One of the reasons Skillshare is such an amazing resource for designers and artists is that it exposes students to so many different art forms, styles, and ways of creating. That is especially true for illustration, where it’s all about style.
In your journey to improve your illustration skills, you could check out Skillshare’s enormous library of illustration classes. Although, there are so many illustration classes on Skillshare it’s hard to know where to start.
To make things easier, I’ve gone through Skillshare’s library of illustration classes to chose the most popular ones with the best looking student work. Both those things seem to be useful in determining what the best classes truly are. Here’s a list of the fifteen best illustration classes on Skillshare that are sure to make you a better illustrator in whatever medium you work in.
Digital Illustration: Learn to Use Procreate
By Jarom Vogel
Not only is this clearly one of the best illustration classes on Skillshare for using Procreate, it also happens to be the most popular illustration class on Skillshare overall, with over 115,000 students. This class covers the basics of Procreate with things like setting up a canvas and using the tools, as well as the techniques involved in adding colours, textures, and effects. Students explore forms, texture, and colours in really stylized ways and makes for some fantastic art.
Class Project: The class project is for students to export a piece they have created in Procreate and share images or a time-lapse. The student work for this course is beautiful and you can see why this class is so popular.
|Class Length||1 hr 7 min|
Character Illustration: Drawing Faces, Figures & Clothing
This is a somewhat more traditional illustration class than others on this list in that it focuses on exploring movement and pose with figure drawing exercises. Students are encouraged to practice drawing the four core emotions (happiness, fear, anger, sadness), in addition to the extreme version of each expression.
Class Project: The class project here is to create a fully illustrated character that explores expressions, character, and colour, or to share an existing character illustration the student has created.
|Class Length||59 min|
Hand Lettering Essentials for Beginners
This class really seems to be one of the best illustration classes on Skillshare for hand drawn typography, especially because it’s at a beginner level. In this class, students learn how to research and brainstorm, then sketch ideas, determine a distinct letter style, and learn to ink and finalize their creations. Students will also learn several writing styles to choose from like script, in a curve, in a shape, fancy serif, black letter, sans serif, dimensional, representational, or serif.
Class Project: The class project is to hand-letter a favorite quote, title, or phrase that’s brief and personal. Students are asked to first gather inspirational images to help define the mood, tone, ans style they want for their lettering.
|Class Length||1 hr 57 min|
Intro to Procreate: Illustrating on the iPad
The Intro to Procreate class is an extremely popular beginner level course for anyone wanting to know the basics of illustrating in Procreate for the iPad. This class covers hidden tools and gestures that you’ll need to know to make creating digital illustration much easier and a lot more fun. Students will also learn how to create a time lapse of the art they create.
Class Project: The class project is to share a time lapse video or still image of the work students have created in Procreate.
|Class Length||1 hr 22 min|
Mastering Illustrator: 10 Tips & Tricks to Speed Up Your Workflow
The Mastering Illustrator class is a great one for any kind of designer who wants to know more about Adobe Illustrator. This class delves into a variety of tips and tricks for working in Illustrator from simple keyboard shortcuts to pattern strokes and vector halftones. Despite its intermediate level, this is great information for designers of all skill levels to know.
Class Project: The class project here isn’t anything specific. Instead, students are asked to share either new or existing work that uses the tips and tricks they’ve learning in the class. These are things like using global colours, live corners, custom pattern strokes, and more.
|Class Length||40 min|
Ink Drawing Techniques: Brush, Nib, and Pen Style
By Yuko Shimizu
This unique illustration class teaches students essential inking and drawing techniques and fundamentals in addition to pro tips for selecting the right brush, ink, and paper.
Class Project: The class project is for students to create their own ink drawing that uses six different textures. Students are encouraged to share their progress and process for their art creation.
|Class Length||1 hr 33 min|
Learn to Draw: Daily Practices to Improve Your Drawing Skills
This is an illustration fundamentals class that teaches students how to see subjects as basic shapes, how to place a subject on the page, and how to see negative space. Students will also learn tricks to help them draw accurately, exercises that will help to activate creativity, and how to find beautiful rhythms within subjects.
Class Project: In this class, students are asked to create a drawing from a few prompts that include drawing from a photo, drawing from life, creating a quick sketch, and more.
|Class Length||1 hr 24 min|
You Can Draw Anything! In 3 Simple Steps
This is a very beginner level drawing class that goes over the fundamentals of drawing and gives students tips and tricks for creating beautiful art using simple lines and shapes. Students are shown how to accurately portray shadows and light, how to blend and add lines effectively, and how to create more emotional, complex, and/or approachable drawings.
