The Best Skillshare Classes for Digital Artists (2021)

Uncovering the hidden gems of Skillshare

Written: 
August 7, 2021
Last Updated: 
September 17, 2021
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Skillshare has plenty of great courses on it, but it's a challenge to dig out exactly what you are looking for from amongst all the options. Hopefully this article simplifies the task, and saves you some time and money.
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I'm a fan of Skillshare - there are many great classes on there, and the $19 per month monthly subscription is a really affordable way to access art instruction.

But I have noticed that Skillshare has a bit of a weak point.

Because Skillshare is a subscription, you feel like you are always on a time limit, and it's so hard to find the best classes on a particular topic.

You type what you want in the search bar, click on the class with the best title, thumbnail and student count and hope that it's a good one.

When you have to pay every month, wouldn't it be much nicer to just have the best classes filtered out for you, so you know that your money and time is going to be spent as well as it could be?

That's why I made this article.

We've watched through the art classes on Skillshare and sorted the gems from the rest, so you can save both time and money, and we've divided the list up into separate categories for you.

You'll notice some of the same teachers popping up over and over - to put it bluntly, there are a few teachers who stand out above the rest in skill-level, teaching ability and production quality.

To sweeten things further, all of the links below will give you a free month of Skillshare Premium, so you can watch the class you are interested in (and probably a few more) without having to pay a cent.


The best Skillshare Classes on:

1. Learning How to Draw

If you're a complete beginner or need some specific parts of your drawing skills brushed up, Skillshare is a really good platform to do it. Skillshare has some excellent teachers with indepth series of classes on all aspects of drawing, and purchasing all of these classes on another platform would get really expensive.

Gabrielle Brickey
Learn to Draw: Daily Practices to Improve Your Drawing Skills

Gabrielle Brickey is one of the most popular artists on Skillshare, and for good reason. She's a skilled artist, a great teacher and her classes have excellent production values.

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For Complete Beginners

This class consists of tried-and-tested exercises designed to help you learn how to draw from observation/life.

The exercises are similar to, and probably based on, those in the book 'Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain' - the basic techniques that help you observe properly, and then draw accurately. As such, this class is best suited to beginners who don't have much drawing experience.

The benefit of watching Gabrielle's class is that you can to see her demonstrate how to do the exercises, something that you obviously wont get with a book.

If you've never been able to draw before, this class should help you unlock the skill!

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Start Drawing: Techniques for Pencil Portraits

Gabrielle continues her instruction of observational drawing from the previous class, using the same skills to create an accurate pencil portrait from a photo.

If her Learn to Draw class helped you improve at drawing, doing this class should help you to develop your accuracy and patience!

by Brent Eviston
The Art and Science of Drawing: Getting Started with Drawing

If we call Gabrielle the queen of Skillshare art classes, then Brent must be the king. He's also a popular teacher on Skillshare for the same reasons as Gabrielle - a great artist, good production values and a natural ability to teach.

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Best Drawing classes on Skillshare

Brent has obviously been trained in art academically, as it comes through in his classes. His technique is impeccable - confident, accurate, efficienct.

Just watching him draw without any commentary would teach you more than many other classes - but his commentary is really useful aswell, so I don't actually recommend muting him!

Brent's Art and Science of Drawing is a 7 part series of tutorials. If you're a beginner at drawing, you'll probably do best by working your way through them in order, starting with the The Art and Science of Drawing: Getting Started with Drawing.

Brent is standout on Skillshare, and he's probably my favorite teacher on the platform.  His courses are actually available elsewhere, such as on Udemy, but it would cost $100+ for all 7 parts even when on sale - Skillshare is probably the most cost-effective way to watch them.

This drawing course doesn't cover the most basic observational drawing ideas that Gabrielle's Learning to Draw class does, so if you really struggle to draw at all, I would watch Gabrielle's class before this.

The following are my favorites from the 7 part series.

Form & Space / 3D Drawing & Perspective
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Brent teaches the basics of perspective, but for still life and smaller objects - unlike most perspective classes, which teach it in the context on landscapes and environments.


Shading Fundamentals / Drawing with Dramatic Light and Shadow
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The basics of form, light and shadows, fundamental knowledge for any artist.

Brent always accompanies his courses with appropriate exercises, and if you do them then expect your ability to render to improve a lot!

Shading Beyond the Basics / Shade Any Subject No Matter How Complex
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Brent's classes also occassionally include some unexpected but memorable moments, such as when he purposely scribbles but still produces a good result, to show how important it is to understand light.

The above teachers and classes are my first recommendations, but if for some reason they don't gel with you or you want more instructors, there are some other classes and teachers that stand out:

by Chris Hong
Level Up your Portrait Drawings!

Chris is another very skilled artist.

She has a good understanding of how to describe a face with simplified light and shadow shapes, and she is able to explain her process and thinking clearly.

She frequently pulls up paintings by old master painters to help make her point, and will break down and explain why they've made the artistic decisions they have, so it's also a good class to help you better study master paintings.

