18 Best Online Art Classes to Try in 2021

Home » Resources » Online Art ClassesUpdated: April 11, 2021

You found our list of the best online art classes.

Online art classes are lessons available over the internet where users can practice creating art and learn new techniques. Depending on which course you take, the class can be highly structured or one where you decide your own pace. Many of these classes include a video or live stream element. Most classes are suitable for all ages and a variety of skill levels.

These classes are a subset of online classroom activities, and can be used for team building virtually.

Specifically, this list includes:

  • online digital art classes
  • the best online art courses
  • free online art classes for beginners

Let’s get started!

List of online art classes

Art can be an excellent way to relax or express creative energy during your day. Whether your interests lie in drawing or digital arts, here is a list of online art classes to kickstart your art habit.

1. Lunch Time Doodles with Mo Willems

If you have young ones at home, then give the kids a break in the day by having them draw with Mo Willems, the beloved childrens’ author and illustrator. Willems is currently the Kennedy Center Education’s Artist-in-Residence, and released a series of fifteen videos, where he spends 30 minutes each day teaching children how to doodle. Willems is passionate about educating kids on universal human values, and started this three-week online art class for kids to let children know they are not alone.

Check out Lunch Time Doodles with Mo Willems.

2. Skillshare

Skillshare is an online learning community with a focus on building creative skills. The platform hosts short, structured videos on art topics such as drawing, graphic design, and how to make a living as an artist. With such a range of subjects, you can find the online art class that suits your needs. Skillshare also comes in three tiers, the free one, the premium membership, and team membership, an option for companies that wish to provide Skillshare classes to their team under one account. Because of this tiered system, you can find free virtual art classes, which are ad-supported and include PDF workbooks and community discussions.

Browse Skillshare’s art classes.

3. New Masters Academy

Learn whenever you like with New Masters Academy, which provides streamed online art classes taught by experts at the top of their fields. With the goal of providing a flexible art school-like education without the expense, you can take lessons on everything from digital art to modeling and sculpture. A subscription to New Masters Academy starts at $35 per month.

Sign up for New Masters Academy.

4. CG Spectrum

If you are interested in digital art and animation, then learn these skills with CG Spectrum. Students who take classes with CG Spectrum benefit from one-on-one or small group instruction and mentorship by industry professionals. CG Spectrum offers courses in animation, 3D modeling, digital painting, game development, and visual effects that are divided by beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels.

Study with CG Spectrum.

5. Gnomon

A top school for visual effects for the entertainment industry, Gnomon offers professional supplement courses and degree and vocational certificate programs. Gnomon’s classes are held in live, three-hour sessions by industry professionals, which means that students receive feedback and critique in real time. If you are serious about working in the entertainment industry, then getting an education in computer graphics from Gnomon is a worthwhile investment, since the school was established to meet the entertainment industry’s growing demand for more trained creative talent.

Learn with Gnomon.

6. Proko

With a library of over 100 free virtual art classes, Proko gives students a fun video tutorial experience with a focus on drawing. Created by Stan Prokopenko, an artist and teacher at Watts Atelier of the Arts, Proko aims to keep his content both entertaining and informative. While Prokopenko is often the host of the art tutorials, he also brings in other professionals to provide insight. If you choose the paid version of Poko, then you receive extended lessons and extra features. However, Proko has plenty of free content to give you a well-rounded education on drawing.

Start drawing with Proko.

7. Watts Atelier of the Arts

Watts Atelier offers online art classes for beginners and for the more experienced. These classes have an emphasis on structured teaching based on the traditions of the masters. Watts provides in-person, live streamed, and online courses. These classes take students from beginning essential skills to full portraiture. Watts’s pricing ranges from $49 for individual classes to $499 for personal instructor mentoring.

Become a member of Watts Atelier of the Arts.

8. MoMA Online Courses

Through Coursera, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York offers free virtual arts classes. These lessons help improve the public’s understanding of modern art. The MoMA’s Massive Open Online Courses program includes classes such as “What is Contemporary Art?”, “Fashion as Design”, and “In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting”. Teachers and parents can even take “Art & Inquiry: Museum Teaching Strategies for Your Classroom” to help shore up their ability to provide online art classes for students.

Register for MoMA’s online courses.

9. Sparketh

Designed to equip parents with the best online art classes for homeschool, Sparketh lets your children learn art in a fun and effective way through their library of over 1,000 short-form video lessons. Sparketh constantly updates their collection, so you will often find new content for your children to learn from. Sparketh’s classes are for students between the ages of six to 18 years old. And, if your little one wants individualized instruction, you can sign up for one-on-one guidance at no additional cost. Sparketh comes in a monthly subscription of $25 per month or an annual subscription of $250 per year.

Try Sparketh.

10. Carla Sonheim’s Kids Art Week

Carla Sonheim is a painter and illustrator who subscribes to the philosophy of a “serious and silly” approach to teaching drawing. While she offers a variety of virtual art classes, her Kids Art Week series are great for kids. Some Kids Art Weeks have guest teachers, and despite the name, Sonheim encourages people of all ages to sign up for free.

Register for the latest Carla Sonheim’s Kids Art Week.

