Cartooning for Beginners

Looking for a fun, step-by-step Seattle Cartooning class? In this enjoyable class, aimed at beginners but open to all levels, you’ll learn how to create your own cartoon characters and show them in action, even if you’ve never drawn before.

You can take this “Cartooning for Beginners” as a one-day workshop or as a five-week class.  Both are good introductions to cartooning and will get students off to a good start. For more information and student comments, scroll down.  Nils Osmar, instructor.

You can take this class as a 1 DAY WORKSHOP or a 5 WEEK CLASS.  Sign up now using the links below:

Tuition: $150 + $10 registration fee
Sign up now:

Cartooning (five week class)
Tuition: $150 (+ $10 reg. fee)
Saturdays, 12:30pm-2:30pm
1/14, 1/21, 1/28, 2/4, 2/11 (5 meetings)
University of Washington campus

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Tuition: $99 + $10 registration fee
Sign up now:

Learn Cartooning in a Day
Tuition: $99 9+ $10 reg. fee)
Sunday, 10am-3:30pm
Jan. 22, 2017 only (one day workshop)
University of Washington campus (Seattle)

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You’ll learn how to draw cartoon faces and figures; how to draw human and animal characters; and more. It’s fun and easy; anyone can learn. Plus, you’ll learn some possible ways to get your artwork published and make money from your cartooning.  Whether you’re interested in gag cartoons, greeting cards, humorous illustration, drawing comic books or newspaper strips, or taking class class just for fun, you’ll have fun and learn a lot. Both sections are taught by a professional cartoonist with years of experience.  Total beginners are welcome.  


In CARTOONING FOR BEGINNERS, students will learn:

  • how cartoons are made, step by step
  • how to begin your cartoons in pencil and finish them in ink to give them a polished professional appearance
  • how to draw simplified, humorous heads and faces, and show them from different angles
  • how to draw a range of emotions and facial expressions
  • how to draw create your own characters, and show them in action
  • how to create “gag” cartoons and multi-panel comic strips
  • and more

About the materials:

If you already have cartooning materials, it’s fine to bring your own.  Otherwise, you can buy an inexpensive cartooning class kit from the Artist and Craftsman supply store, located a few blocks from where the class is held. The kit costs under $30, and the materials in it will last you for weeks or months of cartooning.  The kit contains everything you need to draw fully professional cartoons and comics. It is ONLY available at the University District  Artists and Craftsman’s store. What’s in the kit:

  1. 9 x 12 bristol board (smooth/plate finish) (a wonderful smooth surface for drawing and inking)
  2. 9 x 12 tracing pad (for developing characters)
  3. A brush for inking (large and small)
  4. Eraser
  5. Palette
  6. Higgins black magic ink
  7. Non photo blue pencil
  8. Graphite pencil
  9. Pencil sharpener
  10. Prismacolor fine line marker
  11. Prismacolor brush pen

To download a printable materials list which has the store address, click on this link: MATERIALS LIST for CARTOONING CLASS – CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTORNils Osmar has made his living in the arts since the 1980s, and has taught both accredited and non-accredited classes in Seattle for over twenty years, through the University of Washington’s ASUW Experimental College, Antioch University’s Heritage Institute, Shoreline Community College, the Wonder School, and He has worked as a fine and commercial artist, and done book and magazine illustration, design, book covers and interiors. His artwork has been internationally published.

Student comments

I appreciated how you covered all of the basics, and took the time to answer student questions. – Michelle G., Seattle

The class was excellent. I learned exactly what I was hoping to. I’ll be taking more of the instructor’s art classes in the future. – Chris K., Redmond

Before the class I was drawing one figure over and over again, and didn’t know how to move her around. I feel great now, I can draw all kinds of characters and expressions. – Melanie T., Seattle

Nils is thoughtful, paces the class well, and treats everyone with respect. There were twelve adults and three youngsters in the class. He took all of the students seriously, listened to all of their questions with the same respect – K.L., Bellevue

Nils is an amazing artist, and I would say, an excellent teacher. I learned exactly what I was hoping for, and have been drawing steadily since the class. I’ll be back for more. – J.W., Bellevue

The demonstration on coloring cartoons in Photoshop was great! – Keith L, Seattle

The teacher was knowledgable and did a good job… (unsigned)

Thanks Nils! It was excellent. – Ken S.

Before the class I was drawing one figure over and over again, and didn’t know how to move her around. I feel great now, I can draw all kinds of characters and expressions. – Melanie T., Seattle

Frequently asked questions

Is this a class for beginners?
Yes. You don’t have to have any previous drawing or cartooning experience to do well in it. (People of different levels do take the class, and everyone is welcome. I’ve had professional cartoonists show up some quarters, looking for tips or help with particular issues. It’s always fun to have a mix of different levels. But most students are beginners, and the information is presented in a step by step way so that everyone can keep up.)

Is the class aimed at kids or adults?
It’s a serious drawing class, and almost all students are 18 or older. Under some circumstances, kids can attend, if accompanied by an adult. The usual age range is from college age all the way up to post-retirement, with one or two younger kids. But it’s not a “kiddie class,” it’s a serious art class.

Is there a follow up class to take after taking Cartooning 101, or along with it?
One class many take after the Cartooning 101 course is Drawing Comics and Graphic Novels.