Radiorunner's curriculum for the solo artist

A curriculum built for the self-taught artist looking for
structure and direction.

Based on a design and concept by RadioRunner. Handcoded by Brendan Meachen. Released because I wanted an easy resource for myself and I thought the community might benefit.

Term 1

  • Figure drawing
  • Perspective I
  • Composition & storytelling I

Term 2

  • Figure drawing
  • Anatomy I - head
  • Anatomy II - torso

Term 3

  • Perspective III
  • Anatomy III - arms
  • Clothed figure drawing

Term 4

  • Colour & light I
  • Perspective IV
  • Anatomy IV - legs

Term 5

  • Intro to animals
  • Perspective V
  • Color & light II

Term 6

  • Character design
  • Composition & storytelling II
  • Perspective VI

Term 7

  • Anatomy V - imagination
  • Perspective VII
  • Environment design I

Term 8

  • Environment design II
  • Paiting I
  • Anatomy VI - caricature / animal

Term 9

  • Painting II
  • Painting III - matte painting
  • Personal project

Certified advice by moderndayjames

"Make sure that you're learning is balanced, and takes you where you want to go.

Your art journey is similar to learning music: if you only learn the scales and theory, then you understand the rules. But that doesn't mean you can make enjoyable music from what you know. At the same time, if you don't know any rules of music, you may just be making trash.

There's middle ground in there, where you know just enough to get you to where you want to go, while still breaking boundaries and exploring cool things spontaneously (like accidentally playing a modal scale in a different key).

So - if you only learn the rules of your art, you won't know how to explor it creatively. If you only focus on creative exploration, you won't learn how to create effectively within the rules of your artform."

Play with child-like wonder

Do what pleases you from time to time, and draw what you like. Practice composition, new techniques, and new mediums. Explore what you learn with personal projects.

Observe like a painter

Sculpt your images. Practice shape design (painting, expressive pencil drawing). Watch and listen to Marco Bucci and Sinix to elarn more.

Think like a draftsman

Balance the rest by studying hard principles to elevate your creative exploration. Watch and listen to Scott Robertson, Feng Zhu, and Kim Jung Gi to elarn more.

Navigating the curriculum

The curriculum is based on the struture of Marc Brunet's "ARTSchool", so if you like it you may want to check out his own course.
Overall however, the Solo Artist curriculum has a much higher emphasis on

Perspective and Draftsmanship

You may find the subject material front unit to unit seemingly random. This is by design - so that you don't go mad driling perspective for 2 months at a time.

If you want to swap a unit or term around feel free to do so. This is merely a guide for a structural approach to self-teaching.

The intended purpose is to balance a foundation of technical perspective and creative learning, so that you may learn to draw anything from imagination.

2 years and 3 months

is how long you should expect to stick with the Solo Artis curriculum

9 terms in total

3 units per term

4 weeks per unit

Feel free to divide this curriculum to take however long you'd wish. I've planned it this way to
provide a tangible structure for how long to stay on each unit before moving on.

The curriculum

Composition & Storytelling I

Creative Composition, SVSLearn


  • "Framed Ink", Marcos Mateu-Mestre


Thumbnail 50 favourite movie scenes

Watch Sycra's video "Iterative Drawing" and iterate on 5 compositions, 10x each

Anatomy I - The Head

Understanding & painting the head, Marco Bucci


New Masters Academy


Ahmed Aldoori's 100 head challenge

Perspective II Lessons 4-7


Challenge 100 Treasure Chest challenge

Rotate 50 boxes and 50 cylinders

Anatomy II - The Torso

Anatomy of the Human Body for Artists (Torso), Proko Premium


  • "Figure Drawing for All it's Worth", Andrew Loomis
  • "FORCE: Dynamic Life Drawing", Mike Mattesi


100 exagerated gestures

  • Draw the gesture of a reference
  • Mannequenise it
  • Draw a new exagerrated pose based on mannequin

Perspective III

"How to Draw", Scott Robertson


Challenge 25 wheel challenge

Rotate 50 boxes & 50 cylinders

Clothed Figure Drawing

Clothing & Drapery w/ Glenn Vilpu, New Masters Academy


Cubebrush Artschool (w/ Brushboost Sub)


30 Day Clothed Figure Gesture Challenge

20 - 30 minutes

  • 5x 1 minute
  • 5x 2 minutes
  • 3x 5 minutes or 1x 10 minutes sketches

Colour & Light I

"How to Render", Scott Robertson




50 Still-Life Lighting Studies

  • Examin lighting in drastically different setups
  • Use a lamp and change the position over the subject

Perspective IV

moderndayjames Visual Library

  • "Framed Perspective I: Technical Perspective and Visual Storytelling", Marcos Mateu-Mestre

For Mech Drawing

Cubebrush Artschool (w/ Brushboost Sub)

  • Term 6, Mech Design


100 Rotated Objects (based on mdj's Visual Library videos)
100 Unique Studies (machinery, vehicles, Plants, Animals)

Anatomy IV - The Legs

Anatomy of the Human Body for Artists (Legs), Proko Premium



100 Feet

100 Studies of interacting characters - figure drawings of at least 2 figures interacting in a scene

Intro to Animals

FORCE: Animal Drawing, Mike Matessi

Aaron Blaise (pick one)


30 day Gesture Sessions of Anmals, change the type of animal each week.

