My Story

I struggled to learn how to draw for many, many years. No matter how many classes I took from art schools or individual artists, my drawing never improved much. I felt frustrated because even though I was taking classes, drawing still seemed to involve a lot of guesswork. Even though I thought I had talent, I lacked the knowledge and skill to draw with confidence.

Then I found classical training, and things changed.

Classical training taught me a systematic approach to drawing that can be applied to any subject, whether a still life, landscape, portrait or figure. I finally have a framework to serve as a path to realizing my full creative potential.

The Academy

The downside of traditional classical training was that it required an extraordinary investment of time and money. I have invested years of my life and over $20,000 in tuition attending the world's best classical training programs!

In the end it was worth it, but I believe classical training can be much more accessible, so more artists can benefit from it. I started Classical Drawing Academy to make rigorous classical training available online and through in-person workshops.

The Course

The Classical Drawing Fundamentals course will help you:

  • Know your materials better
  • Feel more confident when starting a drawing, painting or sculpture
  • See your subjects with greater clarity and understanding
  • Get more predictable and consistent results
  • Expand your vision for what you can achieve as an artist
  • Feel connected to a community of fellow artists

The course curriculum is based on proven training exercises that date back to the Renaissance, when artists like Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci created masterpieces. The legacy of these great masters has been passed down from teacher to student through the atelier tradition for hundreds of years, and forms the foundation of this course.


Course Syllabus


Module 1: Setup


Exactly which supplies to use, and how to prepare them including how to sharpen a pencil and charcoal to an extremely fine point.


How to set up your drawing next to your computer, depending on whether you are right or left handed, to maximize your effectiveness.


How to improve your draftsmanship when using a pencil or other media, and how to use a kneaded eraser to make corrections.


Module 2: Block-In

Bargue Drawing

How to set up a drawing using the sight-size technique, to establish the gesture, composition, and proportions, and check for accuracy.

Cast Drawing

How to begin a drawing of a plaster cast by creating a block-in that will serve as your blueprint for finishing this cast drawing in Module 3.


Module 3: Rendering

Value Gradient

How to draw a gradient to establish the range of values that can be reproduced using your materials, and practice turning the form.


How to draw shadows, midtones and highlights including how to “turn the form” from shadows to highlights to create the illusion of volume.

Cast Drawing

How to finish a cast drawing using shadows, midtones and highlights, including where to emphasize detail to make your drawing realistic.


Module 4: Conclusion

Evaluating Your Drawing

How to use your smartphone to evaluate your drawing so you can make any necessary corrections and decide when your drawing is finished.

Sharing Your Drawing

How to get feedback on your work by sharing a photograph of your drawing in the Classical Drawing Fundamentals private Facebook group.


Bonus Modules


#1 How to Photograph Your Work

Whether you want to post pictures online or print and sell reproductions, taking an accurate photograph of a drawing can be a real challenge! This bonus module shows you how to use a digital camera or smartphone to photograph your work, and how to use the image editing software that came with your PC or Mac to color correct photos for publication or reproduction.


#2 How to Print Your Work

Business-savvy artists know they can supplement their income by selling copies of their work. Prints also make excellent gifts. This bonus module shows you the best type of printer paper to use for printing drawings. It also explains how to send your drawing to a local or online printer to have it printed on canvas that can be framed like a painting (also referred to as a giclée).


#3 How to Frame Your Work

A great frame attracts attention and gives your drawing a finished, professional look! However, framing can be fraught with uncertainty. This bonus module helps you make sense of the many options available for framing your work. It shows you how to frame your work yourself, and how to get significant discounts of up to 65% off custom framing without compromising on quality.


What do I get?


The Course

Classical Drawing Fundamentals is a 100% online course that you complete in your own home or studio, on your own schedule.

The course has a structured curriculum with drawing exercises that teach you the specific skills needed for each step in the classical drawing process. New concepts build on skills you have already learned, so you radically improve your drawing ability and confidence level as you progress through the course.

Lessons consist of text and images that illustrate concepts and demonstrate exactly how to complete each drawing exercise. Some exercises include high-resolution digital photographs for you to download to your computer and view while drawing. Each lesson has an area for discussing the material with other students and posting links to your work for feedback.


The Bonuses

The course includes three bonus modules for helping you share and reproduce your drawings:

  • How to Photograph Your Work
  • How to Print Your Work
  • How to Frame Your Work

The lessons in the bonus modules also include an area for discussion and posting links to your work for feedback.


Certificate of Completion

Students who complete the assignments in all four modules of the course receive a personalized Certificate of Completion from Classical Drawing Academy. The certificate is a PDF file suitable for printing and framing.


How Much Does It Cost?


Pre-registration for Classical Drawing Fundamentals is available at the discounted rate of $39 through December 31st, 2017. The price will increase once the course opens on January 1st, 2018.

You can purchase a supply kit when you pre-register for the course, or buy supplies on the supply list you receive via email when you enroll. You have access to the course for one year after it opens.


Pre-Registration Sale Price $39

(PRICE Increases when the course opens on January 1st, 2018)

Meet Your Instructor

Christopher Tsongas  Founder & Principal Instructor, Classical Drawing Academy

Christopher Tsongas
Founder & Principal Instructor, Classical Drawing Academy

Christopher Tsongas studied drawing, sculpting, and artistic anatomy in two of the world's best classical training programs, The Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy and Gage Academy of Art in Seattle, Washington.

Teaching is one of Christopher's passions. He is an online mentor for Thinkful, the #1 rated coding bootcamp on Course Report, and is a certified yoga and AcroYoga instructor. Christopher founded Classical Drawing Academy to combine his passion for teaching with his expertise building websites, making rigorous classical training available through online courses.

Before training as a fine artist, Christopher earned a B.S. in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics from Willamette University, and an M.F.A. in Film, Video and Computer Animation from the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Who can benefit from classical training?


The Student

You want to learn a proven, step-by-step system that will make a real difference in your drawing.


The Hobbyist

You draw, paint or sculpt for enjoyment, and want to progress to make that work even more fulfilling.


The Professional

You want to find art gallery representation, sell more of your artwork, or get more commissions.


Frequently Asked questions


How is classical training different from other drawing classes?

Classical training teaches a proven, step-by-step process for drawing any subject, including a still life, landscape, portrait or figure. It teaches the skills necessary for creating a realistic drawing through a time-tested progression of specific drawing exercises.


What will I draw while taking the course?

You will start with a Bargue drawing in pencil, then progress through a series of exercises using charcoal and white chalk to creating a finished drawing of a plaster cast knows as a "cast drawing." You will draw from digital photographs supplied for you to view on your computer.


How do I get feedback on my work?

There is a discussion area for each lesson inside the online course curriculum where you can post your work to get feedback from Classical Drawing Academy instructors and other students.


Do I need to purchase supplies for the course?

Yes, there are specific supplies needed for this course. You can purchase a supply kit from Classical Drawing Academy when you register for the course, or you can purchase supplies online or from an art supply store after you receive the supply list upon enrollment.


How much time should I dedicate to the course?

The course is self-paced, however it's important to set aside at least a few hours each week to draw so you make consistent progress since each exercise builds on previous material. You have access to the course and bonuses for one year after you enroll.


What if I have another question?

Please use this form to submit your question: