Free Online Drawing Lessons for Kids, Led by Favorite Artists & Illustrators

When I became the Kennedy Cen­ter Edu­ca­tion Artist-in-Res­i­dence, I didn’t real­ize the most impact­ful word in that title would be “Res­i­dence.” —illus­tra­tor Mo Willems

Even as schools regroup and online instruc­tion gath­ers steam, the scram­ble con­tin­ues to keep cooped-up kids engaged and hap­py.

These COVID-19-prompt­ed online draw­ing lessons and activ­i­ties might not hold much appeal for the sin­gle-mind­ed sports nut or the junior Feyn­man who scoffs at the trans­for­ma­tive prop­er­ties of art, but for the art‑y kid, or fans of cer­tain children’s illus­tra­tors, these are an excel­lent diver­sion.

Mo Willems, author of Knuf­fle Bun­ny and the Kennedy Center’s first Edu­ca­tion Artist-in-Res­i­dence, is open­ing his home stu­dio every week­day at 1pm EST for approx­i­mate­ly twen­ty min­utes worth of LUNCHDOODLES. Episode 5, finds him using a fat mark­er to doo­dle a Can­dy­land-ish game board (sans trea­cle).

Once the design is com­plete, he rolls the dice to advance both his piece and that of his home view­er. A 5 lands him on the crowd-pleas­ing direc­tive “fart.” Clear­ly the online instruc­tor enjoys cer­tain lib­er­ties the class­room teacher would be ill-advised to attempt.

Check out the full playlist on the Kennedy Center’s YouTube chan­nel and down­load activ­i­ty pages for each episode here.


If the dai­ly LUNCHDOODLES leaves ‘em want­i­ng more, there’s just enough time for a quick pee and snack break before Lunch Lady’s Jar­rett J. Krosocz­ka takes over with Draw Every­day with JJK, a basic illus­tra­tion les­son every week­day at 2pm EST. These are a bit more nit­ty grit­ty, as JJK, the kid who loved to draw and grew up to be an artist, shares prac­ti­cal tips on pen­cil­ing, ink­ing, and draw­ing faces. Pro tip: resis­tant Star Wars fans will like­ly be hooked by the first episode’s Yoda, a char­ac­ter Krosocz­ka is well versed in as the author and illus­tra­tor of the Star Wars Jedi Acad­e­my series.

Find the com­plete playlist here.

Illus­tra­tor Car­son Ellis eschews video lessons to host a Quar­an­tine Art Club on her Insta­gram page. Her most recent assign­ment is car­tog­ra­phy based chal­lenge, with help­ful tips for cre­at­ing an “impact­ful page turn” for those who wish to share their cre­ations on Insta­gram:

DRAW A MAP: When we think of trea­sure maps, we think of sea mon­sters, islands with palm trees, pirate ships, anthro­po­mor­phic clouds blow­ing gales upon white-capped seas. YOUR map can be of any­where: an enchant­ed wood, a dystopi­an sub­urb, your back­yard, your apart­ment that has nev­er felt so small, all of the above, none of the above. Or your map can be a tra­di­tion­al trea­sure map lead­ing to a pirate’s hoard. It’s total­ly up to you. Three things that you MUST include are: a com­pass rose (very important—look this up if you don’t know what it is), the name of the place you are map­ping, and a red X.

DRAW THE TREASURE: The first part of this assign­ment is to draw a map with a red X to mark the loca­tion of hid­den trea­sure. The sec­ond part of this assign­ment is to draw the trea­sure. I don’t know what the trea­sure is. Only you know what the trea­sure is. Draw it on a sep­a­rate piece of paper from the map.

BONUS POINTS: If you’re going to post this on insta­gram, I rec­om­mend for­mat­ting it with two images. Post the map first, then the trea­sure which the view­er will swipe to see. This will cre­ate what we in the kids book world call AN IMPACTFUL PAGE TURN. That’s the thing that hap­pens when you’re read­ing a pic­ture book and you turn the page to dis­cov­er some­thing fun­ny or sur­pris­ing. It’s kind of hard to explain, but you know a good page turn when you’ve expe­ri­enced one.


Wendy McNaughton, who spe­cial­izes in drawn jour­nal­ism, also likes the Insta­gram plat­form, host­ing a live Draw Togeth­er ses­sion every school day, from 10–10.30 am PST. Her approach is a bit more freeform, with impromp­tu dance par­ties, spe­cial guests, and field trips to the back­yard.

Her How to Watch Draw Togeth­er high­light is a hilar­i­ous crash course in Insta­gram Live, scrawled in mag­ic mark­er by some­one who’s pos­si­bly only now just get­ting a grip on the plat­form. Don’t see it? Maybe it’s the week­end, or “maybe ask a mil­len­ni­al for help?”


