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What Online Art Courses Are Worth Your Time

Online Art Courses Vs In Person Learning

There is no doubt that in person learning whether at school or an apprenticeship is a better way to go.  Still, online art courses provide a wealth of education and learning.

The problem is the volume of potential art courses that are online today can overwhelm someone.  I will do my best to help navigate some of the better options for you.

I will begin with what I think is the best option and later move into more tailored or skill specific art courses.  There is a method to the madness in why you will want to consider each option.

Online Art Courses With Certificates And Degrees

Do not let this suggestion slip past you.  If you are interested in obtaining certificates or a degree you really should check into

Why consider them for online art courses?  The organization themselves focus to keep what they offer low cost as a nonprofit.  The organization was born out of Harvard University and MIT.

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With this there is no question that the organization and those involved are legitimate.  You also are able to tap into some of the greatest online art courses from the best branded organizations.

Know that they offer real degrees within art majors that students are looking for today. While these may not be free they certainly can be had at a lower cost.

If you go this route know that the courses are run on a schedule where you must sign up before hand.  A major benefit is that they allow you to work at your own pace through their material.

Take the time to compare the cost of what they offer, many classes are free, and what you get in return.  This option can be far better than any other suggestion I list below.

Auxiliary Online Art Courses For Digital Tools

Outside of some proven organizations like edx, little is truly free in this world.  Nevertheless, some digging in places like YouTube or wiki like tutorials can be a wealth of information.

These options are not truly online art courses, but they offer a gold nugget of information for anyone who works with digital media.

When it comes to learning drawing art programs these locations can provide you the skills you need to use them well.  I know this is specifically not about art in of itself, yet you will only be as good within art compared to how well you can use the software.

A La Carte Online Art Courses

Artists that have experience may not need or desire a full program.  Rather some wish to refer to specific techniques or tailored information which will help build your art portfolio.

Locations that can provide online art courses of this nature can be found in places like SkillShare.  The benefit to their platform is this very feature with one added bonus.

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SkillShare has a wide range of artisans that take part in their platform.  Due to this you have more available in terms of options than a linear art program.

Each art course can be selected individually if you so choose.  The cost is affordable and offers tailored value.

Udemy is another option that works in a similar way.  The key difference is that many online art courses by Udemy drive more depth at a similar price point.

Their platform may not have the same breadth but if you are into traditional visual arts this may be a better option to consider.  Personally, I would keep both in mind depending on what I need or where I wish to expand my art skills.

Best Value In Online Art Courses

The above list would be what would give any artist the best value for online art courses.  Seriously they are hard to beat in what is offered.

Beyond this will be a short list of alternatives albeit at a higher cost.  There are courses which can be found from specific institutions or more “famous” artists that may or may not be of value to the cost.

Value should be defined in terms beyond the cost.  What you get in return for that cost is where value is found.

Having stated this, options above this heading of the page I consider high value.  Options below this heading of the page is very situational and should be considered specific to individual artist needs.

Specialized Online Art Courses By Branded Artists And Organizations

There are actually many more options than I can list in this one article, yet I will list a few that stand out.  Tuscon Art Academy is one that may help some artists.

The cost at Tuscan will range between 400 to 600 dollars per course so it is certainly more expensive.  Nevertheless it comes back to what you may individually get out of what they offer.

Their focus is within painting acrylics, oils, and watercolor.  You are able to drive more depth into a specific visual art than some of the broad brush options I presented earlier.

Another good option is Vilppu Academy.  Anyone in art should recognize the name Glen Vilppu and if you do not then one day you will.

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The focus is on drawing in many formats from digital to pencil.  Despite the name recognition by animators and film studios, he will walk you from basic education like how to hold a pencil to more advanced principles

The drawback to this online art course is the cost.  It is hitting 800 dollars just to get started.  I would not take this suggestion lightly and research to know if what you get out of it is worth it to you.

My last suggestion here is to take a look at SmArt School.  My reason for suggesting these online art courses is more than their credibility which they clearly possess.

These courses will bridge a major gap between traditional visual arts and the digital world.  Be prepared to have the necessary software required to complete courses such as Photoshop.

The benefit to these art courses is that they do offer more than videos.  Here you will find live classes where questions can be asked and critiques given to the students.  This is a major plus.

The downside is cost.  The price will range from 500 to near 2800 dollars.  Again I would select based on your needs and what you personally can obtain from what is offered.

What Makes The “Best” Online Art Courses?

There really is no “best online art course”.  Remove from the mix of options those who are less reputable, and you are left with a mix of options based upon your needs.

If you are a new artist learning art, I would begin with edx and then move up the ladder to skill specific options.  There is no need to spend a fortune when starting.

What makes all these options beneficial is how you the artist can tailor them to your use.  This is especially true when working with continuing education within your professional field.

How To Choose An Online Art Course?

Station and skill level should dictate which online art course you choose.  As a young student working with edx and Udemy is an easy choice.

Beginners starting their education would do well to start here as well.  Selecting courses that fit your art medium, skill level, and direction you wish to go in art will get you running.

Those that wish to work with a blend of new media art in digital formats can expand into new areas.  Learning the drawing software of your choice should be easy to do at no cost to the artist.

It would be later in your education that you would need online art courses from someplace like SmArt allowing you to approach the art professionally.

What Art Courses Should You Avoid?

The obvious art courses to avoid would be those which ask for too much and offer too little.  Furthermore, courses from non-reputable institutions is a red flag.

The next big issue for me is how some of these locations offer courses in art marketing.  If you wish to work an artist job professionally, or reside within more traditional art institutions, the information may have value.

If you are an independent artist or work within a freelance capacity the value of these “marketing” courses will be questionable.  Let me say that how an artist approaches the market is changing rapidly.

As of the time I am writing this there are currents changing how effective search and social media strategies are employed.  Anything you read past a few years ago is not only old but may harm specific strategies.

I might would rather suggest that if you wish to learn marketing that you will need to step outside of the art world.  Learn what marketing methods you need to apply to your art and then define how you can apply it to your art business.

I see many struggling in the market today.  A lot of changes have taken place and things are more difficult than ever for individuals.  Take the time to learn your art marketing craft well.

Stay up to date on what is taking place with leading companies like Google and algorithm changes to avoid blunders and mistakes that can cost you down the road.