The Secrets to Drawing: Line

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Lesson Discussion

        • Hi Matt, I want to join your 1 year program but I have paid for one month. How can I change. Will you give any certificate after the completion and will you give any homework with timeline

          • Hi Poornima,

            You can cancel your trial. When it expires, you can “renew” for the year. There is currently a certificate offered for this course. In order to receive it, you must complete the course and then pass the quiz after the last lesson. There is no homework. You can take the courses at your leisure and follow along with each exercise demonstrated in the lesson videos.

    • LEARNING the mental analytical process has been very reveling..
      in fact, I rewatched this session twice and noticed quite an improvement in pass #2.
      I am hooked………..

  1. Hello Matt,your name is easy to remember because that’s my son’s name 🙂 any way I’m Karen nice to meet you,
    I’m 54 years young and I have always wanted to learn to draw,but never had the time or money to do it. I’ve seen
    other people over the years taking art courses,and wish that I could,so one night i was on line and i was looking for a free drawing lesson, just to see if i could draw anything. Well Matt god put me on your page and gave me the money on my card that night to order your course :)Well I’ve looked around the course and I got a sketch pad that’s fine tooth surface
    Also picked up a pack of graphite pencils kit 2B-4B-HB-2B (and this stuff that’s called simply graphite 8B?????) and a kneaded eraser, it sure doesn’t look like any eraser i’ve ever seen before LOL,
    so any way I’m going to start with course 2 line,please let me know if this wouldn’t be a good place for this old lady to start,thank you for doing this in your life and have a great day.

  2. Hi Matt,
    My name is Danielle from Switserland, I just subscribed and tried to draw an ear and a mouth , they came out amazingly well, so now Im starting my first lesson, I’m so motivated and want to learn so much more, Thank you Matt!

  3. Matt, I am a Chinese, graduated this year and 37$ is really a big sum for me, but I love drawing so much, I had learned for a while from an artist, but failed. I wish this time I will succeed and it’s not a mistake to purchase your courses.

  4. This is great! So glad I signed up. I currently taking a course, my first art course, but wanted more and I think you will be able to do that. Thank you

  5. Great video! Your explanations are simple, using your tips I tried to draw my Logitech mouse and for my surprise it was not bad! I drew it correctly. Every time I tried to learn how to draw I was bored with tons of technical information and difficult concepts that I couldn’t apply. My teachers said that the only way to learn to draw was to look at the objects and try to draw it in a paper, but I always failed because they didn’t teach me the way of how the lines work. Now it’s more clear for me. Thank you.

    • totally agreed.. this entire course as a member is gonna be worth it for anyone whom joined the monthly or yearly plan. cant wait too be an expert , and i am already great ,, i loved your comment …

    • Hi Doug,

      What player are you using to play the video? Do you have QuickTime on your computer?

      If the video stops during the playback, then the internet connection may be a little slow. The videos are defaulted to play in High Definition which requires a strong connection. You can turn the High Definition off by clicking on the “HD” on the player. This may allow you to stream the video easier.

    • Hi Doug,

      QuickTime should play the video. You may try right clicking on the video file and choose “Open with”. Then choose QuickTime from the options.

  6. Hey Matt used this video today in my 2nd year art class, with ultimate lesson plan resources. OMG what a class it was!! What a joy it was to be able to give each student one on one while your videos clearly, concisely, eloquently and expertly explained the concepts. As a sculptor/crafter it’s great to stand on your shoulders for the art areas that aren’t my speciality.

    That’s a big thank you from Ireland!! You da’ man.

  7. Best investment that I’ve made in a long time. I have always been able to draw and never knew why I could draw, but the elements of drawing have helped me to understand it better. I used to draw to relax but now i just relax, watch the videos and draw with understanding. Thanks!!! This is great. D.Lee

  8. Matt,
    I just downloaded my first video and it went to Spotify. I don’t even have an account. I would like it to go to itunes or icloud. How do I get it to do that?

    • Hi Janie, Locate the file on your computer and then right click on the file. Choose “Open with” and then choose your program. For iTunes: Open iTunes and then click on the movies tab. Click and drag the file from your computer into the box. Your video will show up under “Home Movies”. I hope this helps.

  9. When I first learned about cross contour lines I was amazed at how something so simple could give such an advanced illusion and make your artwork look real! You couldn’t have described and demonstrated this any better! Way to go Matt.

  10. The download went into Quick books and I tried to get it into icloud. I managed to do that with a lot of finagling. Is there a way to get it into icloud first time? I want to watch these off line. icloud does let me do that, right? My computer knowledge is very limited.

