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The Only 2 Websites You Need To Master Art

That’s right. I said it. I know the two best websites in existence for teaching art to the masses.

And no, as much as I’d like to say you’re looking at the best website in the history of webdom, that just ain’t the case. YET. <ominous music plays while I stare into the distance and ever-so-slowly raise my eyebrow as high as physically possible, all while basking in the palpable awkwardness>

Well then…

Image courtesy of https://www.memesmonkey.com

So back to the actual point. It’s a big statement to posture that I, with all of my internet and artistic glory, have been savvy enough to find THE holy grails for how to gain some real knowledge on the subject of art online. It’s like saying I found the Heart of The Ocean, not once, but twice. If I were you, I’d be making the pssccchhhhttttt noise with the obligatory eye roll too.

But it’s true. I’ve found the holy grails. For that, I get to toot my own horn (toot! toot!). All toots aside, the fact is every true ounce of credit goes to the artists and creators of these two sites.

What perhaps makes this already big statement even b i g g e r, is the lack of qualifiers behind the ‘best sites’ acknowledgment. These sites are for everyone: beginners, skilled artists, painters, sketchers, anatomical drawers, oil painters, or any other niche you can throw out there.

So what’s the catch?

Absolutely nothing besides some wholesome learning by two talented guys.

Among hundreds of free lessons, they do have enriched courses and materials that (gasp!) you have to pay for. And to be fair, you should.

My PSA:

Art school costs a lot of money that most of us don’t have. The price these guys charge is less than a week’s worth of daycare for a single mother with one child in South Carolina, including government assistance deductions. It’s a heavy statement, but marinate on that a second. You can get a real art education without drowning in student debt (or more student debt) or wondering where the hell your money just went. You get every single cent’s worth, ten-fold.

Even if you’re a hobbyist, doing the paid courses is worth the time saved from seeking out alternatives and the possible protection of your sanity. Especially for those who aren’t keen on where to find such sites.

Comparatively, these guys’ sites make mine look like this backdrop picture, which I happened to draw on the first day I decided to learn. Take it from someone who barley knows a fart’s whistle about what they’ve spent years figuring out (things like building a site, conveying visual information through text, filming oneself from a flattering angle, remembering to take photos of every new line in a sketch, practicing your own skills, developing new ideas, getting people to like you, learning to code, suddenly becoming an author or actress, constantly creating content when all you want to do is create art, creating the art your content is about, social media marketing, analyzing audience trends, MailChimp, WooCommerce, AMP settings, meta tags…. have I lost you yet?)

ALL OF THIS IS DONE WITH THE HOPE THAT SOMEONE WILL APPRECIATE YOUR EFFORT ENOUGH TO SPEND A COUPLE DOLLARS OR EVEN READ YOUR WHOLE POST… it’s A LOT.

Ahem…Not that any of that applies to me (or to these guys – neither expressed that to me but it sometimes needs saying how much work goes into these things)….

BUT for the years of selfless dedication these artists give to us, make sure to support them. We can talk about my caviar dreams another time.

Why These Artists Take the Cake…

I have spent countless hours chasing down the best available online resources to teach me to art. Among hundreds seen, I’ve come across many decent sites that have a good tutorial or two and cover a lot of topics. I’ve also seen ones that left me feeling less able and more confused than I did before I clicked on their site.

Even the decent ones often don’t speak in a direct manner with full ideas. There’s so much fluff padding the lesson that it’s easy to get lost or bored.

Art started making sense when I found these two websites. I have learned more from them than all other sources combined. Neither of these artists incentivized me to say this. As a matter of fact, I asked them if they’d mind me writing about them. Both, as you can see, were kind enough to let me feature their work. Let’s hope I don’t embarrass them!