Chris has a really good youtube channel too, so you can verify that she's a badass artist.

by Mark Hill
Drawing Fundamentals: Form Modeling
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This is how you render form.

It's obvious that Mark also has academic training, from the way he almost lovingly renders his study, and I think the result speaks for itself.

He produces a beautiful study in this class, and guides you through the process start to finish.

His instruction and production quality don't quite meet the levels of Brent in my opinion, but he's' a good teacher none-the-less and has many more academic drawing classes on Skillshare, all displaying the same high quality work.

Don't be put off by the low student counts - I think his classes are criminally under-watched, probably because they have unappealing thumbnails (which are really, really important on Skillshare).

by Ethan Nguyen
Drawing Fundamentals 1: Basic Sketching Skills & Drawing Accurately
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Ethan covers the basic exercises required to draw from observation, much like Brent and Gabrielle's beginner classes.

Ethan keeps his videos simple but comprehensive, with plenty of demonstration and examples.

If you've watched some of Gabrielle's Learn to Draw class, or Brent's drawing classes, and for some reason they just don't click with you, I would quickly check out Ethan's classes and see if he explains it in a way that fits you better.

by JW Learning
Art Fundamentals for Beginners - Line, Form and Shading
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Another alternative for beginner drawing content on Skillshare, JW Learning has a lot of highly regarded drawing classes on Skillshare, mostly focusing on Figure Drawing.

In this class, he explains the basic exercises you should complete to get better at drawing with pencil - unfortunately, he doesn't really do much to explain why the exercises are important and how they will help you, but I personally have enough experience in drawing to know that his exercises do work.

Just like Ethan, if Brent and Gabrielle don't work for you, JW Learning might be the solution - and if you do prefer him as a teacher, he'll be able to teach you a lot more about figure drawing and color theory.

The best Skillshare Classes on:

2. Figure drawing

Figure drawing is a primary skill in the journey of becoming abetter artist, and is recommended to most people. Most art is about people, so learning to draw them better is a very worthwhile pursuit and almost universally helpful to artists.

On top of that, the human figure is a challenging and diverse learning experience - getting better at drawing the figure will improve your fundamental understanding of creating art.

If you've read the previous section, you'll recognise many of the following teachers:

by Brent Eviston
Gesture / An Introduction to the Art of Figure Drawing
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Yep, it's Brent again.

What can I say, he's really good!

Best Figure Drawing classes on Skillshare

As with his science of drawing classes, Brent's figure drawing classes are top-of-the-line and in my opinion are the best on Skillshare.

Brent has 4 figure drawing classes on Skillshare, with a total of 21.5 hours of instruction. His first class covers gesture, his second construction, the third shading. The last class goes back to gesture, and shows you how to push the foundation of your figures to be more dynamic and exciting.

I'll be completely honest - the fact that you can access Brent's incredible classes for just $19 a month on Skillshare is amazing. This is, in my opinion, world-class instruction.

by JWLearning
Beginner Figure Drawing Fundamentals - Gesture and Construction
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Most of JW Learnings course library is about figure drawing, and he makes a solid alternative to Brent's classes.

If Brent's classes just aren't working out for you, or if you finish them and feel you'd like to go over the content again from a slightly different perspective, I would try out JW's library of classes.

by Mark Hill
Figure Drawing Basics

Mark Hill's work is slightly reminiscent of Brent's, as are his classes.

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Mark has multiple figure and anatomy classes, that serve well as a comprehensive demonstration of constructing all parts of the body, but to be honest they are not that instructional.

He's a little short on explanation for my taste, but the value in watching his process is still quite high because he is so deliberate, clean and organised while he draws.  

His narration is serviceable, but I just don't his explanations compete with Brent's - still, a great artist and worthy alternative.

by Clayton Barton
Figure Drawing Foundations

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If you are more interested in a comic book aesthetic than the academic one of the above instructors, Clayton Barton's tutorials might interest you more.

Clayton's courses are similar to Marks in that his narration is not as instructive as I'd like, but he's an accomplished comic artist so watching his process and analysing his methods is invaluable for aspiring comic book creators.

He has a few similar classes, so for the comic-book artists out there, Clayton is one to check out.

The best Skillshare Classes on:

3. Anatomy

In addition to figure drawing, you will probably want to study anatomy at the same time - learning the size, shape and mechanics of the skeleton and muscles of the human body. Figure drawing and anatomy each help you understand the other - I would recommend you study both.

Unfortunately, Skillshare has a good selection of classes on figure drawing, but doesn't have much in the way of anatomy lessons.

by Robert Marzullo
Dynamic Anatomy for Artists
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Robert goes in-depth on drawing specific body parts in each of his dynamic anatomy classes, mostly concentrating on specific muscle groups.  

He demonstrates both male and female in most of his classes, with a comic book inspired look, so his work ends up very slightly stylised and idealised.

