Take art classes from the comfort of home
Whether you're a budding artist, trying to get back into art after a long hiatus, a complete beginner or a professional artist looking for a new direction in your career, the internet is swarming with high-quality online art courses.
During the coronavirus pandemic, you may have discovered museums online or streamed arthouse films. As the country is slowly reopening, you can say hello to museums and art galleries once again, to discover some first-rate art. In the meantime, with the 1,5-metre social distance rules still in place, why not invest in some artistic upskilling from the comfort of home?
Online art courses
Here is our pick of online art courses, whether you're looking for new challenges, a chance to up your game in your artistic career, or whether you're just looking for some distraction while staying safe at home!
Schoolism has many fascinating modules, from cartoon character animation to understanding textures and from creature anatomy to environment design. The tutors are experienced professional artists, including animators who have worked for Pixar and Marvel.
You can sign up for a year-long subscription so that you can learn at your own pace, or there is a more premium arrangement in which you can receive critique and feedback on your assignments from the high-calibre instructors. Critiqued sessions have particular start dates and run for 9-14 weeks, whereas subscriptions can be used at any time and followed at your own pace.
Based in Canada and owned by Imaginism Studios Inc, Schoolism is an international platform. Videos are pre-recorded to accommodate students from all over the globe.
Society of Visual Storytelling
Society of Visual Storytelling (SVS) gives you the skills to become an illustrator, AKA a visual storyteller. The course guides you through different aspects of illustration, such as characters, scenes and environments, prop design, perspective drawing and more.
It is a practical-minded course that strives to help students to actually make a living with their artistic skills. If you sign up for a course, you’ll complete it with an 11-piece portfolio, for showing off the skills you have learned.
Courses are available in annual or monthly subscriptions. They don’t have a definitive start date or end date - you can sign up or stop at any time. At the moment, there is a 30-day free trial.
At Proko, you can learn to draw with fun video tutorials. Although the platform teaches many basic fundamentals of drawing, it errs on the side of the human form: portraits, anatomy, figure drawing and caricature.
The art learning platform is named after its founder, Stan Prokopenko, a professional artist and art teacher. You’ll be sure to feel engaged, energised and inspired by his educational videos that are as fun as they are informative.
Many of the drawing tutorials are free on the Proko website or on the ProkoTV Youtube Channel. You can also sign up to a more premium level to get package deals and delve into more detail. At the moment, there is a 30-day free trial for the premium level.
The Oatley Academy
The Oatley Academy of Visual Storytelling will open your eyes to concept art, illustration, character design, storyboarding, comics, animation and children’s books. The courses have fun and descriptive names, like “Painting Drama - Composition and colour theory for visual storytellers” and “Dream Machine - Social media strategies to upgrade your art career.”
The academy is run by Chris Oatley, who has taught many promising students that went on to become professional illustrators and animators. He previously worked as an artist at Disney, Universal, EA, Hasbro and many others.
Unlike some of the on-demand streaming-based courses mentioned above, the Oatley Academy courses have specific start and end dates and completing a course depends on availability. It may seem pricey at first glance, but students of the masterclasses get a high level of mentorship and feedback, something not offered by many other online courses.
Drawing FORCE (also known as FORCE Drawing) is a powerhouse of drawing and illustration. Its creator, Mike Mattessi, worked with the Walt Disney Company, the video gaming industry and the comic book industry and authored the FORCE figure drawing books.
There are three different ways of signing up: membership, courses and mentorship. Membership allows you access to hours and hours of online tutorial videos and other resources. The courses option grants you lifetime access to specific online drawing courses.
The third option, mentorship, offers you one-on-one lessons with the Drawing FORCE creator himself, Mike Mattessi, with assignments, critique and feedback, so you can reach specific goals under the guidance of a professional artist and teacher.
Skillshare is a platform where you can dive into those artistic feats you’ve been wanting to try but haven’t had the time or money for! Learn about graphic design, animation, fine art, typography, illustration, UI design, UX design, photography and more.
Skillshare costs 8 euros per month for premium, or you can use the basic package for free. The free version grants you access to over a thousand online classes, so even if you don’t have a budget for courses, it’s a game-changer for anyone wanting to learn something creative.
Coursera offers thousands of courses from some of the world’s top museums, universities and institutes of technology, including California Institute of the Arts or CalArts. There’s a plethora of varied courses in art, from theoretical to practical and from all eras. Try out abstract painting, graphic design, or even art therapy. One great example is this art appreciation lesson on The Starry Night by Van Gogh.
Fees vary, but there are also many courses for free. In the uncertain times of COVID-19, Coursera and its partners in Coursera for Campus are offering free courses to university or college students affected by the crisis. Check out the details on the Coursera website.
Find your course and awaken your artistic side
Are you ready to get your artistic ideas flowing? We hope this guide to online art courses will pique your interest and lead to the start of something creative!
Have you taken an online art course during the coronavirus crisis? Are you planning on taking one? Let us know in the comments below!