    • Hi Janie, I don’t know much about iCloud, but I’m pretty sure that you must have an internet connection to access it – meaning that you would still need to be online to access from the cloud. QuickTime is a native program on most computers that will play the videos without an internet connection. Depending on your mobile device, you can download the videos directly to your device, or upload through iTunes.

  11. Thanks, I am going to go to my Samsung and not use my Mac. That might make things easier. I didn’t know Quick Time would be something I could use off line. I am going to try that out. Thanks for your help. I am loving these videos.

  12. I am happy because i understand what i have to do in order to begin painting.
    Its so useful and clear the lesson. Thanks Mr. Matt.

  13. I’ve been searching many online courses till now ..honestly yours is the best coz its straight to the point and tells us what to do thank you for this wonderful course

  14. Very well put…It’s very interesting how you manage to pull out the really useful information and simplify it…you have the mark of a great teacher! Glad to spend my money here… Thanks again! Having written information and visual representation as well as video is really great…Love the space for interaction and feedback also! Great Stuff!

  15. Thanks its really helpful…. Please tell me what is the difference between Descriptive and Decorative lines and how we can distinguish between both the lines????

  16. Hi, Matt! I’ve discovered that I am — unfortunately — a very heavy-handed artist. Even when using hard pencils, I find it difficult to sketch “lightly”. Any tips you can offer?

  17. I find blind drawing difficult. A little fun, though, but not easy. Is there a general recommendation on how long one should practice this skill or is it something that one can always return to regardless of where they are in the learning?


  18. this is my first time here. And so far I love it! I love the clear way you speak and your tone of voice. You have lots of enthusiasm and sincerity. The lessons seem very clear and easy to digest. The combined ebook is wonderful to follow up with the video instruction. Reading is really easy and well put together. It isn’t too long. That really helps to understand things better. I hope the rest of the lessons are as great to understand as these first two.

  19. Hi

    I am unable to download the ebook. Is it because I’m on the trial version. Once I’m officially a member will I get access to the ebooks.

    • Hi Linda,

      You should be able to download the ebook now. The download link is working properly. What happens when you click on the “Download the Ebook” button? And what browser and device are using?

      • Thank you for the reply. I used a different browser and that one worked. Enjoying the course heaps. Doing loads of practice, so I’ve got lots of attempts and I can see the difference from my first attempt to my fourth attempt. I’m actually improving!!!. Your course is easy to understand so far.
        Thank you once again

  20. Hi, I am enjoying this site, but I wondered ,with each video like this one on “line” where do I go to find assignments on each study like for example, when you where doing a contour line drawing, are we to draw something like that as well? Do we draw what you draw from each new definition video?

  21. Bonsoir j’ai commencer les cours d’essai je les est trouver très bien m’ai j’ai un petit souci c’est la traduction je ne parle pas l’anglais. aurait il une solution sinon je ferai avec merci beaucoup

  22. I for some reason cant register to the forum so Ill make a suggestion here, I’ve done some research into hand lettering and calligraphy and everyone online wants to charge crazy prices for lessons, so I think the next art workshop deal should be hand lettering ,calligraphy and typography,..those subjects people would pay good money for especially if you broke them down into like 24 modules, thanks

  23. Hello! My name is Terri Peterson. Like another student’s account, I too, was looking around for videos on like on how to draw. I found the free example of your course and fell in love. I’m a 59 year old lady and haven’t picked up a pencil in 40 years or better to draw a picture. When I was in high school, I was pretty good a sketching, but the lack of practice over the years made me lose the skills I had learned. I rediscovered my joy for drawing about a month ago. I joined your class last night and I am already finding that some of the skill is coming back to me. Thanks for the class. I’m expecting great things!

  24. Hi Matt

    This is Michelle Goddard from Australia wanting to thank you for providing your amazing skills of teaching art online. A friend of mine recommended your course after she was producing some fantastic artwork after having learnt so much from you. I have just watched your
    video on Line Drawing and may I say I was impressed and am totally excited to play with drawing and to be so skilfully guided once again
    after many years away from artistic expression. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. May you be blessed.

  25. Hi Matt,

    Thank-you for going into such detail w.r.t. Line. I have not been able to really dig into understanding the basics or fundamentals of art. I agree that observation is really a subject all on its own too and important to understanding what you are drawing. I believe, you need to invest time to gather the details before you can add them into your work.

    I really enjoy all of the words and approaches you use to explain the concepts. You are so experienced, that it really just flows through your word choices. I enjoy going back and learning the “art language” or how you use specific art terms to explain things, eg extrude or protrude, medium, media, etc. I went back over the video a couple of times, each time, grasping a different or new idea, etc. I would really like to have this learning feature in everyday life sometimes too, i.e. Play, pause, rewind, reflect, and continue.

