I’m amazed at how, in the last 10 years, online art education has become more and more popular each year. Nowadays, you can find several online art schools, with their own art programs, offering courses that vary from concept art to traditional painting, 3d sculpting or traditional sculpting between many others.
Regarding the pricing of this courses, we can state with confidence, online education will always be substantially cheaper than any physical art school you could attend. Obviously, the face to face education has his advantages, but the cost can be too much for some people. I know this very well because I used to be one of them. So, for these people on a budget, the online education route is the way to go in order to learn and improve in their artistic endeavor.
But, which is the right online art school or platform for you? and most importantly which courses give you better results for the money you pay? In my opinion, and based on my own experience, you should always start with affordable courses so you can start your learning curve without emptying your bank account. Also is a good way to test the waters and you can move to some mentoring programs in later stages when you are 100 percent sure you wanna make a living out of art, and you want to invest more in yourself.
In my case, I work as a pro concept artist and I regularly enroll in this courses because I´m always trying to improve my skills and learn new things.
Why the Skillshare´s art courses?
The answer is pretty simple, Skillshare offers access to lots and lots of courses if you buy their premium subscription, which is quite affordable ( 8$ month if you pay the full year ). More importantly, some of the teachers are well known professional artist inside the entertainment industry.
What really attracts me from the Skillshare´s courses, is the possibility to learn from another pro, learn how they think, how is their work method and tricks. For the price is a sweet deal in my opinion. They also have a one free month trial so you can test the waters.
Which Skillshare course you should take?
Obviously, it will depend on your needs and which skill or craft you wanna focus on. But if you like fantasy illustration, concept art, comics, and painting portraits, I think the list of courses I´m presenting you here, will definitively help you to learn or improve your drawing and painting skills. For sure, these courses were very useful and interesting for me, and this is why I recommend them.
This course is, in my opinion, a really nice introductory point, for those wanting to learn vehicle design and especially how to paint properly texture and materials. If you wanna pick the career path of Industrial Design, this course is designed for you. The course is taught by Marouane Bembli, who is a skilled industrial designer who has a very clean and polish style.
In my case, the course was very useful for improving the way I paint materials like metal, plastic, and glass. Each material has his own properties and Bembli does a fantastic job showing you how to recreate them convincingly on a digital painting. In this course, you will find several lectures dedicated to this topic. The course is more than 2 hours and a half long, and it breaks down into 23 different lectures.
Taught by the award-winning artist Yuko Shimizu, this course will allow you to learn from one of the finest inkers in the entertainment industry. Yuko takes the techniques and style of the traditional Japanese ink drawings and combines them with contemporary references. The result is some of the best ink works I have ever seen in my life.
If you are an aspiring comic artist or inker, or you are like me, and you wanna learn how to create amazing ink works so you can leave everybody with their jaw open when Inktober comes, this course is totally for you. The course length is one hour and a half, divided into 15 lectures.
This course should come with a disclaimer, and that is this not a purely painting and drawing course! Is a digital sculpting course that uses ZBrush for sculpting and Photoshop for coloring and retouching. The teacher, Justin Goby Fields, is a renown concept artist from the Gnomon School of Visual Effects. He also has his own game studio called Ironklad.
He’s working method for creature design is very common inside the Filming Industry. In Film, production concepts are usually a mix of 3d modeling, photo-bashing, and digital painting, in order to achieve the level of realism required. In this course, you will find a great introduction to this techniques and methods.
My only warning is that the course requires at least a basic knowledge of Zbrush and Photoshop. Justin talks about the Zbrush interface and Tools but is better if you are familiar with all them before you start the course. With that being said, let me assure you this course is totally worth to take. You will learn from one of the most successful concept artists out there. Also, if you have a special interest in working in the Filming Industry, this course will be very useful.
If you have some experience drawing and painting in Photoshop, Painter or any other painting software, you already know you need an introductory period when you start working with a new software. Yes, you know the basics of painting and drawing, but each tool works different, the interface is different, brushes work different, maybe the new software is more traditional painting-like oriented, etc…
As an iPad Pro owner and Procreate user this course was a bliss. The course served me as an introduction to the drawing and painting techniques you have available in Procreate. The cool thing is, the teacher shows you how to apply those techniques in different themes and scenarios. You will learn how to apply those techniques to paint people, environments, animals and more.
This course is taught by another seasoned pro artist with a great resume. Jonas De Ro has been working for clients like Warner Bros., Nike, Miramax and many more. So you know you are learning from one of the bests.
Regarding the course, the title says it clearly, you will learn about Environment concept art. The techniques Jonas will teach you are quite standard inside the industry, but the cool thing is to see his process. How he goes about picking the right shape language depending on what you wanna tell, creating interesting and eye-catching compositions, how to use colors properly, etc….
My advice to any new artist with no Photoshop experience, better learn first the interface and the basic functions of Ps before you start a course like this, so you can enjoy it to the fullest.
This class is taught by Patrick Brown. In the course, you will learn how to sketch and illustrate a character in a scene. From gaming to movies to comic art, Patrick’s artwork spans medium and is always full of energy and movement, keeping a modern comic art feel. The instructor will teach you how to execute the finer details of sketching to achieve an understanding of anatomy, the way a body moves in motion, and how lighting and shading work with this style.
You’ll learn to sketch a character in a scene by illustrating your own Super Hero or Super Villain in dynamic action. Having a solid drawing underneath your work is essential to creating polished, professional digital art. The process of establishing structure in pencil and sketching the fine details will heighten the quality and depth of your work once you transfer your drawing to Photoshop.
This are some of the art courses you can take on Skillshare. There are plenty more courses on the platform, 22.000 art and non-art related classes you can take and develop yourself. The premium membership allows you to take all these courses, so you can develop yourself in other areas like marketing, business management, social media, etc… Yes, they are non-art related in terms of improving your artistic skills, but they can help you to develop the business side of art, to learn how to network, introduce yourself to potential clients and studios, pricing your products etc…
There are many things you can learn on this amazing platform, so it´s up to you. Remember I told, you have a free month trial (sometimes Skillshare have promotions of 2 months free trial period!). Check the platform, use the free month and you will know why I like Skillshare that much.