On the lookout for some fun online art classes to try? Feeling stuck in a creative rut? These 15 classes will get you going in no time.
As an illustrator and designer myself, my heart beams with gladness seeing the booming interest of creativity in the past couple of years: calligraphy, lettering, drawing, watercolor painting, crafting, etc. You name it. A large percentage of the students didn't go to an art school, in fact, many didn't particularly even identify as "creative" in a traditional sense, now find joy in various newfound creative art forms through wonderful online art classes.
There are a plethora of avenues to take art classes online. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming for a beginner to sift the information. In this post, I will try my best to curate a quick and dirty list based on my own learning experience on Skillshare, to just have you get started on the best art lessons on traditional media (pretty much anything with an actual piece of paper) I get it. As someone with close to 400 hours (!) of learning logged on Skillshare.com alone, I understand the desire to be creative.
Whether it's a handmade Mother's Day card or a digital painting for my phone background, there is plenty of room to express ourselves creatively. Also, all of the following recommendations are alphabetically ordered by the teacher's last names. All the class links are affiliate links that offer a free month of Skillshare. No annual subscription or monthly subscription is needed.
In this class, you will learn to paint colourful teacups in Gouache. Although gouache is similar to watercolor, it dries opaque, with a bold graphic style. This class is suitable for all skill levels. - From the class description
Online Art Class: Painting Teacups in Gouache: Exploring Shape, Colour, and Pattern by Alanna Cartier
Curious about calligraphy? Join Paperfinger founder Bryn Chernoff for a warm and inviting introductory class on the tools, techniques, and best practices to transform your handwriting into a beautiful calligraphy script!- From the class description
Online Art Class: Introduction to Modern Script Calligraphy by Bryn Chernoff
Although, acrylic painting can be an intimidating medium to get started on your own; fear not, LaurieAnne walks you through every step along the way. Plus she has a such calm way of teaching, and it's a great class to relax and learn.
Online Art Class: Acrylic Painting Learn the Basics For Beginners by LaurieAnne Gonzalez
Wish you could paint drinks in watercolor? Learn the method, the art, and the fun of creating printed products with your paintings! Happy hour and recipe-themed gifts are easy gifting hits to lift the spirits! - From the class description
Online Art Class: Watercolor Cocktails - Paint and Create Printed Gifts by Amarilys Henderson
For quite some time now, more and more people start keeping a sketchbook to record their day, or just for fun.
Have you ever wanted to keep a daily sketchbook but didn't know what to draw?
In this class author, illustrator, and avid sketchbook-keeper, Mike Lowery will walk you through one full week of fun and creative drawing exercises that you can do in your sketchbook. These assignments can be repeated any time you're feeling that dreaded sketchbook block. - From the class description
Online Art Class: 7 Creative Exercises to Jumpstart Your Sketchbook by Mike Lowery
Similarly, Mike Lowery also offers a great class focusing on how to draw maps specifically.
"Do you find yourself doodling in the margins, daydreaming about your next vacation? Combine your love of travel and drawing to create a quirky illustrated map!
Take an adventure into your imagination with illustrator and children’s book author Mike Lowery! From the first sketch through the final polish, you’ll learn how to draw a ready-to-share map that captures the personality of a place you love. Whether it's your hometown or dream destination, Mike’s step-by-step guidance guarantees that you’ll be transported while learning essential illustration skills you’ll return to again and again." - From the class description
Online Art Class: Sketchbook Illustration: Draw a Personal, Colorful Travel Map by Mike Lowery
"In this class, we will combine mindful drawing and intuitive collage to promote a sense of calm and connecting with ourselves, and with the present moment through pressure-free creative play.
This class is for everyone, whatever your skill or experience level - you don’t need any drawing skills whatsoever to benefit from this class as we will be working with simple repeated shapes, and I’ll be providing templates, examples, and detailed demonstrations to support you through the process, but I’ll also suggest some ways for those who may have more experience to develop their work further for those who like a challenge!" - From the class description
Online Art Class: Abstract Pattern Collages: Mindful Drawing + Intuitive Collage for Self-Care by Mel Rye
Love painting with gouache, surface pattern design, and beautiful botanicals? Join surface pattern designer Angela Mckay and learn to paint your own floral pattern—perfect for textiles, paper and more!
You’ll create a painted pattern inspired by a place you love with Angela’s personal method: using real objects for inspiration, painting pattern elements with gouache, and arranging your elements into a repeating pattern in Photoshop. - From the class description
Online Art Class: Painting for Pattern Design: Create Botanical Patterns with Gouache & Photoshop by Angela Mckay
Love illustrating detailed, lush botanicals? Learn how to combine watercolor and gouache to paint a colorful garden!
