Drawing Essentials

Master the Essentials
of Drawing Brilliant Art

Learn everything you need to master drawing
well in 5 step-by-step lessons.

Drawing Essentials

Master the Essentials
of Drawing Brilliant Art

Learn everything you need to master drawing
well in 5 step-by-step lessons.

Drawing Essentials Course

What You Will Learn

Drawing is the foundation of all art. Master drawing skills, and you will become an unstoppable artist.

This online drawing course will teach you how to draw what you see from the very basics of a straight line to the advanced skills of rendering form through value.

Dimitra Milan, renowned globally as an artist by age 15, teaches this Drawing Essentials course with her mentor, Elli Milan, founder of Milan Art Institute. They guide you through four projects—still life, animal, flower, and statue—teaching foundational skills in charcoal and graphite.
You’ll learn techniques like smudging and blending to create realistic drawings. By the end, you’ll confidently draw any subject in proportion, seeing the world through an artist’s eye.

Course Structure

Drawing Essentials

Lesson 1: Contour Drawing

Start your journey by learning how artists correctly hold a pencil for excellent line quality. Mastering the ability to draw straight and curved lines will set a strong foundation for all your art.

Drawing Essentials

Lesson 2: How to Measure Proportions

Create your first contour drawing to practice with ellipses, round objects, and straight lines. See how to expertly measure and nail proportions to make your drawings lifelike and accurate.

Drawing Essentials

Lesson 3: Value and Shading Realistically

Discover how value is the most important element of art for creating realistic drawings. Master shading and use light to give your drawing form. You’ll sketch a flower with incredible depth.

Drawing Essentials

Lesson 4: Blocking in Charcoal Subtraction

Learn the easy and fun technique of drawing with charcoal. You’ll practice the skills you’ve learned in the course to draw a majestic leopard that seems to emerge from your paper.

Drawing Essentials

Lesson 5: Gestures with Expressive Marks

Gesture drawing is a technique used for quick expressive drawing. This skill trains your eye to see inner shapes and transforms all your artistry. You’ll unlock new levels of creative freedom and hone your style!

The videos are around 20 minutes each. They include 4 separate drawing projects which take the student between 1-3 hours to complete each. These projects are necessary if you wish to improve your drawing skills. You have access to these videos for life, so you can rewatch the lessons to practice.

What You Get

  • 5 Immersive Drawing Videos with Step-by-Step Instructions
  • FREE Reference Photos to Inspire Your Drawing Artwork
  • Lifetime Access to Watch Anytime & Learn at Your Own Pace
  • Connect with Our Artist Community on the Milan Art App

Meet Your Instructors


Elli Milan

Founder, Instructor

As the founding owner of Milan Art Institute, Elli has been a professional artist since 1996. Elli sold more than 10,000 pieces of art throughout her thriving career. She has transformed the lives of thousands of artists from around the world—helping them find their voice and turn their love for art into a profession. She is passionate about the role of an artist in contemporary culture and is a leading voice of the current Art Renaissance.


Dimitra Milan

Professional Artist, Instructor

Dimitra generated over $1,000,000 in artwork sales by the age of 15. She is pioneering a new age of artist influencers on social media, spreading beauty across the entire planet. She is now a mentor and co-owner at Milan Art Institute—and passionate about equipping artists to change the world with their ideas.

What Artists Are Saying...

review 5
review 17
review 1
review 2
review 3
review 4
review 6
review 7
review 8
review 9
review 10
review 15
review 13
review 11
review 12

Our Student's Work

Examples of our student's artwork.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know this school is reputable?

Milan Art Institute is an art academy that turns your artistic passion into a profession. Thousands of students worldwide have taken the Mastery Program and are living the creative careers of their dreams. Taught by professional artists with over 50 years of combined artistic experience, you’ll learn everything from foundational skills to marketing your brand.

Visit MAI Facebook page to read reviews from students and see their artwork and growth from the classes at MAI.

What if I have no experience and can’t even draw a stick figure?

You’ll learn from the very basics of how to draw a line and quickly see how to measure and draw proportionally. After these 5 lessons, you’ll be drawing like a professional!

What supplies will I need?

When you register for the course, you’ll get a confirmation email with a supplies list, which includes:

  • Soft charcoal
  • Charcoal pencils
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Plastic eraser
  • Blending stump(s)
  • Scale tool (optional)
  • Good drawing paper
  • A variety of graphite pencils (2B-9B recommended)
  • Precision eraser (optional)

What if I’m really experienced in drawing? Should I still take this course?

We offer exclusive drawing tips that are rarely known, even among professionals.

That said, if you can draw in perfect proportion and have an advanced understanding of value and form, don’t take this course. But if you are near an intermediate level or are lacking in one of those areas, you should take this course. It is full of valuable information that is essential to all successful artists.

I don’t have too much time now. Can I access the information later?

When you register for the course, you receive lifetime access to it. This means you can watch the videos at any time and learn on any device, at your own pace.

About Milan Art Institute

Shine Your Art.
Change The World.

Milan Art Institute brings passionate hearts and creative minds together to actualize creative visions. The founders, John and Elli Milan, have been working as successful collaborative artists for over 25 years and have made a living during that entire period solely through art.

Their daughter, Dimitra Milan, became a professional artist and, before turning 16, had generated over a million dollars through the sales of her artwork. The family’s works are featured in galleries around the world. And now, the Milans are sharing their insights about the art industry with everyone through their comprehensive online painting and drawing school.

Beginners and professionals come to master skills, learn new techniques, and join an ever-expanding community of artists. The purpose of the Milan Art Institute is to enlighten and educate a worldwide audience about the transformational power of the visual arts.