And bless E.B. Goodale, an illus­tra­tor, first time author and moth­er of a young son, who hav­ing coun­ter­act­ed the heart­break of a can­celled book tour with a hasti­ly launched week of dai­ly Insta­gram Live Tod­dler Draw­ing Club meet­ings, made the deci­sion to scale back to just Tues­days and Thurs­days:

It was fun doing it every­day but turned out to be a bit too much to han­dle giv­en our family’s new sched­ule. We’re all fig­ur­ing it out, right? I hope you will con­tin­ue to join me in our unchar­tered ter­ri­to­ry next week as we draw to stay sane. Tune in live to make requests or watch it lat­er and fol­low along at home.

(Her How to Draw a Cat tuto­r­i­al, above, was like­ly intend­ed for in-per­son book­store events relat­ing to her just pub­lished Under the Lilacs…)


Our per­son­al favorite is Stick­ies Art School, whose online children’s class­es are led not by mul­ti-dis­ci­pli­nary artist Nina Katchadouri­an, whose Face­book page serves as the online insti­tu­tion’s home, but rather her senior tuxe­do cat, Stick­ies.

Stick­ies, who comes to the gig with an impres­sive com­mand of Eng­lish, honed no doubt by fre­quent appear­ances on Katchadourian’s Insta­gram page, affects a dif­fi­dent air to dole out assign­ments, the lat­est of which is above.

He allows his stu­dents ample time to com­plete their tasksthus far all por­traits of him­self. The next one, to ren­der Stick­ies in a cos­tume of the artist’s choice, is due Wednes­day by 9am, Berlin time.

Stick­ies also offers pos­i­tive feed­back on sub­mit­ted work in delight­ful fol­low up videos, a respon­si­bil­i­ty that Katchadouri­an takes seri­ous­ly:

There have been so many con­ver­sa­tions at NYU Gal­latin where I’m on the fac­ul­ty about online teach­ing, how to do it, how to think of a stu­dio course in this new form, etc, and I think per­haps that crossed over with the desire to cheer up some peo­ple with kids, many of whom are already Stick­ies fans, or so I have been told. 

His child pro­teges are no doubt unaware that Stick­ies looked ready to leave the plan­et sev­er­al weeks ago, a fact whose import will res­onate with many pet own­ers in these dark days:

Maybe a third ele­ment was just being so glad he is still around, that hav­ing him active­ly “out there” feels good and life-affirm­ing at the moment.

Stick­ies Art School is mar­velous fun for adults to audit from afar, via Katchadourian’s pub­lic Face­book posts. If you are a par­ent whose child would like to par­tic­i­pate, send her a friend request and men­tion that you’re doing so on behalf of your child artist.

Search­ing on the hash­tag #art­teach­er­sofin­sta­gram will yield many more resources.

Art of Edu­ca­tion Uni­ver­si­ty has sin­gled out 12 accounts to get you start­ed, as well as lots of help­ful infor­ma­tion for class­room art teach­ers who are fig­ur­ing out how to teach effec­tive­ly online.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Learn to Draw Butts with Just Five Sim­ple Lines

Car­toon­ist Lyn­da Bar­ry Teach­es You How to Draw

How to Draw the Human Face & Head: A Free 3‑Hour Tuto­r­i­al

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine. Giv­en the can­cel­la­tion of every­thing, she’s tak­en to Insta­gram to doc­u­ment her social dis­tance strolls through New York City’s Cen­tral Park, using the hash­tag #queenoftheapeswalk  Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

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Comments (43)
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  • Else says:

    This was so help­ful! Thank you so much!!

  • Bushra Mohammed says:

    Thank you very much for shar­ing this mes­sage may god bless you all.

  • Margaret says:

    Much appre­ci­a­tion for this post! Want­ed to point out that Feyn­man wasn’t scoff­ing at art at all, but point­ing out how sci­en­tif­ic under­stand­ing adds to the pow­er of beau­ty. Please revis­it his quote to get the mes­sage right rather than pro­mote a sci­ence vs. art atti­tude that’s unfor­tu­nate­ly too com­mon! Thanks, a sci­en­tist

  • Yashuma atsumi says:

    Can I please join this online class .is this class free or we must pay for it. I am quite inter­est­ed in draw­ing will you make me as a stu­dent as soon as pos­si­ble

  • Sabarish says:

    My 4 and half years old wants to learn draw­ing and art class­es online. Let me know the pos­si­bil­i­ty of the class with you

  • antika pandey says:

    My 5 year old loves draw­ing.
    Please let me know, the pis­si­bil­i­ty of class with u

  • Judith Owelle says:

    Can I join your free online draw­ing class­es just to cler­i­fy it’s free right how do I join the class­es

  • Ayush Pal says:

    I want to join your class. Can I join it ?