Class Project: The class project is for students to draw two things; something that they love to draw and something they have never drawn. Students can draw both in any style they choose.
|Class Length||38 min|
Introduction to Designing Repeat Patterns in Illustrator
This is a really cool pattern making class that teaches you how to create gorgeous patterns in Adobe Illustrator from a hand-drawn image. It also goes over the fundamental digital process of actually creating a repeating pattern you can use for anything.
Class Project: The assignment in this class is for students to conceptualize, illustrate, and design a repeating pattern in Adobe Illustrator. Students are asked to pick a motif that has meaning to them like flowers, a hobby, a season, and work them into a seamless repeat that they can use for whatever they like in the future.
|Class Length||52 min|
Lettering for Designers: One Drop Cap Letterform at a Time
This is a really unique class that blends illustration with typography. Students are shown how to create beautiful typographical illustrations by starting with a single letter. This is a great class for anyone wanting to explore the more artistic side of typography and have some fun exploring the shapes in individual letterforms.
Class Project: The class project here is to create a unique drop cap letter. The student work is really great here and the quality of work is very high.
|Class Length||1 hr 41 min|
Botanical Line Drawing
By Peggy Dean
This is a really cool illustration class with a DIY feel that focuses on learning how to create doodle-like line drawings of botanical elements. The class walks though drawing things like ferns, branches, leaves, flowers, and more. The drawings themselves are so simple yet so beautifully crafted.
Class Project: The project for this class is for students to not only create their own botanical line drawing but to apply it to an object of some kind. Examples given are things like slices of wood, journal covers, wood frames for pictures or mirrors, plant pots, file boxes, etc.
|Class Length||1 h 19 min|
Design a Female Character: Sketching Portraits with Pencils
This class teaches students to draw stylized female characters in pencil. Students will be taught materials and pencil techniques in addition to how to sketch the face feature by feature. This class also covers how to draw a variety of female eyes, noses, mouths, and hair styles than can be used in infinite combinations.
Class Project: The class project is to make a drawing of a female character. The student work here is really great. There’s a lot of variety in the work and there are clearly some skilled illustrators sharing their work from this class.
|Class Length||59 min|
Digital Illustration: Doodles to Designs
This might be one of the most unique classes I’ve seen online and it’s likely one of the best illustration classes on Skillshare to take if you’re stressed.
In this illustration class, students are shown how to create unique doodle art on paper before digitizing it for polishing and publishing. The idea behind this class is that students unfamiliar with traditional illustration can create interesting art that retains a charming hand drawn and imaginative quality.
Class Project: The class project here is to create an art print that you can sell from your doodles.
|Class Length||1 hr 9 min|
Illustration for Designers: Create Your Own Geometric Animal
This class teaches students to blend design and visual art by creating an animal in Adobe Illustrator that uses only basic shapes and a structured grid. Students are shown the entire process from initial sketch to final vector illustration. The student projects for this class are really impressive so I understand the popularity behind it.
Class Project: In this class the project is for students to create a geometric illustration of their favorite animal illustrated in a stylized geometric poster design.
|Class Length||1 hr 43 min|
ODD BODIES: Illustrating Expressive, Stylized People
Of all the best illustration classes on Skillshare, this one I’m the most excited about. This is a really cool class that teaches students how to take their personal illustration style and create uniquely drawn characters. This class focuses on drawing people in more stylized and abstract ways to create highly expressive and original works.
Class Project: The class project is to take one of the sketches you’ve made in the class and turn it into a polished illustration, then share it with the class.
|Class Length||2 hr 24 min|
There are some amazing illustration classes online, but I think that the above really are the best illustration classes on Skillshare, despite the fact that there are over six thousand illustration classes in total. That’s a lot of classes, though many of those courses overlap with design, fashion, animation, digital art, and more.
As designers, illustration is a skill that isn’t required for us to have, but it can certainly help if we do. If you really want to level up your illustration skills, take at least a few of the classes on this list and share you work on Skillshare. It’s a really great way to get feedback on your work and start a small portfolio of work that others can view.
Is there another class that you think belongs on this list of the best illustration classes on Skillshare? Would you like to see more specifically geared lists? For example, a list of the best illustration classes on Skillshare for hand drawn typography? Let me know in the comments below.
If you’re interested in learning illustration but don’t have time to take a class, check out Illustration Workshop by Mary Kate McDevitt.
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