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“What a delightful course. I didn’t think I could draw characters. But thanks to Nienke’s clear instructions, now even I can do it. It’s very addictive!”


Illustrative characters Nienke Vletter

What will you learn in the course?
Drawing people becomes a lot easier when you know some basic rules. That’s why we start with a lesson on the proportions of the body. Next I’ll show you tips & tricks to put each possible pose onto paper.

After those lessons we are going in depth. First I’ll quickly show you a few important body features. Then we’ll practice drawing a character from start to finish, using a picture as a reference. Of course we will also color the illustrations with alcohol markers, so your character will really come to life! I’ll tell you more on how to work with these markers. Finally you will draw along with 3 more characters, to put all the lessons into practice.

  • Lesson 1: How is a human being put together?
  • Lesson 2: From line to body
  • Lesson 3: From sketch to illustration
  • Lesson 4: Working with color
  • Lesson 5: From head to toe

“Amazing to find out that I can do this! When I saw the reference photos I was slightly stressed. But thanks to step by step instructions and by drawing along with Nienke, I can!”


What materials do I need?
What you will need is a pencil, eraser, fineliner and a sketchbook or paper. We will also work with alcohol markers. These allow you to quickly add color to your illustrations. A few markers are already enough: by working in layers you get many different shades and depth!

During this workshop, you will receive useful tips on how to get the best results with these markers and how to combine them with other materials.

Pakket alcoholmarkers Splendith Winsor Newton

As I am very enthusiastic about the Winsor & Newton quality, I will be working with the following materials in this course:

  • Winsor & Newton Promarkers
    (colors O518 / O225 / O324 / Y156 / G657 / V264 / B637 / CG0 / CG7)
  • W&N fineliner 0.3 (sepia color)
  • W&N ‘Bristol Board Extra Smooth Drawing’ paper



Want to purchase all of these materials at once? You can!

Together with the webshop Splendith I created a special package for this course. As soon as you register, you will receive a unique discount code that gives you a 10% discount on this package!
In addition, you will get 2 templates from this course printed with your package and 2 templates from the course ‘Illustrative Portraits’.


Can you take the course with other materials (such as watercolor or pencil)?
Yes, most of the course you can. The first 3 lessons are mainly about sketching people. So for that you only need a pencil and fineliner! In lesson 4 and 5 we will really start working with color. You can use other materials and the tips about shading are still very instructive. And who knows, maybe the examples will inspire you to try alcohol markers too?


“Thanks to Nienke’s clear explanations I managed to draw beautiful characters. Never thought I would be able to do this. This is highly recommended for anyone who thinks they cannot draw people.”


What level is this course for?
The course is best suited for beginners and intermediate level. You will learn about human anatomy, sketching different poses, using reference photos and illustrating with alcohol markers.

If you’re experienced in drawing people, a lot of the information may be repetitive for you. Of course, that can be useful if it’s been a long time! And maybe working with alcohol markers is also new for you? If you are not sure if the course is something for you, feel free to send me an email.


When and how often can I watch the lessons?
After purchasing, you have immediate access to all videos for 6 months. During this period you can watch the lessons as often as you want! You join the lessons in the online platform of this shop. The videos are pre-recorded, so you can watch them whenever and wherever suits you best!


“I really enjoyed and learned a lot from this course! Nienke explains everything very well and it is nice to be able to press the pause button every now and then. That way you can follow everything at your own pace.”


How much time will I spend on the lessons?
There are 5 lessons in total. The first four lessons take 20 to 30 minutes, the last lesson takes about 1.5 hour. Each lesson includes homework assignments.

f you want to get the most out of the course, I recommend you to watch the lessons one by one. Draw along with the video exercises and then take a few days to do the homework. Even if you already know some things: extra practice is always good! It’s also nice to give your brain a break in between and practice a few times before moving on to the next lesson. So if you take your time, you’ll be at it for a few weeks. Or even longer if you are like me and get totally addicted to drawing people 😉



Will I get feedback on my homework?

No, this course does not include that. I know that feedback can be very nice, but this also takes a lot of time to give to everyone personally. I would then have to increase the price of the course and I want to keep it more accessible. Therefore I have chosen not to give personal feedback with this course.

Do you have a specific question about a particular class? You can! You can ask your question below every lesson in the online platform. Every week on Monday (except when I’m on holiday) I will answer all questions there. This way all participants can read the answers and learn together.


Illustrative portraits by Nienke Vletter

Do you have any other courses?
Yes I do! In my other course, you’ll learn about Illustrative Portraits. This course focuses  is on drawing faces. You’ll get tips on facial proportions, different ways to illustrate features and I’ll go into more detail on working with alcohol markers.

Do you want to do both courses? Then buy the combo pack and get a 20 euro discount!

Want to learn more about illustration, hand lettering, composition, urban sketching and watercolors? You might want to check out the online course Sketch Journaling I’ve created with my colleague Anne from @goudenlijntjes.


For the Dutch speaking people:
Zijn de cursussen ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar?
Jazeker, klik hier voor de Nederlandse cursusomgeving.


I have another question about the course.
Is your question not listed here? Send an email to hello@nienkevletter.com and you will receive a response within 2 working days. Preferably not via Instagram or Facebook, because those messages sometimes get lost among all the notifications :).

Course Curriculum

Ready to get started with illustrating characters? 00:05:00
Lesson 1 – What does a human look like? 00:20:00
Lesson 2 – From line to body 00:22:00
Lesson 3 – From sketch to illustration 00:42:00
Lesson 4 – Getting started with color 00:50:00
Lesson 5 – From head to toe 01:30:00
And now it’s your turn! 00:05:00

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