Art Tutor is an inexpensive, online, monthly membership site that shows you how to paint flowers, portraits or landscapes, how to mix colors and which materials to use. It has the advantage of providing access to hundreds of teaching videos for students at various levels of ability and achievement. You may opt out of the membership for any reason.
It is rather different to the art e-books and DVDs that I have reviewed to date, partly because there is such a tiny ‘up-front’ cost and also because there is a huge choice of artists (about 40 as I write) from whom to learn. Find a few artists whose style and approach you like – and off you go!
If you are a fast learner and have a block of time to devote to watching the videos then practising the exercises, you could achieve a lot in a short time. But most people will only have some evenings and weekends spare and should be able to make steady progress, which is probably the best learning experience, anyway.
Compared with other courses,
there is little written material or references provided, so, if you
like working from written notes, you may need to make your own.
The Art Tutor teachers all appear to be from the UK. If you want to learn how to paint landscapes, be aware that their demonstrations will probably use more subtle, less dramatic colours and treatment as those artists respond to a softer light than we, in Australia, for example, experience.
One thing that bothers me is that some tutors work directly from photographs, in fact they copy a photo. So if I were doing any of the courses I would choose tutors who worked directly from a sitter, if they were painting a portrait, or from a still life arrangement, and so on.
Of course, I understand that the business of making videos requires a very controlled environment. In the case of landscape oil painting lessons, for example, I would prefer to see artists work from their own sketches, colour notes and tonal references - as well as from photos, if they need them for accuracy.
But that is just my preference, with which you are welcome to disagree! But do 'have a go' at your own subject once you have replicated the set exercise. And if you want to learn how to draw a rose like the beautiful one on the right of this page, get ready to pick your own!
you are unsure about whether this is for you, there are a number of
free art lessons available to help you to make up your mind. Check out a
few now –
Here’s one about using acrylics, about drawing (the basis for all art endeavours), painting with oils and some about using watercolour.
There are also free e-books just for the asking once you join!
Here's an example of a fun watercolour video - you'll learn heaps too!
If you decide to enrol with Art Tutor you will be offered the choice of following well structured courses in a range of mediums. The lessons are graded as being easy, of medium difficulty or advanced (hard). It’s up to you where you start, but ‘easy’ would be a good place, in my opinion, unless you are looking for more advanced tips and techniques right away.
A distinct advantage of this course over e-books is that the website develops a sense of community through forums, where you may interact with other students and tutors as well as use their exhibition space - so you can get feedback and show off your progress in an encouraging environment!
A selection of video lessons - ready to be released soon!