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Cartooning Fundamentals Online Short Course

Course description

This beginners course will give you a foundation in the creative and technical aspects of all the applications of cartoon art. The skills that you'll learn may be applied to animation, comic books, graphic novels, panel cartoons, humorous illustration, storyboarding or newspaper strips.

Close attention will be paid throughout the course to the work of cartoon masters such as Will Eisner, Robert Crumb, Ronald Searle, Steve Bell, Charles Schultz, Harvey Kurtzmann and many others.

Who should take this course?

This course is geared towards aspiring cartoonists, animators and comic artists of all levels, who wish to acquire, or improve upon existing cartooning skills.

Clear, easy to understand lessons:

  • Our tutors will explain in easy to understand accessible English, if they use any special terminology we make sure they explain what it is they mean.
  • New methodologies will be explained to you in a way thats crystal clear and easy to understand.
  • We even include live demonstrations of particular techniques so that you can see exactly how things should be done.
  • We also offer a bunch of learning resources for you to access outside of the live lessons. This allows you to ensure you are up to date and you can practice and review the things that are important to you. Practice makes perfect after all!

Live interactive classrooms:

  • We like to do things the right way, that's why all of our online classes are live, you won't find any recordings here (well apart from the recording we provide in case you miss a live session)
  • Expect live interaction with your classmates from around the world, our students come from far and wide
  • Ask questions of your tutor in real time
  • Receive feedback and critique on your assignments
  • Discuss topics related to your course in real time via your microphone and camera or if you're not feeling brave, in the chat box
  • Miss a class? Thats ok you can catch up in a recording which is available for 2 weeks after your course runs

A certificate of completion:

  • You've put the work in so we want to make sure you have something to show for it!
  • As long as you attend a minimum of 80% of your classes, we will provide you with a certificate of attendance.
  • However we always recommend you attend all of the classes so that you get the most out of the experience!
  • Certificates are a great addition to your C

All our online short courses include:

  • Live online lessons with the same tutors
  • The same course content and learning outcomes as our face to face courses
  • Lesson recordings, for review, so you never have to miss a class
  • Access to the virtual learning environment with course content
  • Forums for support
  • 2 weeks online access to the recordings of the live classroom sessions

Please note that all courses are taught in UK time.

Online courses are closed to all new bookings 48 hours prior to the course starting.

Available dates

If no dates are showing then please sign up to our mailing list to find out about upcoming dates and new course developments.


Topics covered

You will be taken through all the components of cartoon drawing and illustration, which will include:

  • materials
  • character design and construction
  • page layout, framing, lettering, and caricature
  • pencilling, inking with brush and pen
  • stylistic approaches, facial expression
  • tricks of the trade, ideas and scripting
  • drawing from the imagination
  • acting, implied action, cartoon effects, and studio practices

You will be required to complete various assignments throughout the course that will incorporate practical applications of the cartoon principles listed above.


Online short course materials

To take part in the Online sessions you will need:

  • An up-to-date web browser (we recommend Chrome)
  • Microphone and headphones (a headset with a microphone function is recommended. The built-in microphone in your device would also be fine)
  • Webcam
  • Strong Internet connection - we recommend a minimum of 2 Mbps download, and 1 Mbps upload, faster if possible. You can test your network speed here -

Please bring with you to the first session:

  • HB, B or 2B pencils (not mechanical pencils)
  • Light blue pencils (preferably Faber-Castell "Col-Erase" light blue)
  • A4 photocopy paper (one pack of 500 sheets will last the whole course)
  • A pencil sharpener (preferably one that holds the shavings)
  • A number 2 or 3 size sable brush (Windsor & Newton Series 7 are best)
  • Dip-pen drawing nib(s) with holder
  • Black waterproof ink (Higgins "Black Magic" is suitable)
  • A 12 inch t-square
  • An eraser
  • A putty/kneadable eraser
  • An assortment of pens suitable for drawing (black ink only).
Meet the Tutor:

This course offers a foundation in the creative and technical applications of cartoon art. The skills learnt may be applied to animation, comic books, graphic novels, panel cartoons, humorous illustration, storyboarding or newspaper strips.

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