Has videos on the muscles of the torso, arms, legs, and how to draw eyes, ears, noses, mouths, hair, and much more. There aren't many alternatives to these on Skillshare if you are looking for more videos on breaking down the individual muscles of the body.

by Marco Bucci
Understanding and Painting the Head
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Marco goes deep into analysing the forms and construction of the head.

This class uses various 3d models, photos, a physical sculpture of the head and multiple paintings to produce a very deep breakdown of the skull, muscles, skin and planes of the head.

Marco also critiques some students paintings and points out common mistakes.  In all, it's a well rounded class and it's a shame he hasn't made more anatomy classes like this.

Another teacher with a popular YouTube channel, I would personally consider Marco to be a proven educator and this class confirms it.

by Andrey Samarin
How to draw a Human Skull. Academic Drawing Course
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Another in-depth class, except this one goes in deeper: it covers the human skull only, and is over 5 hours in length!

The skull is so important to drawing portraits and figures, and he breaks every part of it down thoroughly from all angles.

The big drawback of this class, and probably the reason it hasn't had many students, is that Andrey chose to dub the class into English with a text-to-speech voiceover.

Andrey is Russian, so I would assume he originally made the course for a Russian audience, and decided to dub it into English as an afterthought.

In spite of this, I still think this class is incredibly good - Andrey is very accomplished at academic drawing, and I haven't seen any other course go into this level of detail of the skull.

The best Skillshare Classes on:

4. How to Draw Animals

This is a bit of an underserved topic on Skillshare, and perhaps in art tutorials in general. There are acouple of high quality courses that I can recommend though:

by Geoffrey Jacobs
Drawing Animals: From Anatomy to Rendering
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There aren't many animal anatomy classes on Skillshare, so it's lucky that this pair of classes are on Skillshare at all.

Geoffrey first recaps the basic fundamentals of drawing, such as exercises to improve your observational drawing and form drawing, to make sure you are prepared for the bulk of the lesson.

He then goes over the construction and form rendering process of a bunch of different kinds of mammal, from cats to hippos, and also a couple of birds.  He demonstrates each from multiple angles, as well as teaching how to render things like fur and feathers.

Drawing Birds: The Essential Guide
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Geoffrey's second class goes deeper into bird anatomy only.

This second class follows the same format as the first, except for omitting the basic drawing exercises and just going straight into bird anatomy construction.

Hopefully Geoffrey eventually releases courses on other animal groups like reptiles and insects, as it would be a real boon to Skillshare subscribers and animal enthusiasts alike.

The best Skillshare Classes on:

5. Perspective

It's a boring fundamental, but an important one: perspective!

You might be able to get away without studying it for a while, but not understanding the basics of perspective will hold you back in the long term. Putting in the effort to grasp just the basics of 1, 2 and 3 point perspective will help you push your art so much further.

There are plenty of Skillshare classes on perspective, but I've narrowed it down to the following as most recommended:

by Matt Laskowski
Perspective Drawing: Creating Illustrations with Dimension
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This class is a good overview of the most important parts of perspective for the majority of artists.

It covers 1 point, 2 point, 3 point and atmospheric perspective, then tackles some extra core ideas that will come in useful.

If you need an intro to the most important concepts, this class is probably the most concise on Skillshare.

by Robert Marzullo
Drawing a Comic Book Background with One Point Perspective

After you've watched Matt's overview class, you might want to dive deeper into making some art with each of the most common perspective types, and Robert's classes should help you achieve that.

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Robert has made a class each for 1-point, 2-point and 3-point perspective. In each class he does a complicated perspective drawing, mixing interior and exterior environments and thoroughly narrating the process the whole way. His aesthetic is obviously comic book inspired, but the fundamentals he demonstrates are useful to all artists.

Once you've completed his 1-point perspective class, you can move on to Drawing a Scene in 2-Point Perspective and then How to Draw a Background with 3 Point Perspective.

The best Skillshare Classes on:

6. Light

Understanding light is central to properly rendering form in your art, and every artist will need some level of knowledge of these concepts.

If you want to create realistic looking digital art from your imagination, then a thorough understanding of light is absolutely necessary.

by Denis Zilber
Illustrate Color & Light I: Ambient Light
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This is a 3 part series of classes that breaks down everything you need to know about light in digital painting.

I'll be honest though, they aren't exciting classes, and Denis isn't a native English speaker and stumbles over his words. These are not going to win awards for having the highest production values.

But what these classes do succeed in is showing how to use digital tools for accurate, clean results, and they explain the full concept of how to light an imaginative painting thoroughly. No other class on Skillshare covers these concepts as well as Denis does.

If you work your way through these lighting classes, you might then want to follow up by watching this extra class by Denis https://skl.sh/3hy70lx, in which he follows the same lighting process to create a professional quality piece of digital art.

You can probably tell from his class reviews that users are divided in whether to rate this course high or low - I think his content is worth watching, in spite of his difficult narration.

