Thursday, November 15, 2012

I Can't "Art" Without.... E-Courses

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know I'm a huge fan of E-courses. I discovered them last year and am addicted (they say the first step is to admit you have a problem). For those who don't know what an e-course is, it's basically an online class. The artist creates a platform to teach you her painting style as if you were there in person with her. The ones I like have HD video instruction, extended access (usually 6 to 12 months) and sometimes the instructors let you download the videos for you to keep or give you PDF's to keep. They all have a place to post your work and exchange feedback with your fellow students. I've taken a lot of courses. Some were awesome and some didn't really do it for me. All of them gave me a place to start. I was a decorative painter years ago but stopped painting when we moved and had two babies back to back. I knew I wanted to create again. I knew I loved mixed media. But I didn't know where to begin...until I found e-courses.

Below I'm going to share with you my all-time favorites from my e-course explorations. These classes gave me so much information and so many tools. They opened my creative mind and got my mojo going.

Jane Davenport's Supplies Me

Jane Davenport is an admitted art supply addict. In this course she reviews dozens of art supplies. In addition to her wonderful reviews she shows you how to draw a pretty face and the basic body. I almost didn't sign up for this course because I had little interest in drawing people. (I didn't think I could). But I had a plethora of art supplies so, I went for it. I fell in love with drawing faces! It takes practice and I'm still not great on the body but Jane makes drawing so much fun. This is an incredibly informative course. You need to take notes because you won't remember everything she tells you. The only downside is you'll want to buy more supplies.

I made the face below with the skills I learned in Jane's course.

Juliette Crane's How to Paint a Girl and How to Create Whimsical Animals

I am a huge fan of Juliette Crane's e-courses. These are my two favorites. I like How to Paint a Girl because Juliette shows you three different whimsical girl styles. She starts with backgrounds then focuses a week on each of the three girls. How to Create Whimsical Animals is the only 6 week course I've found just on creating different animals. Juliette takes you from sketchbook to canvas. I love her sketchbook exercises. They really help you get in touch with your inner child and just have fun.

Below are the favorite paintings I made from Juliette's courses.

Mindy Lacefield's Paint Your Story

I admit this is probably my number one favorite course. I was on the fence about taking this one because Mindy Lacefield's style was so different from how I painted. It was really taking me outside my comfort zone. I loved her use of color though. I loved the layers. Something inside me was saying "you must take this course". So, I signed up and it was amazing! Mindy broke down her process into simple steps that built on each other but my own style came through. It really freed me as an artist.

These are a couple of my favorite creations from this course.


If you have never taken a course it can be difficult to figure out what to take. There are a lot out there. I suggest checking out the artists you admire first and see if they offer an e-course. Another resource is Creative They have a large selection of courses for you to peruse and some have reviews. I found the above courses through blog hopping. One artist supporting another would talk about this new e-course on their blog and I would "hop" on over to get the details. Creative didn't exist when I started taking them.

In the new year I'm going to be changing my focus a bit and diving into the world of sketchbooks and art journals. I have loved taking e-courses. They have given me so much information and really helped me improve my skills. Now I need to put all I've learned to work and create/find my own style. The ladies above offer other courses as well. Just go to their websites to check them out.

One last e-course I'd like to mention is Life Book 2013. There will be 16 instructors all with different styles and techniques. I took Life Book 2012 and enjoyed it but I found a lot of the artists had similar styles. Not so for next year's installment. The line up is amazing! Life Book 2013 is an excellent choice if you've never taken a course or have taken a ton of courses. The format is year long with new things to learn every month! I will likely be taking it. (No surprise there!)



  1. Hi Lynda! My name is Debbie May and I am also addicted to ART e-courses! And I thought that I was the only one. You do have a few up on me though. I think that we were in Mindy's Paint Like a Child class, omg, love her! I so enjoyed reading about your class this past weekend with Tracey Verdugo, what an incredible experience for you.
    I noticed that you live in Morrisville, we should meet for coffee sometime. I live in the Apex/Cary area not too far away.

    Have an fabulous day!!


    1. Debbie, I'm so glad you've enjoyed my posts and that a fellow addict lives close by. I'm up for coffee with a kindred spirit anytime!

  2. Hi Lynda, thanks so much for doing my ecourse and spreading the loooooooove! You are such a gorgeous creature! Xoxoxo Jane

  3. Hi Lynda, I loooooove a good ecourse, and so dizzily delighted you included mine

    1. How could I not include yours, Jane! It rocked! So much info. It should be required for all artists!

  4. just LOVE seeing all of your artwork...your creativity always inspires me :)

    xoxo juliette

    1. Thank you so much, Juliette! Your creativity has truly helped awaken mine. I so appreciate your feedback and encouragement!