11. Kitchen Table Classroom

Another fantastic online art class is Kitchen Table Classroom. This program is by Jodi, who is a parent and art teacher that believes art lessons do not have to be difficult or expensive. Because of this core belief, Jodi mentions that parents do not have to be artists themselves to provide their children with quality art education. On her site, Jodi offers free virtual art classes that teach kids basic pencil skills. In addition to the drawing course, Kitchen Table Classroom also includes more craft-based lessons, such as weaving paper and paper cutting.

Learn more about Kitchen Table Classroom.

12. Nature’s Art Club

Hannah Stevenson’s Nature’s Art Club aims to give mothers and their children an opportunity to sit down and create art inspired by nature. The course is designed to appeal to you, regardless of your art experience and kids’ ages. Nature’s Art Club takes your kids through watercolor basics to drawing in a series of 30 minute lessons. Once you subscribe to the program, you have access to the class, so you can learn at your own pace. Nature’s Art Club also has a private Facebook group that you will have access to, so you and your family will also gain a community to discuss nature and art with.

Join Nature’s Art Club.

13. Thrive Art School

Thrive Art School officially closed in 2019, however the founder made the video lessons available on YouTube for free to help families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally, Thrive Art School was started by a Kickstarter campaign in 2013, and resulted in the production of videos breaking down basic drawing techniques to help children become confident in their drawing abilities. In addition to beginner and intermediate level classes, Theresa has videos to help parents learn how to get the most out of online art classes.

Visit the Thrive Art School YouTube channel.

14. Draw with Disney Animation / Draw with Pixar

Some of the most renowned names in animation are Disney and Pixar. The entertainment giant offers lessons on how to draw the characters from their popular movies. While Disney and Pixar are both well-known to kids, the skill level to complete these lessons may be more suited to teenagers and adults.

Discover Draw with Disney Animation.

Explore Draw with Pixar.

15. Jarrett J. Krosoczka’s Draw Every Day

Author and illustrator, Jarrett J. Krosoczka created the Draw Every Day series in March 2020. In each 20 to 30-minute video, JJK presents a virtual art lesson appropriate for kids of all ages. JJK’s art course consists of tips on how to draw JJK’s characters, explanation on his process, and brainstorm sessions for how to create new characters. Through the host’s friendly tone and enthusiasm, your kids will feel encouraged to follow along and discover their own love of drawing.

Subscribe to Jarrett J. Krosoczka’s YouTube channel.

16. DrawingCoach.com

DrawingCoach.com was created by the creative director of a computer game company. The company seeks to teach drawing to people who feel that they can’t draw. DrawingCoach.com’s lessons span a variety of topics, such as drawing cartoon figures, portraits, and tattoos. With an easy-to-navigate website and clear visual aids, you can learn how to draw pressure-free, even without video tutorials.

Visit DrawingCoach.com.

17. Udemy

With over 2,000 online art classes, Udemy’s global marketplace has a course for every possible art topic. For example, acrylic painting, digital illustration, and sketching. Since Udemy offers so many options, you can easily find online art classes for beginners or more advanced students. Users can also judge whether a class is popular through Udemy’s rating system.

Check out Udemy’s art courses.

18. Masterpiece Society Studio

Masterpiece Society Studio has virtual art classes designed for the whole family to join in. By joining the Masterpiece Society’s membership, you get access to hundreds of art lessons that will bring your family together. The member is $29 per month and gets you classes for beginners, but also courses teaching higher level techniques that are for your older kids. These features make Masterpiece Society Studio a one-stop shop for families hoping to instill an appreciation for making art.

Join Masterpiece Society Studio.

Final Thoughts

Finding the right creative outlet is important for maintaining your emotional and mental health. If you thought that art was out of your reach, then this list of classes should help you realize there is still hope! Explore your choices and discover what works for you.

Next, check out this list of virtual field trips and this one with online volunteering ideas.

FAQ: Online Art Classes

Still confused about how art classes over the internet works? Here are some frequently asked questions about online art classes.

How can I take art classes online?

You can take art classes online through searching resources available via the internet. Most virtual art classes involve some form of video content and activities that help you apply the lessons learned. Depending on the course, your instruction may be formal or take the form of following along as the instructor walks you through art projects.

What are the best online art classes?

What constitutes the best online art classes depend on your goals. If you are looking for professional development, especially in the computer graphics industry, then CG Spectrum and Gnomon are terrific choices with many alumni actively working in the field. If you are looking for a less formal option, then follow along with renowned artists as they draw, for a low-pressure experience.

How can I learn drawing online for free?

You can learn drawing online for free by taking advantage of some platform’s free tiers. Some places you can start are Lunch Time Doodles with Mo Willems, Skillshare, Proko, MoMA’s online courses, Carla Sonheim’s Kids Art Week, Kitchen Table Classroom, Thrive Art School, Draw with Disney Animation, Draw with Pixar, Jarrett J. Krosoczka’s Draw Every Day, and DrawingCoach.com.

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Author: Jessica Chen

Team building content expert. Jessica has a double major in English and Asian Studies, and experience working with teams across cultures; including 3+ years in Taiwan.

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