20+ Best Online Painting Classes In 2021

An artist conducting an online class for painting

If you are looking for a way to make your art career more sustainable and profitable, then it is time to consider taking an online painting class. 

You will find many options on the market today that can teach you everything from how to paint with watercolor paints, acrylics, oils, or gouache. This article will discuss the best online painting classes every budding artist should consider attending.

1. Udemy

Udemy

Overview

Udemy courses on visual arts and crafts, including drawing, sketching, painting, digital art, calligraphy, mixed media art, and handicrafts. 

You can choose from watercolor painting, acrylic painting, abstract painting, oil painting. Art classes for kids for painting courses are also available.

Classes

You can choose from various artists to teach you. Some of the most popular artists you can try are Joseph Patric Daniels and Broderick Wong

Daniels is a NY-based artist who specializes in pencil drawings and painting media like oil and acrylics. He also runs his classes on his website and also on Skillshare. He already taught 54,382 students on Udemy alone.

Meanwhile, Wong is an award-winning artist who specializes in watercolors. To date, Wong has 30,920 students who enjoyed his classes, leaving impressive reviews on his profile. 

Aside from his Udemy classes, he also conducts workshops through two websites that he also maintains.

What's Unique About It

You get to choose from hundreds of visual arts classes to attend for a single subscription. You don't have to pay for each class you attend, so you get a lot of bang for your money.

2. Virtuainnovativel Art Academy

Virtuainnovativel Art Academy

Overview

Virtual Art Academy is one of the online art schools where beginners and intermediate artists can learn to paint online using various painting media. 

Private art academies will usually cost you thousands of dollars per year. Still, with a minimal monthly membership fee, you can already take online painting courses ranging from $49 for the foundation program to $79 a month for the apprentice program.

Classes

The apprentice program includes 16 workshops, each having 12 lessons that you can access through your phone, tablet, or laptop. 

VAA now has more than 4,000 satisfied members. Some students even claim that they learned more from the academy than from expensive art schools, and many of them became professional artists.

The curriculum, authored by award-winning artist Barry John Raybould, came into being with Raybould's desire to teach structured art education to allow everyone to master the art of painting.

What's Unique About It

Apart from others, this school is well-set with structure, comprehensive curriculum, and professionalism.

Aside from the online art academy, you can also use the painting tutorials you can find on VAA's YouTube channel and the Artist Magazine published on VAA's website.

3. Domestika

Domestika

Overview

Learn painting with Domestika, an online platform for creative people where you can create a free account and learn from the best professionals at your own pace. 

You can access high-quality pre-recorded videos that you can watch as much as you want, and you get a personalized certificate for every course you finish to improve your portfolio.

Because it is a community, you can ask for feedback and tips on their social media platforms. You can also use the community to find other artists for collaborations, meetups, or even business opportunities! 

Discover avenues for how you can turn your passion into something productive.

Classes

If you want to expand your horizon, feel free to browse the hundreds of courses in illustration, crafts, design, animation, calligraphy, writing, fashion, and more.

What's Unique About It

What sets this platform apart is the one-time payment method per course, so you don't have to pay a monthly fee.

4. Skillshare

Skillshare

Overview

Skillshare is another creative community you should check for the wide selection of art and creative courses. 

Many of the renowned artists on YouTube are on Skillshare, so try finding your favorites on the Skillshare portal.

Classes

The online fine art courses include using various painting mediums, including watercolor, gouache, acrylic, oil, mixed media, and even digital painting.

You may even discover unusual painting media such as coffee and resin or use your skills for other crafts like painting porcelain, ceramics, toys, etc.

Choose to master portraiture, landscapes, abstract, and other styles from any skill level you have since Skillshare had categorized the courses into beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

What's Unique About It

What is unique with Skillshare is that you don't have to pay for a single course since you can access all courses once you're a premium member at an affordable monthly fee. 

They also offer group membership where you can enroll several of your team's creative members to improve their skills.

5. New Masters Academy

New Masters Academy

Overview

New Masters Academy is a smaller platform of artists committed to painting and drawing in various genres, from traditional to specialties, such as movie posters and monster art. 

