New at Sophie’s Art School

Get Those Proportions Right
Nail that Likeness Every Time

Learn how to get proportions right by following Sophie’s take on the classical drawing method.

Already a Member of Sophie’s Art School? Get Started Straight Away!

Wonky Noses & Crooked Mouth?

Didn’t Sargent say that "A portrait is a painting with something wrong with the mouth”? Are your portraits the embodiment of that statement?

Sometimes we just know something is wrong with our drawing or painting but we don’t know what. Know that feeling?

Are your portraits wonky, your figures lame and your still life paintings just not right? 

Yeah, that was me too.

Perhaps you stay away from figures in your landscapes, perhaps you have just accepted that you can’t do portraits.

You know you should draw more to improve your skills. But it remains a tough gig. Your paintings look great, they are just let down by bad proportions and wonky shapes.

If only you could get those proportions right for once!

Course Outline

- Introduction

- Materials

- Warm up exercise

- choose & prep your reference image

- Placement

- Straight line

- Carve out blocks

- Shadow shapes

- Shading

- Finish your portrait

- Using the technique for other subject matter

- Summary

Classical Portrait Drawing

Classical Portrait Drawing is an online video course that will teach you how to get a likeness and draw proportions right every time. The technique taught is loosely based on classical drawing techniques but simplified and interpreted by Sophie to be the most quick and effective. 

The course consists of 12 short video lessons with a step-by-step approach to drawing a portrait in graphite. You can follow along and draw a portrait with excellent likeness!

Learn a Foolproof Technique

Learn an easy technique to create and double check proportions and likeness

Use it in your paintings and drawings

You can apply this technique to your drawings as well as your paintings

Easy Step-by-Step Videos

Twelve short videos will guide you along creating your own portrait drawing - with a good likeness!

Works for any Subject Matter

Although we are practising on a portrait drawing, you can apply this technique to anything: still life, landscape, portraits etc.

What’s In This Course?


Section 1 - Introduction

What is this method and how does it differ from atelier styled classical techniques? Warm up exercises and materials list. Choosing and analysing your model or reference photo. Video lesson 1-4.


Section 2 - Robot Face

By drawing straight lines only, we will build up a schematic version of your subject. This will help us see any glaring mistakes and create a well proportioned head. Video lesson 5-8.


Section 3 - Shading and Finish

Use shading to create form and a good range of values. Use overlapping lines to suggest form. Enhance darks and some outlines for liveliness. Video lesson 9-12.

The lessons are very clear and easily applied, so you can practice over and over. The way the technique builds is very useful. And I loved that we can draw "with you."

A Happy Student

About Your Course Teacher,

Sophie Ploeg is an experienced art tutor and a professional artist. Her portrait paintings have been exhibited at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, the Pastel Society and the BP Portrait Award Exhibition.  She is self-taught and shares her practical approach to painting and drawing through courses and workshops.

Sophie’s painting techniques stem from trial and error, picking and choosing; over the years she developed her own techniques, often fed through selected bits and pieces from existing methods and approaches. She does not follow any particular school of thought but prefers to use painting techniques that are fun and ‘work’. 

Sophie’s paintings are realistic and full of atmosphere. They seem to echo traditional methods and style, but are painted in a modern and practical manner. Her work celebrates the beauty of every person and the heritage we all share.

Add This Technique to Your Box of Skills

By following this short course you will be adding a valuable technique to your box of skills. You will be able to rely on it with every painting or drawing you create. Whether you start every new piece by using Sophie’s drawing technique, or whether you only rely upon it when you get stuck: it will be a hugely valuable skill to have.  

Learn and practice the technique of using ‘straight lines’ in this step-by-step course. You can follow along every step in Sophie’s clear and practical demonstration. Once you have finished the course you can practice the technique with every new drawing you create and improve the proportions of anything you draw. 

This technique is a great tool to get difficult angles onto paper correctly. Foreshortening, difficult ellipse shapes, figures, complex still life; this technique can be applied to anything you like. 

This course is not a course teaching the whole school of Classical Drawing. It is a quick-and-dirty take away ready for consumption now.  It can also function as an introduction into classical methods. Sophie is not an accredited classical art tutor, nor trained at a classical atelier. She has cherry-picked techniques from books and the internet and combined with many decades of practice, formed techniques that work best for her. She is keen to share her methods for you to make use of in your own work!

Start This Course Now

Classical Drawing

Get those proportions right every time!

An easy to follow video course teaching a super useful skill

Private course community for questions and feedback

Watch the video lessons in your own time on any device

Personal support from Sophie


in Membership

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