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 1part 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

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The MoMA Teach­es You How to Paint Like Pol­lock, Rothko, de Koon­ing & Oth­er Abstract Painters: Free Course Begins on May 22

Bri­an Eno on Why Do We Make Art & What’s It Good For?: Down­load His 2015 John Peel Lec­ture

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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