As I was researching those posts, I found a few YouTube channels with so much great content that I bookmarked them and (even now) check them regularly for new videos. I get a lot of encouragement, instruction, and inspiration from those channels, so today I’m going to share them with you. Hopefully what inspires me will inspire you too!
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In alphabetical order, here they are. . .
My favorite art channels on YouTube
Animal Art by LAW
Lisa Ann Watkins is the artist behind Animal Art by LAW. She’s a colored pencil artist specializing in wildlife art and pet portraits. Lisa’s style is realism, which is a common style found on YouTube. What makes her unique is her series of “Behind the Studio Doors” videos. In these videos, she visits artists in their studios, lets them tell the story of their artistic journey, and then shows the artist’s studio.
Not only is she opening the door on the struggles and successes of these artists; she shows us how other artists organize their tools and supplies, the equipment they use, and the setting in which they create art. As a dog lover herself, she also makes sure to include the four-legged “studio assistants” of the artists she interviews. :)
Bonny Snowdon’s medium is colored pencil and her specialty is animal portraits, usually either on Clairefontaine Pastelmat or drafting film. Her work is precise and detailed but still retains that particular touch of artistry that even the best photography is hard pressed to duplicate.
Many of her demonstration videos concentrate on very specific topics, such as drawing a dog’s nose or a horse’s eye. She has also addressed choosing reference photos, and the ever-present problem of artistic motivation.
While most of her videos are related to colored pencil and/or portraits in some way, she covers a wide range of topics within that framework. Most of her newer videos are shorter versions of the full-length tutorial videos she does for Patreon. But there are enough older videos to make her channel worth repeat visits, and enough artist’s life videos (usually voiced over time-lapse drawing videos) for a ton inspiration.
Stuart Davies is British artist living in France. He’s an oil painter whose specialty is creating the illusion of detail without actually painting detail. In fact, his breakout video is called The Illusion of Detail, and it was my introduction to the artist and his art. But he also proves that you don’t need the absolute best tools in order to create wonderful art. His painting support of choice is plywood, and his brushes are house-painter’s brushes! What could be more accessible than that?
Most of his videos are real-time with voice over. Davies talks about what he’s doing and why as he paints dramatic clouds and brooding landscapes. Since his videos are often 30 minutes long or longer, there are often periods of stream-of-consciousness monologue covering such things as his college studies, places he’s visited, and the motivation behind his choice of subjects (dramatic skies) as well as his painting methods (which include scraping and wiping, besides using a brush).
He doesn’t post very often, since he also conducts one-on-one classes in his studio in France, and is planning a workshop, also to be held in France. But if you’ve never visited his channel before, there’s plenty of content there that’s fascinating and worth watching.
Draw Paint Repeat
Steve Atkinson is the artist behind the Draw Paint Repeat channel. Steve is a western artist by trade and he works primarily in oil and watercolor, with some sketching on the side. He’s also something of an entertainer. That makes his instructional videos fun as well as informative to watch. His down-to-earth, often tongue-in-cheek attitude is one of the reasons I enjoy his videos.
But he’s also a wonderful artist with a lot of good teaching to share with aspiring painters at all levels. He covers topics such as painting night scenes, adding drama to already dramatic landscapes, painting portraits, and composition, as well as the artist’s life in general. Other topics include digital drawing device reviews, preparing a painting for a live painting event, setting up a field pack for drawing on location, and sketching complex architecture.
There’s so much there it’s impossible to list it all!
Lachri Fine Art
Texas-based artist Lisa Clough’s multi-media channel has long been one of my favorite YouTube art channels and her weekly live streams are what keep me going back. Every Wednesday evening, she works and chats with viewers. Often more chatting than art making, but always encouragement and instruction. Her projects often follow the seasons (she recently painted a jack-o-lantern in acrylics) and are sometimes as basic as addressing the post cards she sends to Patreon followers.
She’s also recently returned to vlogging with topics such as scheduling, copyright issues, pricing art, and dealing with ongoing health issues.
Lisa’s openness about the struggles of being an artist with health concerns is one of the biggest attractions for me. I’m often left thinking that if someone facing her struggles can succeed as an artist, then there’s no reason why other artists can’t do the same!
Andrew Tischler is a transplanted American artist living in New Zealand. He is an oil painter and many of his videos demonstrate his methods for painting portraits, pastorals, mountains, and animals. His video collection also includes such series videos as Sketch Endeavor, which documents his practice of sketching for two hours every day, and the Creative Endeavor, which features interviews with artists from all walks of life and in all disciplines.
He also has produced videos on technical subjects such as how oil paints are made, how to use painting mediums, varnishing oil paintings, and the Golden Ratio and how it changed his paintings.
While Tischler’s paintings are quite advanced, his method of teaching is very down to earth. Even if you’ve never tried oil painting before, you’ll find a wealth of basic information on this channel.
And if you are a more advanced painter, you’ll be inspired to push yourself and your work a little further.
Yushkevich Viktor Nikolaevich is a contemporary Russian realist painter. He paints predominantly landscapes, but also has a selection of surrealist paintings. His videos are time lapse and un-narrated but that’s all right, because his paintings speak for themselves. So much so, that the first one I ever watched, titled Playing the Sun, brought me to tears.
Each video is a combination of “big picture” footage and “up close and personal” footage that shows in detail how he creates effects such as light dancing on water, glistening grass, and foliage. The most amazing thing to me is how haphazard his brush marks look up close, and yet how they form realistic looking landscapes when viewed at a distance.
Whether you’ve got a lot of time to spend getting inspired, or just a few minutes here and there, these are the art channels I’d recommend to ANYONE looking to improve as artists and dig deeper on their artistic journeys. Enjoy! :)