Monday, December 27, 2010

Online Art Classes: Drawing & Painting

Do you want to learn the techniques that will make you a better crafter, no matter what type of work you do? Then you may want to consider taking online art classes in drawing and painting. Online classes make it easy to learn the basic techniques of color, composition, rendering, line and shading, without ever leaving your home. All of these techniques will help you improve the quality of your work and become a better artist overall.

One of the classes offered by is a two part series on watercolor painting by Mark Satchwill, a watercolorist for twenty years. It teaches artists the basics on learning to stretch watercolor paper, how to mix colors effectively, and the basic theories of color and watercolor technique. The end result is a beautiful still life painting of lemons.

Other online art classes in drawing and painting include a Beginning Shading course with Elizabeth Johnson, where students learn to draw a shaded rendering of a swan using a graphite pencil. Students who purchase this art instruction video will have the opportunity to watch it several times over the course of a year. The same instructor also teaches an Introduction to Colored Pencil class, where students complete a beautiful butterfly picture using specific colored pencil techniques.

Oil painting courses are offered for the beginner, who wants to learn the basics of this amazing medium. In this course, Harlan shares over 35 years of experience to show the various techniques used by professional oil painters. offers a wide range of craft courses for everyone from the hobbyist to the professional, as well as several other online art classes in drawing and painting.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Dear Friends;

It's Christmas Eve, already! Where, oh, where did 2010 go? Summer is long gone and, to quote Bob Dylan, "winter's closing in".

Every year, at this time, most of us pause and reflect on the year past. We make our resolutions and we even mean them! I have many resolutions that are grandfathered into the next year automatically. I will learn to ride this year! (Again). I'm an optimist so it could happen.

We consider our accomplishments. This is so important - it gives us the gas to move our little vehicles forward. This year, we launched CraftEdu. After 2 years of planning and laying the groundwork, it happened. Anyone who has started a project or public enterprise knows that when that day finally comes, it's equal parts excitement and fear.

Our instructors worked and posted classes - they overcame their fear in doing so. They hurled themselves into the new, the different and they succeeded. I am so proud of them and proud of what they have accomplished. They're so talented, how could it be any different.

The site changed - improved - making it easier for students to navigate and understand. There were glitches but thanks to our tech partner and your input, those glitches were taken care of. We will always do our best to make CraftEdu the best - that will never change. Blessed with the best tech partner anyone could have, we continue our forward progress.

But, there would be no reason to go forward if not for you. Our students and friends who came and participated and patiently understood our foibles. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

So going forward, we will be adding to the site, because it's not complete now. We'll be inviting new instructors and we will get those classes up. I think 2011 is shaping up to be very special.

Wishing you all a warm and wonderful holiday season, filled with joy, laughter, love and tons of hugs.


Donna, Vernon and the CraftEdu Family

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Use Your Computer Creatively with Digital Art Tutorials and Video Classes

Attention digital artists and photographers: You may have heard horror stories about images being stolen by others and used inappropriately on other web sites or print advertising. Simply by posting pictures on the Internet, your work could be at risk. But there is something you can do about it. Protect your work from unauthorized use on the Internet using a technique called watermarking. You can download a free 30-day trial of Photoshop Elements 8 if you don’t use it already, and then simply log on to view the digital art tutorials and video classes at Here you will find out more about why it is important to watermark your images and how to do it properly.

Another reason to look at the digital art tutorials and video classes at is to enroll in a class called Photo Draping in Photoshop. The ideal class for web designers and graphic artists, this three-part series shows you the ins and outs of how to “photo drape” a textile design into another image. By starting with a flat textile design image from your computer, you can learn how to place the pattern onto clothing or other fabrics within a scanned photograph. This is a great skill to have if you want to show shoppers on an ecommerce web site what an outfit would look like in a different fabric or pattern, without taking multiple photographs.