In this 35-minute class, illustrator Sara Boccaccini Meadows invites you into her studio to learn how to hand-paint whimsical botanical scenes inspired by the real world. From the initial sketch through the final polish, you’ll learn how to create a garden that combines the soft fluidity of watercolor with the vibrant chalkiness of gouache. - From the class description
Online Art Class: Botanical Illustration Paint a Colorful Garden with Watercolor and Gouache by Sara Boccaccini Meadows
"In this Skillshare class we’ll be taking a mindful approach to work together through 14 days of illustrated journal prompts to promote calm and pressure-free creativity. The supplies are basic; markers and pens (or whatever coloring tool you have lying around), and time set aside each day to support our mental health, as well as refill our ever-draining-wells. Grab your supplies (there’s a list on the project and resources tab!) and let’s hop to it!"- From the class description
Online Art Class: Illustrated Journaling 14 Days of Prompts by Dylan Mierzwinski
This class is all about finding YOUR particular joy with using PAINT! Sharing all of the golden nuggets I’ve learned along my journey of learning how to paint, we’ll do a basic overview of watercolor, gouache, and acryla gouache, followed by a series of exercises for each paint to break down different ways to use and enjoy them, so you can find your very favorites and repeat them over and over again. Friendly for beginners and experienced painters feeling stuck in a sticky paint rut. - From the class description
Online Art Class: Getting to Know Your Paint Watercolor, Gouache, and Acryla Gouache by Dylan Mierzwinski
I am kinda biased on this one, because it is taught by yours truly 😛
"Creativity has the unique ability to unwind your mind in the midst of the stresses life throws at you.
In the course of weeks of series creative blocks, Esther, who is a digital artist primarily, decided to start using her unopened gouache and watercolor for stress relief. As a result, in just two short days, she not only fell in love with color chip painting (and accumulated 300+ of them), she also has abundant color inspiration for her next projects. And most importantly, amazed by the almost therapeutic impact of the creative process. You are warmly invited to join the journey <3" - From the class description
Online Art Class: Color Therapy Stress Relief and Unwind with Watercolor by Esther Nariyoshi
Every fully composed piece of artwork is simply a matter of elements combined. This pertains to ALL art, and floral art and composition are no exception. Cara will walk you through the very beginning steps of composition, starting with how to create several loose floral elements, including pinwheel flowers, cluster flowers, roses, and leaf branches. - From the class description
Online Art Class: Loose Watercolor Floral Elements by Cara Rosalie Olsen
"In this class, we're going to transform simple blobs into playfully colorful creatures in order to explore your creativity and expand your sense of what you're allowed to do when confronted with a blank page."- From the class description
Online Art Class: Colorful Creatures in Gouache & Mixed Media Explore Your Creativity by Marie-Noëlle Wurm
Last but not least, this class is great for a super fun creative 5-day sprint!
"STRESS. It’s all around us! If you’re anything like me, you might find yourself tossing and turning at night thinking about your never-ending to-do list, worrying about loved ones, or waking up in the morning with a clenched jaw and tight muscles. We all know stress isn’t good for our bodies or mental health, but more often than not we choose to ignore it until it manifests in ugly ways (hello insomnia, irritability, and anxiety!). In this class, we are going to talk all about how to use watercolors to alleviate stress, relax our minds, and build confidence - ALL while mastering basic techniques needed to improve your painting skills. It’s a win-win!"- From the class description
Online Art Class: Creative Self-Care_A 5 Day Watercolor Challenge by Caitlin Sheffer
Unlike the systematic curriculum of a traditional art school, online art classes typically don't require you to take additional foundational classes like art history, an overview of modern art, contemporary art, etc. I take my online courses time is usually sandwiched between or during daily tasks. For some classes, I do the exercises as I watch the video lessons. Oftentimes, I blaze through all the lessons while cooking or folding laundry, and get to the practice part when I have a quiet moment. The flexibility an online art class offers is invaluable. I hope you enjoy reading the list and are intrigued by the creative topics. Can't wait to see what you create. Tag me on Instagram @esther.nariyoshi. See you around!
If you are the video tutorial kind of person, I have a few places to recommend
On-demand Skillshare Classes
Esther offers 20+ classes on digital illustration with nearly 1 million watched minutes among 25,000+ students. Join the Skillshare community with this one-month-for-free link. If you like what you learned from this post, you will probably love following along with Make Geometric Shapes in Adobe Illustrator CC Class on Skillshare. For starters.
Tutorials on Youtube
Moreover, Esther also shares her design process on Youtube. At the time of writing, two full seasons are available to help you get started in Adobe Illustrator.
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Esther is a licensed Illustrator and designer, a Top Teacher on Skillshare.com. She shares her creative process using some of the most industry-leading programs like Adobe Illustrator and Procreate on iPad. Click here for her regular portfolio.