Best YouTube Channels for Learning to Paint
Updated: 02 Jan 2021
After a thorough analysis of viewing countless current YouTube videos, I found and recommend the following best channels and instructors for learning to draw and paint.
Drawing and painting are crafts that anybody can learn!
Passion for learning, hard work and dedication will produce results.
Tutorials for beginners are aimed for learning to take the first steps in actual painting.
1. Kevin Hill
As the website-name says: "paint with Kevin", Kevin Hill takes you step by step through the painting process.
This tutorial channel is suitable for artists who want to get down to painting and produce their first landscape artwork in oil paints or acrylics.
YouTube channel: KevinOilPainting
2. Paint Basket
The Paint Basket painting channel runs by Dennis & Nolan Clark, father and son.
A great place to start for beginners in acrylics, oil painting, watercolor, pastels, pen sketching and pencil drawing.
YouTube channel: Paint Basket
Recommended video: Color Wheel Tutorial - How to Mix Paint
3. Mural Joe
While these tutorials are quite advanced, Joe Cornelius aka Mural Joe, is doing a great job in keeping it simple.
Here you can expect to learn the technique and knowledge for the crafts of drawing and painting, with focus on all the important factors like perspective, color mixing and much more.
Joe is famous for his wall paintings (murals), using acrylic paint. That said, his oil paintings are just as amazing.
YouTube channel: muraljoe
4. Jerry Yarnell
Jerry Yarnell is a painter, instructor and owner of the Yarnell School of Fine Art. He is also known from the television show "Paint This with Jerry Yarnell".
In these tutorials, Jerry teaches some basic understanding of the painting process including painting rocks, reflections and other landscape related subjects.
YouTube channel: 1addyrae
Recommended video: Painting Rocks with Jerry Yarnell
Techniques & Equipment
5. Bill Martin
A renowned painter and instructor, Bill Martin's (1943 - 2008) YouTube channel is arguably the best way to start for beginners.
These video tutorials will enrich and improve your understanding of realistic drawing and painting.
YouTube channel: Bill Martin's Guides
Recommended video: Elliptical Perspective
6. Draw Mix Paint
Draw Mix Paint is a channel dedicated for introducing the key factors for fine art oil painting. The highly regarded artist Mark Carder runs it.
Mark manufactures his own unique oil paints, which are available at his website.
YouTube channel: Draw Mix Paint
Recommended video: How to Match Any Color with Oil Paint
Entertaining, yet serious, the artist and teacher, Stan Prokopenko aka Proko, focuses on technical instructional videos including shading, form and anatomy.
These tutorials may seem quite advanced, but they are aimed and structured for all levels.
The huge team behind this channel are doing a remarkable job.
YouTube channel: Proko
Recommended video: Top 5 Drawing Mistakes
Stan teamed up with master instructor Marshall Vandruff to create a visual draftsmen podcast, where they talk in-depth about art. It is highly recommended.
YouTube channel: Draftsmen
8. Jason Walcott
When it comes to understanding the different types and brands of pigments for oil painting, Jason Walcott will guide you through this ocean of variety.
This art channel is full of in depth reviews and tutorials for equipment and supplies for oil painting, pastels and other art materials.
YouTube channel: Walcott Fine Art
9. Cesar Santos
The admired and appreciated painter, Cesar Santos, creates stunning fine art in his own unique way while communicating with classic art as a solid foundation.
In his YouTube channel, Cesar takes you behind the scene of painting and the art world.
YouTube channel: Cesar Santos
A fresh channel by a talented artist who shares his artistic journey step-by-step.
This is a rare glimpse on how to succeed as an artist in this new generation of online opportunities.
YouTube channel: Slew
Tutorial channels for experienced artists who want to learn realistic painting and other advanced techniques.
11. Andrew Tischler
Andrew Tischler is a talented oil painter who specializes in realistic painting.
The tutorials in this channel are advanced and aimed for audience who already know how to paint but want to take their art to the next stage when it comes to realism.
YouTube channel: Andrew Tischler
Recommended video: How to paint a seascape
12. James Gurney
James Gurney is an illustrator, plein air painter and the author and illustrator of the popular illustrated book series, Dinotopia.
In this YouTube channel, Gurney offers all kinds of tips and tricks for creating original art.
In his tutorials, James uses oil paints, watercolor and gouache.
YouTube channel: James Gurney
Pen & Pencil Drawing Tutorials
For many artists, realistic pencil drawing is the basis for their art.
These tutorial channels are aimed to teach you how to draw with a technical pen or a pencil.
13. Darrel Tank
Darrel Tank is a master when it comes to creating graphite realistic portraits.
He is one of the top instructors for pencil-drawing available online.
This channel is packed with top-quality tutorials for all levels.
YouTube channel: Drawing With Darrel Tank
14. Kirsty Partridge
Kirsty Partridge, a talented artist that focuses on realism, runs this YouTube channel.
