Listed here are online art classes and instructional videos for drawing courses and painting lessons. These online art courses are for varying stages of artistic development, from novice to professional.
I always recommend drawing and painting from life (I am art school trained), but there are many times when that is not possible or convenient. These days, it is much more easier to find free reference photographs on the internet or work from our own photographs to translate our ideas to art. But, drawing from a photograph, which is 2 dimensional, is not the same as drawing from real life. What we are really drawing is the camera’s interpretation of the image.
If drawing or painting a portrait from a photograph, for example, it helps to know some stylistic techniques to translate the camera’s interpretation to the artist’s own. Each of these art instructors have their own approach to teaching how to paint and draw.
Both budding artists and professionals may glean helpful tips from these online art making guides.
Free Online Art Courses – Painting Classes and Drawing Lessons
- Free Online Art Classes
Free Online Art Classes contains online art lesson videos created by Lois DeWitt, an art teacher with a MFA from Pratt Institute, New York City. She created the site as a service to demonstrate art techniques to art students.
The free art instructional videos have evolved over the years, first focussed on the way she taught art to her students, but became more structured and geared toward online instruction.
Video classes included collage, drawing lessons, oil pastels, conte crayon, acrylic, printmaking, and fabric painting. Non-video training (articles) are also included here, which cover colored pencils, oil painting courses, mixed media, jewelry making, and watercolor.
Overall, this is a very useful website for young artists and art students, or even more experienced artists who want to try a new medium. The art video lessons are short and leave plenty of room for self-expression.
Drawspace is a free drawing instruction website created by Brenda Hoddinott, a well known and award winning Newfoundland born artist, and the author of several drawing instructional books, including Drawing on Your Brain, Drawing for Dummies, and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Drawing People Illustrated.
The drawing courses and tutorials are diverse, and contain in depth lessons on portraiture, drawing animals, cartoons, caricatures, cartoons, nature, perspective, and much more. The drawing training covers a wide range of drawing techniques, including crosshatching, line drawing, squirkling, hatching, shading, and color.
The portrait courses here are particularly useful, both as a reference and to create more realistic drawings from photographs. All the drawing sessions are completely free, and covered under “Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike”, which means they are free to share and download while giving the author credit, but cannot be sold or used on any commercial website.
- About.com - Learn How to Draw
About.com has a myriad of Learn How to Draw drawing and sketching guides for practice of drawing techniques, written by Helen South. Helen South is an Australian artist, and writer of The Everything Guide to Drawing.
The drawing classes begin from very basic lessons such as how to hold a pencil, to detailed drawings with colored pencil. In between there are various training tutorials on perspective, value, tone, shading, sketching, figure drawing, portraiture, pen, ink, wash, charcoal, and conte.
There is plenty in these lessons to sharpen anyone’s drawing skills.
- About.com - Learn How to Paint
Also at About.com are Learn How to Paint painting lessons, written by artist, photographer, and writer Marion Boddy-Evans. This spot is filled with tutorials on all facets of painting, whether it be watercolor, oil, pastel, or acrylic. The painting training also includes care of brushes, painting from photos tips, varnishing, framing, and exhibiting.
- Youtube Art Instructional Videos
Youtube has loads of video tutorials on how to paint, how to draw, painting techniques, art instructional videos, and more. Just do a search for any of these search terms within Youtube.
- How to Draw and Paint
Again, here is a site with free video lessons of how to draw and paint, by artist Bob Davies. Video courses are divided into sections, for watercolor, acrylic, oil, and drawing. These are further divided into various subsections, covering various facets of the particular medium.
Hopefully these free online art courses for drawing and painting can be of some help to those who are looking to learn how to draw or how to paint. No matter what stage of artistic development we are at, there is always something new to learn.
If you are an aspiring artist, I recommend going through each of these. Every instructor has a unique approach to teaching art. I feel artists will benefit much more by learning varying perspectives to creating fine art.