Wish you could have gone to art school?

-You love to draw, but don’t have accuracy 

-You learn best in a group environment, with a class or coach to help you

-You want to learn a classical, academic method

-You need motivation to build a regular drawing practice

-You want to learn to draw from life: the things & people you see around you

Send yourself to art school in this 9 week challenge guaranteed to revolutionize the way you draw. 

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How it Works

Drawing Exercise Schedules

Get a downloadable schedule with 30 minutes of drawing assignments a day, 5 days a week.
Go at your own pace.

Feedback from your Instructor

Get considerate and encouraging feedback on all your drawings from your instructor Jessica. The online course home of our challenge offers tons of support.

Supportive Studio Community

In a studio art class, you looking around to see how all the other artists are approaching the same exercise. Get the same experience and chat with fellow students in our community course website.

Classic Method

This challenge is a condensed version of Nicolaides art guidebook, "The Natural Way to Draw." Almost every drawing class in the world still uses his techniques, and his method is considered to be one of the best ways to learn to draw.

The Drawing Schedule

Contour Drawing and Gesture Drawing. These are two of the most essential exercises in the drawing cannon. 

The focus is to learn to draw by using senses other than sight. We will imagine using our sense of touch to draw in blind contour drawings. In Gesture drawings, we draw the human form and embody the feeling of acting out a pose in our drawings. 

Cross-contour and Potential Gesture Drawing, plus the ongoing contour and gesture drawings we will continue throughout the 9 weeks. 

Cross contour drawings have us imagine our subject as a topographical map. With Potential gesture, we draw the movement we THINK the model will do next. 

We continue to work on the exercises described in week 1 and 2, and learn about Flash Drawing.

Flash poses aid in building our visual memory by forcing us to memorize the pose before we try to draw it.

Bold three-dimensional drawings will come through this week as we learn the Modeled Drawing technique and Weight Drawing

You can choose to use a charcoal or penciler this fun, scribbly messy adventure in drawing.

Up your Memory in week 5 with a technique that will help you memorize what you see, developing your visual memory abilities. 

We will also build on what we’ve already learned with more practice using the past weeks’ techniques.

This week is going to be SO. FUN. The lesson is: Moving Drawing.We will be drawing from moving photos (Check out an example by clicking here) to learn how to better understand action. 

You’ll be guided step-by-step on how to do this in a fun, approachable way. We’ll also continue to build on our previous weeks learning.

7 weeks in, you won’t believe how capable you feel around a sketchbook. At this point you will see serious growth and have MUCH more accuracy in your drawings.

This week, we Draw with Ink. We’ll go over the same drawing lessons we’ve been doing, but with the new medium, you’ll feel them in a whole new way.

One purpose of this method is to give you the remarkable ability to understand the 3-D form of the subject you are drawing from different viewpoints. 

Right Angle Drawing, the method we gain this week, will challenge you to draw an object as if you were sitting at a 90 degree angle to the subject, instead of drawing directly what you see. Yes! It’s possible! And you’ll be amazed at how capable you are this far into the challenge.

Our Final week is a medley of all the incredible exercises we’ve practiced up until this point.

We will change the subject a bit and draw the head and Gestures of Features of the face. 

With this final challenge, you will have a STRONG grasp of how to draw all parts of the human form, and you’ll be able to apply these skills to anything you wish to draw.

Not to mention, your bragging rights will be well earned, and your sketchbook will be a thing of beauty to show off. There’s nothing like seeing a sketchbook begin with scribbles, and see beautiful drawings 9 weeks later.

About the Method

If you want to learn to draw, you may have heard of Nicolaides classic drawing manual, The Natural Way to Draw.

This classic drawing text was written during his time teaching at The Art Students’ League in New York City around the turn of the century, but was only published after his death, in 1941.

In The Natural Way to Draw, Nicolaides lays out a set of weekly schedules for the art student to approach 5 days a week, THREE HOURS a day, just as if they were in his year-length full time art class in the Art League. 

These teachings encourage us to forget what we think we see, and begin our visual vocabulary like a child learning to speak for the first time. We begin with the absolute simplest elements before we move on to the grammar or composition of putting the words in sentences. 

These essential drawing exercises challenge your ability to focus and separate your ego from your artwork, but they improve your drawing ability like nothing else.

This challenge translates the drawing directions from Nicolaides’ classic textbook into easier to follow instructions.

The schedules from the book are condensed into an approachable 2.5 hours a week instead of 3 hours a day. This 9 week drawing challenge is by no means a substitute from the original, and we’ll be in deep conversation with Nicolaides throughout.

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About your Instructor

Jessica Antonelli is an award winning art teacher, originally from Galveston, Texas. She studied drawing and painting in Florence, Italy, during her college years, and has a Masters Degree in Teaching. 

Jessica is a seeker of those breakthrough moments, when a student has that “Aha!” moment and feels more confident in their creative ability. 

Favorite mediums:  Painting in oil and a drawing in ink. 

Fun Facts: Lived in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, for 5ish years, and opened a thriving studio/gallery.

She now lives in a tiny house on the Texas coast, where she works part time at a school garden non-profit.