and Eye

A line can convey vast information even with an economy of marks. Strokes range from highly controlled detail to spontaneous, gestural marks implying speed and motion. A simple line drawing can describe the subject's physical appearance that the human brain can easily interpret.

Construction and Structure

The focus of this course is to help you master the art of drawing animals. Learn to tackle the challenging task of drawing animals from life by understanding the principles of action, form analysis, construction, expressive drawing and simplified anatomy.

Coloured Charts

With the help of this course, you'll develop a solid foundation in animal drawing. Coloured charts will enable you to make sense of the bones and the muscles. This will help you draw an animal that looks alive on the paper with your grooves and shading.

Learn to draw from HD footage of deer

As this is an online course the next best thing to getting close from live animals was to draw from HD films that you can pause at your own personal favourite spot to draw or work from suggested poses.

Negative & Positive Shapes

Learn to let go of preconceived notions about how your subject should look. The form of the deer will gradually appear on the paper by initially focusing on the shapes of negative space surrounding the deer before learning to see abstract positive shapes.

Combine Primary Forms

Primary geometric forms such as the cube, cylinder, sphere, cone and pyramid can be combined and interlocked to construct more complex organic structures. Learn to draw through your subject as if it is transparent to envisage interlocking simple forms.


Foreshortening is a technique that artists use to create the illusion of an object receding sharply into the distance or background. This is achieved by making the object appear shorter than it actually is, which gives the impression of compression as it faces the viewer. 

Learn Adobe

Indesign for Beginners


COURSE NAME: Adobe InDesign: Professional Book Design for Beginners 


Click here to preview the entire course

Are you looking to learn practical and essential Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop software skills to create professional graphics, designs and typography with a focus on professional book and magazine layouts?

Do you want help getting your fiction or non-fiction book ready to present to a publisher and seeing what it would look like for a professionally designed publication?

Do you have personal or original artwork that you want to digitalise?

If the answer to those questions is yes, then this course has been designed with you in mind. 

This course is for everyone interested in using Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop essentials to start designing creative and professional graphic design for all types of publications. For example, artwork from your sketchbook, nature journals, recipe collections, and educational materials, the opportunities are endless and create high-impact publications, book covers and page layouts. 

Use of Adobe Indesign to typeset inspirational quotes in a two-colour vintage style.

Create a DIY-style manual spread for a bicycle maintenance book, then apply this to a personal hobby.

Learn to create a DK-style natural history spread using images with transparent backgrounds and create an informal composition whilst still using a grid.

Create a dust jacket for a YA fiction.