Learning How to Draw: A Mindset, Method, and Exercises

Yuko Shimizu, Illustrator, Instructor at School of Visual Arts

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12 Videos (1h 6m)
    • Introduction

    • Materials

    • Exercise 1: Blind Contour Drawing

    • Exercise 2: Drawing Hands

    • Exercise 3: Drawing Small Objects

    • Exercise 4: Using Anchors

    • Exercise 5A: Drawing from Memory

    • Exercise 5B: Drawing from Memory II

    • Exercise 6: The Rodchenko Challenge

    • Yuko's Work

    • Conclusion

    • What's Next?


About This Class

This 65-minute class shares an accessible, enjoyable, and practical approach to learning how to draw so that everyone can enjoy the process of drawing!

Based on live workshops developed by award-winning Japanese illustrator Yuko Shimizu, every short lesson is filled with explanation, demonstration, and critiques of real student work so that students gain tactics for growing their own creative illustration practice. Plus, the class includes Yuko’s 6 favorite prompts for those starting out.

This class will not explore traditional inking techniques or media, but it will cover the essential drawing skills and eye training necessary to becoming an artist or illustrator. While the class is designed for the beginning illustrator, all creative enthusiasts are welcome to participate and revisit the joy that comes from drawing with confidence. These exercises are a great resources to remember and return to year after year, whenever you need a refresh or a way to relax and keep drawing.

193 of 196 students recommendSee All

Great class! I enjoyed the approach and Yuko's works. The way how she is managing to speak while drawing is amaizing! The class is interesting, fun and so much useful! I didn't notice how my paper finished!
It's great to see an accomplished artist like Yuko Shimizu teaching on Skillshare. This is a very good and unconventional approach to drawing with some good tips. Her inking class is even better. Keep it up!
Yuko presents bite-sized assignments that make it easy to draw without getting freaked out. I work on a computer all day and its fun once and a while to see if I still have my drawing chops. I look forward to doing these exercises more and looking at other Skillshare classes. Thanks Yuko!





Yuko Shimizu

Illustrator, Instructor at School of Visual Arts

Yuko Shimizu is a Japanese illustrator based in New York City and a veteran instructor at the School of Visual Arts (SVA). Newsweek Japan chose Yuko as one of “100 Japanese People The World Respects" in 2009. Her first self-titled monograph was released world-wide in 2011 and her first children's book, Barbed Wire Baseball, published in 2013.

Her work has appeared on t-shirts for The Gap and NIKE, on Pepsi cans, on VISA billboards, and on Microsoft and Target ads, as well as on book covers published by Penguin, Scholastic, DC Comics. Her work has also graced the pages of such publications as The New York Times, Time, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, and many others.

In fact, illustration is Yuko’s second career. Although art has always been her passion, she initially chose a more practical path studying advertising and marketing. Early in her career, she took a job in corporate PR in Tokyo, and she stayed in the industry for 11 years. In 1999, sensing an early midlife crisis, she finally made up her mind to pursue her childhood dream, and she moved to New York to study art for the first time.

Yuko graduated with an MFA from SVA’s Illustration as Visual Essay Program in 2003, and she has been illustrating ever since. She now teaches the next generation of young artists in NYC at SVA and online at Skillshare.

(photo by Giorgio Arcelli)