The best Skillshare Classes on:

7. Colour

Learning color theory isn't as appealing and exciting as something like figure drawing, but nevertheless it's an important fundamental of art.

If you have aspirations of becoming a professional artist, a basic knowledge of color theory will be needed, if only to be able to communicate properly with your employer's and peers!

Michelle Tabares
Exploring Color: Color Theory and Application
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This class is only 1 hour long, and makes a good introduction and overview of the general ideas behind color theory, dipping into all the various ideas that comprise it.

If you just want a quick overview of color theory, this is probably your best bet on Skillshare.

JWLearning
Beginner Colour / Color Theory - Introduction to Colour and Harmony

JW Learning has a solid beginner color theory series, that lasts about 4.5 hours in total.

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The first class is an overview of color theory, and explains the basic terms like hue, value, saturation etc.

Jump into the other lessons to go deeper on the individual components of color theory.

The second class is deeper look into value, light and form, and how it plays a role in color theory.

It goes over similar principles as basic drawing classes that teach rendering, but instead from the perspective of painting.

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Because the classes don't strictly  just speak on color theory, but also go into things like value, form, light and composition it helps in learning how color theory relates to the other fundamentals of art.

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There are a few other videos on color theory on Skillshare, but I think JW's series is far and away the best choice.

He goes deeper into the concepts than anyone else does, and the first video serves as a good overview if that's all you need.

The best Skillshare Classes on:

8. Composition

I would personally consider composition to be a more advanced art fundamental than something like perspective or light, but it's extremely important to learn about if you want to make finished pieces of art.

by Robert Joyner
Painters Guide To Design And Composition - All You Need To Know In One Class
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This class goes through each theory and element of composition one by one, with demonstrations.  

Robert's course is very thorough and comprehensive, and he's another skilled artist on Skillshare.

He creates multiple compositions at the end of the class, with a final finished painting that explains why he's made his compositional choices.

This class is actually a great primer for the next class I'm going to recommend:

by Kristy Gordon
Composition in Art
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Kristy is going to appear again in this article later on, but for now we can enjoy her compositional deconstruction of multiple master paintings!

This class has many in-depth explanations and explorations into how the old masters combined the elements and theories of composition to create a well-composed painting.

This one is almost completely theoretical and analysis, there is very little demonstration in this class, but coupled with my previous recommendation by Robert Joyner they should both give you a solid understanding of composition.


The best Skillshare Classes on:

9. Character Design

In order to properly study character design, you really need to have solid understanding of the previous fundamentals like perspective, form, anatomy etc.

At the very least, you should have done some studying of figure drawing as the following classes will not teach you the necessary fundamentals, only the process of designing interesting characters that fill their purpose.

by 'Jazza' Brooks
Character Design: From First Idea to Final Illustration
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Jazza is a great teacher - he's engaging, his class is well-scripted and presented, and he narrates it very well throughout.

One of my favorite Skillshare classes

Jazza walks you through the process he follows in creating characters for a larger project. He does use some funny presentation here and there, but it doesn't distract from quality of instruction.

He covers how each character relates to each other, and creates a consistent world with unique and interesting characters. He makes very deliberate choices that create their personalities and represent their character well.

This is one of the Skillshare classes that has stuck with me the most, which is probably most surprising to myself - I always thought of Jazza as more of a YouTube entertainer than an educator, but honestly his classes have completely changed my mind.

by Melissa Lee
Character Design Crash Course: Dynamic Design in Four Steps
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Melissa is a good artist, and these classes are a good opportunity to watch a full character design process with design iteration and polishing of a final.

Melissa drops insights here and there, but these are not particularly instructive classes, and the narration doesn't hold up that well compared to what Jazza was able to accomplish with his class.

Still, Melissa shows her whole process which is extremely useful for the aspiring character designer to witness.

Character Design Crash Course: Designing Animal Characters
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Similar to the above class, except with animals! It's the same deal, mostly useful as a documentation of the full character design process, and less for the instructional narration.

The best Skillshare Classes on:

10. Illustration

Illustration basically requires that you combine all of the previous skills we've covered in this article, into a single discipline - line, form, figure drawing, perspective, color theory, composition, etc.

Because illustration relies on a combination of so many skills and fundamentals, good illustration classes are a little hard to come by. Usually they are just recorded painting processes with some casual narration over the top.

But Skillshare has few that stand out:

by Patrick Brown
Characters in Motion: Capturing Motion in Illustration
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Patrick is an experienced and high-level professional artist - I think I first came across his work over a decade ago, so finding a couple of classes by him was a nice surprise.

This class covers that leap from studying disconnected art fundamentals like perspective and anatomy in isolation, into creating proper illustrations

It introduces you to some skills you'll likely need to develop to make quality illustrations; namely expressions, dynamic poses and constructing scenes. If you have decent grasp of the basic fundamentals of art and are ready to start crafting some larger pieces of art, this is a great class to prepare you.