  • 4 legged animals
  • aquatic animals
  • flying animals
  • big, small reqtilian, etc

Perspective V

"Framed Perspective II", Marcos Mateu-Mestre



  • 100 Extreme Perspectives
  • 50 Vehicle Rotation Studies
  • 50 Unique Vehicle Designs

Colour & Light II

"Colour and Light", James Gurney




150 Color Replication Studies

  • Environments
  • Character Designs
  • Movie Frames

or 50 Color Variation Studies

  • 50 subjects, drawn with 3X different colout palettes

Character Design

Character Design w/ Aaron Blaise




moderndayjames' 100 Expressions Challenge

50 Character Design variation Studies

  • 50 subjects, 3 variations each

Composition & Storytelling II

Pictorial Composition w/ Nathan Fowkes, Schoolism




50 Compositions including figures

  • 2 total variations
  • Change colour, perspective, and composition

100 environment Colour / Composition Studies

  • Pick movie shots that tell a story in a single frame

Perspective VI

Krenz Cushart's Gumroad Bundle

  • Draw a human Body in Perspective
  • Rotate things in Perspective 1 & 2
  • Control Angle & Proportion in Perspective



Draw 100 figures in perspective

Rotate 50 figures a full 360 degrees

Draw 50 compositions of figures in extreme perspectives

Anatomy V - Imagination

"Figure Drawing: Design & Invention", Michael Hampton


  • "Constructive Anatomy", George B. Bridgeman


50 Character Designs

  • 3 Variations each w/ varied anatomical proportions

or invent 100 Figure Poses

  • 50 Calm Poses
  • 50 Action Poses

Next level: Rotate these poses 3x each

Perspective VII

moderndayjames "Becoming a Gi" Series


As many studies as possible from imagination

  • Rotate subjects full 360 degrees
  • Practice curvilinear perspective ("Becoming a Gi 3")
  • Draw subjects in every angle ("Becoming a Gi 3")

Environment Design I

Art Camp 3, Noah Bradley




100 Landscape Thumbnails

  • Create 1 deviation for each thumbnail: colour, shape design, biome, time of day, composition

Optional: Create 10 full works based on your thumbnails

Environment Design II

Environment Design Course, James Paick (Gumroad)/a>


100 Environment Thumbnail Studies

  • Make at least half feature figures, animals, or some additional subject

Painting I

Digital Painting 1 + Brushwork Techniques, Marco Bucci




50 value studies

50 colour studies

  • Limit time to 60 minutes each

Optional: Develop traditional painting habits. Paint on only one layer, with no undo

Anatomy VI - Caricature / Animal

The Art of Caricature w/ Court Jones, Proko Premium




100 Caricatures

100 Animal Studies

50 Creature Designs (after completing at least 50 animal studies)

Painting III - Matte Painting

Art Camp: Enviroment Concept Design, Titus Lunter

Cubebrush ARTSchool



10 Matte Painting Studies (include Photobashing)

If you're unable to photobash, 10 Full Works of Normal Painting

Personal Project

"The Skillful Huntsman", Felix Yoon, Khang Le, Mike Yamada, & Scott Robertson




3 Personal Projects

  • Concept
  • Visual design
  • Multiple perspectives
  • Colour variations
  • Character variations
  • Environment variations




  • "Colour and light" by James Gurney
  • "Imaginative Realism" by James Gurney
  • "Constructive Anatomy" by George Bridgeman
  • "How to Draw" by Scott Robertson
  • "How to Render" by Scott Robertson
  • "Figure Drawing: Design and Invention" by Michael Hampton
  • "FORCE: Animal Drawing" by Mike Mattesi
  • "FORCE: Character Design" by Mike Mattesi
  • "FORCE: Dynamic Life Drawing" by Mike Mattesi
  • "Framed Ink" by Marcos Mateu-Mestra
  • "Framed Perspective" by Marcos Mateu-Mestra
  • "Fun with a Pencil" by Andrew Loomis
  • "Perspective Made Easy" by Ernest R.N.
  • "The Skilful Huntsman" by Khang Le
  • Vilppu Drawing Manual, by Glen Vilppu

Online Courses