The Secrets to Drawing: Shape

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This course features:
5 Hours of Instruction
28 Videos
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Lesson Discussion

  1. Hi Matt, I am a member of this course and the lessons are amazing. but when I try to download the Ebook and open it , its not opening and says error or the page is empty. can you please clarify. thanks!

    • Hi Susheela,

      The file seems to be ok and downloading properly. If you are trying to download on a mobile device, make sure that you are using a mobile browser that supports PDF downloads.

  2. Hi Matt. I just signed up last week and I’ve already spent like 7 hours on the site. It is awesome. I’m taking the drawing course now and loving it. I’m actually making marks that look like something. I’m thrilled. Thank you for such an awesome site!

  3. Holy cow! I’ve read this explained before, but reading it again combined with the way you explained it (and the video) makes so much more sense! And I actually drew a decent hand. Thanks!


  5. I wish I had this type of instruction earlier because it is totally dynamic teaching. I am spreading the word to every one that I know. I want others to be able to enjoy art and understand what real art really is. Thanks John!

  6. I didn’t know that drawing a hand could be so easy, it make sence on what you showed. I really enjoy you explaining with the lesson…so looking forward to more lessons

  7. I have always been so troubled by starting with the contour of what I want to draw first. Laying out the shapes first helps me so much with actually plotting the proportions and making my hand drawing look like my hand instead of a dinosaur claw! There seems to be a common theme so far… Observation! Observing the shapes and then the contours makes it SO much easier and less discouraging. I am learning so much already, and its only the second video!

  8. I actually drew something that looked like a hand. I’m amazed. I’m still working on the ellipse. I looked at the video on 3 ways to draw it. I need practice.

  9. Hi, I find it a little frustrating personally, I can’t draw an ellipse just like that, it’s all lopsided, misshaped, etc I’m very much a beginner, zero experience and would prefer to show even how to draw a shape to begin with instead of assuming people know how to draw shapes then go from there, for me, you are missing a step for the absolute beginner. Thank you.

    • Hi Lili,

      Thanks for your comment. Some things just require a little practice. There is no magic formula for drawing simple shapes. This module is about recognizing that even complex objects can be broken down into basic shapes. Drawing is a skill that does require a bit of patient practice even after you know the basic concepts.

    • I was just thinking about this comment lili, and something that helped to learn drawing in the very beginning was tracing images. Put a thin sheet of paper over the image or picture, and try tracing the lines that you see through the paper. Hope this helps!The exercise helps with hand eye coordination.

      Great lessons by the way, starting to draw again after 25 years, never had lessons but I need a lot of practice just to get back to where I was. Hands are really tricky, and this makes it so simple!

  10. Lili, I think that learning to draw is a bit like learning to play the piano (or another musical instrument). You need patience, loads of practise and you can’t expect to manage masterpieces from f.e. Chopin or Beethoven three weeks after you’ve started.
    But I can understand the frustration cause I feel a bit frustrated, too about the blind line drawing, my work still looks like a complete disaster. ok, I’ve never done this kind of drawing before and I just started so I do what every beginner has to do: Gritting the teeth, practise – and hope that there will be soon at least a tiny bit of improvement to show. ;
    So dont’t give up, not only your brain and your eyes need a bit of time to learn. Just give your hands and your fingers as well a chance to adjust to the new movements.

  11. A great course. One thing I’d like clarified though is the cross contour line shading on the cup. I’m not sure why it goes downwards rather than curving round the cup like with the sphere? Can you do a combination of both as the cup is curved but also has length? A little confused!

    • Hi Candis,

      The videos appear to be playing normally. If you are having trouble with buffering, try scrolling over the video and clicking on the “HD” icon. This will turn high definition streaming off and allow the video to load quicker.

  12. Sorry if this has already been answered, but… In the last video (“Line”), we saw you improve the sphere by doing the curved cross contour lines. Why did you use the vertical lines on the cup? Thanks. C

  13. Hi, Matt, I am a new member {as of one hour ago) after doing most of the trial period. I am just starting on my journey to find personal pleasure in art, both appreciating it and producing works in the drawing and painting areas. I think the breaking down of an object into geo shapes, then refining the shapes into a more finished product, makes a lot of sense. Just wondering, is this technique used as a training tool, then discarded as experience is gained, or something you would continue with? I am looking forward to the courses on the various media, so much to learn!! I think the ability to give a 2D object the illusion of being 3D is amazing!