For beginning artists, these tutorials are very detailed and easy to understand.
Besides pencil drawing lessons, you will find here colored pencils and watercolor tutorials.
YouTube channel: Kirsty Partridge Art
Recommended video: BIGGEST TIPS for GUARANTEED Realistic Drawings
15. Matt Fussell
The Virtual Instructor by Matt Fussell is a channel, which is specially designed for beginners, covering lots of the stuff every beginning artist should know.
Tutorials include pencil drawing, watercolor, pastels, acrylics, colored pencils, gouache and much more.
YouTube channel: Drawing & Painting - The Virtual Instructor
Recommended video: How to Draw a Portrait with Pen and Ink
16. Alphonso Dunn
For pen and ink drawing, Alphonso Dunn offers many video tutorials in his drawing channel.
YouTube channel: Alphonso Dunn
Another great YouTube channel for learning realistic pencil-drawing.
This channel includes lots of painting demos and some supply and equipment reviews.
YouTube channel: smoothie77
Perspective drawing is one of the fundamentals of drawing. Unlike drawing from observation, perspective is a set of rules that help us draw from imagination.
You can read my article on how to draw in perspective for the basics.
The following YouTube channels and tutorials will help you dive deeper into perspective.
18. Circle Line Art School
Circle Line Art School is a YouTube channel devoted for learning to draw in perspective.
The artist and instructor, Tom McPherson, presents these tutorials. Simple to understand and therefore recommended for beginners.
YouTube channel: Circle Line Art School
Recommended video: How to Draw a Room in 1-Point Perspective
19. Dan Beardshaw
The talented artist, Dan Beardshaw, has some advanced yet helpful, perspective tutorials.
His unique style of drawing from imagination is also inspiring.
YouTube channel: Dan Beardshaw
Recommended video: The Horizon Line & Vanishing Points EXPLAINED
20. The Drawing Database
While The Drawing Database is dedicated to drawing in general, it has a huge focus on anatomy and perspective drawing.
Professor Marc Leone presents these video tutorials in an easy and understandable way.
YouTube channel: The Drawing Database
21. Scott Robertson
Scott Robertson is a master of perspective drawing and an amazing instructor.
He is a highly regarded author for drawing books. Some of his tutorials are quite advanced.
YouTube channel: Scott Robertson
22. Modern Day James
Modern Day James is a channel with detailed tutorials for learning to draw.
You will find here many guides on perspective, figure drawing and other basics. Some in traditional drawing and others using computer graphics.
YouTube channel: Modern Day James
23. Spencer Nugent
Spencer Nugent is a skilled designer. His channel (Sketch-A-Day) has many tutorials for product design in perspective, among other drawing & sketching related guides.
It includes live streams, both on YouTube and Instagram (which you can watch at a later date if you missed them).
YouTube channel: Spencer Nugent
Recommended video: What the heck is the degree of an ellipse?
Illustration & Digital Art
This article is aimed for learning to draw and paint in a traditional, realistic style.
That said, contemporary art, when it is done professionally, communicates with classical art on many levels.
Jazza is a fresh channel for learning how to draw, animate and paint.
You can find here valuable tutorials about illustrations, digital painting, animation and many tips regarding the art industry and being a freelance artist.
YouTube channel: Jazza
Recommended video: How to be a Freelance Artist!
25. Mark Crilley
Mark Crilley is a renowned author and illustrator of manga books.
This channel includes many manga drawing lessons and some outstanding tutorials about drawing in perspective.
YouTube channel: Mark Crilley
Recommended video: How to Draw Backgrounds (1-point Perspective)
26. BaM Animation
Brent Noll (a background designer) and Maximus Pauson (a character designer), are both industry professional artists.
Here you will find guides and tips for animation, computer games design, illustration, comics, cartoons and other digital art related topics.
Their tutorials are fun to watch and easy to understand.
YouTube channel: BaM Animation
Recommended video: Perspective Drawing in Photoshop! Grids and Tips
27. Ross Draws
Ross Tran is an illustrator and a concept artist.
Besides some amazing tutorials, he draws many characters in his own inspiring style.
YouTube channel: Ross Draws
Recommended video: Illustration Master Course - Ep. 3: PORTRAITS
As previously stated, anybody can learn to draw and paint.
Hard work & practice are essential but, in order to improve, one has to learn constantly.
YouTube channels and instructors, books and articles are great for learning.
Participating in drawing and painting classes are just as important.
Where to Go Next?
I always emphasize to my students the importance of learning to draw before (or alongside) learning to paint.
Here is my guide for realistic pencil drawing.
In my guide for painting realism, you will learn about the 8 key factors to achieve realistic results.
In any case, the world is three-dimensional but our paper (also canvas, wall, computer screen) is two-dimensional. Therefore, we need to create an illusion of depth and space.
To create that illusion, read about the 15 proven ways to create the illusion of depth (with MANY examples).