Online Drawing Lessons


Hello, and welcome once again to the site!

I'd like to share with you, a little bit about the online drawing lessons you'll find here...

And how you can get the most out of them.

So before you dive in, please have a quick read through the following page - a simple overview of key points I'd like to share with you - before you dive into the site.

Oh, and to make things easier...

Just as I like to do with the lessons - I've broken it all down into separate ideas - each one with its own link.

Simply click on any of the links in the list below - and you'll be taken to a new spot, further down on this page.

Thanks again, for visiting the site! :-)

  1. Free online Drawing Lessons
  2. Drawing Lesson Levels
  3. Drawing Lesson Categories
  4. The Big Picture
  5. Frameworks
  6. Draw This First!
  7. The Step-by-Step Process
  8. Creativity
  9. Generations (G1, G2, etc.)

1. Free Online Drawing Lessons!

First and foremost, please know that all of the lessons here on the site are completely free.

Drawing is my passion, and so is helping others (that's you!) learn and improve at their craft. So while you're browsing & working away, know that there are no hidden costs of any kind.

Just draw and enjoy! :-)

2. Drawing Lesson Levels

You'll notice I've divided the online drawing lessons up into three categories - Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced.

Online Drawing Lessons Level
Beginner! :-)

Really, this is only a guideline - and it doesn't necessarily mean that if you're just starting out - you can ONLY do the Beginner lessons.

I do my best to categorize each lesson accordingly, but really... I understand that everyone learns at a different pace.

My best advice to you?

For sure - if you're new to drawing, start with the Beginner online drawing lessons.

But don't be afraid to try out another level.


In short...

Work at a level (and on online drawing lessons) that are most comfortable to you.

And also, go with the categories and themes that you most enjoy.

This is how I've always done it - drawing my all-time favorite things, when growing up. I love drawing animals, dragons, monsters - and also...

Creating my own unique cartoon characters.

So yes, this is what I focus on the most. :-)

3. Drawing Lesson Categories

Perhaps the most important factor when it comes to drawing (and anything!) is to draw the things you most love.

Online Drawing Lessons Categories
There's Even a *Favorites* Category!

When you love what you're doing, work often feels more like play.

And for sure, this is exactly how it should be!

To help with this, I've divided the site into a series of 'online drawing lesson categories' everything from animals to dragons to people.

Choose the category you're most interested in, and practice your drawing skills in and around this theme.

Do what you love and love what you do! :-)


By the way - you'll see in some cases, that a lesson will fit into more than one category. And yes, I've gone ahead and added them to both sections.

So for example - this "Killer Whale Shark", that you see in the picture.

You can find this guy in the "Monsters" section (I made him into a monster - because whale sharks, don't actually have teeth like this)...

And yes, you'll also find him in the "Favorites" section.

I really like this character, a lot.

4. Online Drawing Lessons - The BIG Picture

In each of the online drawing lessons, the first thing you'll see - is a finished, colored version of the cartoon that you'll soon be creating.

Online Drawing Lessons Big Picture
A Big Picture

I did this so that you have a clear goal before-hand, of exactly what it is you'll be doing.

In this way...

You'll have a better understanding of the step by step process, and it will be much easier for you to progress from start to finish.

Often, when you first look at the end goal - it sort *cements* and idea in mind - something that you can strive to accomplish.

And no...

It's not to say - that you must create *exactly* that picture, that you see.

I'd rather you be creative, and come up with your own unique drawings.


By seeing this final version - before you even begin...

You'll have a better sense of what sorts of shape, structure, color, etc. - that you may want to focus on, to complete the task at hand.

In a sense, it's sort of like "the light at the end of the tunnel". Actually, how about *forest* instead.

Have the end goal in mind (exiting the forest) - but don't forget to enjoy the beautiful nature around you, along the way.

Enjoy the process - but keep pushing forward! :-)

5. Frameworks

I like to begin each lesson by encouraging you to draw, what I like to call - a framework.

Truly, everything we draw - can be broken down into a series of simple, 'easy to recognize' shapes. And similar to the way our bones are the frameworks of our bodies, and how steel beams are the frameworks of buildings...

Simple shapes can be arranged ahead of time, as they help us visualize what it is we're drawing.

Online Drawing Lessons Frameworks
Halloween Cartoon Framework

So yes, a series of simple shapes - arranged in a particular way...

Act as the framework in most of the online drawing lessons you'll find here on the site.

Not only does a framework aid in keeping a drawing 'looking the way it's supposed to'... but also...

It helps to maintain proportion so that you can put more focus on the creative 'left brain' aspect of things.

The more you practice and repeat, the more familiar you will become with the various patterns of shapes and lines involved in whatever it is that you're drawing - and eventually...

