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Best (free) drawing classes in 2023 | Reviewed & tested

I’ve literally spent over $3000 dollars on drawing (and other creative) classes. Why? Because it’s my hobby and I see these classes as an investment in myself. These newly learned skills can easily turn into money.

That’s why I believe I’m a pretty good person to review drawing classes, as I’m an ever-learning artist.

Here are the best drawing classes in 2023. I took in mind reviews, lesson plans, length, and quality of information.

1. Mastering Illustration: Sketching, Inking & Color Essentials

Mastering Illustration: Sketching, Inking & Color Essentials by the popular Youtuber Jazza is a course that goes over each step of creating an illustration: from idea to finished illustration.

  • Traditional illustration
  • For all levels
  • Has over 51K students
  • 2H and 11 minutes containing 15 lessons

2. Intro to Procreate: Illustrating on the iPad (2023)

Brooke Glaser teaches you everything you need to know about Procreate. This Intro to Procreate course is great for beginners. This class is reviewed as clear and easy to understand.

  • Digital art
  • For beginners
  • Has over 128K students
  • 1H and 58 minutes containing 23 lessons

3. Design a Female Character: Sketching Portraits with Pencils

If you’re into sketching this is the course for you: Design a female character by Gabrielle Brickey. This course teaches you to draw an endless variety of characters.

  • Sketching
  • For intermediate artists
  • Has over 39K students
  • 59 minutes containing 15 lessons

4. Drawing realistic portraits with graphite

Matheus Macedo teaches you how to draw realistic portraits using graphite. You’ll learn how to draw a portrait from scratch to the final stage.

  • Graphite drawing
  • For all levels
  • 676 students
  • 1H 33 minutes containing 10 lessons

5. Urban Sketching: Draw Characteristic Old City Charm With One Point Perspective

Peggy Dean teaches this amazing course in which you learn how to do urban sketching. This class is great for the more adventurous artist who wants to take their sketchbook out into the wild!

  • Urban sketching (traditional)
  • For all levels
  • Almost 3K students
  • 42 minutes containing 9 lessons

Best free online art classes

Typically online art courses which you have to pay for are generally better because the teacher handles the course professionally (they use professional equipment to record their teachings). Plus they often offer extra benefits like communities and feedback.

However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t great free classes at all! Here are a few FREE classes and courses I recommend:

1. How to draw hands online class FREE

This free mini-course on how to draw hands by Proko is free. Everything you need to know about hand anatomy is covered. I’m currently using this course to imporve my hands! (Just look at my Instagram and you know I need improvement in this area :’) )

Here’s the first video of this course:

2. How to shade a drawing FREE tutorial Course

This free drawing class is also taught by Proko. Here you’ll learn how to shade a drawing.

Here’s the first video in this ”course”:

3. Capturing human figures in an urban scene

This class is actually a live class taught by Pedro Loureiro. It is hosted by Etchr studio. Pedro demonstrates how he draws human figures and teaches you how to do it.

You can watch the class here:

What should I learn to draw first?

You should first learn to draw what you want. This allows you to have fun and encourages you to keep going, which is the most important skill when it comes to drawing: perseverance.

Some people recommend learning things like perspective first, but why learn this stuff when you are only interested in drawing characters?

Learning the basics is important but that doesn’t mean you have to learn them first. I wanted to learn how to draw realistic portraits so I started with that. No fundamental drawing exercises at first, I just dove in.

And guess what? I had tons of fun plus I learned how to draw what I wanted straight away. I think people need to remember that it has to be fun otherwise you’ll lose interest.

And why have a hobby that you don’t like doing? Here’s what I achieved drawing focussing on realistic portraits only (no fundamentals learned to achieve this):

The only exception is when you’re an art student then yes, I’d learn the (not so fun) basics first.

So, look for free videos on Youtube or beginner classes on Skillshare and start working on something that you like!

Where should I learn to draw?

As you might’ve noticed,

Skillshare is a great place to start learning how to draw. You get access to tons and tons of professionally taught drawing courses. From illustrations to realistic drawings: they are all taught by incredibly talented artists.

And as of now, Skillshare has a 50% discount off a year subscription which is absolutely worth it.

I’ve tried other websites like Domestika which I also liked but they fool you with a discount timer. This timer pushes you to purchase now because if the timer hits 0 the discount is gone. In reality, the timer resets the next day. I really dislike this type of advertising.

With Skillshare you pay a one-time fee and have access to literally every single class out there.

So you need to consider if you want to purchase single courses or get a year subscription to hundreds of drawing classes. Depending on how much you want to learn, either one is a great option.

What is the best way to learn how to draw?

The best way to learn how to draw is to pick a subject and start drawing it. Only then do you find out how you approach things and what’s difficult. After that trace your subject and compare it to your drawing.

What exactly is off? The proportions? When it comes to body proportions you can easily learn these. Is your perspective off? Search for perspective classes.

How can I learn to draw self taught?

This kind of depends on what you consider what self-taught is. If you consider self-taught without the help of others:

Look at real-life objects and draw them. Want to draw portraits? You can book live classes which means someone sits there as a subject and you draw them. Or go out and sit on a public bench and start drawing.

If you consider self thaught not going to an art school, then I recommend:

Watching youtube videos. They are free and full of information. All those bits and pieces of information tremendously help you improve. Even watching speed drawings. Seeing someone’s technique is great because you can apply it yourself.

Basically, you need to start drawing and make mistakes. Those mistakes are incredibly valuable because they help you improve.

is 25 too old to learn how to draw?

Absolutely not.

No age is too old to draw. Skill comes with practice and patience.

If you’re unsure where to start, start by looking at art supplies. I promise you, that’ll get you in the mood to create!

I hope this list helped you pick out a course that suits you. Remember to have fun and feel free to share your art on social media. Encouragement from others really helps.

Feel free to sign up for my art letter if you’d like to hear from your favorite online art friend at the end of each month :)

♡ Laura

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