20 Creative Classes That’ll Get You Started on a New Artistic Skill This Year

Artist Painting

Stock Photos from VGstockstudio/Shutterstock
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So, you’ve made your new year's resolutions. Now, you just need to figure out how to accomplish them! If one of your goals is to learn a new creative skill, online classes are an easy way to get started. Sites including CreativeLive, Bluprint, and CreativeBug offer thousands of e-courses that cover a myriad of subjects. Many are beginner-level classes that make it possible to dive into a new artistic field from the comfort of your own home.

With yearly resolutions in mind, we’ve selected 20 classes that offer great introductions to topics in arts, crafts, and photography. They do this in a few ways. Some courses, like Bluprint’s Startup Library: Colored Pencil, assume that you know how to draw but will help you to use a new material—in this case, colored pencils. Other classes, like How to Knit on CreativeBug, will educate you on essential techniques and offer a bigger-picture look at a skill—in this case, knitting. And then you have courses that use what you already know about one subject to introduce you to another. An example of this is CreativeLive’s class called Use Your Photography Skills to Master Videography, which is geared towards photographers who want to learn how to translate what they already know into shooting film.

Check out our list of creative classes below to get started on accomplishing your new year’s resolutions.

Are you ready to crush your 2020 goals? Start learning a new skill by enrolling in beginner art classes online.


Paintbrush on Palette

Stock Photos from Karramba Production/Shutterstock


Painting With Watercolors, Bluprint — If you’ve always wanted to paint with watercolors, now is your chance. Instructor Kateri Ewing helps you navigate the basics by introducing you to the tools you’ll need and essential techniques like color mixing and washes.

Painting With Acrylic, Bluprint — Take the first steps in acrylic painting with artist Nina Weiss. She will guide you through everything, from choosing a palette to color mixing, layering, and more. In addition, you’ll complete step-by-step exercises and projects that will build your skills and increase your confidence with the paint.

Essential Techniques for Outstanding Paintings, Bluprint — This course will expand your knowledge of the basics of acrylic painting. Instructor Patrick Howe will go over brush strokes, the use of acrylic mediums, as well as color blending and theory.

Acrylic Color Mixing Made Easy, Bluprint — Color theory is one of the most important things you’ll learn in art-making. In Acrylic Color Mixing, Carol McIntyre shows how to make a pigment chart that’ll guide all of your hues. Beyond that, you’ll learn techniques for mixing colors and painting with limited palettes.

Get Started Watercoloring: Fresh Florals, Bluprint — Floral fanatics, this class is for you. With the help of Kristy Rice, you’ll learn how to use the watercolor medium to depict pretty flowers.

Paint & Palette Essentials: A Beginner's Guide to Oil Painting, Bluprint — Oil painting has a long place in art history. Continue this rich tradition by learning to use it. Instructor Jay Senetchko will guide you on how to create a still-life painting. Along the way, you’ll learn how to develop light and dark values, create tints and shades, and even incorporate an Impressionist-inspired palette into your work.


Woman Drawing

Stock Photos from Golubovy/Shutterstock


Learn to Draw, Bluprint — This class is ideal if you want to learn how to draw but need guidance on where to start. Artist Patricia Watword demonstrates the skills needed to create realistic and accurate artwork. You’ll have four finished drawings completed by the end of your time in class.

Startup Library: Colored Pencil, Bluprint — Learning to draw with a pencil is one thing, but colored pencils are a whole other challenge. Here, Susan Rubin introduces you to the tools you’ll need, mark-making basics, color theory, and approaches to layering hues.

See Better, Draw Better: Exercises for Beginners, Bluprint — Once you understand the essentials of drawing, you need to practice. Kateri Ewing shares a series of exercises that are geared towards beginners that will help you to see your subjects better and render them in a lifelike way.

Drawing Essentials: Rendering Form, Bluprint — Here’s another opportunity to practice drawing. In this course, instructor Charles Valsechi will build on your foundation of skills. He focuses on sketching three-dimensional forms and will expand your abilities by showing you how to depict light and shadow so that your subjects pop off the page. These techniques will then be applied to the final project—a realistic scene.

Figure Drawing: An Essential Guide, Bluprint — So you’ve learned to draw inanimate objects, but what about people? This class will teach you how to accurately portray a human figure—from simple block-in techniques to rendering form through drawing techniques like hatching.


Person Crocheting

Stock Photos from Zhukovvvlad /Shutterstock


Startup Library: Hand Embroidery, Bluprint — In this course, Kat McTee shares the essential things you need to know when beginning hand embroidery. You’ll start by learning to choose fabrics and floss and then move on to preparing your hoop and eventually practicing 19 stitches. When you’re done, you’ll have a sampler that you can refer to in future projects.

How to Crochet: Essential Skills for Getting Started, CreativeBug — Learn the skills you need to start crocheting your own scarves, blankets, and beyond when you take this class. In addition to the necessary techniques, you’ll understand how to read a beginner pattern so that you can get started working on projects of your choosing.

How to Knit, CreativeBug — This multi-part class will show you how to start (and finish) knitting and troubleshoot some of the issues people have as they work. Like the crochet class, you’ll also get acquainted with reading patterns so you can knit long after it ends.


Online Classes

Stock Photos from Rawpixel.com /Shutterstock

Photography & Video

How to Start a Photography Business, CreativeLive — Want to take your love of photography to the next level? This course will introduce the ins-and-outs of launching a small business centered around snapping pictures. Pye Jirsa, a photographer who is also a certified public accountant, shares a 12-week plan to get your business up and running as well as a way to calculate expenses and more.

Fundamentals of Photography, CreativeLive — Build a strong foundation for your photography classes when you learn the fundamentals from John Greengo. You’ll learn how to use the manual mode of the camera to create an “evocative image” and develop your workflow.

Adobe Photoshop CC: The Complete Guide, CreativeLive — If you’re going to shoot photography, you’ll also need to know post-processing programs like Photoshop. Adobe Photoshop, however, can be a challenge to learn. Instructor Ben Willmore demystifies the program by sharing his straightforward approach to mastering its essential skills.

Posing 101, CreativeLive — Getting your subjects to pose correctly can be a challenge. With the help of fashion and portrait photographer Lindsay Adler, you’ll be introduced to the dos and don’ts of posing for a variety of people, from older folks to wedding parties, and more.

iPhone Filmmaking: From Shoot Through Edit, CreativeLive — You don’t need fancy video equipment to make great films. Your iPhone will do just fine! This course features guidance from Cielo de la Paz, who will share the importance of pre-production and crafting a story. She’ll also give her recommendations for video accessories and apps to use to help you get the best shots.

Use Your Photography Skills to Master Videography, CreativeLive — As a photographer, have you wanted to shift to shooting video? If you love telling compelling stories and have a DSLR camera, you’ve got all you need to capture motion. Photojournalist Jessica Dimmock will help you translate that passion by learning the skills you need to capture compelling video. The subjects covered include creating a storyboard, recording sound, and thinking with the edit in mind.


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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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