8 Free Virtual Drawing Classes to Engage Kids' Creativity—and Keep Them Busy

Drawing tutorials are popping up all over the internet, and these eight will get your family learning from amazing art museums and Disney animators.

If you've been wracking your brains for activities kids will enjoy while safer at home and that can keep them engaged while you take a beat to yourself, take heart that the art world is coming to the rescue. Online art classes, offered by everyone from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City to Disney, have been popping up all over. Here, 9 free drawing tutorial and art class resources that will keep kids enthralled and you (at least slightly) less stressed.

girl in traditional Chinese costumes colouring in a colouring book happily
Images By Tang Ming Tung/Getty Images

1. Disney & Pixar

Disney and Pixar are releasing free online tutorials to teach kids how to sketch out their favorite characters, from Frozen's Anna to a vintage 1920s Mickey. Check out an ongoing list of options on the Disney Parks Blog.

2. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)'s Free Course Lineup

Older kids will want to take advantage of the free online courses MoMA in New York City is currently offering, aimed at bolstering everyone's appreciation for art. Nine classes—including one on modern art and ideas—are freely available via Coursera, an online learning platform that hosts more than 3,900 massive open online courses (MOOC) and specializations.

3. SkillShare

Tweens and teens will enjoy this free 59-minute lesson on character illustration, figures, faces, and clothing from Gabriel Picolo, a comic artist on online learning community platform SkillShare.

Another SkillShare artist: art lover, teacher, and mom Gabrielle Brickey, who says on her Instagram that she's devoted to "helping artists learn how to draw and paint." In one of her several classes on the site, Brickey teaches students how to sketch a female character portrait.

4. Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is offering up web-only features, like virtual tours and an online drawing class recently launched in honor of The Met's 150th anniversary in April. It's a virtual extension of The Met's Drop-In Drawing program, the session includes a step-by-step instructional video that guides you through the finer points of rendering an image of The Met's facade using perspective.

5. DrawingCoach.com

If kids are eager to dive right into drawing, they'll do well to check out this straightforward blog that offers step-by-step instructions on drawing a wide variety of objects (like flowers, people, trees, etc.) and examples. Some lessons also include video tutorials.

6. Udemy

Udemy hosts a wide variety of art and drawing classes for free. For instance, in one, step-by-step, two-hour course, teacher, art instructor, and artist Em Winn shows children over 5 how to draw cartoons.

7. The Art of Aaron Blaise

Aaron Blaise spent 21 years as an animator on Disney animated classics like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, Mulan, and more. Now, kids can learn his masterful techniques on his YouTube channel "The Art of Aaron Blaise" and in Blaise's online courses, many of which are now free in response to the pandemic.

8. The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago (yes, the same of Ferris Bueller fame) is featuring family and educator resources, art-making activities, interactive stories, video and audio tours, collection highlights, and more on their website. Check out their hub for art-making and creative writing activities, many that are targeted to kids 7 and older.

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