    You wisdom is really being appreciated 🙂

  26. I have already actually learned more in watching the first video than I have from watching about 30 other drawing tutorials! Love this! Bring it on.

  27. Hello Matt! I’ve always wanted to draw. That was 47 years ago. At that time my mother made the decision for me. “You can’t make a living as an artist.” She sent me to Secretarial school. That is how I made my living for all of these years. I’ve always dabbled and tried to draw. Not to long ago my son encouraged me to get an associate degree in art. I looked at all of the requirements and thought to myself “Why?” Why do I need to learn history to draw. Why do I need to take three courses in mathematics? It went on and on but barely touched drawing and painting. Oh yeah ah Drawing I, II, III and then some painting courses. I found you and saw some of your course on YouTube. Finally! Someone who gets it and is willing to share. Thank you.

  28. Trying the “blind contour line” was a real eye-opener. I managed to draw facets of an object with which I would previously have greatly struggled, like compound curves and patches of light reflected light. I’m going to experiment some more this morning and then the 50/50 approach. I think I was previously doing something like 5% blind, which now explains a lot!

    • Actually, I think I got ahead of myself in terms of the actual exercise but it was exciting to see how I tackled aspects that I would normally find more challenging and I wasn’t even looking at the paper – well, maybe the odd squint!

  29. This is my first lesson (at age 53) and I am loving it. I always wanted to draw and paint and break away from the business world, thank you. I didn’t know where to start, this is a fab resource.

  30. I have been looking a multiple books at our favorite book stores. You 7 minute lesson on the essence of the line is the clearest and most informative presentation to date. I am encouraged because as I watch the video I realize “Hey I can do that too.” Thank you

  31. Hi, I just started a new membership and am very impressed with what I see. I will be 76 years old in March and in all my life I must say I have never had art concepts explained so thoroughly. Usually you are told what to do but are not told why. I am looking forward to enjoying this journey!

  32. Hi, I love how you defined line. I have a better understanding about contour. This concept is going to improve my drawings. Thank you for the

  33. This was an excellent lesson and a good introduction to the first element of art. I think this will certainly help me, as it turns out line is one of those things I trusted I understood but didn’t truly appreciate. Thanks for helping to open my eyes to what this element is about. 🙂

  34. matt,
    would you also explain aabout what you said…”that is not true…that the only thickness of a line can be produced by….
    ??material you are using….”?
    don’t understand …
    thanks !! raquel

  35. Thanks Matt.. I have learned previously, a subject in Illustration at Uni years ago.. what I was puzzled about then about line, I am un-puzzled now 🙂

  36. Iam from somalia and iam allready in this course…..i feel like my dream is coming true to finally learn art and develop a new skill thank u so much

  37. I have done quite a lot of drawing over the years but have never learnt the principles practically. Such as Contour first then vary quality, then cross contour. Usually rush to start shading. Now I see the reason for the problems I have been having. It really good to learn properly.

  38. I tend to get in a hurry, not thinking before starting to fill in he subject matter. Then I have to go back and fix it, which causes more problems. I have been trying to limit myself time wise, so when I come back to it I’m refreshed and hopefully when I start again I’m more focused.

  39. I wanted to take a minute to say that I took two semesters of drawing in college last year. We also started with all of the same concepts regarding line. And we were assigned the same exercises. However, the way that these concepts are explained in this video and the way they are connected to reality is much better than my college classes which cost thousands of dollars.

    I will say however that having taken the college classes I now know much better what to look for and how to appreciate the information in these videos and put that information to use with hours of practice before I move on to the next video.

    I recently read a book called Peak. The book explains how hours of focused concentrated manual practice creates changes in the brain and develops expert skills. The practice is where the skill comes which I’m sure you already know.

    I look forward to practicing this skill of line in the ways that you recommend. Are there any other instructional sheet for exercises or any recommendations? Thank you

  40. Hey Matt, thanks for creating this traditional art resource. You literally saved me thousands of dollars that would have gone to an art school with not-enough liberal arts classes. I can spend money on college courses in a balanced liberal arts degree to understand the world better. This way I can spend learning art directly from your experience and build a portfolio for freelance work.

    Based on the advice of two close art industry veteran friends, I am learning the fundamentals first and will always go back to them throughout my approaching concept art career.

