Form From Imagination 

A Course On Mastering Imaginative Form By Steven Zapata

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50+ Video Lessons

A detailed study of form across 7 modules, 14 chapters, and over 50 individual video lessons.

Master the Pencil

Complete the course with the simplest of tools! All assignment demonstrations are done with pencil.

28 Assignments

Designed to increase your understanding and retention of the material.

Access The Power of Form

An intuitive understanding of form is the most valuable drawing skill. It informs your choices on all other aspects of drafting - lines, gesture, color, everything! This is true even if you're working from reference. Whether you are designing characters for a game or painting a tree from life, you are always grappling with form in your mind.


Unlock A New State Of Mind

Experience "Being the Form." The demonstrations and exercises in this course will help level up your skills and establish a crucial framework for understanding dimensionality in your art. You will grasp form in your mind more vividly than ever before. When the thing you're drawing feels real to you, depicting it well is a matter of course.

Who Is Steven Zapata, Really?

I'm just some guy. But I'm very good at drawing and anyone who doesn't hate me will tell you that. I am a professional artist with 10+ years of experience in print, illustration, advertising, theme parks, architectural design, and video games. My experience in education includes teaching production design and narrative storytelling at Art Center College of Design, mentoring students one-on-one, conducting in-person and online workshops, and guest-lecturing at art schools across the US. I also have a YouTube channel that discusses the mental and spiritual aspects of being an artist.

Past Projects and Clients Include

Course Syllabus

1. Introduction

Learn how to use the course, structure your time, and examine the nature of form and imagination.

Chapter videos:

  1. How To Use This Course
  2. What is Form?
  3. What is Imagination?
2. Materials Overview

A look at all my drawing materials with links and a demonstration of the basic capabilities of the pencil, from hatching to stumping to veiling.

Chapter videos:

  1. Materials Overview
  2. What Your Pencil Can Do
  3. Doing These Exercises Digitally
3. The Nature of Light

A multimedia exploration of various types of light. Consider how the illusion of form is created and why things look the way they do. Investigate photons, diffuse and specular reflection, and light falloff.

Chapter videos:

  1. Types of Light
  2. Diffuse Reflection
  3. Specular Reflection
4. The Modeling Factors

Learn the 12 modeling factors and the optical effects that create the impression of three-dimensionality.

Chapter videos:

  1. Modeling Factors Of The Sphere
  2. Modeling Factors Of The Cube
  3. Modeling Factors Of Cylinders and Other Geo Forms
5. Basic Geometric Forms

Learn how to draw and render basic geometric forms.

Chapter videos:

  1. Front-Lit Sphere
  2. Back-Lit Sphere
  3. Cube
  4. Cylinder
  5. Perspective Crash Course- Cube Constructions With Shadows
6. Textured Geometric Forms

Introduce texture and secondary shapes to primary geometric forms.

Chapter videos:

  1. Handling Textures Digitally
  2. Textured Sphere
  3. Textured Cylinder
  4. Creative Sphere
7. Combined Geometric Forms

Learn how to handle complex forms and begin to compose scenes.

Chapter videos:

  1. Sphere Group - Local Light
  2. Compound Forms - Compound Block
  3. Compound Forms - Creative (Modern House)
  4. Combined Geometry - Quick Sketching
  5. Combined Geometry - Rendering
8. Still Lifes

Design lit scenes with multiple elements using the principles of form.

Chapter videos:

  1. Still Life - Geo Forms
  2. Still Life - Creative
9. Combined Organic Geometry

Apply your knowledge of geometric forms to rounded organic forms.

Chapter videos:

  1. Combined Geometry - Rounded Geo
  2. Rounded Geometry in Digital
  3. Combined Geometry - Relaxed
  4. Organic Forms - Abstract
10. Simplifying Complex Organic Forms

Learn how to simplify even the most complex and subtle of organic forms into manageable structures.

Chapter videos:

  1. Simplified Heads - Introduction and Render
  2. Simplified Heads - Celebrities
  3. Simplified Heads - Portraits
  4. Organic Forms - Details
  5. TV Heads Exercise
11. Understanding Primary Shapes

Deepen your understanding of primary shapes and their applications in character design.

Chapter videos:

  1. Primary Shapes - Introduction
  2. Primary Shapes - Natural Sketching
  3. Primary Shapes - Toy Characters
12. Local Values on Forms

Learn how to handle local changes of value on complex forms.

Chapter videos:

  1. Local Values - Introduction and Bean
  2. Local Values - Cube
  3. Local Values - Portrait
13. Designing Form: Imagination Tips and Principles

A large compendium of tips for designing and inventing form.

Chapter videos include:

  • Bad Shape, Bad Form
  • Drive the Silhouette Inside
  • Form and Void
  • Textures Further Explained
  • Transition to Color
  • Tips for Creating Form Digitally
  • + Many More
14. Creative Demos

Apply your newfound skills and knowledge to creative work from imagination. These videos cover the realistic difficulties, compromises, and joys of free drawing.

Chapter videos:

  1. Corrupted Knight
  2. Meat Bag
15. Premium Content (Premium Edition Only)

5 more bonus tutorials, $125 value, 25 hours of content!

Included tutorials:

  1. Transformational Anatomy: The Arm (5+ Hours)
  2. Transformational Anatomy: The Leg (5+ Hours)
  3. Secrets of Shading (5 Hours)
  4. Essential Exercises for Beginners (3.5+ Hours)
  5. Harpy Extended Demo (5+ Hours)


Maximize Your Learning


  • Includes all Premium Edition benefits
  • Includes access to the exclusive FFI community for instructor feedback, sharing work, and peer review

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Great Value


  • Includes all Core Edition benefits
  • Upgrade to feedback later with Feedback Ticket (subject to availability)

  • Expand your knowledge with these 5 extra tutorials (25 hours of content, $125 value):
    • Transformational Anatomy: The Arm
    • Transformational Anatomy: The Leg
    • Secrets of Shading
    • Essential Exercises for Beginners
    • Harpy Extended Demo
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Complete Course Access


  • Lifetime access to 50+ video lessons
  • 30+ page assignment book
  • Hi-res scans of demo drawings
  • Quizzes
  • All future updates and revisions to Form From Imagination
  • Upgrade to feedback later with Feedback Ticket (subject to availability)

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  • Grants access to the exclusive FFI community for instructor feedback, sharing work, and peer review

Available after purchasing Core Edition or Premium Edition