Get to the fundamentals of good observational drawing.

In this tutorial we'll go back to the first but most important steps to accurately drawing whatever subject you want. These are the foundational tools to all good drawings and are incredibly beneficial to any and all successful artwork. We will start with simple examples and discuss the tools. Then we can work through increasingly complex example subjects to really grasp how shapes and measuring can help you translate what your seeing onto the paper.

In this class you will learn:

  • Simplifying subjects into basic shapes

  • Getting accurate proportions.

  • Working with value.

  • Dealing with complex subjects and perspective.

  • Rendering the figure, a face, and fabric.

Materials needed:

  • A pencil or something to draw with (Preferably with the ability to erase).
  • Paper to draw on.
  • A Printed out course PDF

Or you can purchase the course à la carte

About the Instructor

David Malan

David is a full time freelance illustrator after spending over a decade at Disney. He has worked freelance since 2005 nationally and international with assignments for magazines, book covers, ad campaigns and even coin design for the U.S. Mint. David also sells oil paintings and drawings in galleries around the U.S.A.

Course curriculum

  1. 1
    • Intro

    • Shapes 2D

    • Shapes 3D

    • Worksheet #1

    • Figures

    • Worksheet #2 Figures

    • Hands-Feet

    • Worksheet #3 Hands

    • Faces

    • Worksheet #4 Faces

    • Cloth-Hair

    • Worksheet #5 Cloth

    • Downloads

  • 12

    Videos

  • 2.8

    Hours

  • 1

    PDF

Reviews

5 star rating

Seeing Shapes

Emily Bier

This course was helpful learning to see the abstract shapes comprising any object and learning to sketch concisely. I found going through the longer videos w...

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This course was helpful learning to see the abstract shapes comprising any object and learning to sketch concisely. I found going through the longer videos watching and copying Dave's process particularly helpful. Noticeable improvement on my part from start to finish. Thanks.

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5 star rating

A great course by a brilliant and inspiring illustrator

Andy Roberts

The course is probably aimed at experienced beginners and up. Dave Malan teaches you how to break down a series of different subjects into their most fundame...

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The course is probably aimed at experienced beginners and up. Dave Malan teaches you how to break down a series of different subjects into their most fundamental shapes. You then use those basic shapes and build on them further, to create visually satisfying and well balanced drawings with accurate proportions. Thanks Dave!

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5 star rating

A breakthrough for me

Paula Banks

This has moved my drawing skills up to another level. The content was very clearly articulated and demonstrated, and the principles ''stuck''. Thank you.

This has moved my drawing skills up to another level. The content was very clearly articulated and demonstrated, and the principles ''stuck''. Thank you.

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4 star rating

Good Structure and Measurement Class

Heather Boyd

A positive experience with the instructor. Definitely a learning curve to work big to specific, still working through that. My worksheets are looking far mor...

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A positive experience with the instructor. Definitely a learning curve to work big to specific, still working through that. My worksheets are looking far more accurate with these foundation steps. Overall I was happy with this class. Thanks.

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5 star rating

Packed full of information and worth every minute!

Mary Monson

David is methodical and patient throughout his creation of portraits. Thank you for sharing with us. I learned so much and inspired for my drawings, too.

David is methodical and patient throughout his creation of portraits. Thank you for sharing with us. I learned so much and inspired for my drawings, too.

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5 star rating

A must for beginners

Dawn Allen Ward

As a beginner, found the information in the course very useful. The focus of ‘general to specific’ is the area in which I really need to practice, learning t...

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As a beginner, found the information in the course very useful. The focus of ‘general to specific’ is the area in which I really need to practice, learning to set the foundation of a sketch accurately before diving in to the detail. Thanks Dave! - brill-

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5 star rating

Great for beginners

Juan Rodriguez

I liked. It a lot. All instructions were very clear and easy to follow

I liked. It a lot. All instructions were very clear and easy to follow

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5 star rating

Essential Starting Point for Drawing!

Gustavo Ruiz

This is a very good course about how to start a good drawing. Just don't expect it to be a step-by-step guide of how to make a finished, cool-looking picture...

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This is a very good course about how to start a good drawing. Just don't expect it to be a step-by-step guide of how to make a finished, cool-looking picture of a subject you like. It's about how to capture shapes and make a good structure for a drawing, which is well explained, but you have to be patient and not expect to produce master works after your first exercises. There's plenty of insight on other topics too if you listen carefully to the explanations and try to relate it to what's happening in the video. I would recommend this course as a mandatory first step in learning how to draw.

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5 star rating

Learned a few tricks :)

Ofelia Ochoa

I'm super beginner and this was very helpful :D

I'm super beginner and this was very helpful :D

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