Figure Drawing for Illustrators

Instructed by John English

Improve your fundamental skills drawing the figure, using classic methods inspired by iconic illustrators

Course Details

The foundation of picture-making is shape design. Shape is vital, learning to see shapes rather than details will take your drawings to the next level. Learning to see and draw the figure as a silhouette/shape will improve your ability to incorporate the figure in a composition.

This drawing method will teach you to see the figure as a whole and not just a collection of individual parts. Understanding value control will help you solidify your drawings. The process is broken into 5 basic steps, you learn to quickly establish basic silhouette, gesture, proportions and wait-transfer.

Creating a simple legible shape of either light figure on dark background or dark figure on light background. A good drawing does not have to be highly rendered as long it is properly informed. Learning restraint and understanding how to inform your drawings will help you understand and develop well informed figures. If the structure of a drawing is not solid no amount of detail can save it.

Classes are hosted weekly, live and online. Your mentor will lecture on technique, skill, and the history of illustration. Added to that, you’ll join in for demonstrations, critiques, and Q&A sessions, with weekly homework assignments.


Aug. 23


10 classes in 5 weeks

Live Classes

4 – 7pm PT

Price: $599 (limited offer)

Course Outline

Illustrator and painter John English

Meet the Class Mentor John English

John English was raised in the company of New York’s most talented illustrators. He is the co-founder and program director of Visual Arts Passage. He is also the founder and director of The Illustration Academy.

He has received numerous awards from organizations including New York Society of Illustrators, Los Angeles Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, Graphis and Print Magazine. John’s work has graced the cover of Newsweek, the pages of Esquire, Money, and Essence, and the publications of Penguin Books, Bantam Books, Hitachi, 7-Up, NCAA, Sprint Corporation, and the Knoll Furniture Group.

Access to the best resources

Live Classes

Every class is delivered live and is fully interactive with lectures, demos, critiques, and guest speakers. Consider this your front row seat.

Connect on Discord

laptop image of zoom art class for illustrators and concept artists

Study Hall

Start date

TBD, 2023: Join waitlist for updates



Frequently Asked Questions

Mini-courses are one-off, 5-week long classes that are topic-based. While many of the features and resources, such as personalized feedback and learn-by-doing assignments are similar, the Mentorship courses cover a broader range of topics and place students on a linear development track. Mini-courses take a deep-dive into all the details of a specific topic.

Guest Speakers are mentioned on course pages that feature guest speakers. Comics and Sequential Art does feature a guest speaker, but Foundations of Illustration, Color Theory, and Figure Drawing for Illustrators does not feature guest artists.

Yes! We highly encourage students add Mini-courses to their Mentorship program.

Mini-course class times vary depending on the course. Most of these courses are scheduled during weeknights or on Sundays, depending on your timezone. To view exact date and start times of each mini-course, be sure to visit the about page for the mini-course you are interested in attending.

Need Some Guidance?

We can help you with any questions related to enrollment, portfolio development, and the student experience.