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25 Free Art Tutorials and Online Art Courses for Artists

Getting an online art education doesn’t have to cost you thousands of dollars. Nowadays, there are many free courses and tutorials from universities and other institutions that can be found online.

Here’s a list of 25 educational resources worth exploring:

Art and Technology – The Capilano University of Canada offers this 15-week art history course. The course focuses on the connection between technology and art.

Arts and History – This 16-hour course from The Open University discusses the effect The Enlightenment era has had on the arts.

Art of Color – The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) provides this 15-lecture course that explores the principles of visual design. The Art of Color focuses on the science of color and how it affects visual arts.

Understanding Theatre – This introductory course from Utah State University sets aside roughly 76 hours to understanding and appreciating theatre as an art form.

History of Western Art and Civilization – Connexions, a site devoted to sharing scholarly material, offers this art history course from the Fashion Institute of Technology. The course discusses the history and art of Italy.

Drawing with Lines – Draw Space offers several free tutorials for beginner to advanced artists including this basic drawing class. Drawing with Lines discusses the basics of line drawing and the different forms of lines used.

20th Century Art – This art history course from MIT contains 27 lectures and two papers about modern art. Through this class, art students will cover objects, history, and the context of art after WWII.

Visual Communication Design – This course offered by Carnegie Mellon University explores the visual dynamics of creating technical documents. The course effectively discusses visual hierarchy and grouping.

Introduction to Photography – This introductory MIT course teaches the basics of photography through lecture, video, and hands-on projects. The course covers black and white, digital imaging, camera operation, lighting, and film.

Creating Interactive Multimedia – This 14-week course from the University of Southern Queensland introduces programs, tools, and techniques for creating interactive multimedia.

Art Composition and Perspective in Paintings – This About.com tutorial offers several resources to help students understand and improve painting skills, such as composition and perspective.

Advanced Form – Interactive Art School offers 12 free mini painting tutorials for anyone looking to perfect their technique. This tutorial on Advanced Form uses a 3D generation of the human form to teach light and shadow.

Philosophy & the Arts – This free course from Minnesota State University discusses an interpretation of art through history. The course offers many art form examples.

Introduction to Art History – The University of Utah offers this free online course that explores the changes in interpretation of art through history. Students take an in-depth look at the change in the meanings of art through the ages.

Classic Drama and Theatre – Utah State University’s drama and theatre course analyzes the purpose and function of Roman and Greek drama. The course is presented through a series of slides and book readings.

Starting a Watercolor Painting – Larrysart.com offers several free painting tutorials including this introduction to watercolor painting. The tutorial provides easy tips and tricks to make your first attempt at watercolor successful.

How to Draw People – ArtGraphica provides many free detailed tutorials on technical art and theory. This tutorial is a descriptive discussion of the techniques and tools needed to create a charcoal composition.

Illustrator: Live Trace and Live Paint – This introductory tutorial from Design Mentor Training discusses how to accurately use the live trace and paint tools in Illustrator.

Realistic Clouds – PlanetPhotoshop offers several different video tutorials on the different effects and designs that can be accomplished in Photoshop. This tutorial teaches students how to use Photoshop to create realistic looking clouds.

Color Balancing – This Photoshop tutorial from Tutorialman.com teaches students how to use the color balancing tool effectively.

Effective Text For Web Design – This web design tutorial discusses the key strengths of text over graphics to teach students about basic typography principles.

HTML Tutorials – The HTML tutorials offered by w3school.com are just one of several on-site web design tutorials. This tutorial focuses on the basic, intermediate, and advanced uses of HTML.

Learn To Paint With Acrylics – The first part of this 3-part video tutorial from how-to-draw-and-paint.com teaches the technical application of working with acrylic paint.

Digital Cartography – This 9-part digital cartography tutorial from Art Tutorials Wiki discusses the art of digital line drawing.

Patrick’s Free Art Course – Patrick Lawrence offers a comprehensive art course for free through his blog. The course addresses drawing, painting, and many other art techniques.

The author, Karen Schweitzer, writes about online colleges for OnlineColleges.net.

For some, using a "disciplined approach" to create a visual image may seem like a conflict of nature. After all, the artist is suppose to be guided by inspiration and free-flowing thought, right? What value would a "disciplined approach" have in such an environment? Contrary to that belief, I would argue that a disciplined approach is the basis for realizing (or creating). . . read more

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