By Brenda Hoddinott

An illustrated guide to the order in which the lessons in this topic should be completed, and helpful information on the unique content of Drawspace lessons

This lesson plan/guide has five sections:

  • Sequential List of Core Lessons
  • Additional Resource Lessons
  • About Drawspace Lessons
  • Copyright Basics for Artists
  • For Art Educators

As an Aside

Lessons listed in the first section (Sequential List of Core Lessons) are all included in the Drawspace course-in-a-book: Introduction to Contour Drawing (Second Edition):


Figure 0

Contour lines serve as the foundation for constructing diverse types of artworks, and are the base on which all drawing styles and techniques are built.

Contour drawing abilities are beneficial for whatever future artistic goals students may have.

Sequential List of Core Lessons

These 37 lessons are designed to be completed in the order listed in this section. The information, skills, and/or techniques in each lesson build on the previous lesson and prepare you for the next.

Figure 1


2.1.R1 Checking Out Contour Lines

An overview of the roles that contour lines play in preliminary sketches and final drawings

Figure 2


2.1.R4 Identifying Straight Lines

Find and examine straight and angled lines in drawings and in your surroundings

Figure 3


2.1.A1 Draw from One Point to Another

Use your natural hand movement to draw sets of continuous straight lines

Figure 4


2.1.A2 Draw Lines that Meet at an Angle

Use your natural hand movement to draw continuous angled lines

Figure 5


2.1.A5 Blind Contour Drawing

Enhance your observation skills by drawing objects without looking at your paper

Figure 6


2.1.R3 Practicing Skills within Guidelines

Outlining and employing parallel sets of lines to accurately see and draw lines and shapes

Figure 7


2.1.A3 Draw Horizontal and Vertical Lines

Accurately copy horizontal and vertical lines within guidelines by using continuous lines and your natural hand movement

Figure 8


2.1.R7 Sizing up the Proportions of a Shape

Advance your ability to see as an artist by analyzing a straight-sided shape to find clues to draw it accurately freehand

Figure 9


2.1.A11 Draw Shapes with Perpendicular Lines

Use guidelines to practice drawing the accurately proportioned shapes of letters by comparing vertical and horizontal distances

Figure 10


2.1.A4 Draw Diagonal Lines

Accurately sketch the proportions of straight-sided shapes and objects, and then outline their contours with continuous lines

Figure 11


2.1.A13 Shape up Straight Lines

Accurately sketch the proportions of straight-sided shapes and objects, and then outline their contours with continuous lines

Figure 12


2.1.R6 Identifying Curved Lines

Find and examine single and compound curved lines in drawings and in your surroundings

Figure 13


2.1.A6 Draw Simple and Compound Curved Lines

Use continuous lines to practice drawing curved and compound curved lines, spiral lines, and sets of curved lines

Figure 14


2.1.A8 Draw Lines inside Squares

Complete three worksheets designed to improve your skills with drawing lines and rendering accurate proportions

Figure 15


2.1.A7 Draw Shapes with a Long Curved Line

Have fun drawing one very long, compound curved line and then identifying some shapes created by the line

Figure 16


2.1.A12 Draw a Circle Freehand

Use your natural hand movement and rotate your paper to outline a circle inside a square

Figure 17


2.1.R2 Drawing with Feathered and Continuous Lines

Techniques for rendering two types of lines used in classical and contemporary drawing

Figure 18


2.1.R8 How to Render Contour Drawings

The process of using feathered and continuous lines to draw diverse shapes to create contour drawings

Figure 19


2.1.A9 Draw Shapes inside Squares

Complete four worksheets in which your goal is to create 24 proportionately accurate contour drawings

Figure 20


2.1.A30 Draw Spot the Frog

Sketch the proportions of a cartoon frog with a line of symmetry and then outline the contours of his body and spots

Figure 21


2.1.R9 Sizing up a Drawing Subject

Advance your ability to see as an artist by analyzing a subject and finding 18 clues to draw it accurately

Figure 22


2.1.A16 Line up Shapes and Lines

Use guidelines to accurately render 13 mini-projects with lines, straight-sided shapes, and sets of straight hatching lines

Figure 23


2.1.A14 Create Six Contour Drawings

Use a simple step-by-step process and curved feathered and continuous lines to accurately render six different contour drawings

Figure 24


2.1.R5 Contouring from Traditional to Digital

Exploring a graphic designer's technique for turning traditional sketches on paper into professional digital artworks

Figure 25


2.1.A17 Draw Keiko, a Manga Baby

Sketch accurate proportions and then use a 4B pencil, fine tip marker, or computer software such as Photoshop to outline a cartoon baby

Figure 26


2.1.A19 Draw Kensuke, a Manga Boy

Set up intricate proportional guidelines to draw a male manga character and then add shading with hatching lines

Figure 27


2.1.R13 How to Contour Long and Short Fur

Insights into techniques used by master artists to outline realistic short and long fur when drawing animals

Figure 28


2.1.A27 Outline Fur Around Contours

Sketch twelve curved lines and use them as guides to render furry outlines that follow their contours

Figure 29


2.1.A28 Contour Kayla Koala Notabear

Combine four contour drawing techniques to draw an animal with shiny eyes, a furry face, and fluffy ears

Figure 30


2.1.A20 Sketch a Simple Scene

Sketch the proportions of hills, a lake, and trees, outline their shapes, and then add shading with straight hatching lines

Figure 31


2.1.A29 Contour Furry Fluppy Puppy

Sketch a cartoon puppy with a line of symmetry and then use a shading map to add shading with curved hatching lines

Figure 32


2.1.R12 How to Draw a Human Hand

Examine proportional structures of hands and simple guidelines for contouring realistic hands

