Sequential Artist Learning Path

Something to keep in mind…

These learning paths outline different “years” of training. The general breakdown assumes that a student can complete a phase in about one month. Keep in mind that this is the optimal state of progression, and that many of us who already have a day job or other responsibilities may have a difficult time keeping this pace up. These learning paths are a general outline for our curriculum, so apply it to your own life, goals and allotted time for art.

First Year

The first year of your training at Watts Atelier will consist of foundational drawing. A heavy emphasis will be placed on constructive drawing, comparative measurement and use of the Reilly abstraction.

The idea for the first year is to be doing a lot of “starts” of drawings. We will not be getting into finishing drawings in the first year, though you will practice some rendered/shaded efforts.


Course list, from left to right:
Click on a course below to see a preview

  1. Drawing Fundamentals Phase I
  2. Drawing Fundamentals Phase II
  3. Head Drawing Fundamentals
  4. Figure Drawing Fundamentals
  5. Quicksketch Fundamentals
  6. Structural Figure Drawing
  7. Head Phase I – Layins and Structure
  8. Figure Phase I – Mannequinization
  9. Head Phase II – Casts and Photos
  10. Figure Phase II – 20m Layins
  11. Head Phase III 
  12. Figure Phase III – Figure Quicksketch (Coming 2024)

Second Year

The second year will focus on introducing you to more advanced drawing concepts as well as more involved anatomy and inking. These classes you should take in any order you wish. Most of your emphasis in the second year will be on solidifying your intuitive knowledge of the head and figure as well as hitting some other fundamental areas of study in things that are essential to comic art: Perspective, drapery and expressions.


Course list, from left to right:
Click on a course below to see a preview

  1. Anatomy Intensives: Arms and Legs
  2. Anatomy Intensives: Torso
  3. Drapery
  4. Inking Phase I
  5. Perspective Essentials
  6. Head Drawing Phase V
  7. Figure Drawing Phase V
  8. Features and Facial Expressions

Third Year

The third year will focus on introducing you to design. Good design will be an integral part of creating successful and interesting drawings for comics. Design is not exactly drawing, but really a different problem all together. It is primarily concern with shape and feel, and is different from the strict academic drawing that you’ve done up to this point. Design works its way as a whole into composition and staging, so don’t skip out on these classes. Having a well designed  zone to put your characters and creatures in is just as important as the character itself. With your solidly acquired drawing skills gained through academic study, you should seek to spend a lot of time studying design from artists you like and dissecting their work.

Course list, from left to right:
Click on a course below to see a preview

  1. Bridgman Anatomy Phase I: Torso
  2. Fundamentals of Character Design
  3. Sketchbooking
  4. Inking Phase II
  5. Composition and Staging
  6. Creating Environments
  7. Essentials of Tech
  8. Inking Phase III

A Note to Students:

While these learning paths have been charted to best help students in their chosen disciplines, they are by no means the only path to learning.  Students are free to view their lessons and courses in any order they so wish.  These learning paths also include many of the upcomming courses that will be available to students in the near future.  When students who are following the learning path come upon these lessons, we encourage you to press forward to the next available (currently released) lesson in your learning path, and return to the skipped lesson once it is released.