The Complete Drawing Masterclass: From Beginner to Advanced

Platform Art is thrilled to partner with Lakeland residents to bring you a new online drawing course so you can learn to draw by following along with an accomplished fine artist and illustrator, without having to leave your house.

Jonathan Simon, MFA, and Chad Neuman, PhD, recently launched a 19-hour online drawing course on the Udemy course marketplace. Neuman did all the filming, editing, and graphics, while Simon instructed.

The course includes sections on gesture drawing, drawing materials and mark making, line and contour drawing, structural drawing, tone or value in drawing, and drawing in perspective. The final projects in the course include drawing a still life using the block-in method and then drawing a portrait. The course comes with support files, including helpful handouts and photos to follow along with, but Simon encourages students to draw from real life subjects and scenes when possible.

Simon is a fine artist and illustrator who has produced work for various clients, publications, and prominent art galleries across the United States. He has also taught drawing, painting, figure drawing, and illustration courses at the university level for years.

When students enroll in the course, they get access to a private Facebook group, where students can post photos or scans of their drawings, for feedback from Simon.

“I’m really pleased with the way the course turned out,” said Simon. “The lessons build upon each other, so students start with quick gesture drawings and later expand into line drawing. Then they can use those techniques as they work on structural drawings, apply tone to add depth and form, and draw in one-point, two-point, and three-point perspective.”

“The students have posted some quality drawings in the forum. It’s been fun adding feedback and seeing them develop their skills,” said Simon.

So far, over 7,000 people have enrolled in the online course, including 93 students from Australia, 48 students from Colombia, 17 students from Japan, and 7 students from Croatia. The course currently as a 4.5-star rating (out of a possible 5).

“The drawing masterclass is a well-rounded, solid approach to drawing that caters to beginner and advanced level students,” said Chris Gentry, an artist and student from Tennessee who is enrolled in the course. “It’s highly recommended for anyone looking to increase their drawing skills.”

Online drawing course
The course often features multiple angles. This helps students see close details when it is helpful. Watching with wider angles helps students see the entire drawing, or they can watch the use of the shoulder and arm in the drawing process.

“The cool thing about this course is that students can learn at their own pace. They can take a break and come back to the course later if they want,” said Neuman. “And once they enroll, they have lifetime access to the videos and other support files.”

Simon is also a visual art professor, and Neuman is a digital media and communication professor. But for them, this was a side project unrelated to their full-time jobs, although teaching the topic in person did help with forming the instruction in the online course.

“We made sure to use our own time when filming and editing the course, since we are also full-time university professors who have to dedicate time to grading, developing courses, teaching, advising, and so on, which ends up being well over 40 hours per week,” said Neuman. “But we still found time to produce this course, although it took about eight months, sometimes only getting to record two hours a day on the weekend, for example.”

“Online education is definitely a growing area, whether it means fully online university degrees that have more theory as well as more in-depth, individualized guidance and feedback, or online courses on a specific, technical topic, from Photoshop to drawing, on a site like Udemy,” said Neuman. “There are also design and coding boot camps at universities or training companies. It’s an exciting time for education, and I’m glad to be involved in these kinds of projects. Jonathan is a talented artist, and honestly, it’s amazing that people can learn from him this way, regardless of where they live.”

If you enroll in the course, you might notice some local scenes. For example, the demonstration of drawing moving animals was filmed around Lake Morton, and the gesture drawing of a cityscape was filmed at Lake Mirror. Although produced locally, the course has attracted students from 143 countries, including Spain, Germany, Brazil, and Poland.

“Since anyone with an internet connection can enroll in the course, you don’t have to live in Lakeland to take it. That’s the beauty of online education,” said Simon. “However, we are excited to share this course with our fellow Lakeland and Polk County residents.

Art is for everyone!”

Udemy Online Drawing Course

Jonathan Simon’s art portfolio can be viewed here.

Readers of Platform Art can enroll in the course using a special discount coupon by clicking the link below.

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Udemy Online Drawing Course
Simon and Neuman produced the online drawing course using three cameras and a lighting system when indoors.
Udemy Online Drawing Course