My Art Blog
Have You Ever Wondered What Taking An Online Digital Art Course Would be Like?
Pink Lotus Revisited by Joan A Hamilton
How are you doing? What have you been up to lately? (Why haven't you been blogging?
How often are you asked these questions? Pretty often, if you are like most people. How do you answer? With a stock answer, "I'm fine" and doing the "usual" thing …still. Of course it depends on who is asking and how much detail they are entitled to hearing about your life. They may not want to hear all the fascinating details.
I have been fairly busy lately taking courses online through Digital Art Academy. Just finished Summer Open Studio and am now taking Skip Allen's Painter 12 New Beginnings Course.
What is Digital Art Academy?
It is a place to take online digital art courses on software such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, Anime Studio, and Corel Painter.
You need to have your own hardware and software to take the courses.
How do you get the course from them?
You will register on the Digital Art Academy Forum, which is free and allows you to access certain information areas of the forum. Once enroll in an online course you are given further access to the course content. Not all courses are in progress at the same time, and you can only register and take a course in the session it is being offered in. There are 6 sessions per year.
Typically the course content is offered through videos and written PDF's with illustrations. The weekly Course Content and the Resources, such as new brushes, colour sets, reference images, Workspaces, etc. is posted each Friday evening for students to download and view at their convenience. Much support and help is offered at various steps along the way for those having trouble finding things, or downloading lessons. There are Live Sessions in which the instructor demonstrates new techniques by means of their own Corel Painter screen. The Live Sessions vary, but are usually an hour in length, once a week and they are recorded in case you can't make it.
The video lessons are all prepared in this manner as well, the student views the instructors screen containing material the teacher has prepared.
What Software programs do they use to teach digital art?
Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Anime Studio, and Corel Painter.
Can you take a course if you are a beginner in these programs?
There are different Skill Level requirements outlined for each course. Some are offered from Beginner's to Advanced levels.
Are the courses all about learning how to use the software or do they teach you about art in general too?
There are courses on various genres of painting, such as watercolour, portraits, landscape, and composition. Some courses focus more on the software and how to use it. Others may focus on developing your artistic skills in a broader sense and how digital tools can help you achieve new levels of creativity.
Does the instructor see my work? Do other students see my work? What do I have to do in this course?
You will be required to Post your assignments (I don't know what happens to you if you don't, except you may not get as much out of the course if you don't participate this way.)
This is the age of being able to transfer files via the internet easily and instantly. If you have ever uploaded a jpeg to a site like Flickr or participated in an online art forum like Painter Talk, you will know how easy it is to transfer images and information over the internet.
Don't let this possibly unfamiliar part of computer technology stop you from taking one of these online art courses. It really is easy and you will be given help if you are having trouble.
What did you like about taking the courses?
The sense of community and support from fellow students and instructors was a particularly enjoyable part of taking this kind of course. I knew some of the people from the online forum Painter Talk, and it was a pleasure to get to know them better and to meet new people.
The course material was valuable, useful and well presented. Karen Bonaker taught the Summer Open Studio Course I took and she is an excellent teacher. Always clear, concise and so personable and fun to learn from. Engaging, encouraging, and an extremely talented and creative herself Karen seems to know how to bring out these talents in other people as well. She is very well regarded in the digital art community and became a Corel Painter Master earlier this year.
How I felt about the class and my progress in the end: (as posted with one of my assignments
I think the really cool thing about this, is that this class has opened up my imagination and allowed me to feel freer with shape and colour. Taking this painting originally painted in 2008 and adding the more vivid colour interpretation was so rewarding (I can't think of a better word) because painting with those intense colours made it change like magic before my eyes.
Here are a few paintings by some of the other students in Summer Open Studio- Painting Flowers with Watercolours. They showed really good use of the material presented. There were lots of great postings in the assignments, and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. I could have posted many more that I liked!