Taking Online Art Classes (and a GIVEAWAY)

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Taking Online Art Classes with My KidsI posted recently about the figure drawing class we were taking with Craftsy and how surprised I was at the inspiration we found through it.

What I didn’t get to include was my daughters’ continued interest in drawing afterwards. Both kids have been drawing more than usual. And more realistically. Maia worked on a detailed self portrait shortly afterward and drew a very expressive dog. Daphne, at four, alternates between her usual stylistic drawing and the more realistic drawing styles she is picking up.

Since then, we’ve started taking another online art class.

This one is Mixed Media Essentials and has us exploring color, design, and texture as we create a triptych: one black and white artwork, one monochromatic, and one full color.

Note: Craftsy is giving away an entry to this class to two Artful Parent readers. To enter, see the details at the end of the post.

Using the Craftsy App on the iPad

I wizened up and got the Craftsy app for my iPad (free) and so we’re able to follow along on the lessons from our kitchen table (which doubles as our family art table).

Maias Artwork

We start and stop it regularly, watching snippets then drawing or painting or doing a texture rubbing then watching a bit more.

As I mentioned before, I had never considered taking a video class like this but it’s really quite convenient (I was about to say “for a busy mom” but aren’t all moms busy?).

We only take in what we have time and energy for then pause the art teacher in mid-sentence to be resumed after lunch or after the park or just whenever we’re ready.

Maia painting her flower

These lessons are meant for adults, but we were able to adapt them for our family just fine. A tween or teen could watch and learn from them on his or her own but with younger ones you’d probably want to consider the class for yourself (even if they watch it with you) and engage the trickle down effect.

Daphne stamping on her mixed media artwork

Here’s how I was able to take the art lesson I wanted to while also including my four- and eight-year-old children:

Tips and suggestions for sharing online art classes with children

  • Watch the potentially more “boring” intro on your own; don’t let that set the tone for your kids’ reaction
  • Use the Craftsy app for portability (a laptop would work as well)
  • Set out materials for the whole family
  • Use the materials you have. Supplement a bit if you like with a trip to the art supply store, but don’t feel like you need to buy everything on the materials list
  • Invite your kids to join you at the table but don’t expect them to necessarily follow the step-by-step instructions of the lesson. Let them use the materials in their own way or do their own version of the techniques presented. There is no right or wrong way to create even if you are following a teacher’s example. The kids will be learning at their own level even if it seems like they are doing something completely different. Depending on age and personality, they may watch parts of the video with you and try to follow along with their art OR they may do their own art altogether.  Whatever the case, they are likely to absorb some of what you’re doing what the video is teaching and incorporate some of the ideas and techniques into their own artwork.
  • Break the class and lessons into mini lessons. Stay flexible and be ready to call it a day (or let the kids wander off while you complete a lesson by yourself).

 

Daphnes Artwork from online class

Craftsy online art classes are convenient, effective, and affordable.

The nice thing about Craftsy is that you can pause a video lesson at any time, head to the playground or go prepare lunch, and resume at your own convenience. We’ve had many mini sessions this way. Sometimes we leave the materials and projects set up all day and just come and go here and there throughout the day.

Monochromatic artwork from Mixed Media Class

The other great thing about using video courses is the visual immediacy. You get a real person teaching and talking and demonstrating techniques right in front of you and encouraging you to try them out. I think this can be much more effective than trying to learn drawing techniques from words and static images in books.

We’ve only tried a couple of the art classes so far (figure drawing and mixed media essentials) but there’s a whole world of crafty classes to explore! Painting wildlife, drawing anime style, cooking Thai food, travel photography, cake sculpting, knitting lace hats, and even “design your own monster”. Some are free mini classes (like the figure drawing class we took last time) and the rest are quite affordable at between $19 and $39 each.

Jeans Art from Mixed Media Class

Can you tell that I’m excited about this? I’ve put off taking the art and craft classes I’ve wanted over and over these past several years because of time, logistics, money, childcare, etc. But with online art classes like these ones at Craftsy, I can bring the classes to me, work them around my family’s schedule, and even include the kids if I want.

Take a Mixed Media Online Art Class with My Kids

Would you consider taking online art classes either by yourself or with your family? What have you been wanting to learn?

Craftsy Class Giveaway

Craftsy Mixed Media Essentials Online Art Class

Craftsy is giving away their Mixed Media Essentials art class (normally $29.99) to two Artful Parent readers. To enter this giveaway, visit this link on Craftsy and join using your email address or Facebook.

If you’re already a Craftsy member, all you have to do is visit the link, click the “sign in” button, and sign in with your Craftsy account. If you’re already logged in to Craftsy, be sure to log out before clicking the link or you won’t see the special sign up/log in screen.

Giveaway open through Wednesday, August 6th to readers everywhere. Craftsy will pick two winners from all the entries.

Click here to enter to win.

Good luck! And be sure to check out the class after you enter…

This post is sponsored by Craftsy; all opinions expressed are my own.



 
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Comments

  1. Heather says

    You’ve got me really interested in trying one of the drawing/art classes! I had heard of Craftsy, but in regards to knitting and crocheting. I’ve definitely wanted to explore drawing and I think that this would be perfect as I feel I learn better when I have someone guiding and “talking” to me, unlike a book. I also like the idea of being able to pause the lesson and continue on later since I have two little boys :]. I think that they would really enjoy the lessons too!

  2. says

    I’m super new to your blog (love love love it!) so I just wanted to say thank you for this post, for the inspiration. The idea of doing some artwork TOGETHER (outside of coloring princesses) with my 4.5yo daughter makes me quite giddy. Definitely something to look into.

    • says

      Welcome, Christina! I’m so glad you like The Artful Parent. And definitely do some art side by side with your daughter! There’s a whole world of creative potential outside of coloring princesses together. :)

  3. sarah says

    Love your website. Great ideas. What are those colored starred mats you are using? They look great for protecting out kitchen table from paint.

  4. says

    Thanks for this wonderful post!! Online art classes are a great way to enhance your artistic skills by enrolling in these classes. Melbourne school of art offers great deals on online art classes, and then proceed through with at: http://www.studyart.com.au/ to know more about online art classes.

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