At $35 per month, you can access all available courses, aptly categorized for your experience level.

Classes

NMA also offers a coaching plan to pay separately for $99 - $ 949 a month! However, we advise that you only commit to this kind of investment if you're ready to hone your professional skills.

Aside from individual students, they also boast of entertainment studios and art schools learning from them. 

Walt Disney, Ringling College of Art & Design, Art Center, Sony, Laguna College of Art & Design, and Blizzard Entertainment are some companies that benefited from the training from NMA.

What's Unique About It

The 3D model is the first-of-a-kind for artists who want to view human poses for realistic figure drawings. Another impressive feature of NMA is the high-definition royalty-free images that you can use for reference.

6. Artist's Journey

Artist's Journey

Alt-text: Artist's Journey website banner

Overview

Artist's Journey's workshops and courses are led by Dr. Nancy Hillis, an artist, author, and psychiatrist who aims to help students fulfill their artistic ambitions. 

Dr. Hillis not only coaches you to learn to paint, but she also encourages you to discover yourself and to use art as therapy.

She has also authored several books - The Adjacent Possible and The Artist's Journey, a creativity reflection journal to help with your creativity. The Artist's Journey is also available as an audiobook, free with your Audible trial.

Classes

Together with four other artists, she calls your journey guide. They provide the students with more support and social media engagement through their private Facebook communities. 

You will talk with them and ask questions about their work, which might inspire you on your creative journey.

Artist's Journey's courses include eight creative online classes, each tailored to fit your specific needs, improve your skills, and open your innovative channels to combat that creative block. 

You can even access the free workshop to create abstract paintings. These classes are beneficial for artists who need verification of their artistry. As one artist spent 50 years painting, only after attending Dr. Hillis's class, she felt a renewed enthusiasm for her art.

She also hosts a live online program (Studio Journey Masterclass) to overcome your inhibitions and revolutionize your paintings that only Dr. Hillis can offer.

What's Unique About It

Dr. Hillis incorporates psychology, evolutionary biology, and other sciences into her art to open up your creativity, resulting in a more dynamic and lively masterpiece.

7. Watts Atelier of the Arts

Watts Atelier of the Arts

Overview

Founded by Jeffrey Watts, an expressionist artist is specializing in still-life, figures, landscapes, and seascapes. His most influential teacher was Fred Fixler while he was studying at the California Art Institute.

He also shares his passion for Plein air painting with his father, Robert Watts. Robert is also an accomplished artist who spent his prime years working with various clients like NASA, American Airlines, and the US Navy, to name a few. 

Six more artists were added to their list; most of them were former WAA students who had already created a name for themselves.

Classes

The online classes are available through membership. They are known for drawing at $99 per month, painting for $119, and all-access for $199 per month.

You can also try Instructor Mentoring for $499 per month, though this option is currently unavailable due to current restrictions. Aside from these, you can request Individual Master Classes to access a specific and targeted class course.

You can download the PDF workbooks that include the list and in-depth explanation of the materials and step-by-step guide that complements the video lesson. You will also find the assigned projects in PDF format.

What's Unique About It

Instead of having a Facebook community to critique your submitted assignment, the team of instructors will evaluate and provide feedback on your work.

8. My Painting Club

My Painting Club

Overview

My Painting Club is a website that offers online painting classes created and curated by Richard Robertson, a New Zealand-based artist. 

Aside from teaching you his style, Richard also analyzes and breaks down the painting styles of great artists like Oscar Sorolla and Sargent so students can learn them too.

Classes

My Painting Club's lessons are available online and in DVD format. You can choose from over a hundred painting lessons. The classes are also available in ebooks and notes.

Try their Premium Membership for Free. Your free trial lasts seven days, after which you can upgrade by logging into your account for $20 a month. 

You may cancel your membership anytime, backed up with an unlimited money-back guarantee. If you want critique service, though, you'll have to pay for that separately at $150. However, My Painting Club sometimes offers this at a discounted price.

What's Unique About It

Although the critic sessions may be expensive, you can get your paintings improved digitally by Robertson himself.

