Do Online Art Courses Can Help You in Developing Art Skills?

online course

On the way to developing art skills, there are various ways to choose from. One of them is taking courses, both online and offline. The question is, do the online art courses effective for developing our skills? Some of you must be hesitant to take the course for the first time.

I was hesitant to take the course at first too especially since I am mostly self-taught. But there are some advantages to taking classes from professionals in the field. Here are a few things I realized after taking some courses.

1. Tips & Tricks You Might Have Missed

When we take a course, a professional mentor will prepare the material in order and we can just follow it. Unlike when we study by ourselves, sometimes we only get one or two points from various sources. This causes some things to be missed without us realizing it. Maybe it’s not that important, but sometimes there are points that can solve the obstacles we face more effectively.

Professionals must have experienced the same thing so they have their own solutions to overcome it. By taking courses, we can learn from them more quickly than looking for it ourselves from various sources.

2. Careful Planning

Before getting into the core process of an art project, professionals will make a detailed plan. Such as looking for references according to the project theme, trying out the techniques that will be applied, and making various kinds of sketches to find a good composition. They don’t go directly into making it unless it is repetitive. With careful planning, the problems that arise when making the artworks will be fewer. And we will have a more definite end goal when creating artworks. An artwork will not be finished until we ourselves declare that the work is finished. So having a definite endpoint is really helpful.

3. Influences from Other Artists

It’s not uncommon for us to get inspiration and influence from other artists we like while studying. Many previous artists also experienced it. But that doesn’t mean it’s okay to completely plagiarize their work. I think it’s very rare to find work that is truly original and created without the influence of existing works. Some artists will filter these ideas and give their own unique touch to their work.

If we look at an old artwork and then compare it with other artworks that were created at the same time, we will see how the artwork forms branches like tree roots over time. And from there a new artwork is formed which is a combination of various art styles. We may have the same source of inspiration, but the results that come out might be different and form a new art style.

4. Patience Through the Ugly Process

Another thing I realized while taking the course, is that professionals also experience the same thing when creating artworks. Yes, we all go through the ugly process until finally, we can create beautiful and satisfying works. But they remained calm and patient while making the piece because they had been through the same thing over and over again. I remember this every time I feel frustrated in the middle of the creation process. We must be patient in making artworks because all artists experience it.

A beautiful wooden sculpture comes from an ordinary piece of wood then gradually changes its shape when carved by a sculptor. In the middle of the carving process, the shape of the sculpture is not clearly visible. But once the carving is complete and the varnish was applied, a very beautiful work of art is formed. It’s the same in the process of making an illustration. In the middle of the process, there will always be an ‘ugly’ step of the artwork. And we have to be patient while polishing it little by little. Art is not magic.

Nowadays there are many courses that you can take online, like Skillshare, Domestika, or Coursera. And you can enroll it from anywhere, anytime, and for a long time. Here are some tips to consider when taking online courses:

1. Resetting What you Know

First, before starting to learn something new, it’s a good idea to press the ‘reset’ button first to what we already know about the topic. So there is no contradiction between what we will learn and what we already know. If not, there is a possibility that we will be confused and find it difficult to accept the topic, especially when it is different from what we have learned.

When we have finished studying the topic, then we can choose which method is more effective to use in the future. Is it a method we have just learned or an old method we have known? Or even a combination of the two.

2. Finish One Course Before Register a New One

Online course platforms often provide huge discounts that make us tempted to buy the course without thinking because of the pressure of limited time. My advice is to complete the courses you have purchased one by one before buying a new course. If you buy too many courses, you will be confused about completing them and even lower your enthusiasm to learn because there is a feeling of dissatisfaction when you have unfinished things. You can make a wishlist first for the courses you are interested in and sort them according to urgency. After some time, there might be some topics that are not very important and relevant anymore to what you want to learn.

3. Choose Your Favorite Artist

Learning new things will make you more excited if the mentor you choose is your favorite artist. If you know the specifications of the art style that you are interested in, choose a mentor which art style you like. That way you will be more motivated and make the learning process more fun.

4. Read the Course Summary

It’s also a good idea to read the contents of the course summary before deciding to take it. Usually, it’s written in the description what topics will be taught in the course. If you think the summary fits what you want to learn, then make a decision. Sometimes you can also read the students’ reviews and see the final results of other students who have completed the course.

That’s all I can tell about my experience when taking online courses. If you want to know more about how to improve your art skill, you can read my older post. So in conclusion, the final decision is in your own hands. Are you going to use the knowledge you get from the class as it is, or add your own unique spice to the knowledge? People say art is a form of imagination in your mind. The uniqueness of each person is what makes art look interesting. What you want to do with your artwork is up to each of you. I hope this article can help you with your decision.



  1. January 22, 2024 by googletest Reply

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this,
    like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive
    the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is fantastic blog.
    A fantastic read. I will definitely be back.

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