Your Summer Staycation Learning List
Summertime travel is limited this year. But that doesn’t mean your vacation needs to be scrapped. If you have planned time off and still want to broaden your horizons, why not pick up a new creative skill?
Like traveling, artistic expression can reduce stress and anxiety while boosting your mood. The best part? You don’t even need to master your creative skills to enjoy these benefits — all it takes is a little effort.
Explore your creative side (and encourage employees to get artistic) with these popular courses.
1. Tap into your inner Bob Ross with digital painting
Do you have a digital tablet that’s collecting dust? Transform it into your artistic medium by brushing up on your digital painting skills. The Ultimate Digital Painting Course – Beginner to Advanced starts with the fundamentals of drawing — line, 3D, perspective, light, and color — before moving on to more advanced topics like blending colors and creating different textures.
In the 27+ hours of video lessons, learners will have the opportunity to create over 60 projects and can even begin to build a professional portfolio to showcase their new skills. While a tablet and stylus are necessary for this course, there’s no particular software requirement. Anyone who has basic digital painting software will be able to apply the techniques covered in the course.
Instructors Jaysen and Austen Batchelor are both professional illustrators and have collectively taught over 740,000 students on Udemy.
“I absolutely loved this course. For me, it covered everything I needed to know to start digitally painting in many styles with much more confidence and control over my paintings. Also, I found all the assignments really helpful and so much fun.” – Course review
- 126 lectures
- All Levels
Everything from drawing fundamentals to professional painting techniques | By Jaysen Batchelor, Austin Batchelor
2. Play a concerto or power ballad on the piano
If you’ve been looking for a way to improve your piano skills (even if they’re completely non-existent at the moment), Pianoforall – Incredible New Way to Learn Piano & Keyboard offers a clear path from beginner to intermediate level. This course doesn’t require any prior knowledge or experience — just a piano or keyboard and the commitment to practice for 20 minutes a day.
Instructor Robin Hall is a piano teacher, artist, and therapist who has taught over 280,000 students on Udemy. He focuses on rhythm-style piano and essential techniques that allow learners to play by ear.
In addition to 10 hours of video content, learners receive downloadable PDF ebooks with printed instructions to reinforce the material covered in the lessons.
“This is the best online piano course I have ever bought. The instructions are very detailed and concise yet with just enough ‘telling’ but clear ‘showing.’ Also the resource material was very extensive. If you just want to take one online piano course for beginners and intermediate, this is it.” – Course review
- 362 lectures
- All Levels
Learn Piano in WEEKS not years. Play-By-Ear & learn to Read Music. Pop, Blues, Jazz, Ballads, Improvisation, Classical | By Robin Hall
3. Tell a tale by honing your creative writing
You may not have written the next King Lear during lockdown, but don’t despair — you can still develop your creative writing skills with a little help from Complete Creative Writing – All Genres. This course is designed to help you discover, perfect, and share your writer’s voice through four creative writing mediums: fiction, poetry, drama, and creative non-fiction.
During the course, you’ll receive several writing prompts and assignments to help you progress toward becoming a successful and confident writer. You can even use these projects to build a digital portfolio which you can use to apply to school or jobs.
Instructor Trace Crawford is a writer, teacher, and Udemy instructor who has been teaching writing and theater in both public and private schools since 1997. He’s had several plays and non-fiction works published and his stage plays have been adapted to live performances on six continents, though “Antarctica remains elusive,” he quips.
“I thoroughly enjoyed this course and the content was easy to follow. As an analyst, sometimes we can forget the creative aspect of writing, so this was enlightening and I remembered why I enjoy writing.” – Course review
Last Updated July 2020
- 161 lectures
- All Levels
Learn to write engaging Fiction, Poetry, Drama, & Creative Non-Fiction and become the successful writer you want to be | By Trace Crawford
4. Transform your home with interior design know-how
Shelter in place has prompted many people to rethink their living spaces — or at least to look at them with a more critical eye. Turn your home into a Zoom background you can be proud of with How to Work with Interior Design Styles Like a Pro. This course introduces 18 different popular interior design styles, including furniture characteristics, common materials used in each style, appropriate color schemes and patterns, and window and floor covering options. By the end of the course, learners will be able to create a single distinct style in their home and know how to easily and effectively mix different styles.
Instructor Erikka Fogelman is an interior designer who graduated from the Interior Design program at the New York Institute of Art and Design and has taught over 40,000 students on Udemy. Her goal with this course is to provide foundational knowledge for learners interested in DIY home design or to provide supplemental education for interior design students and professionals.
“I am a brand-new, self-taught interior designer and this course definitely opened my eyes to just how many wonderful styles are among the interior design world! Awesome instructor and super knowledgeable!” – Course review
5. Design a garden that makes your neighbors jealous
Need a little break from inside your home but don’t want to venture too far? Fundamentals of Garden Design introduces the basics of landscape design, which includes the integration of all the elements and spaces that affect our outdoor living environment. Whether you’re hoping to come up with a design for yourself or a client, you’ll learn how to form composition and select a design approach.
Created for gardeners, landscape contractors, designers, and students interested in improving their design capabilities, this course introduces the practical skills of drafting to scale, conducting site surveys, and drawing your conceptual garden plan. Instructor Rob Littlepage is a landscape architect, educator, and founder of the California School of Garden Design.
“This was a very thorough introduction to Garden Design, with a focus on the skills of actually doing the job. Excellent course. I am grateful to have taken it and plan on referencing it in the future.” – Course review
6. Make your own postcards while experimenting with watercolors
Want to take an unconventional approach to watercolor painting? Consider Beginners Watercolor – Get Clear on Basics & Just Paint. “This may be mostly suitable for adults,” writes instructor Nicola A Blakemore, a professional artist, teacher, and creative entrepreneur. Nicola explains that adults have limiting beliefs about what we can and can’t do, and painting may be one of them.
Rather than focusing on technical skills like color mixing or composition, Nicola’s course is designed to help learners overcome hang-ups about their abilities by encouraging play and experimentation. No prior experience is required, but you will need some basic art supplies like a black ink pen, watercolor paints, paint brushes, and watercolor paper.
“Easy to understand with clear, relevant examples. Watercolor can be fiendishly difficult, but Nicola’s infectious enthusiasm pulled me through, and I now have a firm grasp on the medium.”– Course review
Last Updated May 2020
- 56 lectures
- Beginner Level
Painting in watercolor? Start with the real BASICS. Play, learn, gain understanding & confidence as you play & paint. | By Nicola A Blakemore
7. Find your voice with vocal lessons
Take your singing skills from shower only to stage-worthy in Singing Simplified: The Fast-Track to Singing Like a Pro. This course is designed for absolute beginners — no singing experience or musical knowledge required.
Instructor Steve Glazer is a musician, songwriter, and teacher who believes everyone has the “built-in ability to be a great singer.” His course combines technique and everyday emotive sounds in your vocal training to help you understand that singing isn’t as difficult or scary as you thought it was. You’ll learn how to let stress and fear fall to the wayside, and focus on the emotion of the song. Learn to sing any popular style of music such as pop, rock, country, blues, or R&B.
“Steve is a great teacher and this course is addictive. I have been singing all my life but never with any real lessons and my voice has improved a lot in a very short time frame.” – Course review
Last Updated July 2020
- 57 lectures
- Beginner Level
Find your unique voice naturally, while having FUN doing it! A modern approach to singing lessons & vocal training. | By Steve Glazer
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