Figure 33


2.1.A23 Draw your Hand Proportionately Correct

Use guidelines and illustrated instructions to render an accurately-proportioned drawing of your own hand

Figure 34


2.1.A15 Draw a Caveperson

Use a drawing space to help you accurately draw an ancient human figure with proportions similar to modern day people

Figure 35


2.1.R10 Capturing your World in a Sketchbook

Using the language of sketching to improve your drawing skills and document your formative years of artistic development

Figure 36


2.1.R11 How to Sketch Figures from Life

Invaluable information on diverse aspects of sketching people from life

Figure 37


2.1.A24 Sketch Figures from Life

Refer to illustrated instructions of a young child to practice sketching, and then refer to human models to create original sketches from life

Additional Resource Lessons

These two bonus lessons provide opportunities to enhance additional beginner skills.

Figure 38


2.1.A18 Draw Kasumi, A Manga Girl

Sketch a cartoon girl's face based on guidelines used to draw a human child and then create a final contour drawing with one of three mediums

Figure 39


2.1.A21 Sketch A Still Life Object

Sketching proportions, outline contours, and then adding shading to draw an object from life and/or to draw a mug by following along with step-by-step illustrated instructions

About Drawspace Lessons

Drawspace is logically organized into lessons, topics, and modules:

  • Lessons: Drawspace lessons are the foundation of Drawspace on which all books and courses are created.
  • Topics: A topic is a container for a series of related lessons that are separated into two categories: resources and activities.
  • Modules: A module is a container for a series of related topics.

Each series of related lessons is grouped together in a topic, and each series of related topics is grouped together in a module. Each Drawspace lesson is either a resource (requires no supplies) or an activity (requires supplies).

Resource: Information and/or Demonstrations

A resource (R) lesson is a heavily-illustrated mini textbook of information. Resources discuss and/or demonstrate art-related topics such as techniques, skills, styles, artists, philosophy, and/or history. The information in each resource serves as a reference for one or more related call-to-action activity lessons.

Activity: Call-to-Action Requiring Supplies

An activity (A) is a call-to-action assignment or project that requires supplies. Each activity includes a list of all supplies needed to complete the assignment(s).

Naming Conventions for Lessons

Each Drawspace lesson is assigned a unique number/letter curriculum code based on its:

  • Module number
  • Topic number in a module
  • Type of lesson: Resource (R) or Activity (A)
  • Rank (sequential ranking in a resource or activity)

An example of curriculum code for a published lesson is:

1.1.R15 Understanding Talent: Module 1; Topic 1; Resource R; Rank 15

In addition to a unique curriculum code, each lesson is also assigned a unique Drawspace Publishing ISBN number, which is then legally-registered with Library and Archives Canada and The Canadian ISBN Service System (CISS).

Sizing Up the Sidebars

Scattered throughout most lessons are sidebars filled with useful information related to the topics being discussed. There are six different types of sidebars and each is easily identified by a simple icon.

Figure 40


Definitions of visual art terms with a focus on the vocabulary of drawing and painting to help you better understand the content of lessons.

Figure 41

As an Aside

Inspirational and/or informative art-related information, such as contemporary and historical artists and their experiences and philosophies.

Figure 42


Invaluable info to save you time, energy, and frustration by suggesting easier ways to do some tasks or how to take better care of your supplies.

Figure 43


Better safe than sorry! Protect your drawings (or yourself) from potential mishaps by learning how to prevent problems before they begin.

Figure 44

Visual Challenge!

Enhance your ability to see as an artist by finding and/or examining specific art-related components in drawings or in your environment.

Figure 45


Gather your drawing supplies and try a new technique, spend additional time practicing a skill, and/or create a sketch or drawing.

Assigned Degree of Difficulty

Drawspace lessons are designed for students of all ages and abilities, including many for whom English is not their first language. The overall text content of lessons is simple and direct, but not dumbed-down.

Each author of a lesson selects the most appropriate level from the following six options:

  • Beginner (B): knows very little about drawing.
  • Beginner to Intermediate (BI): has basic drawing skills.
  • Beginner to Advanced (BA): includes all skill levels.
  • Intermediate (I): has a solid foundation of beginner skills and techniques.
  • Intermediate to Advanced (IA): has a solid foundation of intermediate techniques.
  • Advanced (A): aspires to learn advanced techniques within specific areas of expertise.

Copyright Basics for Artists

Copyright is a form of protection that grants artists of all disciplines the exclusive right to sell, reproduce, or exhibit their own original creations.

You are Protected

Artists who live in a country that has signed the Berne Union for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Property (also known as the Berne Convention) automatically own the copyrights to their completed original creations. An artwork can only be considered original if you were the first to bring the work from its intellectual conception to its creative conclusion.

Artworks that you create from step-by-step lessons are completely yours to display, share, reproduce, and add to a website, but are not considered original.

Drawspace is Protected

All Drawspace published lessons, books, and illustrations are also copyright protected by the Berne Union for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Property (also known as the Berne Convention), Library and Archives Canada, and The Canadian ISBN Service System (CISS).

Drawspace content may not be shared, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transferred, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the author and Drawspace Publishing.

Info for Art Educators

Drawspace lessons and books are used by home-schooling families, private art teachers, and art educators in diverse learning environments such as schools, colleges, universities, recreational organizations, and senior centers. All resources and activities can be worked.

Lessons in this topic are authored by

Brenda Hoddinott

Figure 46

Award-winning artist, illustrator, art educator, curriculum designer, forensic artist (retired), owner of Drawspace.com and Drawspace Publishing, and author of numerous art instruction books.