Art Lessons vs Online/Self Taught [Archive] - Artist Forum

: Art Lessons vs Online/Self Taught

08-31-2016, 07:31 AM
Hello people of Artist Forum! :)
I've been drawing and sketching for as long as i can remember myself (i'm 22).For me it is a way to express my feelings and get happy!
Lately i felt that i needed to improve my skills so i tried to make a small research.The choices are two.Either go to an art school (not higher education but lessons for adults) or find tutorials online.
I contacted some art schools nearby and more or less they provide: 3-5 hour lessons once a week, freedom to use the workshop as much as i want and of course answers to all my questions.The price range is 50-85€ (55-95 USD) /month.

Since i have no experiece i would feel better reading about other opinions..
can i develop my skills at the same rate without attending the art school? are there enough trustworthy sources online? will i be able to learn the fundamentals alone?
i think you can get an idea of what i want to find out.If not, please ask!

*I can upload one of my sketches if it helps

Thanks in advance :)

Susan Mulno
08-31-2016, 08:06 AM
Hello, welcome to the forum!

I have asked myself this question and the most honest answer is; How much drive do you have to learn? (I know, that's a question!)

I have decided I need an instructor for the simple reason of my laziness. I can give myself assignments, but that does not mean I will follow through. If I am given assignments by an instructor, I must produce if I wish to keep my lessons going.

For an all too brief time here we were doing art challenges, I loved it! Because I also lack imagination when challenging myself. I think of a project for myself and consider it too challenging I tell myself, "never mind", if someone else raises the challenge I try harder.

Did this help? Or am I rambling?

08-31-2016, 08:27 AM
Welcome Ginko I think susan has a very valid point with the motivation to create, if you don't struggle with motivation you could do free courses online using youtube there are hundreds of video playlists in all mediums on there for you to watch, learn from & get inspired, whats your medium?

Susan maybe we could ask for the art challenges to be bought back I enjoyed them too!!

08-31-2016, 08:57 AM
Susan Mulno
Every opinion is helpful!
It's a great way to drive yourself.My opinion is that without something to drive you off your limits you're stationary, no progress.Honestly, i am afraid of being stationary.Not that much because of motivation issues but because i may not be able to find the ways to teach myself.The art teacher is a "book" with all the advices needed.You just have to ask.On the other hand you have to search for the advices yourself and no one can guarantee that they will be trustworthy.
So, my biggest doubt is the reliability of these sources.
If i had a positive feedback i would definately try it and after a month, judge my results (and reevaluate my decision if needed).
meli Hmm my medium..i can't say i dislike something but i like some more than others.If i had to pick one it would be either charcoal or pencil.

Susan Mulno
08-31-2016, 09:29 AM
An excellent book resource is, "Drawing From the Left Side of Your Brain". It has helped me a lot when I do apply myself.

08-31-2016, 02:34 PM
i have read several discussions about this topic - mainly in the digital area but art is art imho. since internet is common to most of the world knowledge becomes accessible for everyone. the benefits of usually very expensive art schools are barely existant. this is coming from people who went to art school and are succesfull illustrators. while no one will say its bad - 99% of professionals will tell you that you will achieve much better results otherwhise.

basically it comes down to what you want to do. what is your goal? the only benefit from art school is that their schedules will help you create a habbit - its less likely that you will skip a days exercise since you pay money and people expect to see results but really this can also be achieved by participating online communities. make online friends - help each other etc.

if you want to earn money with art you have to put in the hrs like they say - with or without art school. when applying for a job no one cares about which school you visited. ever. if you just want to be a selling artist you either become really good or you put in the effort to make yourself interesting enough so people will acknowledge you - this can also work the way arround - instead of trying to get people looking for your art you can try to look for people you think most likely will buy your art. f.e. you have a knack for painting sailboats - so maybe join sail faires, online communities etc. that sort of things.

here is some links to good reads from "professional" ( or rather acknowledged ) artist :

this is also very well written :

my personal opinion is that as long as its still possible ( it becomes harder every year - with content generating aka waste ppls time to get more.. dont really know how they make money of it but they do ) explore yourself. school will not make it easier. if you want to study art - look for the origin of the word "study" and you will have my answer XD

study (v.)
early 12c., "to strive toward, devote oneself to, cultivate" (translating Latin occupatur), from Old French estudiier "to study, apply oneself, show zeal for; examine" (13c., Modern French étudier), from Medieval Latin studiare, from Latin studium "study, application," originally "eagerness," from studere "to be diligent," from PIE *(s)teu- (1) "to push, stick, knock, beat" (see steep (adj.)). The notion appears to be "pressing forward, thrusting toward," hence "strive after."

08-31-2016, 02:41 PM
oh i forgot to give you an example i link alot because its just that great - drawing fundamentals with daily exercises etc :

09-01-2016, 01:08 AM
Although my way of thinking is more like a comment on Jeremy Cowart's article While business is definitely an important aspect of the freelance/self-employed world I still think art school can be an incredibly eye-opening experience.

