Pablo Picasso once said, “I don’t say everything, but I paint everything.” This seems to reinforce the adage about a picture being worth a thousand words. The more you paint the better you become and just like a good poet can speak volumes using only a handful of words, artists are able to convey deep emotions, vast thoughts and incredible imagery within the confines of a tiny canvas.
For some, painting come naturally, but for others it’s a learned skill that comes with practice. Still, there are some people who prefer to admire works from afar and absorb the creative genius that was used to produce them. Depending on how you define yourself as an artist — prodigy, student, enthusiast — we’ve found content that will resonate with everyone in this round-up of online art resources.
Surprisingly, there are several online websites that feature free resources to help artists refine their skills, teach newbies how to draw and showcase collections from the masters. We’ve rounded up a few and are sharing them below for you to view and enjoy.
Online art and museum resources
An online community comprised of nearly 369,000 artists, Artist Daily is a comprehensive art resource for members to share inspiration and ideas. They also happen to have a collection of free instructional ebooks that cover an array of art-related topics. For the price of an email address, visitors can download and read free ebooks on acrylic painting, shading, painting flowers and learning the basics of launching an art business.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has created MetPublications to provide visitors with a way to access more than 1,300 titles, including books, online publications and Bulletins and Journals from the past five decades. Books are available in several convenient formats depending on need and copyright. You can purchase, download, read online or print on demand, and search the contents of nearly all books within MetPublications. All of the Met’s Journal issues are available in PDF format and a must read for artistic topics and showcase of art.
Gold Coast Art Classes is actually a private art studio located in Australia just south of Brisbane. Studio owner Martina Pook has curated a collection of 100 free ebooks that span many classic art subjects, such as drawing hands and botanical illustrations. Pook is vigilant when it comes to copyright and several free ebooks feature disclaimers explaining why they’re no longer available to share. What remains is a solid selection of eclectic art books to read and learn from.
Artist David Myers has assembled an amazing collection of recommended art books organized into categories, like art history and the old masters, drawing, watercolor and others. Myers is upfront and clear about the books that he features on his site stating that although most are in the public domain there are a few that are still in copyright. He has provided links to the author’s copyright details where applicable, but reminds all visitors that:
“It is your responsibility to determine copyright status of any file or link here and contact the copyright owner if you want to do anything but view and read these publications for your own personal use.”
Named after its founder Solomon R. Guggenheim, the Guggenheim Museum has existed for more than 75 years and featured continuously expanding collections of impressionist, post-impressionist and early modern art. The Guggenheim publishes books and catalogs documenting many of its exhibitions, and it has created a From The Archives section that houses key museum titles dating back to its founding. Thanks to its partnership with Internet Archive these books are in digitized format.
In the summer of 2013, the J. Paul Getty Museum and Getty Research Institute adopted the Open Content Program to address the need to share images of works of art for free and without restriction. With more than 10,000 paintings, drawings, manuscripts, photographs, sculptures, watercolor and so much more, the Open Content Program is packed with images. In certain circumstances Getty only asks for an attribution if you intend to reproduce Open Content works.
NOTE: The Getty’s images in this program are believed by Getty to be in the public domain, or Getty is authorizing certain uses. In the case with all art and works of authorship, those works may be used with permission if the use qualifies as fair use principles set out in section 107 of the copyright code, as interpreted by various courts.
There are so many online sources for viewing art and museum texts and collections, which means that more people have access to experience and enjoy artwork that they many not normally have access too. What are some helpful free art and museum resources that you’ve discovered? Please share in the comments below.
We have no commercial relationships with any of the vendors and sites discussed in this blog, and disclaim responsibility for them and their goods and services.
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