How to Get Free Art Lessons and Great Critiques On a Limited Budget

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By Adriana Guidi in Art Business Advice > General Art Advice

Nowadays there are a number of people (me included) who are on a limited budget. They would like to attend art workshops and classes, but just can’t, either because money’s tight or just because they’re busy, have family obligations, etc.

So today I’d like to share with you just a FEW websites that offer inexpensive tutorials, videos and online workshops for artists. (Some of your local art schools like the one in my neighborhood may offer free demos or workshops as well, but more on that in a minute.) For now, here are some great online options instead:

1. WetCanvas.com

WetCanvas is a great website for posting your work and getting serious or gentle critiques from other professionals.

There are sections for every kind of artwork, from charcoal drawings, water-media and oil paintings to sculpture, glass art, calligraphy, sci-fi, digital art, murals, faux finishing and photography (plus many, many more).

Best of all, it’s free. Start by registering with a username and password and you’re off! Post your work along with a question, and you’ll get lots of help with your piece. Or, just have fun checking out all the forums, tools and discussions; there’s a wide variety of stuff on there. It’s great!

2. The Complete Artist

The Complete Artist is another art site where artists can post their work and receive critiques from fellow artists. It’s similar to Facebook in that you can add friends, post your photo and see their profiles, but the similarity ends there. . . the content is strictly about art, plus they have some tutorials and videos from the head of the site: painter, teacher and author Richard Robinson.

This site is free as well, and you start off by registering with a username and password. Make friends, share your work, get feedback, and if you’d like, you can even sign up and get free lessons, tips and techniques from Richard himself in your email inbox.

3. Local arts instituations

The Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art (or LAAFA) is located in Van Nuys, California, and of course, hosts classes that are a bit out of my price range. BUT, there are still some excellent ways to study with them and stay within your budget.

Sign up with a free account at LAAFA and you can start by taking a virtual tour of the actual studios and classrooms. Then, there are some inexpensive online art classes such as drawing the figure that start at $3.99 on and go up from there.

As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, LAAFA also offers some free demos from time to time at their studios. You can get some wonderful instruction from renowned painters and teachers such as Nathan Fowkes, Ignat Ignatov, Sharon Weaver and Sergio Sanchez among others.

In addition, you’ll occasionally find them hosting free workshops—you can sign up and get emails notifying you whenever they come around. All you have to do then is bring your supplies, meet new people and PAINT!

There are (I’m sure) many more sites like the ones I mentioned above, and your own mileage may vary for local art institutions. Check and see what they offer, however; you might find some great free workshops or classes in your area too!

If not, never fear.

Check out the links above, and start interacting online with other artists and professionals. It really is easy to learn, meet new people, AND improve your skills all within your budget.

Good luck, and happy learning!

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