There are many art schools and classes to learn from, but there are also tons of free resources available for artists. Read on for a list of free art education and inspiration sources.
Art Supply Manufacturers
Many artist-grade product manufacturers offer loads of free information about how to use their products. This is great because much of this information can be applied to your studio practice in general, even if you don’t end up purchasing their product. The highest quality artist materials manufacturers tend to have the most in-depth and thorough material.
Winsor & Newton
Winsor & Newton makes a large assortment of artist-quality paints and painting accessories. Visit their Education section for instructional videos, health and safety info, colour charts, techniques, FAQ, and more.
Gamblin Artists Colours
Gamblin focuses on artist quality oil paints, mediums, and grounds. Their website contains a wealth of information on the medium. This includes historical techniques, colour palettes, colour mixing, and more.
The Liquitex website offers resources for their acrylic products. This includes how-to videos on varnishing, spray paint, and even inspiration. They also offer a number of literature hand-outs which include step-by-step how-tos for their product. Visit the “knowledge” tab on their website.
Golden Artist Colours
Golden specializes in artist-grade acrylic paints. Their website offers free information on application techniques, including paints, mediums, and grounds. They also have a large library of innovative decorative techniques in their Decorative Library. Visit the resource index on their site.
In the age of the internet, it helps to remember that there are tons of art books at your local library. The information contained in many of them won’t be found online. Books on techniques, how-to, art business, inspiration, theory, and more are beneficial for the artist who is open to learning new things. Additionally, be sure to check with your local art school or college to see if they allow non-students to use their library.
Local free talks and lectures from artists
Many galleries (public and private) offer free artist talks and lectures to coincide with the exhibition openings. You can learn a lot of surprising information from hearing an artist speak about their own work. It might even give you some inspiration for your own practice. Check your local listings to find an event you are interested in. In Canada, you can sign up for Instant Coffee.
What is the most helpful free art education and inspiration source you know as an artist?