  41. I’m so excited by your course – I love to draw and for some things I can get a pretty passable likeness but other things are wrong in so many ways. I missed out on art at school and have had several attempts to learn what I needed to improve my drawing – got lots of books but nothing has made as much sense as what you have said in this 2nd video. I already see an improvement and feel sure that if I do exactly what you say I will be able to draw anything! Wow my dream!! Thanks so much for your excellent teaching.

  42. This is such an awesome course. I have taken other classes that confused me. This simplified and clarified everything and provided engaging exercises to incrementally improve. What more could you want? Thank you so much.

  43. Hi Matt, I have been trying to draw for the past few years now and to say the least it has been rather frustrating. I believe that I finally found the the right teacher! Heaven only knows I couldn’t teach myself. Thank you. I can hardly wait till you teach shading. Tammy

  44. Hi, Matt,
    Steve here I have been watching on youtube and decided to take the course. I have been drawing and sketching for a while but have always wanted to know more to improve; I think you have given me the road to follow along on this journey thanks.

  45. I also found you on Youtube with the boat line and wash video, which is an excellent tutorial. I had so much fun watching it that I decided to take the year package. I know it will make me a better illustrator and painter. I’m so excited to start this journey!

  46. Now THIS is what I call art lessons! High quality art lessons.
    Thanks, Matt, for all the effort you’re putting in to helping us learn how to uncover our “hidden” talents.
    Keep up the great work!

  47. Hi Matt,

    That was a great lesson, thank you very much! I know that observation was a problem for me when I was trying to draw something. Also the proportion and direction of the line. So I have some questions.
    1. Do you think it’s worth repeating “the blind exercise” many times to improve it? Or just practicing drawing will suffice?
    2. I noticed you are holding a pencil in a slightly different way, not like we hold a pen when we write. Any clues on that?
    Thank you,

  48. Hi. I’m 12. I watched the first video on lines but now what? Do I watch a class now or just watch all the videos in drawing first? I saw the rhino but your on lesson 7 i believe. I have to go back and catch up. I don’t know where to really begin?

    • Hi Charlotte,

      Welcome! I would continue on with The Secrets to Drawing course for now. To continue to the next lesson, click on the arrow that points to the right under the video. That will take you to the next lesson in this course.

  49. Hi. I’m enjoying the first lesson in this series. I’ve been drawing my entire life – I’m 74 – but never had any kind of formal instruction. In 1998, I discovered watercolor and have been painting ever since. However, I never quite got “the hang” of drawing, so tended to do a lot tracing. In the past year, I found Urban Sketching and started to do some basic drawing by the seat of my pants. I’m getting better, but feel a “real” course will help me make faster progress. This is a great course and I’m very happy to have found it. I’m not sure where your accent originates, but it reminds me of Virginia, an adopted home that I have recently left to return to Florida. At any rate, the classes are superior and the accent makes them feel good.

  50. Thank you Matt your lessons are good and clear you’re a great teacher I’ve been doubting about starting your courses but now I’m into it.You’re really helping me to understand more in my career.

  51. Hi Matt, I just joined as a member. Thank you for your wonderful teaching and for making these materials available to everyone. You explain the concepts very clearly. Could you suggest drawing exercises and/or subjects after each video, that would help us to practice these concepts? And, if possible, ways to self-evaluate?

    • HI Meenakshi,

      Thanks! The drawings that are created in the videos are meant to be the actual drawing exercise for the lesson. Have you had a look at the 25 Days to Better Drawings course? This course is more focused on the exercise portion of the lesson.

  52. I can’t get the resources to download its saying file corrupted….I’m a first year highschool art teacher and your amazing you will be saving my life!!!

  53. I want you to know I was introduced to Virtual Instructor through Gettin’ Scetchy. I recommend it to anyone who will listen. I describe the way you both instruct as listening to the show Car Talk on NPR. I’m hooked. I love what has happened to my drawing skill since I began watching…enough so that I signed up and am now a true student. Thanks!

  54. Love this course! Although, I would like to say that it would be helpful to be able to see your objects in a small screen while you are explaining how to see things like the “thickness” of the objects. It was hard for me to understand what you are talking about without explanation. Might just be how my brain works but just a suggestion. Thanks for all your great work!

  55. Being a member of TVI for over two years now, I decided to revisit this course again just to see, how far I have gone in my “career”. I really believe, you can still learn details and push youself to even more dedicated practice time for improving your skills.

    “Talent is the result of practice, practice, practice and even more practice …” Matt keeps on telling you.

    Matt, you are so right!!!
    Thanks for being herein for us,

  56. I just ordered the yearly subscription. The instructions are explained clearly and throughly. I took several college art classes in my life but these videos are filled with techniques that any one at any skill level can benefit from.

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