If you’re looking for a new creative hobby, I think you’ll love art journaling! And with these free beginner art journaling classes you can take online (free for the next two months) you can take a chance and see for yourself!
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Why do I think art journals are the best creative hobby? Because you have total creative freedom! Don’t get me wrong, I see the appeal of, say, adult color books. But coloring inside the lines is only fun for so long. With art journals, you can try your hand at everything, while documenting your life. Some popular art journal techniques include: collage, mixed media, hand-lettering, watercolor painting, drawing, using stencils, even ideas as unique as sewing and making journals from “junk”!
So if you want to give it a try, I’ve rounded up these beginner art journaling classes you can take on Skillshare. If you haven’t heard of Skillshare, I like to describe it as the Netflix for online learning. They have thousands of classes, from creative to business to technical and more. And with this link (or any of the links on this page) you can take any/all of the classes there free for the next two months! (New Skillshare users only.) Obviously including the classes I’ve listed below. So go ahead: Get creative and have some fun!
Sketchbook Practice: Create Freely with Ink and Watercolor
From the class description: “In this class we’ll be combing, expressive and loose watercolour with dip pen details that will add character and linear quality to your sketches. … I learnt so much from my own sketchbook studies and I’d really like to share with you some of my top tricks and tips for this loose and free technique.
We’ll start with a rough guide to nibs, holders and inks, before moving onto a bit of ink line practice. Then we’ll introduce the dip pen to watercolour. I’ll show you many of my own examples and give lots of info about working in this loose and free way. This class is great if you’re just a beginner or if you want to add that extra element to your own watercolor sketches.
The video classes start with the basic principles than gradually become more challenging as you gain confidence in working in this manner. All the video lessons are packed full of handy hints so you can really have fun with this and take advantage of the technique to its fullest.”
I’ve taken many classes by Ohn Mar Win on Skillshare, and I always enjoy them, including Sketchbook Practice: Create Freely with Ink and Watercolor.
The Ultimate Guide to Creative Planning & Journaling
If you’d like to start out your art journal practice in a more utilitarian manner, this class is perfect for you.
From the class description: “Follow along … as I show you different ways you can add creativity to your journals and planners! In this 30 minute class, you will learn my step-by-step process for turning blank pages into beautiful spreads, combining elements such as lettering and doodling. I also share some of my journaling secrets and favourites throughout the class. This class is perfect for anyone who loves to doodle or add a little creativity into their life. No experience is necessary! By the end, you will have everything you need to create your own journal and planner spreads with ease.”
Handmade Journals: Mastering The Basics
From the class description: “Handmade journals are a wonderful way to enhance and enrich your creative practice. Whether you make a journal for writing or one for art, you’ll find that the process is so simple you’ll want to make these books over and over again.
In this course I share three simple book structures that all bookbinders should know in order to have a solid foundation on which to build. This class is a BASIC BEGINNER course that uses simple folding, gluing, and sewing techniques to create prototype books that can be used to practice and gain confidence in bookbinding.”
Drawing as Self Discovery: 5 Ways to Start
This is such a fun class, and a great way to start filling up your own art journal. Class description: “Mari’s illustrations resonate with everyone who sees them. Her funny, vulnerable point of view has led to over 250K Instagram followers, helped her through a trying time, and even led to a whole new life. Join Mari in this inviting class as she shares how drawing can help you process your emotions and promote self-discovery.
These easy, fun exercises will guide you to go deep, reflect on your emotions, and visualize your dreams for the future. In this class, you’ll learn:
- Techniques to channel emotion into your work
- Reflection prompts for before you draw
- Easy drawing exercises for self-discovery
This class will help you build an arsenal of tools to return to again and again so you can gain focus, unleash your creativity, and could even lead you somewhere completely unexpected!”
Illustration & Inspiration: Keeping a Sketchbook
Class description: “Let popular illustrator Leah Goren inspire you to start and keep a sketchbook that helps you stay creative and record beauty in your world.
Leah’s sketchbook practice stands out for its beauty, cohesion, and accessibility — all while remaining experimental and pushing her illustration process. This 30-minute class shares her approach and 3 of her go-to prompts for overcoming creative block:
- drawing a pattern based on an object
- drawing from life
- drawing the space around you
All levels of illustrators are welcome! Bring any materials you love to work with (pens, watercolors, gouache) and any kind of paper. This class is all is about getting your creativity on the page. By the end, you’ll have the beginnings of a sketchbook that feels polished and personal.”
The following beginner art journaling classes are more for stepping up your drawing/painting game, and to help you find your own style!
Painting Tropical Foliage in Watercolor
Add a bit of tropical whimsy to your art journal with this class! The class description: “This class is suitable for beginners. Tropical foliage is a very trendy topic this year and it will make a great addition to your creative portfolio. Especially are popular tropical leaves on the dark background, that is why we will explore two different color schemes for our tropical foliage.
In this class I will explain step by step how to draw and paint 5 different tropical leaves:
- Banana Leaf
- Philodendron Leaf
- Areca Palm Leaf
- Fan Palm Leaf
- and Fishtail Palm Leaf
Also, we will mix two different color schemes for our tropical collections for a daylight and for a night scene tropical garden.”
Whimsical Faces: Drawing Basics
Based on this class description, I feel like I can do anything! 🙂 “In my new class, Whimsical Faces: Drawing Basics, I will teach you the basics of how I draw whimsical faces. I love keeping it loose and abstract, yet having a touch of realism in my art. I want to share that process with you, and the skills you need to create your own whimsical faces.
In this beginner drawing class:
- We will walk through the supplies, resources I’ve been using to learn to draw faces, and I will do a short journal flip to share a bit of my journey of drawing faces.
- We will learn very simple proportions for faces.
- For the project demonstration, I will take you step-by-step through a monochromatic drawing, sharing my process and tips along the way. I have created bite-sized sections for this drawing so that you can draw with me! Simply pause the class, draw, then continue watching.
- Last, but not least, it’s project time! – this is my favorite part!! I want to see your process and your practice 🙂
As always, let go and enjoy the process! Don’t be afraid of making mistakes! Everyone makes mistakes, it is part of the learning process. The key to improving is to keep going – accept your “mistakes” and move on! Keep practicing. You can do this!!”
These are just some of the amazing beginner art journaling classes you can take on Skillshare. I hope you’ll join me as a student there!
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Thanks my creative friend!