Which is the better starters course?

Hello everyone,

I am new on the site and am pretty new with drawing.
Have drawn a lot as a kid and after all these years i want to pick it up again and found it is harder to learn than i remember from back in the days hehehe.
So i tried learning on my own and i got something going but i don’t think i have a solid foundation and have especially a hard time shaping form as in getting light and shadow worked in.
The general issue i think is observation both for the lighting/shading but also for form, proportion and detail.
I have some knowledge but not that much skills yet.

So i think i best start with (re)learning solid fundamentals.
Today i started with the 25days to better drawing, day 1 using the provided reference is clearly highlighting my problem areas. Now looking ahead into the course i feel like this might be more a course for when you have the fundamentals and improve further?

Is the secrets to drawing the course for the fundamentals and basics?

Thanks for your insights.
Good evening from the Netherlands,


Welcome, Anton! I hope you get as much from TVI as I have! Like you, I had some experience with drawing and art in general. I started TVI with “25 Days to Better Drawing,” and I felt it was a really great starting point for me. I think it or “The Secrets of Drawing,” or maybe even “The Guide to Graphite” would be excellent places to begin. Then you can branch out as your interest is piqued in different types of media.

I found that if I watch a complete lesson first without doing any drawing, that I could start at the beginning of the lesson the second time and draw along. I work a bit and stop the video until I’m comfortable with the part I’m working on, if that makes sense.

That is still my mode of operation. If I start a new course or even do a You Tube lesson, I will watch the entire lesson and then go back and do the work. If you find you’re having problems, never hesitate to put questions on the forum. There is so much on the TVI site that I don’t know that you could ever do it all. :slight_smile: Also, if I start a course and find myself overwhelmed or not as interested as I thought I might be, I stop and do other exercises for a while. I even will skip a section if the subject matter is of little interest to me, i.e. cars. I’m so not into drawing cars. LOL! However, I do love watching Matt draw cars and complete the piece with whatever medium he’s working in. I may not be interested in the car, but I learn something about something every time.

Again, welcome and just have fun! The skills will improve as you practice, practice, practice.


I agree with her suggestions.

Especially the one about watching the video first, then watching it again while drawing along and pause as needed. Makes the courses take longer but I get more out of it preventing me from wishing I had an “Undo Button” on my pencil.

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I’m 2 hours into the Texture Study 3 of graphite course. My progress so far, after erasing and crinkling the paper from moving around and changing marks, is getting a parallel/perpendicular 7x10 grid at even 1" intervals. I don’t like rulers that don’t start at 0 of the left edge and don’t end at 12", that extra 1/4" really messes me up, I Normally use a 6" machinist ruler which is exactly 6.000" long andmarked won to 100ths of an inch, because I as at the spiral binding of the sketch book, I then grabbed a different ruler (Staedtler) and immediately drew 70 paralellograms. The sad part is that that was my second try after erasing an earlier grid of 0.9 to 1.1" spaced lines created using a “Rolling Ruler” and trusted it’s scale.

Tonight or tomorrow, I shall begin to drawa chrome.

I think the graphite course would be great for beginner, as well as 25 days for better drawing and “Secrets of Drawing” in addition to “Intro to Pen and Ink”. The important part is to PRACTICE while going through them, even if yours looks like you were doodling something else, keep practicing and drawing. The “Blind contour” is a good exercises where you look at an object and then draw it without lifting up your pencil and without looking at your paper. The more you do it, the closer you get. Then when you split it 50% subject and 50% artwork, it’s easy and feels like cheating.

Hello Anton,

Welcome to the virtual instructor. I agree with Brenda that starting with the graphite courses is the best way to start out. I had been drawing a few years and still found that the graphite courses are the perfect place to start as a foundation to any medium you choose.

I started with the secrets of drawing, then 25 days to better drawing. Also, if you go to the top where it says lessons, then choose graphite under drawing all graphite options are together there.

I find one of the places I find the most helpful is in the weekly critiques. I have learned so much from all the critiques.

Also, participating in the live lessons, even if you do not use that particular medium for a specific series, it is a good way to interact and as in all of the courses Matt and Ashley reemphasizes basics of the different elements of drawing. You can ask any question there and Matt, Ashley, or someone in the chat will respond to your questions.

I hope this is helpful. Again, welcome to the Virtual Instructor.