  • M.SAIKIRAN says:

    My name is M.Saikiran In when to draw­ing class in my 7thstd hol­i­days.
    I will draw very well. Myau­ty stop from draw­ing class. From that day.
    I will draw in my home .so please
    Though draw­ing .so please reply

  • Angelina Debbarma says:

    I want to draw­ing

  • Hasitha jangam says:

    Hi sir can I join into the class. .
    But I’m 18 old but I’m inter­est­ed in draw­ings, arts and crafts, designs.

  • Manoj Kumar Patel says:

    Mera nam manoj Kumar Patel hai main 12th class pas hu

  • Madhvi suri says:

    I want online draw­ing class­es for my 8yrs old son.plz send me details for when and how to join the class

  • Rashmi says:

    I would like to enroll my 12 yr old kid to your free online course. How can I do it? Can you pls let me know?
    Thank you.

  • Ghada says:

    My 9 years old son Yousif is a gift­ed boy in draw­ing.. I would to get him a chance to join your online class­es when­ev­er pos­si­ble.

  • Rinta says:

    Hi son Thomas loves draw­ing was hop­ing if u have any free lessons for him . He is 9 years old.thank u.

  • K. Jayashree says:

    My son inter­est­ed in draw­ing class.

  • Tshimologo says:

    Hi I want an online course for me and for the tal­ent I have of draw­ing to learn where I don’t know

  • sajina says:

    my son is 8years.he loves to can he join the online draw­ing class­es

  • Safwan says:

    My son is very inter­est­ed in draw­ing and art stuff!.…. So just text me how can he join online class­es?…

    Thank you!

  • Saraswathi says:

    My 12 yr old broth­er inter­est­ed in draw­ing. We wish to get him to fin­ish some online cours­es in draw­ing. Kind­ly let us know about those cours­es offered for him.

  • Sushmitha says:

    Hiii, My 4 and half years old kid is very inter­est­ed in draw­ing. Can he join the class. If yes, please share me the details of the course.

  • arshiya sharma says:


  • Vasavi says:

    Sir my sis­ter age is 10yrs she was inter­est­ed to join the draw­ing class sir can you tell me free online class or mon­ey

  • Marisol Zamora Maza says:

    Hola soy mama de una pequeña de 10 años, quisiera que ella resi­da clases de dibu­jo y a la vez apren­da el idioma, vivi­mos en Peru y quisiera cur­so por Zoom o otro aplica­ti­vo. Please.

  • Mahak says:

    Please can my child join your free artist draw­ing class­es please sir it is a very good school

  • Vyakhya tripathi says:

    Ya Kaisa Kar­na Hoga please tell me

  • Henry says:

    I like to enquiry the real­is­tic draw­ing class for my son.
    Can you help teach­ing online.


    Hel­lo sir, my daugh­ter loves to draw and col­or , so I want her love for col­ors and draw­ing should con­tin­ue but under good guid­ance. Please let me know about your class­es . My daugh­ter is 5 yr old. Thank you.

  • lateo says:

    hey can i be apart of the draw­ing class?

  • Prativa Dhal says:


    I would like to reg­is­ter my nephew for Draw­ing class, let me know how to do.

  • Jia says:

    My daugh­ter likes to join the class.
    Please let me know the pro­ce­dure.

  • Cozette Sweet says:

    My 10 yr old daugh­ter loves draw­ing when is your next class and what time we need evenings if you have them out week­ends thank you

  • blob says:

    this is a very bad site for me to vis­it

  • T.Pavan Sai says:

    My son 12years old he was inter­est­ed in draw­ing he draw many pic­tures. But he want to more. can you please tell me is it free.
    and how approach

  • Nikhil Kumar m says:

    I What to learn draw­ing in free

  • Sreeja Reddy says:

    Hel­lo my daugh­ter wants to know the draw­ing method s for free class what’s the process. Thank­ing you Vasumathi

  • Thiranyah says:

    Hi i’m vangamah is this free class my child well join this art class my child name is Thi­ranyah she is eleven years old

  • SAMRUDHI says:

    How to join

  • Sejal Panchal says:


    My daugh­ter is 7 years old. She wants to join art class. Can you please share me pro­ce­dure to join.

  • Hazel says:

    Good day
    My 10 year old son would like to learn how to draw. How can I get him enrolled.

  • Eslah Mensah says:

    Am 17 years old and l want to learn about draw­ing tech­niques

  • Prarena says:

    Hel­lo call me

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