Characters in a Scene: Sketch to Digital
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I would follow the previous class with this one, again by Patrick

This class is less about teaching you fundamentals and is more of a narrated painting process of a complicated illustration.

He interjects intermittently, explaining his decisions and dropping useful tips. Mostly though, the real value of this class is for people who haven't ever made a piece of art this complicated, to be able to watch and emulate the process Patrick uses.

by 'Jazza' Brooks
Mastering Illustration: Sketching, Inking & Color Essentials
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Jazz is back already!

Like I said before, he's a good teacher, being energetic, fun and easy to listen to.

There isn't much fundamentals talk in this class either, and Jazza assumes you have a reasonable grasp of things like anatomy and perspective.

Just like Patrick's illustration classes, this is a narrated painting process, in which Jazza has broken down his process into easy to follow steps.

If you think you are ready to try out making a larger piece of art but aren't sure how to pull it off, either this class or Patricks would be a worthwhile watch.

The best Skillshare Classes on:

11. Procreate

With the mass adoption of the iPad as a digital painting tool, and Procreate being its most popular painting app, there was a sudden demand for tutorials - followed by a massive supply!

Already, there are so many Procreate tutorials online that the now difficulty isn't in finding one, it's figuring out which one of the dozens available to watch!

by Brooke Glaser
Intro to Procreate: Illustrating on the iPad
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I think Brooke's is probably the best introduction to Procreate on Skillshare - and judging by the number of students and reviews, other Skillshare users agree.

Brooke goes through all the various tools and functions you'll need to understand to make art in Procreate.  

She's very familiar with the Procreate UI and is proactive in keeping the class up to date with the latest developments of the software.

by Robert Marzullo
Introduction to Procreate on the iPad - Understanding the App
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If Brooke's class doesn't suite you for some reason, then perhaps Robert will fit you a bit better as an alternative.

He goes over much of the same stuff, except his class honestly hasn't been kept up to date like Brooke's has.

Still, I like Robert's style of communication - it personally suits mebetter, so perhaps it will for you too.

The best Skillshare Classes on:

12. Photoshop

The original digital painting software, used by professional and hobbyist digital artists alike for decades!

Out of all the various digital painting software out there, Photoshop probably has the most tutorials on the internet due to it being the entertainment industry's standard software for so long.

Although I'd say that newer software like Procreate and Clip Studio Paint are recently starting to take bites out of Photoshop's market, it's still a really solid and powerful painting software.

Gabrielle Brickey
A Beginner's Guide to Digital Painting in Adobe Photoshop
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Gabrielle shows up in the list again!

Evidently, her many years of Photoshop experience shine through in this class.

She walks viewers through a basic tutorial that covers the process of creating a sketch, colouring, texturing and then tips, tricks and effects to put the finishing touches on the art.

Short and sweet at just 40 mins, this class should cover enough to get you making art in Photoshop.

Melissa DeNobrega
Digital Painting in Photoshop: Create a Stylized Portrait
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Melissa shows the whole painting process of doing a stylized photo-study in Photoshop, though it could be done just as easily in another program.

If you are new to Photoshop, I would recommend you go through Gabrielle's course above first, and then this one - it'll help put into context the various things you were introduced to.

Melissa throws out some good advice and tips, and has a charismatic and friendly demeanor throughout the tutorial.

Damien Mammoliti
Introduction to Photoshop: Digital Painting and Illustration
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To be frank, Damien doesn't really narrate his process in much depth during this course, and skips over some explanation here and there of what he's doing.

But what this class does do well, is show the whole process start-to-finish of creating a fantastic digital still life.

It's worth paying close attention to what he's doing - the brushes he uses and when, when he adds layers and how he organises them. You can learn a lot just by watching the choices he makes.

The best Skillshare Classes on:

13. Clip Studio Paint

A popular alternative to Photoshop, Clip Studio Paint is a relatively new and increasingly popular digital art software - in part because it was designed from the ground up for digital artists, unlike Photoshop which was originally designed for photographers.

There's currently a thin selection of Clip Studio Paint classes on Skillshare, but hopefully with Clip Studio's rising popularity that'll be remedied in time.

by Asia Noble
Introduction to Clip Studio Paint: Absolute Basics for Absolute Beginners
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Asia explains the interface and runs through how to set everything up in Clip Studio Paint.

She points out where the main tools are and how to use them, but doesn't go into any real demonstration or practical exercises.

If you are looking for a painting demonstration I personally don't think the Clip Studio specific classes are your best option - I would instead take a look at the portrait and still life classes above in the Photoshop section as they are both by very skilled artists, and Clip Studio has access to the same tools as Photoshop.

by Brian Jackson
Clip Studio Paint Pro/Ex (Manga Studio 5) Digital Art, Drawing & Painting
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If for some reason you want a full demonstration of how each and every tool in Clip Studio functions in its entirety, this is the class for you!

Brian walks you through an almost 8 hour demo of basically everything Clip Studio can do, so if there is some part of the software that you don't fully understand, this class might be a good place to seek out the explanation.