  14. The videos are always stopping and having issues with playback. I don’t have time to waste. Is there anyway to speed things up? So far I am not very impressed or likely to accept full membership in just seven days. I want to like this program, but mostly I am frustrated with trying to get the videos to play.

    • Hi Ruth,

      The videos are set to play in HD by default. You may try turning off the High Definition by scrolling over the player and selecting the 360p option. This will speed up playback.

  15. This is amazing! I’ve never seen this method of drawing before. I think this is going to make it much easier to draw anything. I can’t wait to try it!

  16. Hi Matt I have always wanted to learn to draw but never had the courage to get out there and try…
    your programs make it so easy to understand. I only started with video2 yesterday and already have more confidence to keep on going. thankyou and I look forward to the rest of the classes and probably going onto others ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. 2 lessons into this course and I have already made some significant strides! This is what I have been missing for the longest time. Thanks Matt!

  18. Is there a way to download the video that leads this lesson? The reason is that my school district is very restrictive with it’s internet and blocks video and youtube. Therefore I must download it to my computer to show it in the classroom – a real pain. I’ve noticed that some videos are easily downloadable while others are not. Is this because I am still an introductory member and not a full member?

    Thanks, by the way. Your site has been a life saver.

  19. I just can’t draw a hand no matter how much i try. I had like 7 approaches with your video (7 in my entire life) and it still doesn’t look like anything near realistic hand. Just some rectangulars and cubes attached to each other. Maybe do you have or know any more videos that could help me with it ?

    I want to add also that I’m a total beginner that can’t even draw a proper straight line not to even mention ellipse ๐Ÿ˜€

  20. I’m blown away by this course already. I enjoyed this lesson even more than ‘lines’, mainly because it boosted my confidence so much! Thanks to you and your instruction, I actually drew something! And not just something, but a hand. I think it was a marvelous idea to start with a subject which most of us would consider ‘too complex for a beginner’ and dispel our fears by showing us how it’s done. Now I understand that, with practice, so many other subject matters are attainable.

  21. I can not view the video today. Yesterday when is signed up I could and viewed the first two videos and e books, Video three has an error message
    can’t be played with current setup. Please advise. I have a MAC Computer 10.12.2. Thanks

  22. Thanks for beginning the video with the quote by Michelangelo. Wow! You explained the basic techniques to successfully draw so well! You are making me believe that I can be successful!

  23. Matt where were you when I was looking for a online class. I’m just in a trai period but I will joining your class, I learned so much from you in these 4 days I’m excited!! Thank you for doing this.

  24. Matt you made it so simple in drawing the cup when I tried drawing to cup it didn’t look so easy I tried several times but I still can’t get it to look like a cup any suggestions.

  25. Hi Matt – just wondering if one could draw a semi-circle for the handle instead of rectangles ? that’s what I’d usually do but I guess there is a reason for that ๐Ÿ˜‰

  26. SUCH

    Seriously, best drawing teacher I’ve ever had (and I’ve never even met him!).

    Actually, this format is such a great delivery method because while we want to see every step, if we were craning our necks around other students crowded around him drawing, we might get bored or uncomfortable but because we can watch his marks and movements in time lapse… wow…crystal clear. Best use of online classes I’ve ever seen. So engaged. So excited to try each exercise after his great instruction spelled out verbally, visually, in text with images – every which way anyone learns has been taken into consideration here. I so appreciate this attention to detail. And the result? Absolute clarity. And inspiration. Again: THANK YOU! (I’m going to go draw my coffee cup and hand now!)

  27. Hi Matt today is my first lesson. Thank you for introducing such great course.You are great teacher.Every point you explain very Well and easy way.
    Thank you again.

  28. Hi Matt, I have a question about the hatching that you did in this video on the mug drawing. How do you decide how long to make each hatch mark? Thanks!