9. Tucson Art Academy Online

Tucson Art Academy Online

Overview

The Tucson Art Academy Online is a school for aspiring artists who want to earn their Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts. 

TAAO offers courses and educational videos that teach traditional techniques and online platforms to work on projects together. Renowned instructors with years of experience teaching are hired to teach and mentor students. 

Aside from oil, acrylic, pastel, and watercolors, TAAO also offers clay sculpting.

Classes

The lessons are available for self-study at $395 that you can access for a 365. The videos are not downloadable, but you can access them anytime. 

Presently, they have two such lessons by Laura Robb and Ken Auster. The second method of teaching is through video series. 

All videos are downloadable, so you can watch them offline on any device available to you or share this with your artistic community. Each video package is available in premium for $129 and value for $69.

You can also take online mentoring courses, though they are more expensive at $895, accessible for 365 days. 

If you want to join these classes, it is best to join the waitlist with limited seats, so TAAO can notify you once enrolment opens.

According to some of their students, TAAO offers affordable packages that enable them to paint better for less cost, directly in the comfort of their own studio, allowing them to replicate what the instructor teaches.

What's Unique About It

Even though the payments are non-refundable, you may be given credit to attend a different course if the one you enrolled in does not suit your preference. Aside from the courses, you may view free tutorial videos on the TAAO website's blog section.

10. Kirsty Partridge

Kirsty Partridge

Overview

Kirsty Partridge is a self-made artist who started a YouTube Channel in 2015 and 6 years later earned herself more than a million subscriptions and millions of views.

Since then, she turned her passion into a full-time business, teaching fellow artists to improve their craft.

Classes

Like other artists who want to share their passion with others, Kirsty is also on Skillshare and Patreon. You can access her Patreon account directly from her website at $10 and $20 per month. 

She has more than 1800 patrons who can see 362 of her exclusive tutorial videos. Also, she runs the website where you can access her Legacy Art Collection. 

The collection includes 66 tutorial videos on colored pencils, 84 hours of watercolor tutorials in 39 videos, and 14 videos on accurate sketching. There are also 26 hours of pastel pencil tutorials, 77 hours of full charcoal tutorials, and 60 hours of graphite tutorials included in the collection.

What's Unique About It

You get to try the collection in 30 days, and if you're not happy with the result of your work, Kirsty will refund all your money. 

That's a month's worth of art gifts from a renowned artist! If you're lucky, you may even avail of the big savings offered on her website for the Legacy Art Collection.

11. Draw, Mix, Paint by Mark Carder

Draw, Mix, Paint by Mark Carder

Overview

Mark Carder started painting at the young age of 22 in 1986. He was commissioned to paint George H. W. Bush and later, his son, George W. Bush, while they served as presidents of the USA.

Carder sees John Singer Sargent and Diego Velázquez as the most influential in his realistic oil paintings. Carder paintings are costly, ranging from $30,000 to $75,000!

Classes

Carder's painting lessons come in videos, available to download from Vimeo at $100 each. The three videos - How to Paint Realism, Painting Landscapes, and Painting Portraits - are all guaranteed to help improve your oil painting skills.

Besides downloadable videos, Carder also teaches one-on-one painting lessons in his studio in Austin, Texas. 

The private workshop, tailored to your skill level, runs for six days and includes all the art supplies you need. You can choose from three of these private lessons - still-life, portrait, and copying a Sargent masterpiece.

What's Unique About It

Instead of encouraging you to get a full palette, Carder is rooting for a limited palette so you can improve your color mixing skills and save on seldom-used colors.

12. The Virtual Instructor

The Virtual Instructor

Overview

Matt Fussell started his career as an illustrator and educator who loved drawing, painting, and teaching. Before putting together the coursework in The Virtual Instructor, he was a high art teacher.

In 2009, he began The Virtual Instructor to upload instruction videos for his students. Soon his audience grew, and he decided to add a membership program to his website. 

He also started his YouTube channel bearing the same name, now with more than 600k subscribers and millions of views.

Fussell runs a separate drawing website to join a 30-day drawing challenge or take courses on using different drawing mediums and a particular course for colored pencils.

