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Unleash Your Inner Artist With These Painting Tutorials

Unleash Your Inner Artist With These Painting Tutorials

Doing something creative can be an instant mood booster, and with social distancing still in place, it’s important to find fun activities you can do from home. Painting is a great way to get in touch with your artistic side, and YouTube is crawling with expert vids to get your creative juices flowing. Here are four of our fave painting how-tos.

While there is such a thing as natural born talent, some skills are teachable. Anyone can position two eyes symmetrically on a face by doing that little grid thing across an oval sketch. It just takes a good teacher and, say, a government-imposed stay-at-home order, to boost our skills.

Right now we’re seeing a growing trend of free educational courses being offered from otherwise costly online services, like Nikon’s online photography classes and a host of free dog training series. But these things require pretty expensive accessories, wheras drawing requires only a pencil and a stable hand (you don’t even need a stable mind!).

So while you’re cooped up inside actively looking for ways to waste your time, don’t waste your time. These are the very best drawing classes being offered for free online right now.

1. Watercolor Pineapple (Inner Artist With These Painting Tutorials #1)


This tutorial is quick and simple! Your grade-school art classes will come flowing back to memory when you use watercolors again. Bonus: pineapples are so on-trend.

2. Acrylic Sunflower (Inner Artist With These Painting Tutorials #2)


If you want a little more of a challenge, this tutorial is longer and more advanced. It should still be doable because the video will take you step-by-step. Plus, the sunflower will look fab in your room!

3. Watercolor Bird (Inner Artist With These Painting Tutorials #3)


For a major spring mood, take on this painted bird tutorial. Getting the feathers just right is a challenge we know you can ace!

4. Acrylic Sunrise Scene (Inner Artist With These Painting Tutorials #4)


Want to go all out? Try this tutorial! Landscapes can be really relaxing to paint, and this one will get you in the mood for summer.

5. Kline Creative for Beginners (Inner Artist With These Painting Tutorials #5)

kline creative

OK, here’s another less-than-perfect website with a lot of great material tucked into hyperlinks. These lessons are designed by Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts graduate John C. Kline, who now draws professionally. There are 14 lessons available, aptly named “Drawing Lesson [number],” as well as a series of “speed drawing” videos (e.g. speed draw a werewolf, or a face with charcoal). Each class is a video tutorials with voiceover and practical examples to follow.

6. Rapid Fire Art (Inner Artist With These Painting Tutorials #6)

rapid art

Rapid Fire Art is just what it sounds like, but not in the sense that it takes you from drawing a square to shading in the Sistine Chapel in a matter of minutes; The instructor, an experienced artist named Darlene, describes her videos as “a series of fun and easy tutorials which will develop your drawing skills quickly.” The lessons are broken to give you brief and structured videos that are part of a larger lesson plan. There are two to three lessons in each of the five levels, which are titled “the building blocks of art,” “the devil’s in the details,” “techniques to step up your game,” “how to shade realistic textures” and “wrapping it up.”

7. Schaefer Art (Inner Artist With These Painting Tutorials #7)

schaefer art

I find a lot of comfort in YouTube lessons because the format is familiar to the millennial eye, and the videos tend to be higher quality. SchaeferArt is no exception–This YouTube playlist has 28 videos covering topics like proportions, how to find your drawing style, and how to draw a portrait sketch. I like this playlist the most of all the ones I perused because it has videos like “Start Drawing, Stop Overthinking” and “Dealing with Disappointment in Your Art.” It’s the perfect series for a sadboi wanna-be artist. Heads up, these videos are mainly for graphite, charcoal, and White Charcoal (which is easier to use than it sounds!).

8. Udemy (Inner Artist With These Painting Tutorials #8)


The online educational platform offers classes on pretty much anything (you can save your marriage for like $12), but the arts are one of the main categories where Udemy really shines. 221 results come up for a “drawing, free” search on the homepage. There are sketch classes like Cartoon Drawing: For The Absolute Beginner, How to Draw a Basic Face, and Figure Drawing from Life, as well as digital offerings for those who do not own a pencil, such as my pathetic news writer self. Some of the best courses, like the Ultimate Drawing Course, are still going to cost you, but that the prices have dropped substantially for a flash sale running from April 15 to April 16.

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9. Jerry’s Artarama Drawing Lessons (Inner Artist With These Painting Tutorials #9)


OK, bear with me–I know this website looks like the Sears website circa 2002, but it’s my personal top choice for free drawing classes online. These lessons are taught by professional artists with degrees to prove it, and the topics are wide-ranging; Instead of focusing on the basics of sketching a face, the website offers quick classes in anatomy, animals, landscapes, and collage. And one huge benefit of taking lessons from Jerry’s Artamama, a discount art supplies company, is that the platform curates necessary materials for each video and prompts you to “add to cart.” Normally I’d find this annoying, but in times of social distancing I’m thankful for any and all delivery opportunities.

Bob Ross is a household name in the “Artists from the 70s on PBS” club, and an icon for his interesting dialogue and simplification of the art of painting. Watching Bob Ross painting tutorials can be entertaining, but if you’re looking for an even greater painting adventure, invite your friends over, and host the party of the century. The perfect Bob Ross painting party can be accomplished a few easy steps:

Collect the proper materials

art supplies

The first things you will need to host your party are canvases. Make sure you have enough canvases for each person attending your party. Then, you will need paint brushes. You can purchase a variety pack of paint brushes from your local craft store, or from Meijer’s. Similarly, buy a pack of palate knives as well, as Bob also uses these tools quite frequently. Don’t forget to secure paint. Bob uses oil paints, so the best results will come from using oil paints. A small amount of oil paint goes a very long way, so a sampling set of oil paints will be more than sufficient. If you choose to work with oil paints, you will also need paint thinner to clean your brushes.Finally, make sure you have a tarp to cover work spaces, or a safe place to paint.

Choose a painting tutorial to follow


With 31 seasons of painting tutorials, choosing the perfect one to follow may be intimidating. Whichever tutorial you decide to conquer will work, however if you need a little help with this step, “Grey Mountains” is a great place to start.

Attempt to follow the tutorial with your friends


If you would like, you can hook the computer up to a TV so the tutorial is easier to see in a larger group of people. Have someone man the controls so they can pause and rewind the video as frequently as needed. Everyone’s painting will look different, and that is perfectly normal, so don’t worry about perfection. As Bob says, it’s your world, and the trees, rocks, and mountains are all just living in it. After painting has concluded, set aside a place for the paintings to dry. If you chose to use oil paints, they may take up to two weeks to dry, and then you can return them to their respective artist.

Which of these paintings do you want to try? Tell us in the comments!

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