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Back to Basics: Design Fundamentals to Improve Your Drawings & Paintings | Instant Access!

Join artists Paul Richmond and Melissa Forman for a class focused on design fundamentals. Learn the basic principles of design, and how they can be utilized in every step of your artistic process. We'll start with an overview of the design principles and share examples from art history that utilize them. Then we will use cutout geometric shapes to explore different compositional strategies. Next, we will explore thumbnail sketches followed by an exercise in creating depth using line. The next lesson is all about using movement and rhythm in your drawings. And for our final project, we will do a longer drawing of a tiger and learn about creating an intentional focal point.

This class is for everyone - from beginners to more experienced artists - with an emphasis on foundational skills.

As professional artists and teachers, Paul and Melissa have met many artists who commonly face a lot of the same issues when creating their art. Learn how to master those struggles and add refinement and polish to your work. It’s never too late to get back to basics!

How It Works

Immediately after purchasing this course, you will receive a pdf by email containing the link to watch all of the course videos. You have unlimited access to these videos.


You are welcome to work with any materials you'd like, but here's a list of everything we will be using in this series:

  1. Drawing pencil set (4H-4B)
  2. Kneaded eraser
  3. Sketchbook
  4. Black Sharpies (variety of sizes)
  5. One piece of black construction paper
  6. Scissors


      1. Introduction
      2. The Design Principles
      3. Geometric Shapes
      4. Thumbnail Sketches
      5. Creating Depth With Line
      6. Movement and Rhythm
      7. Focal Point
      8. Closing Thoughts

      About the Instructors

      Paul Richmond is an internationally recognized visual artist and activist whose career has included exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout the United States as well as publication in numerous art journals and anthologies. His work is collected by individuals around the globe. As an illustrator, has created over four hundred novel cover illustrations. He is a co-founder of the You Will Rise Project, an organization that empowers those who have experienced bullying to speak out creatively through art. 

      Melissa Forman spends her time creating a richly visual world filled with characters created from an opulent, mysterious, and often eerie imagination. Her lovely, idealized figures seem lost in their own worlds, drifting between the 16th, 18th, 19th and 21st centuries. Melissa has been drawing and painting commissioned portraits since she was 14. She attended the Columbus College of Art and Design and graduated with a BFA in 2002. She now lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio. Her personal work has been shown in galleries around the world, from New York City to Seattle to Los Angeles to Berlin, Germany to Bristol, England.

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