Classes

The Virtual Instructor's painting lessons include acrylics, watercolors, oils, pastels, mixed media, and digital. You'll also learn art fundamentals as a separate lesson. 

Aside from painting, TVI also offers drawing lessons. The lessons include video tutorials, illustrated ebooks, weekly live sessions, critiquing, and lesson plans that art teachers may use. 

The ebook library consists of 168 ebooks with over a thousand pages, with each step illustrated and described in each book.

You'll get to attend live lessons or watch these real-time lessons added to the on-demand library when you cannot participate in the live sessions. You may also get feedback on your work from other artists and instructors.

What's Unique About It

The lessons are very cheap yet very comprehensive. This online art class is probably the cheapest you can get at $97 annually or $19 monthly, all with a 30-day money-back guarantee to boot!

13. Engage Art

Engage Art

Overview

EngageArt is another community to look out for if you need to connect with other artists. Started by the philanthropist couple Bill and Linda Bantz. 

The EngageArt is also hosting a biennial competition in visual art and video art based on Ephesians 6:10-20. For the current contest period, the submission of entries ends by April 14, 2022.

Classes

The EngageArt consists of 9 modules, from conceptualizing your theme to understanding art to create your masterpiece and finally, submitting it. 

You may write your answers straight into the worksheets because the eCourse is in interactive PDF format. The eCourse is free, and while submitting your work is encouraged, it is not required to join.

What's Unique About It

The artists are encouraged to create their contemporary interpretations of the Scriptures in this community, heavily influenced by Christianity and Scripture readings. 

EngageArt may even provide career possibilities because they prefer to hire from within the community.

14. Artists Network

Artists Network

Overview

Scott Maier and Doug Kacena are at the forefront of Artists Network. Both are from Colorado, USA. 

Aside from them, other artists join the roster to teach their members all about drawing and painting. Scott is an artist and video producer who earned his Master's in Fine Arts from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. 

On the other hand, Doug is an artist, gallerist, and curator behind two official patches for NASA and SpaceX.

Classes

Artists Network teaches watercolors, acrylics, pastel, oil, and mixed media painting and drawing using traditional mediums.

Among the most popular courses are the paint-along workshops taught by Johannes "Jo" Vloothuis, sold at a minimal cost ranging from $12 to $29 per course. 

The classes usually take a total of 5 hours per session (a total of three sessions). Though it is called paint-along, you don't have to attend the classes to join the workshop since you can access the recorded video later.

However, only members can access the exclusive courses, so you have to pay a separate membership fee of $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year. Along with this membership, you can access various tutorial videos and artist's magazines.

What's Unique About It

You can join the numerous art competitions sponsored by the community or other artist journals and magazines looking for amazing covers for their online and print magazines.

15. Makoccino

Makoccino

Overview

Makoccino or Mako, whose real name is withheld from the public, has a degree in cultural studies though she never got a traditional 9-5 job because she wanted to turn her hobbies into a full-time job. We're glad for that because she turned out to be an excellent artist and art teacher.

Mako is also an author of the No-Fail Watercolor, available in Kindle and paperback. You can download the free watercolor guide from her website, which is very helpful for newbies in watercolors.

Classes

She runs two art classes on her website. The Roadmap to Watercolor Painting sells at $58 per month for six months or a one-time payment of $249. 

Another class, Ocean Blues, sells at $79 per month for two months or a $149 one-time fee. Joining her classes is not easy since she has a waitlist. 

If you want to get notified when the classes start, join their mailing list. Aside from her online courses, you can also check her YouTube channel and website for free tutorials.

What's Unique About It

Mako uses her cultural studies in her blog tutorials as she tries to break down your apprehensions and inhibitions about art in the Mindset section of her blog. They are very helpful in conquering your fears and free you to be a better artist.

16. Craftsy

Craftsy

Overview

Craftsy is another platform you should visit if you want to enroll in an online painting course. Besides courses on visual arts, Craftsy also includes handicrafts, cooking, woodworking, gardening, and fitness classes. It offers free lessons. 

