9 Best Drawing & Illustration Courses Online

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Looking for the best online drawing classes and tutorial courses? Well, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a list of the best online drawing tutorials on the web. We’ve included both free and paid classes for all abilities to give you lots of variety.

Drawing skills – both digital and on paper – are essential for illustrators, and useful in almost any communications field. By being able to draw, illustrators can create beautiful and eye-catching images from scratch. Drawing skills also allow illustrators to perfectly create the desired shapes, emotions and visuals that they are looking to portray in the images that they use for books, websites, posters and much more.

To improve your drawing skills, you don’t need to spend hours at a college or university training to be an artist. Although it is a fiddly skill to develop, there are plenty of online classes and courses that cover everything you need to know and give you the techniques and perspective to level-up your drawing game. Suitable for those of all levels, I have spent the time researching the best online drawing classes out there. If you’re looking to progress your drawing skills, either for an illustration career, or to just to enhance your creative skill set, there will be an online tutorial for you.

 

1. Character Illustration: Drawing Faces, Figures & Clothing (Skillshare)

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Completion time: 59m
  • Cost: 14-day free trial
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 79,191
  • Course rating: N/A 

Suitable for those who have some experience with putting pen to paper, this class is instructed by Gabriel Picolo, who is a well-known Illustrator. It is best suited to those who have some experience with drawing and illustration, but you don’t need to be an illustration expert to take this course!

During this short class, you will learn all of the character illustration essentials. Key lessons that Gabriel takes you through include: exploring movement and poses with figure drawing exercises, drawing the four core expressions, adding color with an eye for contrast and style, and creating a character that exudes personality.

By the end of this tutorial, you should be brimming with ideas for creating your own characters. You will also be able to confidently communicate a story and display emotions and movement with ease – all for less than an hour of your time! You really do have nothing to lose by taking this skill share class!

 

2. Illustration & Inspiration: Keeping a Sketchbook (Skillshare)

  • Level: Beginner
  • Completion time: 32m
  • Cost: 14-day free trial
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 36,072
  • Course rating: N/A

Taught by Leah Goren, an illustrator and surface pattern designer, this Skillshare class is perfect for all levels of illustrators – from complete newbies to experienced drawers. All you need is to bring any materials you love to work with (e.g., pens, watercolors, gouache) and any kind of paper!

During this 30minute class, Leah will inspire you to start a sketchbook that helps you stay creative. Leah’s passion and inspiration shines through in this Skillshare class as she shares her approach and 3 of her go-to prompts for overcoming creative block, namely: drawing a pattern based on an object, drawing from life, and drawing the space around you.

After completing this class, you should have adopted helpful skills to overcome a creative block and will, therefore, always be able to create beautiful illustrations based on drawing patterns, drawing from life and drawing from your space.

 

3. Learning to Draw: Daily Practices to Improve Your Drawing Skills (Skillshare)

  • Level: Beginner
  • Completion time: 1h 24m
  • Cost: 14-day free trial
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 45,630
  • Course rating: N/A

 Have you got the time and dedication to spare to really enhance your drawing skills? This class, which is instructed by Gabrielle Brickey (who is a Skillshare top teacher), will walk you through all the fundamentals to building your drawing skills.

In this class, you’ll learn how to see your subjects as basic shapes, how to place a subject on your paper with simple angles, and how to draw by seeing the negative space. Gabrielle will also share measuring tricks that will help you to accurately draw. You will also go over five project ideas that will help you practice and perfect all the skills taught in the class!

By the end of this class, you should have activated your creative brain! You should feel confident enough to draw accurately and be able to apply the techniques you’ve learnt to a wide range of illustrations.

 

4. Drawing Foundations: Figure (LinkedIn Learning)

  • Level: All levels
  • Completion time: Approx 1-1.5h
  • Cost: $32.99
  • Certification: Yes
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 2,171,55
  • Course rating: N/A

Instructed by Amy Wynne, who is an artist, explorer and creative catalyst, this LinkedIn learning course is suitable for those don’t normally draw but want to learn the foundations of figure drawing. However, it is also an excellent course for experienced artists who are looking to brush up on their human figure drawing skills.

This short course teaches you all the techniques you need for bringing the human form to life on paper. Amy will break down a classical approach to figure drawing into simple steps: capturing gestures and motion, mapping out structure and from, understanding the common “landmarks” of the body, drawing proportionally, and adding volume with shapes and shadows.

Amy uses a professional approach and includes live models to help you brush up on your drawing skills. By the end of this course, you will have all the professional illustration, drawing, digital illustration and figure drawing skills you need to have a successful illustration career!

 

5. The Beginner’s Illustration Masterclass (Udemy)

  • Level: Beginner
  • Completion time: 4h 19m
  • Cost: $15.99
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 24,004
  • Course rating: 5 (out of 189 ratings)

Kristen Palana is a best-selling Udemy Instructor whose goal is to empower ordinary people to do extraordinary things. In this lengthy Udemy class, Kristen wants to inspire those who “can’t draw” to be able to create original and professional-looking digital illustrations.