The best Skillshare Classes on:

14. Krita

Honestly, Krita content is an even thinner selection than Clip Studio Paint's!

It's a shame, because for a free digital painting software, Krita is extremely competitive and you can actually create professional quality art with it.

Still, Skillshare has some good classes to help you get started with Krita:

by Marco Bucci
Getting Started With Digital Painting
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In this class, Marco actually goes through the basics you need to paint not just with Krita, but also with Photoshop and Procreate, and does a painting demo in each.

The Krita-specific parts are about 45 mins of explaining the basics of how to use Krita, and an hour of narrated painting demonstration.   

Marco is a great teacher and this class should give you exactly what you need to get going with Krita.

by Widhi Muttaqien
Digital Painting With Krita : Basic Level
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Widhi is a friendly and professional teacher and obviously quite familiar with Krita.

He explains how the tools and functions work, and walks you through the creation of a quality piece of art step by step.

English is not his first language and his accent (Indonesian, I believe) is a little thick, so there are moments during the class that you may need to watch carefully to follow him - for example, when he says 'edges' it sounds like he is saying 'ages', that sort of thing. Not a big deal, but sometimes it can take a second to realise what he means.

The first half or so of the class is also a little dry with very little demonstration, so be prepared!

Digital Painting With Krita : Intermediate Level
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In this sequel class, Widhi explains the more advanced tools and workflows you have access to in Krita, and how you might use them to push your work to the next level.

Watching both of Widhi's Krita classes are a great way to get completely up to speed with Krita, and learn everything you need to make professional art with this brilliant free software.

The best Skillshare Classes on:

15. Blender

Just like how Krita is an incredible and free 2D digital art software, Blender is a similarly incredible and free 3D digital art software.

Blender has grown leaps and bounds in the last few years, and now can be used to make all kinds of professional 3D work and has indeed been used in many commercial projects.

If you want to become a professional 3D artist, Blender is now a really good choice and there are some classes on Skillshare that should be able to help you get there.

Remington Markham
Your First Day in Blender 3D
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Remington is very good at being concise - this class is only 35 minutes long, but manages to explain the basic UI, tools and workflow in that short time.

You may find you have to look back over some parts again, as he does move quickly.

The class is also brand new, which means he's using a very up-to-date version of Blender that should look exactly the same as the version you are using - this class is a great way to familiarise yourself with Blender in record time.

Blender 3D: Your First 3D Character
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Just like the other class, this one is also very concise and goes over everything you need to know quite efficiently.

That also means it has the same issue in that you might need to rewatch parts to fully understand what Remington has done.

The class also has an active comment section where previous students have explained how they solved issues that they came up against.

Blender 3D: Your First 3D Animation
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To finish off Remington's Blender classes, he's made one on animating a character, a perfect follow-up to making a character in the previous class!

It should teach you what you need to know to start doing some simple animations in Blender.

If you watched the previous classes by Remington, you may find that this class re-treads some common ground like explaining the interface - better to be sure you know what you need to know, than be confused down the road.

by Widhi Muttaqien
Blender 3D essentials
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It's Widhi again - he seems to have found himself a solid niche of teaching how to use free digital art software!

Perhaps his Blender tutorials are newer that his Krita classes, as I personally think they are organised a bit better - but unfortunately, they aren't new enough as Blender has been updated many times since he made these courses, and it's layout is quite different now.

Blender 3D modeling fundamentals
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Still, a lot of the functionality is the same, so if you watched some of Remington's classes above, that should be enough familiarity with Blender to be able to understand and apply what Widhi does in these classes.

Widhi doesn't skip explanations - he always explains exactly what he's doing and why.  He's a thorough teacher, and covers and demonstrates what you need to know to start modelling in blender.

The best Skillshare Classes on:

16. Zbrush

Zbrush sculpting is another topic that Skillshare has a lack of high quality instruction in. Nonetheless, there are a few decent classes to get stuck into.

Nexttut Education
Zbrush 2021 for Absolute Beginners
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This one is an absolute mammoth of a course, at 20 hours!  

The instructor walks you through just about everything you could think of, even how to set up Zbrush for the first time.

Then, he walks through a complete sculpt, step by step! He brings the final render of the finished model into Photoshop at the very end to show you how he polishes it into images for presentation - you get the full a-to-z here.

This is about as comprehensive as you can get, so if you are intrigued by Zbrush, this is the perfect way to learn it in my opinion.

Justin Goby Fields
Digital Concept Art: Designing Creatures | Learn with Wacom
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This class is mostly useful to watch a high level professional do his thing, to be honest.

While Justin is working, there's not that much explanation of why he's doing what he's doing - he's mostly just narrating as he goes along, with some talk about his process and thoughts.

This class wont particularly teach you to use Zbrush, as much as it's an opportunity to witness a professional workflow and results.  

Justin also does some post-processing of his sculpt in Photoshop at the end, which I found interesting to watch.

