Favorite Skillshare Classes for Illustration and Creativity

color palettes

Last year I came upong a very good deal for a Skillshare membership that allowed me six months of learning.  I made the most of it!

The problem with Skillshare is that there are so many classes and at first glance they all look super interesting and it is extremely easy to simply binge-watch class after class without actually practicing or doing the projects. So I will talk about the classes I did and for which I completed the assignments.

Whenever I take a class I remember I have two goals:

  1.  Improve my drawing and illustration skills
  2. Improve my use of Illustrator and Photoshop

A part from that, the one thing I’ve always wanted to learn is bookbinding and of course, I love to learn about techniques to improve my creativity, so without further ado here are my favorite Skillshare classes:

Watercolor:

This class was the first I took and it is a great introduction to how watercolor works. Even if you are not into fashion, Katie Rodgers does a great job at explaining things in a simple way. If you have a small watercolor set and you want to try your hand at it, this class will give you a great starting point.

To continue with a bit more advanced watercolor, you can keep going with Katie Rodgers. This class teaches you to make a small fashion illustration. Going over the materials and a bit of drawing but the focus is on watercolor mixing.

Calligraphy, Drawing and Pattern Making

This is the most comprehensive class I’ve found. However it is calligraphy and not lettering. I know that I’m more interested in writing than in drawing letters so I found this class quite comprehensive. It delivers a lot of content (not like the latest classes that are less than 40 minutes long). However if you’re not a perfectionist (I’m not), you might find the digitizing process very long. But it’s an oldie and a goodie.

I really liked this class because it teaches you how to create a pattern in Photoshop from your hand-drawn drawings. I love the manual labor of this style of pattern as opposed to working only in illustrator. I have done several patterns from hand and in photoshop and they turn out really lovely, they have an organic feel and painterly look. If you are a graphic designer you might find this class too basic though.

If you’re interested in learning Illustrator, you will find a lot of Intro to Illustrator classes in Skillshare and other platforms but my approach in learning anything is looking for the class that teaches the closest thing to what I want to do. In this case I don’t necessarily want to do surface design by itself but I do want to be able to illustrate my hand drawn graphics. In this 3h and 43 min class you get both a crash-course in Illustrator and in hand-drawn graphics. If you want to learn illustrator the more traditional way, you might be better with The Ins and Outs of Illustrator.

Creativity

This class is just 15 minutes but it’s my favorite Skillshare class. The first time I watched I thought, what was that? but I watched it a second time and I did the assignment, I wound up with something so unexpected that now I use this exercise often. We usually forget how important a workflow is for coming up with ideas. I keep believing that these just come up as when you summon them. This class is very fast and you need to watch it twice. Do the assignment and you’ll be surprised.

Hand-made

My dream is to learn bookbiding, however I’ve learned the hard way that each new hobby comes with a lot of expenses and bookbinding is an expensive hobby. Not only the paper is costly but you also need certain tools, and quite a bit of space. I was super happy to find this class because you can learn to make small notebooks out of any kind of paper. This is particularly useful because I can make sketchbooks. I must confess that I just tried part of the assignment because I don’t have the needle and thread but just learning how to cut and fold was super helpful. I’m bad at cutting a straight line and he gives a great tip to make sure you cut straight!

So this is my round up of the most useful Skillshare classes I’ve taken. These are older classes where instructors delivered more and better quality content, however some do not have the best quality video. I don’t mind. I learned what I wanted. Lately 20 minute classes are not cutting it for me. They’re more like teaser classes so I’m not so enthusiastic about those.

Do you have any favorite Skillshare (or other) classes?

Please share in the comments!