It Can’t Go Unsaid: They’re Yen and Yang

What’s almost crazy to me is that they couldn’t be more different yet weirdly complimentary. From personality to teaching styles and emphasized material types, they’re polar opposites. One has a wealth of concise blog articles, the other a mountain of video lessons with full notes included. One leans heavily toward paint, the other toward drawing. One has a consistent, business-professional tone, the other a humorous, sarcastic approach. What they do have in common is a perfect balance of information and instruction, give and pull. I have to wonder if they’ve ever come across each other and had the same thought…

*****These are not listed in any meaningful order. They both are equally phenomenal, so I will explain them based on who I found first.*****


Dan Scott

The Mr. Miyagi of Painting

The Website:

https://drawpaintacademy.com

“ There is a reason why so many aspiring artists get stuck at the hobby level. Passion is usually not the problem… The problem is they are trying to learn using a hope strategy; that is, they create painting after painting and hope they will learn something new… Painting is much more enjoyable when you understand it.”

Dan Scott

Dan’s website was the very first one I found that didn’t just show me ideas but taught me the fundamentals of painting and principles behind it. His straight-forward approach and method of breaking down information is top notch and could make up the lesson plan for art teachers worldwide.

Mr. Miyagi is, to me, a fitting nickname for him because he’s quite calm, methodical, but wise like a sensei. He’ll tell you not only how to mix that vivid orange, but to mix green without getting it all muddy (which we all know is so often the case).

His website offers so much in terms of variety for content: master artists’ painting analyses, specific tutorials geared mainly at different aspects found commonly in landscape paintings, color theory tutelage, how to apply techniques such as simplification and framing to your artwork, and tips on how to market your work (if that’s your thing). Believe it or not, I haven’t even chipped the surface of the topics his site will teach you about.

What Makes Dan’s Site Stand Out:

  • I have to reemphasize the way he explains things. He gives the why as well as the how in terms that just flow and are really easy to follow.
  • His archive has hundreds of posts covering everything from color theory and mixing, the theory or building blocks needed to create incredible art, targeted tutorials and breakdowns of the world’s most revered paintings.
  • He does most of this for free. Because he has to pay to live like the rest of us (I think I might of touched on that bit), he does have some low-cost advanced materials including 2 ebooks that compile some of his best lessons as well as new insights; 2 master classes that each have hours of video lessons, tons of worksheets, printable resources and interactive communications; and lastly a massive library of photos you can use for reference and never have to worry about copyright infringement. One of the two master classes is currently full but this alone is a testament to how good he is as a teacher. Find all of these at https://drawpaintacademy.com/art-courses/.
  • Dan works with pretty much every medium. Whether you paint with oils, acrylics or are a sketch artist, there is a wealth of info for you. I will say, though, that his strength and the majority of his posts center on painting.
  • He doesn’t hesitate to draw examples from the best painters history can show us. While Claude Monet is his obvious and admitted favorite, the range of works he pulls, critiques and uses to demonstrate different techniques is staggering.

Some of my favorite Dan Scott articles:


Stan Prokopenko

The Chuck Norris of Drawing

The Website:

https://proko.com

Oh, Stan. I call him the Chuck Norris because I could easily see him sharpening a pencil and daring, almost hoping, it’ll have the balls to break.

He can make you laugh, question your work and remember what he taught you in one 5-minute video. He has no filter, often includes bloopers from his videos and is incredibly generous in the amount of lessons he does for free.

I feel it’s safe to say he loves to draw more than to paint, but drawing is such a vast area, he’s never lacking for content. His lessons cover the fundamentals of drawing, figure drawing, anatomical drawing, caricature drawing and more. Did you know the little hump where the corner of your closed mouth meets your face is called a bean? Thanks to Stan, now you do. And he has entire lessons on those tiny little details that make a drawing a realistic work of art or a work that has something lacking. It’s incredible.

Whether you learn best by video, text or graphics, Stan’s got you covered. Nearly all of his lessons are on video and are accompanied by a text transcript. He even features podcasts to answer your questions and talk about the most burning topics for artists of all levels.