In this quick and easy class, Kristen will cover all the fundamentals of illustration. You will start with an introduction to the class and an introduction into how to draw on photoshop. You will then dive into looking at the different drawing and painting skills that photoshop has to offer. After this, the class becomes far more hands-on. You will create digital illustrations along with Leah and she will show you different ways to use the techniques as you learn them. After this, the course then goes onto looking at drawing in Adobe Illustrator, and Leah offers 5 simple recipes for beating creative blocks!

By the end of this class, beginners to the world of drawing should be able to create basic illustrations online, on either photoshop or Adobe Illustrator.

 

6. Free Drawing Lessons For Beginners (KlineCreative)

  • Level: Beginner
  • Completion time: Approx 1-2h
  • Cost: Free
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: N/A
  • Course rating: N/A

John Kline is a professional artist who believes that drawing is the core of creating beautiful two-dimensional art works. Kline realized that he needed to use this passion to help others nail the art of drawing so that they can go on to use any other art medium. And what is more… it’s free!

In this art class, you will get 14 free drawing lessons. These free lessons will cover anything from lines to shapes, each expertly taught by John Kline, who is an internationally recognized artist and teacher.

 

7. Illustrator for Non-Illustrators (LinkedIn Learning)

  • Level: Beginner
  • Completion time: Approx 4-5h
  • Cost: $35.00
  • Certification: Yes
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 41,835
  • Course rating: N/A

 

Instructed by Von Glitschka, who is a designer, illustrator, and avid pursuer of all things creative, this LinkedIn learning course covers all the fundamentals of digital drawing on Adobe Illustrator. This course is best suited to those whose illustration skills are somewhat lacking, but they want to add drawing to their toolkit!

Von takes you through everything you need to know to get to grips with drawing. You’ll learn about the different tools available to draw with. After this, you will take a look at the drawing fundamentals, which includes discussions on lines, shapes, light, texture, perspective basics and proportion. The next step is to explore different drawing methods, which includes drawing base color, shading and highlights. After this, you will explore drawing challenges and conclude. At the end of this class, you should feel comfortable producing high-quality digital illustrations!

 

8. The Complete Drawing & Painting Illustration Course (Udemy)

  • Level: Beginner to intermediate
  • Completion time: 12h 13m
  • Cost: $109.99
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 9,271
  • Course rating: 7 (out of 1,202 ratings)

This class is designed for those who are wanting to learn how to draw and are willing to put in a few minutes each day to practice. Taught by Jaysen Batchelor, an illustrator and designer, this class is a bestseller and is not one to be missed!

When completing this tutorial, you will start with the basics. You will get in in-depth understanding of different mediums and how to use each one of them to create beautiful illustrations. After, you will learn how to pick the right supplies for you – Jaysen finds supplies for a range of budgets, from very cheap to very expensive. Next, you’ll begin to create mini illustrations that will start to build your confidence. Once you feel confident creating illustrations, you will be ready to draw and paint full illustrations, Jaysen will cover how to draw eyes, noses, and other features.

This course also consists of quizzes and exercise sheets to enhance your learning! By the time you’ve completed it, you should feel confident with drawing various illustrations.

 

9. Drawing Foundations: Fundamentals (LinkedIn Learning)

  • Level: Beginner
  • Completion time: 5 – 3h
  • Cost: $32.99
  • Certification: Yes
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 139,209
  • Course rating: N/A

Taught by Will Kemp, who is an award-winning professional artist and teacher with his own online art school, this LinkedIn Learning drawing course has been viewed by over 139,209 people.

The course is based on one simple idea: anyone can learn to draw, but success comes down to three things. Those three things are: 1) Shape: by focusing on the shapes of the object, you can view subjects with a whole new outlook and focus: 2) Simplicity: you’ll get better results by concentrating on simple subjects and drawing techniques; and 3) Structure: a structured approach makes drawing easier to master.

In this course, you will learn about all three of these principle in detail through a combination of practical examples (e.g., drawing assignments) and drawing theory. By the end of this course, you will have adopted Will Kemp’s passion and enthusiasm for all things drawing!

 

Conclusion

So, there you have it… the nine-best online drawing tutorials that are suited to those wanting to improve their illustration skills.

There are lots of online options available for you to advance your drawing skills! There are free courses that take less than an hour, and there are more expensive courses that take five hours to complete! Some courses are suitable for those who have never even picked up a pencil to draw before. Whereas other courses are for those who already have an excellent understanding of how to draw various shapes and objects.

The online classes on this list are the best of the best. Each is taught by an experienced and dedicated teacher and they all have lots of satisfied and happy customers.

So, which course you decide take depends on your experience, funds and spare time. Are you a complete illustration newbie? Or have you got years of experience in the creative industry and just want to refresh your knowledge? Do you have a huge amount of money to spend on your skill development? Do you have a lot of spare time, or are you just looking for a quick, but effective, skill top up?

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