Whether you are an amateur hobbyist or a professional artist, the digital art tutorials and video classes offered at are an excellent way to master a new skill.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Art Dolls: Techniques and Classes for Doll Making

Ever since the first wooden dolls were created in the 17th century on a manual lathe, craftspeople have been making exquisite collector art dolls, but today’s crafter has access to a many more techniques and classes for doll making. Instead of learning this craft by studying as an apprentice in a doll-making shop, it’s now possible to learn the latest skills by simply downloading an online craft video.

While some of the materials and techniques for doll making have changed over the years, most art dolls are still hand sewn from fine fabrics like silk, cotton and satin. Crafters still take the time to build armatures, and hand-sew piped trims for a doll’s clothing.

If you have always wanted to make art dolls, techniques and classes for doll making are available online at Here, several well known doll makers offer video craft instruction using various media.

A few of my favorite online craft videos from the Art Dolls section of CraftEdu include:

Mixed Media Sculptured Dolls is a class taught by Ellie Hitchcock that is perfect for children and teachers. These art dolls are simple and inexpensive to make.

For a more experienced crafter, the Father Christmas Needle Felting Class teaches how to make an heirloom needle felted Father Christmas doll that is certain to be a family favorite.

Other felting classes are taught by Harlan, and include a Needle Felted Rabbit project and an Intermediate Needle Felting class that teaches the basics of this popular technique.

Online video classes are being added regularly at, and are the easiest way to become proficient at making art dolls. Check the website regularly for new techniques and classes in doll making.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ideas for Mixed Media and Altered Art Projects

As more craft instruction moves to the Internet, it is getting easier to find a wide range of ideas for mixed media and altered art projects. Mixed media and “altered art” are often considered buzzwords for craft techniques that bridge the gap between crafting and fine art. In fact, many craft artists regularly show their altered art pieces in galleries and fine art shows.

So what is altered art? Altered art is a combination of techniques that can include anything from collaging to stamping; enameling to embellishing. It is usually done on a household item or book to reflect a creative theme, or narrative.

On one crafting web site,, it is possible to learn the mixed media techniques that are most commonly used to create altered art. These include layering paper and other mediums to make a beautifully collaged mask, using polymer clay as a painting medium to create a Still Life Floral Clay Painting, and learning how to make your own Travel Altar.

If you are looking to expand your skill set to include collage, clay painting, and other textured effects, offers online art instruction classes for beginners, intermediate and advanced skill levels. Their range of offerings includes ideas for mixed media and altered art projects, as well as numerous crafting disciplines.

Experienced artists teach these techniques in easy to follow craft instruction videos, most of which can be viewed again and again for one price. Before you purchase, the site offers brief previews of each video so you can see what supplies are required, and each video also provides you with written instructions on a PDF document.

For the best ideas for mixed media and altered art projects, take a look at what has to offer.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Learn How to Make a Laser Transfer Pin with Video Craft Instruction

Do you want to learn polymer clay caning techniques? Well, it is no longer necessary to find a local craft instructor or go out and buy a book on clay jewelry-making. Video craft instruction makes it easy to learn the basics of making polymer clay beads and other jewelry online.

For craft artists, polymer clay was one of the best inventions. It is relatively inexpensive, easy to manipulate, and hardens in the oven. The latest trends using polymer clay for craft-quality jewelry involve caning or rolling the clay to achieve intricately patterned beads.

Another type of polymer clay jewelry utilizes a flat shape with an image transferred onto it. These shapes are often stamped with permanent inks and then covered with a transparent clay to protect the image. In her video craft instruction segment, craft artist Donna Kato shows how simple it is to make“laser transfer pins” using polymer clay and a laser printed image.

In the preview for this video, Donna uses a pasta machine to flatten a sheet of black and white clay, which are fused together and cut into shapes. After transferring a color image onto the clay, she stamps it with white and black inks and covers it with a special clear polymer that can be sanded and buffed later on.

This particular class is one of many video craft instruction workshops offered by CraftEdu to help crafters refine their skills. Other popular classes include bead art, painting, digital art, fabric arts and calligraphy.