Figure Drawing with Kids using an online drawing class
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Giving (Free) Online Drawing Classes a Try


Figure Drawing with Kids using an online drawing class

This post contains affiliate links. My kids and I have been trying something new in drawing instruction recently—online drawing classes.

We’re giving Craftsy classes a try and I’ve been surprised at how helpful and inspiring we’ve found them.

Drawing with Kids Around the Table

The classes are meant for adults, not oriented specifically for kids at all (although who knows, maybe they’ll add some classes for children to their line-up down the road), but Maia (almost 9) sat with me to watch a few lessons and try them out. And Daphne (almost 5) joined us at the drawing table as always and, without any instruction, seemed to absorb what we were doing.

Again, I was surprised.

Free Online Drawing Class by Craftsy - Figure Drawing

We’ve been trying out one of their free mini classes—Figure Drawing: An Essential Guide—and haven’t completed the online lessons yet but have seen changes and improvements in all of our drawing already.

Jeans Figure Drawing of a Stuffed Monkey

I’m drawing again after years of not drawing (that’s definitely an improvement!).

Maia Drawing Mr Monkey

Maia is learning specific drawing techniques and her observation skills (which are so important for realistic drawing) are improving. Her confidence and pride are especially wonderful to see. About one of her figure drawings, she said, “This is the best drawing I’ve ever done!”

Figure Drawing with Kids

And Daphne has started drawing more realistically and with more detail just by sitting down at the table and drawing with us. She didn’t watch any of the lessons and we didn’t try to teach her. (Although I did talk to Maia a little about what we had just learned while Daphne was there…)

Watching the Craftsy Drawing Class Lessons

The drawing class is broken down into seven lessons and the lessons themselves are brief (10 to 20 minutes each). A good length for fitting in here and there as we could.

I thought the class was well done—the filming is professional and the steps are outlined thoroughly. There’s a materials list (although we just made do with what we had). The drawing instructor, Patricia Watwood, is a professional artist with an MFA from the New York Academy of Art and a long list of accolades under her belt.

Craftsy first came on my radar about a year ago—I was intrigued but busy and set the idea of online classes aside until recently when Craftsy contacted me about trying out a couple of their classes and sharing the experience on The Artful Parent.

Online Drawing Classes

So Maia and I have been watching a few of the figure drawing lessons and doing the drawing exercises, and also just doing more drawing, period.

For me, it’s been a chance to refresh/relearn drawing techniques and an excuse to actually draw again—something I’ve always enjoyed but was never amazing at.

Maias Figure Drawing

For Maia, it’s been a chance to draw with me, to sit down and do something together, and to learn some concrete drawing skills from a professional—different shading techniques, blocking-in, measuring proportions, etc.

And she’s been drawing a lot more since we started the lessons. They seem to have piqued her interest in drawing, given her something specific to practice, and the confidence to draw more of what she sees.

Online Drawing Classes - Kids Drawing Stuffed Animal

Daphne hasn’t watched a single lesson (so far) but her drawing has improved remarkably. I’m not even really sure why except that she’s doing what we’re doing—slowing down and really observing and drawing what we see. We’re talking about the shapes, the patterns, the colors, and the details while we work and that is bringing them to Daphne’s attention as well. I thought she’d do her own thing at the drawing table, but she’s joined right in.

Daphnes Figure Drawing from a Wood Model

I can’t tell you how much I’m loving this whole experience! And I want to keep doing it.

I have drawing books on my bookshelf—good ones—and I’ve even used them with my kids a bit—but as much as I love books, I think they are far from ideal for learning to do something like drawing.

Watching the online videos was quick and easy and yet we learned so much through watching the teacher demonstrate a drawing technique, listening to her talk about what she was doing, and trying it out ourselves during the lesson and afterward.


Online Drawing Classes - Sharing one with the kids

I never thought that I would turn to online video instruction (I’m not a TV or YouTube person) but I know that I’ll be trying out more of these Craftsy videos for myself and I can tell that Maia will, too, even though they are not children’s videos per se. (And I haven’t even told her yet that there are cooking and sewing and cake decorating classes!)

