Are you looking to increase your artistic skillset but not willing to accrue (perhaps more) student loan debt?
Fortunately, it is 2019 and there are plenty of options for learning online. Below are a few of our favorite portals for improving your practice, because the world wide web can offer more than just kitten gifs and Trump memes.
Skillshare offers creative courses including photography, graphic design, digital illustration, visual branding strategies, and more. Their goal is as follows, “Our purpose is to make the new economy an open meritocracy, where the skills and expertise needed to succeed are available for anyone willing to learn them.”
There is an offer for a free trial period as well as a selection of free classes available to those who sign up for an account.
This is exclusively a YouTube channel that offers art tutorial videos. The channel also covers topics such as anime, traditional drawing, greyscale, and many more. The YouTuber says that they are, “hoping to provide different unique videos that offer people other ways to indulge in their love for art and all things creative.”
YouTube videos are always free to consume. If you want to support this channel monetarily, they have a Patreon account.
Launched in April of 2012, Coursera is one of the most popular platforms for online learning of almost any subject. They partner with a myriad of different universities and colleges internationally. University partners offering courses on the site include Princeton, Stanford, Duke, University of London, and many more.
By signing up for a free account, a user has access to thousands of courses like Modern Art & Ideas, Fundamentals of Graphic Design, and Introduction to Imagemaking. Certain lessons and specializations require a premium account but there is a free 7-day trial.
DrawingAcademy.com offers five free courses to improve how you draw, complete with videos and text accompaniments. They require that you submit your email in exchange for access to the classes, which is a pretty good deal. If you enjoy what you’re learning, you can eventually purchase the full course for $257.
These video courses are taught by fine artist Stan Prokopenko and many of the beginner videos are available on his YouTube page. Premium and more advanced courses are available on his full website. You’ll pay as low as $59 for one of these bad boys.
Honorable Mentions (Not Quite Free)
Course topics include anything from culinary arts, photography, writing, and filmmaking to niche topics like space exploration or wine appreciation. The Masterclass teachers are often celebrities such as Steve Martin (comedy), Gordon Ramsay (cooking), Tom Morello (electric guitar), and many others.
There are currently no offers for a free trial (there used to be) but at $180/year for unlimited access, it’s definitely cheaper than art school.
Drawing and Sketching for Beginners
Taught by Robin Slee, a self-taught freelance digital artist and illustrator; this class is hosted on the Udemy website. Usually, it costs $29.99 but it goes as low as $9.99 when it’s on special discount (like for their New Year’s Special). It comes relatively highly rated at 4.3 stars out of 5 and has had over 4,500 students enrolled.
So whether you’re looking to advance your skills or are just starting out, try some of these courses and let us know what you think in the comments!