The best Skillshare Classes on:

17. Animation

Skillshare has a fair amount of Skillshare classes, and many of them even have high production values, but I just didn't feel like many of them actually covered animation fundamentals in much depth.

That's why I picked out the below classes; they have more emphasis on teaching universal animation principles that should be useful no matter what software, or even medium, you are using.

by Johannes Fast
Basics of Hand-Drawn Animation
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Johannes teaches the basics of 2D animation.

He uses Adobe Animate in this class but most of the content is actually discussion of general animation principles, that are not specific to Adobe Animate.  

He covers foundational exercises like animating a bouncing ball, liquid, a fluttering flag, and a walk cycle - all good exercises to practice to improve your knowledge of animation on the whole.

If you are new to animating, I would watch this class to build foundational knowledge, and then the next class by Danni to see how it all comes together and gets put into use by a successful professional.

by Danni Fisher-Shin
Animating in Procreate: Simple Steps to Create Awesome Animations
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Danni is a really fantastic animator; I was honestly quite struck by the quality of her final results.

Since Danni makes this animation on iPad with Procreate, there is some Procreate specific stuff that wont apply to animating in other software. Regardless, most of the class is about her process, explaining her choices and describing ideas that are fundamental to animation regardless of what software you use.

It's honestly pleasing to watch a professional of this quality do her thing, and her friendly demeanor and high production values of the class only make the whole thing even more enjoyable to watch.  

All this combined has made it another of my favorite Skillshare classes.

The best Skillshare Classes on:

18. Watercolor

Skillshare might as well be the kingdom of watercolor tutorials - there are so many on the platform! I spent a long time working through all the various classes, whittling down the options to what I feel are the best choices.

by Bianca Rayala
Learn Watercolor Basics With 5 Minute Paintings
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Despite there being many more popular watercolor teachers and classes on Skillshare, I liked Bianca's watercolor classes the most.

Her introductory class is based on doing a 5-minute watercolor painting a day, for 5 days in a row, and she has full, real-time demonstrations of her own 5 paintings.  Its a fantastic and accessible way to get better at watercolor, every single day.

If you're a watercolor beginner, I think Bianca's 5-minute painting method is a solid way to start and get some confidence.

Learn To Paint Human Figures in Watercolor
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What I most appreciate about Bianca's work and classes is her ability to show off the unique advantages watercolor has over other mediums.

In this class she takes her instruction to the next level, and  shows how she combines accurate brushstrokes with things like spattering and layered transparent washes, to create beautiful images that would only be possible with watercolor.

Throughout it all, she explains what she's doing and why, but still manages to keep her classes clear and concise.

She has 13 watercolor classes on Skillshare in total, from figures to flowers, sunsets to sailboats, and they are all great so I give Bianca my seal of approval!

by Barbara Luel
Drawing Made Easy: Observational Drawing and Watercolor Exercises for Everyone
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Barbara's class is more in depth, and she breaks down her start to finish painting process.

She also includes some additional advanced principles for painting landscapes, like establishing the focal points, dividing the scene into foreground, background and middle, and designing the composition of your painting.

Again she produces a beautiful result that is characteristic of watercolour, and shows off the mediums advantages.

This class might suit someone a bit more familiar with watercolor who wants to push further in skill.

The best Skillshare Classes on:

19. Oil Painting

A medium that is hundreds of years old, but still remains just as relevant as ever, despite our increasingly digital world.

Skillshare has a reasonably small but solid selection of oil painting teachers, each with their own niche:

by Sarah Mckendry
GETTING STARTED WITH OIL PAINTS: AN IN DEPTH GUIDE TO THE ESSENTIALS
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Sarah's introductory class is my favorite on Skillshare - it's a short and sweet class all about getting the right tools and materials you'll need to start painting with oils, and setting up your work space in the correct way

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Follow up the introductory class with one of her painting demonstrations:

Landscape Oil Painting: 'Deepquiet Stillness'

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Landscape Oil Painting: Mountains and Forests and Oceans

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Each of her demonstrations are fairly similar, as Sarah has an established process and artstyle.

Landscape Oil Painting: Misty Forest Scene

I found her classes to feel a little bit like watching Bob Ross; very nice to watch!

All of the classes walk through her painting process, using some varying techniques depending on the subject matter.

Since they are so similar, I advise you just pick the painting you like the most!

by Kristy Gordon
Portrait Painting From A Photo: Underpainting
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Kristy paints her oil portraits at a high skill level.

She's a great teacher, but what her classes do that really go above and beyond many other classes is have student's with her live while she demonstrates, and they ask her question's as she is working and narrating.

It's actually a great touch, because she ends up talking about things that might not otherwise have come up, and some important insights come out of it.

It works so well that I might do a similar thing if and when I release a course of my own.

Portrait Painting from a Photo with a Full Palette
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Kristy does some small painting exercises and explains her thinking nicely. She also explains some of the facial anatomy and construction necessary for good portrait painting.