These online drawing classes are nice because you can watch and learn at your own pace, when and where it’s convenient.

That’s the case with all of the Craftsy classes, of course.

It’s even their guarantee and motto:

Watch classes on your own schedule: wherever, whenever you want.

Drawing with Kids

There are some free mini classes (like the figure drawing class we’ve been taking) and the others seem very reasonably priced.

What do you think? Would you give an online drawing class a try? Or another online instruction class?

If you want to try one of Craftsy’s FREE mini classes, they have 29 of them! Everything from drawing, photography, quilting, and knitting, to cooking the perfect pizza and painting a (real) cake!

I think we’re going to start working our way through the list!

This was a sponsored post; all opinions expressed are my own.


  • Reply
    July 9, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Thanks for sharing. Do you happen to know If you have to sign in or join to view the free classes? Wasn’t sure if its b.c I’m on my phone but all the ones I could see were at a cost…just curious…thanks again for sharing.

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      July 9, 2014 at 10:27 am

      I think you have to set up a Craftsy account to take a class, Katie, including the free classes. But it’s pretty basic — name and email and such. You should be able to see the free classes without setting up an account though. Just click on classes up on the navigation bar and scroll down to “free mini classes.”

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      July 9, 2014 at 10:31 am

      Btw, I don’t seem to be able to see the free classes from my phone either. Just tried. But if you get on from a computer you should be able to see them.

  • Reply
    Almost Unschoolers
    July 9, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    We’ve used books and video game style lessons, but haven’t tried an actual online drawing class – we’ll have to keep that in mind.

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      August 13, 2014 at 2:05 pm

      Video game style lessons? I’m intrigued and would love to hear more!

  • Reply
    Lora @ my blessed life
    July 9, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    I hadn’t thought of trying free online lessons~thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      August 13, 2014 at 2:05 pm

      You’re welcome, Lora!! (I hadn’t thought of it before this either…)

  • Reply
    Kelly A
    July 11, 2014 at 11:41 am

    I did the pet portrait painting on Crafsty and it was great for a beginner. It was not free, but it was on sale for 50% off.

  • Reply
    Maria Clara
    July 20, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Thanks for sharing. I enrolled in the free class, the one on human drawing with Patricia and its very delightful.
    Will you be part of the Crafsty team? I mean, are you an online instructor? Thanks, for your lovely ideas, pictures, and projects.

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      August 13, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      I’m not an online instructor with Craftsy, Maria. I think I have my plate full with The Artful Parent at the moment. :)

  • Reply
    July 23, 2014 at 5:44 am

    I love the Craftsy courses – have learnt a lot of fibre arts stuff there. I currently like the instructional videos from Interweave even better, though, probably because they are not as prescriptive. Both places frequently offer big discounts on videos/ebooks/courses, so it pays to sign up to their newsletters to know when they have a sale on.

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      August 13, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      Thanks for the tip on signing up for the newsletters, Rebecca! I haven’t tried any of their fibre arts classes yet, but would like to. It looks to be one of their strengths.

  • Reply
    Linda Bondgren
    August 16, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    The free art classes are a generous gift to our next generation. My question relates to adult classes.
    My sister is battling stage IV breast cancer which has spread. She is confined to her home for most of the day and sleepless nights. Do you offer any free online classes for the sick and/or disabled?
    Thank you, once again, for all that you are doing.
    Linda Bondgren

  • Reply
    September 6, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    We are on our way over to begin a few of these courses as well. I actually just found craftsy this week–probably through here, but I have a cart full of 4 courses and an arm lengths wish list. I read through the posts about how much your children even got out of them, now i am certain it is something we will do as a family.

  • Reply
    September 16, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Any ideas where I could buy one of the wooden figures, I think my wee one would really benefit. Thanks – From Sunny Scotland x

  • Reply
    Sarah Rubenstein
    August 18, 2018 at 11:24 am

    Thanks so much for this! Perfect information and inspiration :)

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