A friend from art college and I were talking about how happy we were taking the range of classes we did 20 years ago. We were taught to problem solve in unique and unusual ways, how to discuss your ideas and defend your choices or how to adjust to and make use of constructive criticism.

I truly believe it was one of the most valuable experiences of my life that opened my mind in a way that I just don't think is possible in many other fields. I think it's wise to follow the things you're good at and align yourself with others that are good at the things you're not. Pay each other or trade for what you need and always work on self-improvement and learning on the side. (he's right on target with the economical difficulties though)
thanks to the help from all of you i decided to learn via internet tutorials for 1-2 months.After that i will try to evaluate my progress, ask other people and make a new decision from there!
Thank you all, very very much :)

*i've only read a small part of drawabox but everything seems carefully written and the lessons are on a great level!

09-01-2016, 05:07 AM
Not sure it has to be a choice or that one is better than the other as every opportunity to learn should be taken. If you have an hour to spare and can open this link, this lesson shows the best of both and is very useful and informative...It's watercolour line and wash but the thought process can apply to most mediums. A sensible and talented lady willing to share her experience...

09-01-2016, 06:37 AM
*I can upload one of my sketches if it helps

lets see some :)

09-01-2016, 07:43 AM
These are two of my sketches! (they're anime characters).I had somewhere pastel drawings (among others) with landscapes, animals and a sketchbook full of fiction anime-like characters but i can't find them.

09-03-2016, 06:57 PM
I look at it the same as me practicing the Violin... I self taught, have developed bad habits but only plan on playing recreational. But I am not talented or gifted to just 'pick it up' :(

09-04-2016, 06:39 AM
Disrupto talent is overrated :) it can get you to the top but work is the main ingredient!

09-04-2016, 07:20 AM
Disrupto talent is overrated

This is a great misconception of the last couple of generations.

09-04-2016, 01:09 PM
i would really like to have a more detailed explanation, if possible :)
I have two reasons for asking that.First, curiosity and second, it may be possible that you misunderstood my comment.I'll explain!
Next to the quoted part i wrote "it can get you to the top".Now let's say that a person named A likes basketball.After only some hours of training he had a bad performance on a friendly game.Then A said "i can't become good, i have no talent".
Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.That's the way i meant it.

09-05-2016, 10:16 AM
Disrupto talent is overrated

This is a great misconception of the last couple of generations.
This could certainly use some elaboration @Just.

09-05-2016, 12:35 PM
This is a great misconception of the last couple of generations.

Talent is having a creative imagination, to bring it to fruition takes work and skill which is learned.

P.S. How do you get a quote within a quote? I only ended up with Just's quote and not the quote included in Just's post.

09-05-2016, 12:47 PM
This is a great misconception of the last couple of generations.Talent is having a creative imagination, to bring it to fruition takes work and skill which is learned.

P.S. How do you get a quote within a quote? I only ended up with Just's quote and not the quote included in Just's post.

the power of ctrl-x and ctrl+v ^^ theres lots of small things like that but eventually the admins dont care alot about such minor things. copy the quote into the quote by hand basically.

09-05-2016, 01:17 PM
People are born with talent; the rest is patience and practise to develop skill.

09-05-2016, 01:50 PM
Talent is having a creative imagination, to bring it to fruition takes work and skill which is learned

Talent is so much more than that. We've had this discussion on this site and I don't want to get into it again.

09-06-2016, 07:42 AM
I have three brothers we're all lucky enough to have the drive to paint passed from my father, my younger brother is a tattoo artist, my eldest brother designs wall murals & my other brother is great at technical drawing he does building designs but I don't think we're born with skill I think if we see art growing up it instills in us the drive to express ourselves, some people like my mom say they can't draw even though she's never tried, but I think everyone can learn in the same way anyone can learn an instrument, how good you are depends on how much time you put in...
as for paying for lessons anyone can become a talented artist (even my mom) talent is learned through techniques & practice it's already been said but no one can learn from anyone else how to be a gifted artist, we have to teach ourselves that & no matter how many lessons you pay for to increase your talent it wont teach you to express emotion in your art.
thats what good art is, a true expression of emotion and a way for the artist to release trapped emotions.
talent is overrated & talent is underrated, subjective right? but a piece of art that has emotion can't be denied.

an exercise for anyone, instead of focusing so hard on physical techniques we've all learned (forget them) start a drawing and focus on the emotion your feeling in that moment, anger? sadness? joy?
we can alter our emotional state I do it best with music but it's never just 1 emotion! it's mixed emotions, to have 1 emotion in your painting is like painting in 1 color.
when i look at this red riding hood girl i did I see multiple emotions, there is fear anger shock & I feel like she's judging me & that makes me feel scared & protective, our own art helps us understand our own feelings,aaaaaaaaaah the therapy of art :) g