However, painting is not available for free to its members.

Classes

The painting classes include watercolors, acrylics, gouache, oils, and mixed media. Premium members have unlimited access to over 1,500 courses, though not all of them pertain to painting. 

You can be a Premium member at $7.99 per month or $79.99 per year. Otherwise, the classes are priced separately, ranging from $5 to $70 per course.

You can choose from the various professional artists to teach the art class where a beginner or advanced artist can join. These painting tutorials are available from an on-demand video library and have downloadable PDF resources. 

At the end of each lesson, you will be given 2-3 painting projects to practice your newly acquired skills.

What's Unique About It

You can access the other premium videos once you're already a premium member of Craftsy.

17. Creative Bug

Creative Bug

Overview

Creative Bug, like other online communities for creatives, offers monthly premium classes to its members. 

Their portfolio includes video tutorials on art and design, sewing, quilting, paper, knitting, crochet, food, jewelry, holiday, and kids.

Classes

Choose from over 179 courses on painting and framing your artwork. Try other painting styles such as geode painting, art journaling, mark making, painting textiles, etc.

Creative Bug membership is available at $7.95 monthly for the unlimited and $9.95 monthly for the unlimited plus. 

You can also save 40% off the monthly price if you subscribe to the annual unlimited plus membership at $71.40. The membership is also available for teams. 

But the pricing is only available per group size, so you have to contact Creative Bug for that.

What's Unique About It

You may also join the 31-day challenge offered by a few artists on the portal, such as the Oil Painting Challenge by Erica Lee Sears or the 31 Art Journal Prompts by Dawn DeVries Sokol.

18. Stay Creative Painting with Ryan O'Rourke

Stay Creative Painting with Ryan O'Rourke

Overview

Ryan O'Rourke (not a baseball or hockey player) is a prolific teacher on Patreon and is the master of 10-minute acrylic painting courses. 

Patreon offers three membership levels: Scenic, $4 per month, and Alpine, $8 per month. He also has an $11 per month limited audience subscription that includes behind-the-scenes videos.

Classes

When you join Ryan O'Rourke's online art school today, you'll get access to his $11 per month membership that includes access to his digital ebook, Acrylics for Beginners. 

You can also access Painting Prompts 1, painting Prompts 2, How to Draw Trees, and Flower Edition. These ebooks include traceable files, which are great for beginners or experienced artists looking for new ways of learning about painting.

With the Alpine membership, you can also join the exclusive Facebook group that provides personal critiquing when you want it. 

You can access 58 videos, 1319 images, and 34 articles explaining foundational skills and other essential skills that even intermediate and advanced artists will love.

What's Unique About It

Ryan O'Rourke's painting tutorials are among the best online art courses you can find at a meager price of $4 per month on Patreon. 

This course is best for absolute beginners because it includes traceable files from the hour-long tutorials found on YouTube and within Patreon to assist you in making your paintings.

19. Karen Rice

Karen Rice

Overview

Karen Rice is a professional artist based in London. After finishing her art studies in South West London, she dedicated her life to painting and teaching, as evidenced by scores of free online courses on watercolor painting on YouTube and other social media accounts.

Classes

If you want to learn more from her, she has a Patreon account where she uploads exclusive videos and outlines sketches for practical exercises to improve your skills. 

At 4.99 pounds per month, you can access 175 painting tutorials, five tutorial articles, and 17 images of the sketches. At present, she has 1049 patrons, many of whom are happy with her site's online drawing and painting classes.

Her Patreon online painting courses include lessons for beginners, tackling landscapes, flowers, seascapes, and cityscapes. 

You can also find tutorials on abstract painting, holiday cards, sketches, still-life, and people. Her painting lessons also include drawing techniques.

What's Unique About It

Karen Rice brings 30 years of experience to break down the process into a simple step-by-step tutorial using watercolors.

20. The Will Kemp Art School

The Will Kemp Art School

Overview

Will Kemp is a Cheshire-based artist who left a prestigious job as a Curriculum Development Officer at the Museums sector in the UK to be a full-time artist.

