Photo by Yonie Woo

Photo by Yonie Woo

You are only as good as you draw.  In fact, there is NOTHING beyond drawing.  Since drawing is the top, everything else, artistically speaking, is subjected to it.  Regardless of how well you paint, you are only as good as you draw.  In light of these truths, I have designed this class to unpack my 35-year approach to drawing using classical instruction, a hint of caricature and exaggeration fused with passion, and an ever increasing, intense love for drawing. 

“Listening to you was like catching a flame…you were burning!”  - Ralf Ricker

I’ve drawn for everyone from Mad Magazine to Time Magazine, The New York Times to Disney.  I also teach drawing and painting classes online for Schoolism.com.  Teaching is a natural extension of who I am and what I do.  When I teach these workshops, it’s ultimately an opportunity for us to interact and revel in the wonders, the difficulties and the joys of drawing.


We all want to get to the next level and that’s what this drawing workshop is all about.

Come and join me as we help build each other up in the love of drawing, catch the flame and combust together!

After all, it’s so stinkin’ cool to be alive and drawing!



The workshop

The drawing workshop is an evening and two full days of drawing.  I will be sharing drawing principles and concepts that I use daily, doing demos and sitting down and interacting with you, and also giving personalized critiques.  I will give you a drawing assignment to work on in the workshop.  I will address each student’s immediate needs, move on to others, and then circle back.

Friday Evening

6:00PM - 9:00PM

To kick off the workshop, I will share my story along with a slide show tracking my journey.  Hearing someone’s story and how they got to where they are always gives me hope.  A Q&A will follow and I will pass around my original Bleu Line drawings so you can see them up close.  Holding originals in your hands can be life changing and inspirational.  After returning from the Brandywine Museum, I have not been the same after looking at Andrew Wyeth’s work.


8:30AM - 6:00PM

1. Blind Contour “Not Really” - Drawing what we “know” we saw rather than what we “thought” we saw.  My main approach is a modified blind contour approach called the Blind Contour Not Really. This approach has changed the way I see and make marks as an artist.  This is where everything starts for me and where I make my most honest lines as an artist. 

2. Values -  Aside from drawing, value is the most important concept to  understand.  I unpack what value is and show you how and why it’s “valuable”.


I will show you what happens to our images when we don’t understand what value is, using BAD examples of value and easy-to-understand graphs I’ve created especially for this class.

  • Working From the Middle Out Concept - A walk from light to dark. A walk from black to white.

  • Drawing lightly - this discipline is connected to my teaching on values.

3. Form/The Rounding of Form - A study of principles on how to create a 3-dimensional quality in your work.  I like to call it “sculpting with your pencil”.  

4. Tracking Tone - I will help you to understand the difference between a tonal drawing versus a linear approach.  I will also help you to train your eyes to see tone and track it as you move across your subject.

5. Design, Composition and Shapes - Design is everything.  Understanding design is key to becoming a great artist.  We will talk about how to use design and think about shapes as we compose and create characters and imagery.

6. Angles, Observations and Absolutes - Every image is made up of angles. How to see them and record them is key. They are also key in getting a likeness.  Who doesn’t want to nail a likeness?

7. Asymmetry - A study and a call to notice the imbalances of everything and to bring its beauty into our imagery.

8. Representational Versus Exaggeration - Representational drawing is drawing what everyone sees.  Exaggerated drawing is drawing what no one sees.  I use both Representational and Exaggeration in my drawings.  We will honor both in this teaching.

9. Connectivity and Rhythm - What is it exactly?  And how to add this hidden gem into your work so that it makes  your drawings come life.

Demo - I will draw an image and discuss the topics/skillsets from my talk.

Assignments - Students will draw anything of their choosing using the principles we have discussed within small dimensions such as an 8.5 x 11 page. 



9:00AM - 5:00PM 

  • Review

  • Demo - I draw taking requests

  • Students draw an image and I critique and offer feedback

ALSO - At some point during the weekend we will talk about proper thinking - ie., how to think and separate ourselves.

Ira Glass video on Creativity - we will watch as a class


Please bring these items to the workshop 

  • Drawing pencils

  • 9x12 drawing pad or sketchbook

  • Epson Premium Presentation Matte Heavy Weight Inkjet Paper - 8.5 x 11  

  • Pencil sharpener



  • A signed copy of one of my books - choose which one when registering for the workshop

  • Print - each attendee gets one of my favorite prints

  • Prismacolor 901 Indigo Bleu pencil - attendee will receive this at the beginning of the workshop

  • Cosmo Pin - 2x3 lapel button of one of my favorite and most liked dog drawings on Instagram.

The Buzz

There are not many artists out there who have such a powerful combination of skills, passion, humor and drive as Tom Fluharty. You can tell his drawings have a strong foundation in the classic tradition, but Tom takes it to a whole other level. He’s playing with form, shape, composition and the joy he has doing it is inspirational. He’s a modern day master and a huge source of inspiration to me.
I never met someone so dedicated to drawing than Tom. His enthusiasm is contagious, so Tom’s workshops are not only big fun but also very informative - watching this master of drawing showing his skills brought my drawings to a whole new level. It is stinkin’ cool to know Mr. Fluharty!” Aaand besides that I want to tell you how thankful I am for everything you give to the drawing world. every time I draw, I think “how would Tom do this?” and the more I am able to stick to this mindset, the better are my drawings...
Tom Fluharty is an ideal teacher because he combines superb draftsmanship with a generous heart. His artist’s eye misses nothing, and he has carefully cultivated the skill to draw, with a vigorous, dynamic line, what his eye sees. I’m awed by his ability to capture and manipulate facial expressions. Despite his sharp, discriminating line and his biting caricatures, Fluharty is patient and sincere when it comes to guiding young talent. He has a gift for describing the process of drawing, and gives practical, insightful advice.
Thomas Fluharty’s drawings have a lively and exciting line. His is a unique talent.