How to Become a Self-Taught Artist

female painting

This blog will explore how you can become a self-taught artist based on my own experiences and advice.

Some of you might be an artist, art teacher or enjoy art in your leisure time as a hobby. Whatever your reason is for your love of art, it’s good to know some of these details that I will talk about in this blog about being a self-taught artist and how to take this more seriously.

Firstly, if you want to be a self-taught artist, there are a few things you should consider:

A) Should You Consider Art School?

I myself didn’t graduate from an art Major. I did graduate from art school in which for my master degree, I studied art business and for my PhD, I studied art philosophy.

B) Which Mediums?

Are you going to focus on different mediums or are you going to specialise in one medium? You should also consider the different styles when you create art such as realistic drawing, abstract, or sculpture.

male artist in gallery

C) Do You Know The Rules and Techniques?

When you are creating art, it is beneficial to know the rules; not just the techniques. Then you are going to break these rules on purpose to create art that you are proud of.

However, it’s still important to have an understanding of both the rules and techniques.

So, I would strongly advise to start with having an art curriculum and a structure to keep yourself on track as a self-taught artist so you can keep yourself accountable.

Now you have asked yourself the above questions, l will go through the different ways to become a self-taught artist. If you are serious about becoming an artist and you want to progress your skills, there are many ways to learn and practice to become better and better.


1) Are You Still at School or University? 

If you are still at school, taking advantage of your art class is very important. This can be the time where you learn some of the first techniques in art. For others, this happens earlier in life – but don’t worry. It is never too late to learn or practise something you love.

You can take advanced art courses in high school as well. This may be after school classes or you may study fine art, art and design or any other types of art classes at GCSE level or A-Level. At some schools there will be art competitions, if so make use of these as it is all practice and what have you got to lose?

Many Art University’s offer short courses like Figure Drawing, oil painting, and digital art classes which you could sign up for.

2) Local Art Classes 

There are many affordable local community art classes that you can take. I really would advise making the most of these as they will be taught by artists and you could learn valuable skills that could help push your career in the right direction. You will also meet people who share the same love for art as you.

They are not official art schools, but they’re being taught by professional art teachers in different mediums. This gives you a chance to try different mediums which is important if you aren’t sure which is your preferred medium.

I myself have helped so many people in these type of classes over the years. I have had so many students coming to my art classes, either for one single session plan or they have signed up for a bundle of 5, 10, or even yearly classes. This helps you keep on track if you sign up for multiple classes as you know you have made time to practice your art and gain valuable knowledge.

Kids art class

3) Online Art Courses

One of the best ways to improve your art in different mediums is to go on the internet and find free tutorials, either on art websites or YouTube channels. A whole page on my website is dedicated to free resources to help you all. As you already know, I also create blogs to provide you with useful information and mini-tutorials. I have a YouTube channel that includes video tutorials on different mediums.

If you want to go further and complete a comprehensive understanding of art techniques, you can purchase art courses that relate to your chosen medium. I have created courses in both Color Pencil & Pastel and Realistic Drawing which include over 20hrs of in-depth voice over video tutorials.

online art class

4) Books and eBooks

The next option would be books and e-books, they are still very effective and very affordable as well. You may buy books from your favourite artists. I have created two FREE ebooks:

5) Art Supplies

To become a self-taught artist you will need to buy your art supplies to begin drawing or painting.

Don’t overwhelm yourself and go over your budget to buy supplies when you just start to learn drawing or painting. Yet, it’s important to remember not to have a lack of art supplies either. At the beginning of your art practice, you need to explore and learn more until you find out the best supplies for yourself and your art. By limiting your art supplies, you might get discouraged to create art because your artworks are not good enough because you didn’t have the right or enough supplies.

So, you need to search around and research the supplies and the brands out there. There are a lot of reviews and comparisons between different brands of supplies which you can use to make your decision. If your medium is colored pencils, search different brands such as Faber-Castell, Derwent, Prismacolor or Caran d’Ache and read the reviews.

In my online art courses you will actually learn about the different brands for supplies used in colour pencil, pastel and realistic drawing. From this, you will be able to see how they work in different examples and during the courses you can compare them. There will be lots of examples throughout each course. If you would like to know about the materials I advise you to use for Realistic Drawing, I have created a Youtube video for you all: Essential Tools and Materials for Pencil and Charcoal Realistic Drawing. 

When it comes to other mediums such as oil painting, watercolor, and any other mediums, you can look at which supplies and brands artists use. Look at their YouTube videos and courses to compare the different brands they use in their work. Then you can choose the best for you!

If you would like to gain in-depth knowledge and improve your skills even further in a specific medium, I have created art courses for you that I have reduced in price by 50% for you all to enjoy during this difficult time.

online art courses

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