Have you heard the news? Making art is good for you—especially as you grow older. In a recent report by Mayo Clinic physicians, they suggest that exercising your imagination at least once a week can help your cognitive abilities for years to come. Luckily, that's now easier than ever with online creative classes. New techniques in painting, drawing, photography, and design are at your fingertips in courses that you can take live or at your own pace.
We’re always on the hunt for great classes to try through e-learning sites like Craftsy and CreativeLive. One recent art course that has piqued our interest is called The Texture Toolbox: Acrylic Medium Magic. Many of us are familiar with acrylic paint, but this class shows you how to take pigment further with special additives that improve flow and texture.
If you prefer to be behind the lens, CreativeLive has a class we’re excited about. Called the Creative Photo Challenge, they’ve teamed up with portrait photographer Lindsay Adler in a series of bi-monthly challenges. It’ll help you learn new techniques and inspire you to integrate them into your work. “We’ll send you an email,” they explain, “with a video (about five minutes long) outlining simple steps and ideas for a unique portrait.”
Scroll down to see our picks for this week's online creative classes!
The Outdoor Enthusiast's Guide to Photography & Motion, CreativeLive: Are you an adventurer? Turn your passion into a career with this class.
Color Techniques For Retouching, CreativeLive: Color is a vital part of photography. Learn how to manipulate, change, and control it through Photoshop.
Diving into Photoshop Filters, CreativeLive: Go beyond the “cheap tricks” and learn how to masterfully utilize this digital tool.
Creative Photography Challenge 2017, CreativeLive: Portrait photographer Lindsay Adler will challenge you—every other week—to go beyond your comfort zone.
How to Shoot and Composite Levitating Objects, CreativeLive: Defy gravity (in Photoshop) by learning how to capture an image and then piece it together.
Creating Fantasy Landscapes, CreativeLive: Real life landscapes are just the starting point for the fantastical places we dream of in our head. Using custom brushes and other tools, create magical locales.
Behind the Scenes of a Creative Portrait Shoot, Craftsy: Get a behind-the-scenes look at how striking portraits are created. This course covers gel filters, props, and effects that will set the mood for expressive images.
Photographing Birds in the Wild, Craftsy: With biologist Neil Losin as your guide, take awe-inspiring photos of birds in their natural habitat. Includes gear recommendations and how to adapt your camera settings in different environments.
Food Photography from Plate to Photo, Craftsy: Go beyond pointing and shooting at your plate. Through this course, learn to craft mouthwatering photos of food that highlights its colors and textures.
Cloning, Healing and Removing Distractions in Photoshop, CreativeLive: See how to “remove the distractions” in your photos with helpful retouching tools.
Shooting for Stock Photography, CreativeLive: Want to make money with the photos you love? Learn the world of stock photography, including the kind of images stock agencies want to see.
Art & Design
How to Draw, Craftsy: Whether you never learned the basics of drawing or need a refresher, these engaging lessons will help you realistically depict a variety of subjects.
Designing Monograms, CreativeLive: Monograms are a timeless design and great starting point for a logo. Use your initials to create a monogram for personal or professional use.
Make Things Make Money: The Business of Illustration and Lettering, CreativeLive: Want to turn your love of drawing into a full-time business? See how illustrator Dina Rodriguez found her way and her tips for starting your illustration career.
Graphic Design Fundamentals: Getting Started, CreativeLive: Learn the basic fundamentals of graphic design—the same principles design professionals use every day.
The Texture Toolbox: Acrylic Medium Magic, Craftsy: Acrylic mediums can bring a whole new world toy our paint. Get introduced to the many kinds of mediums and textures through this course.
New Approaches to Mixed Media Materials, Craftsy: Are you familiar with “iron paint” or “flaming foil?” Now you can be through this imaginative and experimental class.
Essential Techniques for Outstanding Paintings, Craftsy: Learning the essentials of painting will help you for years to come. Gain an understanding of brush strokes, color theory, and how to protect your work once it’s done.
Reflections in Acrylic: Depicting Light on Water, Craftsy: Water is one of the most challenging things to paint. Improve your realism by learning how to paint convincing reflections.
Expressive Pages: Journaling the Everyday, Craftsy: Creatively chronicle your every day with mixed media journaling. This course will show you techniques and portable tools for turning blank pages into a platform for expression and reflection.
Altered Books, CreativeLive: Turn old books into a new art form with book boxes.
For many of these classes, you’ll need supplies like the ones listed below. Make sure you’re ready!
- Photoshop CC + Lightroom
- Colorful gel filters for DSLR cameras
- Acrylic paint
- Acrylic mediums
- Paint brushes
- Paint palette