  29. Hi Matt or anyone who can help! I have just started the course and excited about progressing but im not sure about the best way to start! should I watch all the videos first, download and print the image?(mug) then follow the video?? If you could point me in the right direction so I don’t waste too much time jumping around. Thank you

    • Hi Susan,

      You can go through the courses any way that you wish, but I suggest taking each module slowly and try to do the included exercises before moving on to the next.

  30. Hi Matt – really loking forward to beginning this course. I have sucessfully downloaded the ebook for the Lines lesson on my laptop, but getting no where in downloading the ebook for the Shapes lesson.
    I keep getting this message when trying to acess it: “Uh oh! Seems like your file is not a PDF or is corrupted. Please check that your file is a valid PDF and try again.” Help!

  31. I can make a matchstick man look fat so my improvement is bound to be rapid ๐Ÿ™‚

    So far so good, I am enjoying this but I would like to ask how long would you expect a novice to spend drawing the mug? Is five, 15 or 30 minutes expected? I know that we are all different but if you have an opinion on what would be considered appropriate, it would be appreciated.

    • Hi Simon,

      Yes, you’re correct. We are all different and some will sketch quickly while others will require more time. I wouldn’t try to place a time limit on it. I would draw until you feel it is complete.

  32. Is it ok to take these exercises to a more extreme version of shading. I have some more experience in pencil shading but havenโ€™t been drawing for quite a while and looking to regain my interest and skills. I find myself wanting to do more realistic shading instead of the more linear style that you show here. Or should I stick with what is in the videos?

  33. Good afternoon, Matt. I am a beginner with a capital “B!” I recently left a 30 year career in the legal field, and also recently diagnosed with ADHD (which explains why I’m so disorganized and have trouble staying on task – although I was an excellent paralegal). I have never been able to even draw a straight line, but have always wanted to learn how to draw, paint, sketch, and I’m wondering if it has something to do with ADHD. I’m so glad I found your website and I am very excited to begin my journey. With regard to this video, I am wondering if I need to master the drawings and shadings you’ve done here before I move on to the next chapter? Thank you! Lisa

  34. Hello Matt. This is my first day. I found your course by by doing the bull in line and water color. Enjoying it so far. One comment is that some people have good penmanship and some like me don’t. So not all shapes come out the same. Some are perfect and some not so.
    Dave Kawecki

  35. Great lesson. Love the concepts of breaking what you want to draw into smaller pieces, and visualizing the basic geometric shapes we can draw and enhance the final product last. Thank you!

  36. Haha never thought that it would be easy. I always wanted to learn how to draw, tried many times, and always looked like my fingers and brain were not friends.
    Very lovely with shapes of the hand, I tried to copy the technique. Not bad at all. Thank you.

    • Hi Allison,

      You can show the students the videos in your classroom while you are actively teaching them while logged in to your account. Video downloads are not provided. Sharing material downloaded from our site in any digital format is against the terms and conditions.

  37. It was a little too fast for me and I know we can pause, but it is tricky to get it paused at the right part. I am too much of a beginner to be able to go as fast. So although each lesson so far has been great – its a little tough. Trying though.

    It has been difficult to figure out where to start first and I am pretty much going with this course because in Udemy it seemed to be the first one to go with. Getting used to the fact that the courses here don’t keep track of where you are, you have to do that yourself and I have been keeping track in my sketchbook as to where I am.

  38. Hello Matt, I am new in your drawing classes and I am a beginner. I understand that the โ€œpractice, practice, practice โ€œ is the key in order to get better. I am following along with your breakdown shapes method to draw coffee mug and hand. It seems a much simple way to learn. I like it very much. But I found itโ€™s difficult to find other objects to practice using same method. Do you have any suggestions for a beginner?
    Thank you

    By the way, is there an email address that I can use incase for a private issue?

    • Hi Haoming,

      You can draw any object you have laying around. Practice seeing your own simplified shapes and draw them. There is no “wrong”. You can also use the contact form on the website to send a message. Just scroll to the bottom of any page of the website and click on the “Contact” link. I hope this helps.

  39. Matt,
    I’ve taken several of your courses since joining. You are a great instructor and I’ve learned a lot thus far. However, I’m impressed so far with this course because of how simply and thoroughly you explain and encourage as you go along. I wanted to THANK YOU for all your work in the Virtual Instructor.

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