During his stint at the museums, he received a Queen Elizabeth Craft Scholarship and went on to study Classical Portraiture in Florence, Italy.

Though he went through a difficult stage, Will Kemp established himself enough as an artist and now runs an art school and a YouTube Channel with a good following and more than 90 videos that tackle different painting tutorials. 

His favorite mediums are watercolors, acrylics, and oils, and he teaches abstract, impressionistic, and realistic painting techniques.

Classes

Kemp’s online painting classes include beginner painting courses that you can access at less than 13 pounds (almost $68) to full courses up to 85 pounds ($116).

What's Unique About It

If you're new to his website, you can get a free download of his 50-page PDF guide, A Beginner's Guide to Acrylics. He also offers beginner courses, portrait courses, sketching classes, and still-life courses.

21. John Lovett

John Lovett

Overview

Widely recognized as one of Australia's most unique and talented artists, John Lovett creates a sense of compelling colorful artwork and has strong design elements. 

Oils, watercolors, and mixed media are among his favorite mediums. He also contributes to the International Artist and Australian Artist magazines.

Classes

His painting lessons online are extensive. The majority of them are free, but some may be rented or purchased. 

You may have unlimited access to his tutorial videos for $9.95, or you can buy a 2-hour DVD with 16 projects that you can work on at your own pace.

However, if you're not ready to pay, you can make use of the extensive tutorial he has on his website, all available under Lessons and Design.

What's Unique About It

His passion for his art is evident in how he teaches people about it and develops new works with such enthusiasm. 

For his workshops, he travels around Europe, the United States, and Australia. His courses are incredibly personal and involve food, wine, shopping, sightseeing, and lots of lovely experiences.

22. Florent Farges

Florent Farges

Overview

Florent Farges is a French artist who sees his work as poetry in a picture with his existentialist style reminiscent of the baroque era, characterized by drama, emotions, and sensuality. 

If you check his portfolio on his website and social media accounts, you will see great artworks with overflowing emotions jumping right out of the canvas.

Classes

His videos are available on his website and Patreon (in French and English). What sets him apart from other art teachers is his ability to simplify the most complex ideas. 

You can choose from three tiers, but we recommend the $10/per month tier so you can access his once-a-month real-time video, usually a portrait painting demonstration with 1-4 hours of jargon-free content.

Some of his students are very thankful for his precise instructions. Other students feel that they have improved since taking his classes.

He also maintains a YouTube channel with more than 190 videos dedicated to teaching techniques to perfect oil paintings. He also holds a website where you can get free resources that will help beginners and even professionals.

What's Unique About It

At a low cost, you may get a practical guide as well as portrait, still-life, and landscape demonstrations, depending on the version you buy.

How to choose the best online class

  • Skill Level

If you're a beginner, stick within your level, even if you're tempted to upgrade your skills already. This will prevent you from getting frustrated, especially when you can get your oil painting, for example, to look as you expect.

  • Course Inclusions

Downloadable videos and PDFs are beneficial since they allow you to study your courses even when you are not connected to the internet. Use any traceable images, high-definition photographs for references, or any freebies included in the course.

However, don't let the freebies lure you into purchasing a course. First, go at the lessons or, if one is available, their YouTube channel.

If you're new to the art class, a monthly subscription is preferable to an annual one. If you haven't found what you're looking for, you can end your membership this way.

  • Teacher's credentials

Someone can only teach what he knows. Surf the net for the profile of the course curator or curriculum designer, the teacher you're aiming for, especially if enrolling in creative communities, instead of single-artist online classes.

  • Choose your medium

If you love watercolors, choose that instead of going for oils or acrylics. It is best to master one medium first before moving to other mediums.

  • After-class interaction

What does your teacher offer after the conclusion of your class? Does he offer advice, critiquing, and other guidance to improve your skills? How does he check your progress during the conduct of the class? These are just a few questions you need to answer before committing to a course.

Conclusion

Take the time to make sure you find the right class for your skill level and desired aesthetic. There are many options available today, so take some time to research what will work best for you! 

Perhaps one of these online painting classes may be just what you need to turn your art hobby into a productive career.

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