SkillShare Premium enables the user to take online courses from professional artists. You can follow along with video demonstrations then publish your own work to the SkillShare class community. I have had a SkillShare Premium paid account for two months. I have used it rather extensively so I feel comfortable creating a review. Overall, I have enjoyed my SkillShare experience. I wanted some more specific information on skills such as color mixing. YouTube has lots of great “follow along as I paint” type videos but it lacks instruction on the fundamentals I was looking for. That said there are tons of great vlogs on YouTube to get you started and I recommend going there initially especially if you are short on funds. I will write up a comprehensive post on which channels I found the most useful very soon.
On to SkillShare. I will give a pros and cons list as well sharing the projects I did from my favorite classes.
- Asynchronous Classes – Classes are video recordings you can watch on your own schedule.
- Professional Artists with a talent for instruction – Not everyone can teach what they know well. My favorite Skillshare instructors are all very good teachers!
- Affordable – I got the yearly plan which is just under $9.00 USDA a month
- Lots and Lots of Content! – I have a growing class list that I can’t seem to put a dent in. Extensive library on digital illustration, drawing, inking, watercolor, oil painting, art business, marketing, and more
- Video tutorials are short – Lessons are chucked into short segments
- Video quality is high – I have completed 20+ classes now and found most of the videos to be well edited and good quality
- Instructor feed back happens – Most of the instructors will leave comments on student projects and will answer questions in the course community. (Emphasis on the word “most” as in not “all”.)
- Project sharing – You can upload your projects and view other student’s work.
- App – You can download classes to your mobile device for offline viewing.
- Billing – I have read several negative reviews stating that it is hard to cancel the service. Also, several customers complained they did not receive a warning email after their free 30 days was up their credit cards were just charged.
- Asynchronous Classes – Just have a realistic expectation of what you are buying with SkillShare. This is not the same thing as taking a live online class from a professional artist. Generally, students have a rather extensive level of contact with the instructor and sometimes live classes include a portfolio review. You won’t get that with SkillShare, however, live online classes can run into the hundreds even thousands of dollars. Skillshare is less than ten dollars a month if you go with the annual subscription. I don’t feel ready for such a heavy investment that live courses cost yet so Skillshare is a nice option for me and my pocketbook. But, I am taking a hard look at https://www.svslearn.com/ and http://vilppuacademy.com for next year. I will do a write up if I take the plunge next summer.
- Doesn’t have everything – Skillshare is weak on some of the media I love such as Pastels. So if you looking for something specific make sure they have it before signing up.
- 1-800-? -As far as I can tell there is no 1 800 number to call if you have an issue you will have to fill out their help form.
- App – The app does not enable you to view other students’ class projects
- It is not entirely clear if the Artists are paid fairly. More about that here.
- Some of the classes don’t have quality teachers – but it is easy to avoid these by looking at the reviews or lack there of.
- Help – I can’t comment on their responsiveness to their help form as I have not had a need to fill it out
- Scholarships – They do seem to offer them but I have not investigated it.
I have enjoyed my Skillshare subscription and consider it to be a good value.
My favorite classes so far:
The Anyone can Watercolor class is a great introduction to beginning watercolor and is the first SkillShare course I took. It was also my first experience with watercolor. I recommend anything taught by Yasinma she is fun to learn from. Her classes are short, cute, and joyful. She is also self-taught so I think she understands better what people like me are looking for in Art Instruction.
If you’re looking for new and different watercolor exercises these are the classes for you. Ana does a lot of “spacey” type art so she is right up my alley!
I recommend all of the courses in this three part series. The instruction includes ink, water color, and gouache. Here are some of my projects from them.
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