By the end of the class she produces great results - it's honestly a privilege to watch someone with this much skill work.

She's definitely one of my favorite teachers on Skillshare and I can't recommend all her classes highly enough.

by Sasha Foksynes
Non-Toxic Oil Painting In Layers For Beginners: Create a Fantasy Unicorn Painting
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I would personally attempt Sasha's class only once you are familiar with oil painting.

Her class demonstrates a delicate and difficult process - creating a piece from imagination in oils, which requires quite a different workflow and skillset than when painting from observation.

The first chapters of the class are dedicated to preparation, and there are tips sprinkled throughout to help you maintain your equipment properly.

I do have to say, the class is also really nice just to sit and listen to. Her voice has a soft and relaxing ASMR quality to it.


The best Skillshare Classes on:

20. Gouache

I've noticed that gouache seems to becoming more and more popular, and there are a few artists who I've watched grow an absolutely massive audience on social media after switching to the medium.

Perhaps it's the saturated, bold colours that are perfect for catching attention online.  I don't really know!

If gouache has caught your attention recently just like it has mine, here are some solid beginner classes for you to check out.

by Sarah Burns
GOUACHE Basics - Diluted vs. Thick | Color Mixing | 3 Landscape Demos
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Sarah starts this class by covering the absolute basics of painting with gouache - managing supplies, how to mix colours properly, etc.

Then she launches into a couple of quick demos with some basic explanations of what she's doing and why.

It's a good, concise class just to get into the groove of painting with gouache.

by Malcolm Dewey
Gouache Painting for Beginners (Fine Art)
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Another really good class for beginners, Malcolm includes some deeper instruction than Sarah's basics class.

He goes through more in depth prepping, explains some of the art fundamentals, and demonstrates his process of drawing and painting.

A good companion to Sarah's class, to give you a solid foundation in gouache so you can concentrate on studying the fundamentals of art.

The best Skillshare Classes on:

21. Line, Brushwork and Edges

These are quite niche and advanced topics compared to everything else on the list, but these 3 are fantastic little classes, on topics that are hard to find good teaching on.

If you are an intermediate artist looking for new directions to grow, these short classes might provide some food for thought.

by Kristen D
The Art of LineWork
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At only 11 minutes long, this class is about as short and sweet as they come!

I really think this is an undiscovered gem of a class - containing really great art with concise and applicable advice that no one else on Skillshare is really covering.  

Kristen covers line weight, exaggeration, motion and how to improve, all packed into a short course with very competent artistry.

If you work in lines, this has to be worth 11 minutes of your time!

Stephanie Böhm
Digital Painting: Why Hard and Soft Edges will improve your Artwork
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Another underdiscussed topic that you'll struggle to find covered elsewhere on Skillshare, painting edges!

Edges are sort of like line-weight for painters....sort of. It's more advanced stuff.

During this class, she uses some master paintings to analyse their edges, where the original artist has chosen to use softer edges or harder ones, and why. Then she does some academically-inspired demonstration

It's fairly concise at just under an hour long, but in my opinion edges are one of those things that are quite easy to explain, but a lot more effort to master - it's worth watching a short course like this to help understand the power and importance of deliberately executed edges.

Stephanie is a charismatic teacher and her teaching style is so relaxed and friendly, which makes watching and learning from this class actually fun - this is another class that I took notes from on how to teach properly, for when I decide to create a course.

by Marco Bucci
Digital Brushwork Techniques
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Its Marco again!  I always enjoy his videos, whether on Skillshare or on YouTube, and judging by the number of subscribers he has, I'm not the only one.

I wanted to include this class because brushwork is another underdiscussed topic, and who better than Marco to learn it from.

In this class he explores what brushwork is, why it matters and how it relates to the other elements on art, through studying the paintings of the old masters and doing some demonstrations of his own.

The course is only an hour, but he does recommend checking out specific videos of his on YouTube for further studying.

In the end, it's Marco - he's great at explaining his work and process, and his narration really draws you in.

Conclusion

As you can see, Skillshare has plenty of great courses on it, but it's a challenge to dig out exactly what you are looking for from amongst all the options. Hopefully this article simplifies the task, and saves you some time and money.

Most courses on Skillshare are also available on Udemy as well, so if you do enjoy something you watch on Skillshare and would like to be able to rewatch it whenever you want to, I would check to see if it's available on Udemy.

I should make a point of mentioning, that if a course isn't on this list it doesn't mean I think its a bad class.  

I think Skillshare has an issue of 'choice-overload', with many classes on the same topic and no good way to tell which one is most worth watching. With this article I simply wanted to really trim the choice down to what I personally think are best options, to save you some time and money.

If somehow you got this far without realising, this link will give you a free month of Skillshare Premium so you can watch the classes you are most interested in without having to pay a cent.

Hey, I'm Christopher

I started making digital art in 2009, and became a full-time freelance artist in 2016, able to work on my own schedule from anywhere in the world.

Now, I want to help young artists make the same journey!

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