24 February 2020

Choosing an Online Course

One of the major steps in deciding how to learn something is to choose a course to follow. While some people would prefer learning by experimentation, I’m finding that following a course or tutorial is a good way to learn how to draw digitally.

There are two layers to this problem: (1) learning to draw and (2) learning to use the specific tools. Some courses are good for one and not the other, but some manage to tackle both.

A few days ago, I simply searched best procreate courses” on Google, and came across this helpful summary of different courses, as well as free YouTube videos that teach how to use Procreate, Best Tutorials for Procreate”. There’s still something important about having website act as aggregators, apart from search results. A helpful blog post goes a long way in making sense of the many possibilities that arise.

From there, it was a matter of looking into the different resources listed. Where certain instructors had their own YouTube channels providing free content, that was a helpful way to see if I enjoyed their style. Otherwise, the previews on Skillshare and Udemy were quite helpful.

In the process of looking into these courses, I stumbled across a slightly sneaky way that Udemy tries to get new students. After a few hours, it seemed like one of the courses I was interested in was no longer discounted, going up to over $100. When I looked into it, it seems that others had realised that Udemy was in the habit of offering almost constant discounts, and that these were also offered to new” visitors (based on cookies) but expired” after some time to add some artificial urgency to purchasing the course. I have no way to verify this now, but it seems to be the case — the course I was interested in was no longer on a sale after a few hours, but as of the time of writing this, it has gone back on sale.

Be that as it may, I narrowed down the selection of courses to the following, based on (1) the endorsements and reviews, (2) a preview of the teaching styles, (3) the style of drawing emphasised, and (4) the length of the course:

  1. The Beginner’s Guide to Digital Art with Procreate for iPad! by K Michael Russell (Skillshare)
  2. The Ultimate Digital Painting Course - Beginner to Advanced by Jaysen and Austin Batchelor (Udemy)
  3. In the far distant future, I might try one of these from Art Study Online: https://artstudyonline.com/rc01/

It was important for me to avoid the temptation to spend a lot of time searching for the perfect course. The downside to picking a bad course was real, given the amount of time I would be investing in the course, but taking too much time to decide would eat into the hours I could actually spend practising. I told myself that if I decided I did not like any of the courses, I would just stop and move on.

I aim to start with Russell’s course on Skillshare (to try out the two-month free trial) and to pay for the Udemy course. I’ll probably just doodle and draw on the side as well — this sketch was just a random drawing I decided to do, but I hope to keep at this for a while!

Last Updated: 24 February 2020


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