Cartooning for Beginners (4 week class)

Seattle art classes, Drawing in Ink, ink bottle image 1IMPORTANT NOTE: This page describes our 4-WEEK CARTOONING CLASS. It’s also offered in a shorter (1-day) version.

The 4-week version works great for folks who love diving into a topic in depth, and having time to practice and polish their cartooning skills as the class moves along. The 1-day version is great for students who’d like to get a good working understanding about a topic in a single day. To learn more about the 4-week version, please click here.  Nils Osmar, instructor.

Looking for a fun introductory Seattle Cartooning class? In this four-week 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.

Topics covered in this class include:

  1. How to create your own cartoon characters, and bring them to life — even if you’ve never drawn a cartoon before
  2. How to draw a range of easy cartoon heads and faces based on easy-to-draw models
  3. How to draw your characters from different angles
  4. How to draw facial expressions and emotions on your characters’ faces
  5. How to draw cartoon figures, based on easy underlying shapes such as ovals and cylinders
  6. How to show your cartoon figures in action
  7. How to draw front views, side views, 3/4 views, and more — while keeping a good resemblance to your character
  8. How to draw cartoon clothing, hands, and feet
  9. How to draw both human and animal characters
  10. How to use a variety of pens and brushes
  11. How to sketch out cartoon ideas roughly in pencil so you can work out the details, then finish them in ink
  12. How to draw cartoon backgrounds, such as living rooms and outdoor scenes, and put your characters in them
  13. How to bring your cartoon compositions to life using one point and two point perspective
  14. How to draw newspaper comic strips (such as Doonesbury or Garfield), and draw humorous one panel “spot” and “gag” cartoons
  15. How to get your cartoons published, and maybe even make some $$s doing cartooning
  16. … and more.  

Whether you’re interested in gag cartoons, greeting cards, humorous illustration, drawing comic books or newspaper strips, or taking a cartooningclass just for fun, you’ll have fun and learn a lot. It’s fun and easy; anyone can learn. .  Nils Osmar, instructor.

Sign up for the 4 WEEK version of this class below:

Cartooning (four week class)
Tuition: $150 (+ $10 reg. fee)
Saturday, 12:30pm-2:30pm
3/25-4/15 (four meetings)
Seattle: University of Washington campus
This class has free parking.

Sign Me Up!


Age range: This class is open to adults and to teenagers 13 or older. (Almost all of the students are adults.)

Pre-teenagers can attend, but only if they are accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. (The parent can either sign up too, or wait in a room across the hallway). The subject is cartooning, but bear in mind that it’s a serious art class, not a place to “drop off the kiddies.”


About the materials: You can bring your own drawing and cartooning materials, or you can buy an inexpensive materials kit in class. The kit contains everything you need to draw fully professional cartoons and comics. You do not have to drive out to an art supply store to buy it; a store representative will have kits for sale in class. The price is under $24. The kit includes:

  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 and refining characters, and practicing inking)
  3. A graphite pencil
  4. An eraser
  5. A brush for inking
  6. A brush pen
  7. A felt-tip pen (fine line marker)
  8. A ruler
  9. A bottle of A palette for inking
  10. Higgins black magic ink
  11. A pencil sharpener

Frequently asked questions:

  1. Can kids come to the class? See “age range” information, above.
  2. Where does the class meet? It meets on the University of Washington campus in Seattle. The building address and driving directions will be sent when you sign up.
  3. Is there a charge for parking on the UW campus? On Saturdays, it costs $4 to park on campus (for the entire day). On Sundays, parking is free.
  4. What’s the difference between the one-day version of this class and the four week version? The classes are very similar, but the four-week version goes into more depth about some topics, including perspective, inking, getting your cartoons and comics published, and page and panel design.There are also (optional) homework assignments between each of the four meetings, to give you specific things to practice, to keep perfecting your skills.
  5. Which version would you recommend students take? If your time is tight and you enjoy diving into a subject for a day, then moving on, you may like the one-day version best. If you like exploring a subject in depth, with lots of time to practice and do homework exercises between classes, the 4-week version is recommended.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTORNils Osmar has made his living in the arts since the 1980s, and has taught both accredited and

logo1MORE ABOUT THIS CLASS:

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.  

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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 Classesandworkshops.com. 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.