A Big List of Free Art Lessons on YouTube

It may seem like a dubious honor to belong to a select group that includes some of my favorite creative people: art school dropouts. But while a failed endeavor can be painful, many a dropout learns that the experience is valuable not only because failures can fuel future success, but also because the skills, techniques, and ways of thinking one picks up in the first, “boot camp,” year of art school are widely applicable to every creative endeavor.

My favorite art school class was simply called “Foundations.” As the name implies, it dealt exclusively with basic materials and techniques—for joining, painting, sculpting, building, etc. One learns to think of large, complicated, potentially overwhelming projects of as reducible in some sense to materials and techniques. What am I working with? What is the nature of this material and what are the best ways to shape it? What does it want to become?




These are practical, fundamental questions artists ask themselves, no matter how big or high concept their ideas. These days, the materials are likely to be more virtual than physical, or some creative mixture of the two. Still, similar considerations apply, as well as the basic skills of using color, perspective, shadow, and line effectively. In the free video tutorials here, you can learn many of those skills without attending, or dropping out, of art school. They may not provide a complete arts education, but they offer high quality lessons for artists needing to supplement or refresh their skill sets.

At the top, Ahmed Aldoori explains the color wheel and color palettes in Photoshop. In other videos on his YouTube channel, he gives tips on drawing hands (a particular challenge for every artist), artist anatomy, digital painting, and more. Another channel, Draw with Chris, offers free and premium content for both digital and traditional artists, such as the long video on shading technique above. He also has a popular two part series on life drawing (part 1 - part 2).

For artists and animators interested in “semi realistic, manga, and anime style characters, environments, and concept art,” the Lapuka channel features many free short videos on the basics, such as their short intro to "1,2, and 3 point perspective" above. Other videos teach “Multiplying and scaling in 1 point perspective,” “Cutting in 1 point perspective,” “Drawing with a mouse,” and rendering certain popular anime characters.

All of these tutorials come from a list compiled by Deviantart user DamaiMikaz, who has helpfully divided several dozen YouTube instructional series into categories like “Art Fundamentals,” “Tutorial & How to,” “Digital art software,” “Traditional Art,” and others. Whether you’re an aspiring artist, dabbling amateur, working professional, or an art school dropout picking the craft back up, you’ll find what you need here. Know of any other free video resources not listed in this archive? Let us and our readers know in the comments and we'll add the primo picks to the list.

Below find the list created by DamaiMikaz:

Art fundamentals

People that teach you the fundamentals of art. Anatomy, color, perspective, etc
Ahmed Aldoori
CG Cookie Concept

Tutorial & How to

How to's and tutorials on various subjects
Ahmed Aldoori
Art of Wei
Art Prof

Brushboost
CG Cookie Concept
DRAW with Chris
Draw with Jazza
Drawing Tutorials Online
FZDSCHOOL
Happy D. Artist
Imagine FX
Istebrak
Javi can draw!
Jesus Conde
Kienan Lafferty
LevelUp
My Drawing Tutorials
Proko
Sinix Design
Sycra
The Art of Aaron Blaise
The Drawfee Channel
Tyler Edlin
Will Terrell
Xia Taptara

Digital art software

Channels geared towards creating effects in digital art software
digitalfxcube
PHLEARN
Photoshop Training Channel

Traditional art

Channels doing traditional art
agnescecile
Baylee Jae
Happy D. Artist
James Gurney
Lachri Fine Art
Michael James Smith
Robin Clonts
Sara Tepes
Stanley Artgerm Lau
Super Ani
Zimou Tan

Manga / Anime

Channels geared towards drawing manga/anime style 
markcrilley
Nuei Neko
Sycra
Whyt Manga

Timelapse paintings

Just stare in awe
agnescecile
Alice X. Zhang
Apterus Graphics
Asuka111 Art
Atey Ghailan
axel torvenius
BrotherBaston
Brushboost
Chris Cold
Concept Art Sessions
Daniel Wachter
Draw With Rydi
FZDSCHOOL
Ilya Kuvshinov
Ilya Tyljakov
James Gurney
Jesus Conde
Jordan Grimmer
Kienan Lafferty
Kim-Seang Hong
Kiwa
LevelUp
Lina Sidorova
Nuei Neko
Peixel
saejinoh
Sara Tepes
Scott Robertson
SpoonfishLee
Stanley Artgerm Lau
Super Ani
Xia Taptara
zephyo
Zimou Tan

Critique's & Overpaints

People painting over other people's painting. Great to get insight
Ahmed Aldoori
Art Prof
BORODANTE
CG Cookie Concept
FZDSCHOOL
Istebrak

via Metafilter

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Free Course: An Introduction to the Art of the Italian Renaissance

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness


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