My Favorite Online Art Classes!

Best Online Art Courses and Books

Hello friends! In this post, I’m going to share a little roundup of my personal favorite online art classes that I’ve taken during the past few years that I feel have really helped me evolve/improve my art and find my own style as an artist.  All of the artists/teachers I am recommending below I have personally taken courses from, and I feel like they have great value for any aspiring or intermediate artist (or anyone for that matter – there’s always something new to learn!)  As I go through this little list I’ll be sharing my own personal experiences, so let’s get into it!

**please note that this post contains affiliate links, which help to support all of the free content on this site.  Clicking on the links are no extra cost to you if you do purchase a course, and the small commission I receive helps me keep this blog running so I am so grateful for your support! Thank you!

Intuitive Painting on CreativeBug

This course was my first introduction to the amazing Flora Bowley (more things from her in this post below).  If you’re interested in learning about how to tap into your intuition and expand your creativity in abstract art, this little 3-part course is the perfect introduction.  I found it just enough to get me motivated and excited to start exploring new things on my canvas without having to dedicate a huge chunk of time to an online course.  The entire lesson (all 3 parts) are just over 2 1/2 hours, so it’s a burst of new techniques and ideas in a very short amount of time (you also don’t have to watch all 3 parts at once – each section has a defined beginning and end, so you can go at your own pace. It’s kind of like watching a super professional YouTube video playlist). Click here to learn more about it and watch a free preview on CreativeBug!

Brave Intuitive Painting by Flora Bowley

This book is like the CreativeBug lessons but in greater detail.  I loved this book, it’s visually stunning.  If you simply like to look at pretty art and beautifully rendered photographs, then get this book! The images are inspiring enough on their own.  In this book Flora introduces us to her style of intuitive abstract painting, with a focus on layering and “trusting the process”.  She describes some art basics like tools (this is an acrylic-focused painting book) and mixing colours.  I like how she breaks down the colour mixing into easy to understand groups like “colors that make mud” and “colors that won’t make mud”, and while it’s a different approach than how I use and teach color theory, I think it can be really valuable to a beginner who just wants to play with the paint without worrying about learning the color theory stuff quite yet.  This book will make you fall in love with painting, and that may be the perfect stepping stone into further learning. Click here to read the details on Amazon.

Also! Flora has a new book out called Creative Revolution that explores using her intuitive painting techniques as tools for emotional and spiritual healing and development.  I haven’t read this book yet, but it may be a good read, especially if you enjoy the art journaling genre of artistic expression

Bloom True E-Course

This is the full-blown 5-week intuitive painting course taught by Flora. If you’re feeling blocked in your creativity, if you feel that surge of intimidation welling up inside each time you stand infront of a blank canvas, if you get caught up in the minutia of painting the “right way”, then this course can really help to expand your approach to creating art. Click here to learn more about it.

Painting the Sacred Within

This lovely book by Faith Evans-Sills and Mati Rose McDonough explores a similar idea to Flora’s intuitive painting, but from a mixed-media perspective.  It’s full of different techniques to try and beautiful photos to inspire you.  It doesn’t go too deep into general art techniques or color theory, but it does promote experimenting with new media and finding out for yourself which forms and techniques you’re drawn to in your own artistic style. Click here to see it on Amazon.


Wyanne Thompson is a fierce woman whom I truly admire.  Not only is she a talented and accomplished artist, but she is a cancer survivor as well.  This woman is a fighter.  I’ve personally taken a few courses from her including her Paint Free workshop, and her Mixed Media girls and Art Play, which were her very first and second painting classes back in 2005! I’ve followed her art and her social media ever since, and have watched her beat her medical issues and keep on being the amazing artist that she is.  She’s one of my biggest inspirations both as an artist and as a human being.  Watching her YouTube videos of her painting process back then was what made me try to create my own art website and videos.  You can check out her YouTube channel by clicking here!

Will Kemp Art School

Will Kemp is an amazingly talented artist, and he shares his art techniques on his website here! He works in acrylics, oils, and watercolours, and offers online courses in all of them.  His classes are the ones to take if you’re looking to improve your painting compositions, paint still life or landscape, or really learn the technical side of painting.  His classes will teach you the ins and outs of painting, while the other classes and books I’ve included in this list will help you to apply the skills in your own unique way. I’m not linking to any course in particular because his site is filled with free tutorials too!

Tim Gagnon

Tim Gagnon is another super talented artist who hosts painting courses on his website.  He paints beautiful landscapes and forests, along with clouds and old buildings.  His work is beautiful and has an ethereal, fantasy-like tone to it. I took a landscape class from him way back around the time I was taking Wyanne’s courses, and back then he didn’t have the online option to his classes.  He physically mailed dvds with the painting videos on them, and I remember being so excited when they arrived in the mail! His courses are a joy to take, and will teach you the skills you need to paint beautiful scenery. You can click here to see all of his offerings.

So there’s my list! I’m so happy to be able to give back to the amazing artists that have shaped who I am as an artist today.  I hope you can see how I’ve taken what I’ve learned from all of these teachers and turned it into my own style.  I’m really starting to come into a true unique style that’s all my own, mixing abstract expression with precision detail, and it’s my joy to be able to send some more students their way, along with providing you some real value in my course recommendations.

Leave a comment if you’ve taken a course/read a book from an of these awesome artists, and till next time, keep creating!

-Ashley <3


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