The less you'll need to make use of a framework.

It's at this point, when you begin to 'draw from memory' - similar to how you would play a musical instrument 'without even thinking about it'...

After lots and lots of practice!


Something else I'd like to point out - just because I use frameworks here on the site - doesn't mean you *have to use them* - OR - that it's absolutely necessary.

Always do what works best for you.

6. Draw this First!

Once you have a framework drawn (if the lesson calls for it!)...

Online Drawing Lessons Draw this First
'The Eye of Kodos'

I like to encourage you to begin these online drawing lessons, by drawing the head of whatever it is you're sketching - especially (obviously) if it's a cartoon character - something that thinks...

Something with eyes!

And speaking of eyes...

After you've sketched out a framework with guidelines, the eyes are the very first thing - in most cases, that I'll recommend you draw.

Quite simply, the eyes are the windows to the soul, and so - by drawing them first...

It can really help to establish life and character in your drawing, early on.

Makes the rest of the process that much easier and more enjoyable! :-)

7. The Step-by-Step Process

Framework and head in place, the rest of the lesson takes place in series of very-easy-to-follow steps.

Detailed Steps

And yes, I really do try and make things as easy as possible for you.

Often, I'll go a little overboard and include even the tiniest of steps.

And I do this so that you know exactly what's going on - and exactly what you need to draw next!


Of course, every online drawing lesson *IS* different.

Sometimes, like say in this dragon lesson - in the image to the left...

I'll add in all sorts of details, simply because - well... just because.

When it comes to drawing - and I think we can all relate to this...

Sometimes, we get caught up in the creativity of the moment - and when it's all said and drawn, stepping back...

It's like *wow* - I put a TON of effort into this, and it feels like no time has passed at all. :-)

8. Creativity

Another point - something that really is THE single most important factor with respect to these free online drawing lessons...

Online Drawing Lessons Creativity
Tap Into the Creativity!

Is creativity.

Drawing IS about being creative.

And while each lesson here does encourage you to walk a 'specific path' to create a cartoon of my creation...

You must never forget to tap into your own creativity as well.

Actively seek out new ways to change the drawing at hand, such that it becomes unique to you.

There are endless ways to do this, whether it be making things larger or smaller...

Or changing the style of your lines.


If you look at this creature I drew, on the right - you can see that while takes on the form of a human - sort of...

It's composed of all sorts of different "mini cartoons" - clouds, rainbows, stars, butterflies, bubbles, dragonflies, flowers...

Is that it!?

And yes - this is a prime example of creativity going on. I mean seriously, what is going on here? What inspired the creation of this? It's just so...


Yet cool! :-)

So again - while the online drawing lessons on the site, *do come off as structured* - in the 'step by step' fashion...

Always remember to branch off whenever possible, and see if you can change things up. And of course, I'll be encouraging you to do so at various stages throughout the lessons.

9. Generations (G1, G2, etc.)

A final point - something that I feel is important here on the site, as its symbolic of my own progression over time - drawing these many online drawing lessons...

Is acknowledging how my own work has improved - both in the actually quality of the characters, animals, monsters, etc.

Online Drawing Lessons Generations
G1 - One of the First Lessons on the Site!

And also...

In the approach to designing and presenting the online drawing lessons, step by step - to you, the visitor and aspiring cartoon artist - here at How-to-Draw-Cartoons-Online.com.

For example...

When I first began this site, I had never created a drawing digitally before.

And yes, if you look at some of my earlier lessons - like for example, the "cartoon rhinoceros", "cartoon people (with the stick people), or the original "how to draw a rose" lessons...

You may be able to make out, that they are much more structured, than some of the more recent lessons.

And it's true...

Back in 2007 - when I first started this site, I was using a mouse to do all of the lessons - and still learning the ins and outs of programs like Adobe Photoshop.

Online Drawing Lessons G1
This Means "Generation 1"

Today, with tons of practice - I'm still learning.

But I think, over the years - things have improved.

Anyway, to mark off - let's call them "milestones", with respect to creating better lessons, here on the site, you'll see a small "G + Number" symbol - beside some of them.

"G1" (blue) marks off the very first lessons on the site.

"G2" (green) marks off lessons, that I think - were better quality - as I had more practice with photoshop.

And finally...

"G3" (orange) marks off lessons - that after lots of experience with Photoshop (and transitioning to a tablet as well - this was a huge thing!) - are noticeably of better quality.

And who knows...

I'm sure we'll see a "G4" also, as the site continues to grow! :-)

And so, that's all for now!

Thanks for visiting the site. I hope you enjoy the many different online drawing lessons, you'll find here. :-)

Happy Drawing!


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