What Make’s Stan’s Site Stand Out

  • The humorous, even smart as, way he teaches. I’ve written this bullet a hundred times and always feel like it comes off an an insult, but it’s really the opposite. You’ll agree after digging into his videos.
  • He has a ringer of a secret weapon in his co-host of the Draftsman Series podcasts: legendary Artist and teacher, Marshall Vandruff. Just to give an idea of Marshall’s resume, one of his first jobs was doing concept art for Disney. Yes, THAT Disney. He completely crapped the bed, which is just one of the amazing stories you get to hear about. More shocking perhaps is that Stan gives him hell about it, all straight to his face and all from the best intentions. The banter between the two is hilarious. Not to mention, one minute of their insight is worth its weight in gold. Stan’s not afraid to make fun of himself, or anyone else for that matter. During this series podcast, he and Marshall talk about the infamous Disney faux pas and their other biggest mistakes. Marshall comes armed with loads of mistakes. In full Chuck Norris fashion, Stan had only two. The man is confident, but to put it plainly: he has every right to be. And there’s still a whole lot in that episode I didn’t give away – I promise!
  • Just because he’s sarcastic, self-assured and a bit goofy, don’t think for a second he’s not incredibly self-aware or generous with his time.Scroll through his library of free lessons, podcasts, and model poses to see what I’m talking about. Go ahead. I’ll wait, because it’ll take you a while.
  • He typically offers a 7-day free trial to his Master Classes, but because of COVID, he’s upped the ante and is offering a 30-day free trial and 20% discount on all of his courses with promo code ‘STAYIN’. He even offers discounts for package deals. I can’t fill in all of what they cover here because it’d take up my whole post, but I will say one of the coolest perks about the master classes is he personally gives in-depth critiques to improve your art. So GO SEE FOR YOURSELF! These courses have been lauded as the most thorough, well-presented and all-around best online drawing courses in existence today. That’s a huge statement, but one that master artists such as Vandruff have voiced time and time again.
  • He’s constantly thinking of new ways to improve the website, to feature new artists, to give YOU (the viewer) more. You can often catch him thinking out loud in his videos of ideas to start working on. The guy is the definition of a creative.
  • Last but not least, you can download Skelly, an app created by Proko (Stan) and his genius tech friends that allows you to pose the human skeleton in pretty much any way imaginable. You can also change where your light source is, save favorite poses and cover the bones with a basic layer if desired. Available on iOS and Android devices for only $6.99. I can tell you personally I use this app all of the time and it’s helped me create some of my best-selling pieces to-date.

Some of My Favorite Stan Prokopenko (AKA Proko) Articles:


In Summation…

  • There are many, many, many talented artists in the world. Of those, there are many great teachers. These two are, in my opinion, the absolute best. Your opinion may be different, but I’ve put up a hard argument to follow.
  • Don’t comment negatively or disparage anyone if these sites for some crazy reason aren’t your cup of tea. We should all be grateful that these guys are busting their asses to help the rest of us learn a craft, which is neither easy to learn or teach. But it is incredibly easy to be judgy about. So just say no to trolling and press the backspace key please!
  • MOST IMPORTANT TAKEAWAY: Pay for one of these guys’ master courses. Donate a little cash. Time is money and the cost of canvases, good paint and other materials is even more. If you honestly cannot afford to spend the cash, share their posts on your social media, help grow their following and encourage others to enroll in their courses. Paying it forward goes a long ways when you can’t pay otherwise 🙂

By Willow Artistry by Christine Wueste

I’ve been crafting my home decor and artwork since I traded my bassinet walls for the real deal. Painting and paper art are my favorites and make up the bulk of my listed pieces. I hope you enjoy my pieces as much as enjoy making them!

1 reply on “The Only 2 Websites You Need To Master Art”

This is such a good blog post. Full of helpful information and resources. I’ve returned to my painting since I retired and will be checking out both of these artists. I’m enjoying your progress as an artist and look forward to seeing more of your work!

Liked by 1 person

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