New Home Forums Course Ideas & Outlines 10 Steps to Drawing Anything

5 replies, 6 voices Last updated by  Jutta Dobler 8 years, 1 month ago
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    Jessica Antonelli

    I’d like to introduce my course, 10 Steps to Drawing Anything.
    (hooray :D)

    10 Steps to Drawing Anything transforms the “talentless*” out there who can’t draw a straight line into confident artists with the ability to accurately draw anything they are looking at. The 10 Steps address neurological and psychological barriers to drawing and also gives a series of classic drawing exercises and sketchbook assignments.  As the art-nerd-adventure guide, I made a real sacrifice and traveled all the way to Italy to research how the Renaissance relates to the 10 Steps to Drawing, so the class has plenty of bonus footage from Florence and Rome to add some art-historical spice.  The 10 Steps are a list students can refer back to on every drawing they do as they develop their artistic practice. Take the 1st letter from every word and it helps to remember the 10 steps: BE CREATIVE.

    Class Breakdown:

    Begin with the end in mind: 
    Setting an intention for the artistic adventure, as well as with each drawing that you do during this course. When you begin a drawing, it’s important to consider the final composition—if not anything fancy, you at the very least need to make sure the sketch will fit on the page. Work big to small by lightly sketching in the big shapes, then work down to details.

    Edge-cate yourself
    Edges in drawing are the boundaries between objects or spaces. Vary them! Define different types of edges. We also have mental drawing boundaries, so Get comfortable being uncomfortable, in practice your product is always 2 steps behind your ability to critique it. Stay on the edgeof your comfort zone, and push yourself to learn more

    Use a full range of light to dark values to create the illusion of 3D form on the page. Turning up the contrast with intense shadows and enhanced values is one of the absolutely most important factors that can make your drawing look more believable.

    In drawing, we begin with big shapes and guidelines to help build a scaffolding around our drawing. We then construct the drawing by considering how each shadow, highlight, line and space relate to the guidelines we have created. Every mark on the page should be put down in relationship to another mark on the page—no wiggly piggly marks for no reason. Use the pencil trick!
    -Grid drawing exercise.

    Every day, draw
    Recommended Routine: contour hand drawing drills for accuracy. La practica hace el maestro :Practice is the teacher. Even if it is on a napkin at dinner, draw daily.
    -A look at my 2016 drawing a day New Years Resolution.

    Add variety
    Bring interest and realism to your drawing with a variety of one or more of: line quality, value, texture, color, pattern, etc.
    -hand drawing

    Toolkit of tricks
    Elements & principles of art, pencil trick, proportions, exercise sequences, etc. Use pinterest/evernote or bookmark your resources.
    -Create a drawing and apply the tools and tricks we’ve learned so far.

    Interior shapes and space
    Learn to see your subject in two modalities: by breaking it into composite shapes, and by looking at the space around and in-between the object to see negative space.
    -hand drawing demo
    -neg. space object drawing

    Perspective: linear and atmospheric, it’s place in art history. Worm’s eye view vs. bird’s eye view point and their effects on the viewer. All objects and people in the drawing agree aka are from the same perspective
    -1 point perspective

    End with the beginning in mind
    Use any issues you had in your last drawing to inspire the next. Self-reflect and self-assess. Never walk away from your sketchbook for the last time, but instead cultivate an art practice.
    -demo my self-portrait
    -Draw a self-portrait using what we have learned, compare to your very first self-portrait.


    My theme for this course is: art adventure abroad. I filmed the majority of the lessons in the states, but there is so much great stuff from my trip to Italy, and I’ll be getting the word out from Mexico. I think the theme will be relatively low key, since I developed the curriculum and did a bunch of filming before I signed up for this course. Next time I’ll have the big picture in mind and I can consider a fun and really well-organized and integrated theme… But it’s still crazy fun to figure out how to keep the course engaging and clear.




    Lisa R

    This sounds so cool Jessica. Congratulations! 😀


    Dr.Wayne Buckhanan

    Yes, Jes!

    I love the BE CREATIVE mnemonic. I’m most definitely looking forward to your course. Drawing is on my list of things to do now, not later, and your description really grabbed my attention.

    (The GEA group is going to push me to get my course out there and selling so I can buy seats in so many of the courses! 😉 )


    Karryn Olson-Ramanujan

    Hi Jessica,

    Wow this is so awesome.

    As a person who can draw quite well (but spends NO time doing it), I can see that the things you are teaching are totally fundamental to good drawing, but they don’t seem like the elusive usual approach, they seem like a real toolkit that one can access–especially cuz the BE CREATIVE meme will totally stick in their minds.

    I love that you are addressing the psychological and neurological barriers. I’d like to see a little more about how you address those when you write your copy. My teen girls dont draw cuz they see what I’ve drawn and compare their budding ability to what I was doing at 40 years old!

    This outcome will totally make folks want to buy your course:

    The ability to accurately draw anything they are looking at


    I LOVE that it is based on the Renaissance, and international.




    Bradley Morris
    Mountain Guide

    Wow @jescantonelli, I remember when you first shared the idea of what you are doing and how excited I felt about it. After reading your outline, you’ve sold me on wanting to sign up and learn to become a better drawer. I can’t wait to see the end product.

    You’ve done such a great job with this outline and given the feedback so far, I know you’re going to inspire a whole lotta people who have never considered themselves artists or who love art but think they suck due to the criticism of a meany-pantsed teacher in school to get back on the saddle and draw again!

    Great job!


    Jutta Dobler

    Jessica, this is great! Just reading through it makes me want to pick up a pencil and get started!

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