Editor's Picks

Best online tools for learning how to draw


Kids love drawing and tend to focus on the joy of creation over fretting about their ability to draw a photo-realistic human hand by sight.

As we get older, we often give up on drawing, leaving the creativity to the artists of the world. We come to the conclusion that art skills are something you either have or don’t.

That’s not actually true.

Drawing skills can be learned, at any age, and today, you don’t even have to enroll in your local adult learning center to do so.

Learn to Draw on YouTube

YouTube is the go-to source for learning anything from home improvement tips to putting on makeup. It’s also a great place to learn how to draw for free!

Just like Bob Ross did decades ago, artistic YouTubers walk aspiring creators through video tutorials — and thanks to the power of the internet, you can pause and rewind as needed.

Here are a few channels worth checking out:


Circle Line School

The Circle Line School’s channel is all about teaching you how to draw optical illusions, perspective drawings, and mastering the human face.


Stan Prokopenko is a California-based fine artist who will cover everything you need to know to learn drawing from his free YouTube channel. He goes over everything from what kinds of pencils to buy, how to shade lights and darks, and even draw caricatures of your favorite celebs. Who doesn’t want to draw like Taylor Swift and Obama?

Christopher Hart

If you’re more interested in learning to create your own manga, Christopher Hart’s channel will walk you through the steps to create characters that range from the easy to the more detailed.

Darryl Tank

Okay, this guy is insanely good at pencil drawings that look like photos.

His YouTube tutorials cover slightly more advanced techniques like drawing freckles that don’t look like polka dots or really nailing the texture of a basketball.

He’ll also walk you through things like how to draw a realistic sphere — mastering form and shading, and even provides some tips for left-handed folks so they don’t smear their work.

How to Draw with Matt Busch!

learn to draw online

Okay, we don’t totally love this website, but the art lessons are approachable and ultimately, pretty solid.

Lessons are broken down into 11-step tutorials built around teaching newcomers the fundamentals of drawing.


Udemy Art

Udemy has a ton of drawing classes that range from beginner to master draftsperson.

At the time of writing, most classes are on sale for $9.99 a pop — some down from $199, like this one which comes with eight hours of video lessons and 19 downloadable resources. If you miss the deal, it seems like they run these promotions fairly regularly — so keep checking back if a course seems a bit steep.

Or, there’s this master class specifically for learning how to draw human features or another aimed at teaching people how to draw cartoons. The point is, there are plenty of skills you can learn — straight from behind the computer screen.

Ink Drawing Techniques: Brush, Nib, and Pen Style

skillshare ink drawing course

If you’ve always wanted to learn how to make amazing ink drawings, this online class from illustrator and School of Visual Arts instructor Yuko Shimizu is worth signing up for with Skillshare.

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Shimizu will not only teach you proper inking techniques, but she’ll also walk you through different types of papers, nibs, brushes, and more.

The class is about 90 minutes, broken into 15 mini lessons making it an approachable entry point into the world of pen and ink. It’s perfect for beginners and pros alike.

Artists Network

artists network streaming

Artists Network is a subscription service that allows you to stream 700+ art workshops that cater to artists at every level.

The site has some free content including mini tutorials like this one that walk you through how to draw animals.  The streaming service itself is $16.66 per month.

step by step animal drawing

You can also sign up for digital courses a la carte if you’d like to explore oil pastels or watercolors.

Wrapping up

There’s no shortage of great art content online. We recommend starting with YouTube, it’s free, and there are tons of channels that cater to specific niche skills, as well as just the basics.

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