Are Proko Drawing Courses Worth It?

Are Proko’s Premium Drawing Courses Worth It?
Are Proko Courses Worth It?

So are Proko Courses Worth it? Whether you are an amateur artist who has decided to turn your passion for art into a career, or an established artist who wants to hone his skills even further, knowing exactly where to begin can prove to be a challenge. Thankfully, the advent of the Internet has made it pretty easy for aspiring or veteran artists to access valuable art resources that can potentially help boost their expertise. Decide to invest in top-notch online tuition or training, offered by leading artists, and you’ll soon find your potential as an artist improving by leaps and bounds!

However, with nearly endless online platforms, choosing the right place to learn new skills can sometimes prove to be a daunting and intimidating task. Proko is just one of the many online resources where you can find lots of materials to take your drawing to the next level. But, are Proko’s premium drawing courses worth it? You’ll soon find out.

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So, What is Proko?

Proko is an online resource for artists who would want to learn and enhance their skills with loads of art instruction videos. Proko was created by Stan Prokopenko, a highly established and experienced teacher and artist. Proko tutorials make learning delightful thanks to their insightful sessions that motivate users to practice even more. You get lots of inspiration, and the most encouraging thing is that these tutorials are fun. You are always motivated to practice more and boost your skills.

A Guide to Improve Your Drawing
A Guide to Improve Your Drawing

On Proko’s website, you’ll get access to numerous online courses about traditional drawing. The Portrait Drawing Course will show you an effective way of drawing the portrait from all angles. You’ll then study the anatomy of the nose, eyes, ears as well as the lips. This information is relayed in a highly entertaining way, keeping you engaged and motivated to re-watch the tutorials. Proko also offers a highly exciting course known as the Figure Drawing Course, to compliment your portraits. Here, you’ll learn the basics regarding how to draw the human body, using techniques such as shading to give volume and depth to your drawings and gesture to capture the body movement.

And you are willing to delve deeper into the human body, you’ll find the Anatomy of the Human Body Course quite helpful. You will understand how the human body is structured muscle by muscle and bone by bone. You’ll get access to fully rotatable 3D models of the different body parts and have a better understanding of how the body functions. And if you are into caricature drawing, there is a package for you as well. From instilling robust foundational skills to finding your voice in art, Proko’s online courses are created to not only instruct but to guide you during your learning journey.

So, who is Stan Prokopenko?

How to Study Anatomy Correctly – Construct the Body

The most crucial factor you’ll want to take into account when looking to purchase an online course or book is the author or creator’s artistic expertise. After all, why would you want to be mentored by someone who is not even prolific at whatever he/she is teaching? Unfortunately, there are lots of unqualified or inexperienced artists in the art world, and if you aren’t keen enough, you risk being one of their clients!

Based in San Diego, Stan is a highly experienced artist and a former student and teacher at the Watts Atelier, an online-based platform that teaches a classical method of realism for both painting and drawing. Stan began posting drawing tutorials on his YouTube channel nearly eight years ago, where he demonstrated to his audience how to draw the head using the same technique t Loomis Andrew. Since then, his channel has grown into a highly extensive online art learning resource for both beginner and experienced artists who want to study figure drawing.

Stan regularly uploads relatively shorter clipped versions of his tutorials for free on his YouTube channel. This is the freemium package where virtually everyone can watch some helpful content for free. However, for you to access the full content, you’ll have to buy Stan’s premium courses. One of the main objectives of Stan is to make your learning process fun and enjoyable, and this is evident in the regular use of humor in the clips. As an artist, Proko boasts a great sense of humor and often peppers his tutorials with visual gags and jokes just to help enlighten the mood. They are very entertaining yet educational. Simply put, with Proko’s drawing videos at your disposal, you’ll never get bored. As a result, you will pay lots of attention, learn better, and retain lots of information as well. What’s more, your hunger to learn will only increase, leaving you more inspired and motivated to practice.

An Outline of Proko’s Premium Drawing courses:

  • Figure Drawing Fundamentals Course: This is a versatile course that is approachable enough for amateur artists and detailed enough for experienced artists. In this course, you’ll learn about the figure drawing techniques in a highly enjoyable and entertaining manner. It has top-notch videos that include extended versions of freemium tutorials. The course is designed to guide learners through multiple abstraction levels, with a detailed explanation of supplementary concepts along the way. Notable features of this course include extended lessons, examples, and demos, critique clips, assignments, and answers. Premium videos are in-depth and cover lots of information.
  • Portrait Drawing Course: In this particular course, you’ll learn how to sketch portraits from any perspective. What’s more, you’ll learn about the anatomy of the lips, eyes, nose, and ears. It features two full-length, real-time demos of portrait drawing from start to finish.
  • Anatomy for Artists: This is by far the most complex and expensive Proko drawing course, and you’ll need to dedicate lots of your time to understand what’s going on here. This course is divided into three distinct sections, including the torso, arms, and legs. Every single section covers specific body areas, and each section brings onboard extended video lessons, 3D models, an ebook with the course material as well as assignments that are accompanied with answers and critiques. Like the other drawing courses, the freemium version only hints at what is available when you purchase the premium version.
  • Caricature Drawing Course: If you didn’t know, this is the only course that isn’t taught by Proko. Instead, it is taught by Jones Court, an equally highly experienced artist. He is a skilled artist who is passionate about caricature. Like Stan, Jones is a former trainee at Watts Atelier and has been a teacher at this institution since 2013. This only implies that there isn’t a significant shift in style between these two prolific artists.

Freemium Vs. Premium Courses. What is the Difference?

Freemium courses are accessible for anyone with an Internet connection. However, as previously mentioned, these courses are just a hint of what you’ll get from premium courses. To be more precise, premium courses are extended versions of freemium videos, nearly three times longer, and usually includes critique clips as well as additional examples of each lesson.

It is imperative to note that premium versions are intended to give users a detailed understanding of a given drawing subject. While there are lots of free Proko YouTube videos, they don’t feature all the extra features of the premium courses. Premium versions are also downloadable, include lots of assignments, examples, demos, 3D models as well as critique videos. It contains nearly everything you need to enhance your drawing skills.

What do the Proko’s Courses Offer the Beginner artist?

As earlier mentioned, there is plenty of video content classified into two types; premium and freemium. The freemium versions are available to anyone, whereas the premium content must be purchased. The free videos are relatively shorter, giving you just enough to make you have an interest. A clip on the Proko YouTube channel may introduce an important concept, but the premium course will contain the whole section devoted to further elaborate on that particular concept. The premium tutorials are extended clips featuring 3D models, detailed lessons, and numerous examples. When you purchase one specific drawing course, you get access to its dashboard where you can now stream or download course resources according to your convenience.

There are numerous compelling reasons why Proko’s drawing videos work wonders for both beginner and experienced artists. First and foremost, each tutorial is carefully designed and thoroughly polished. The video content is better produced, articulately presented, and has a great tone compared to other online drawing videos.

What’s more Proko incorporates graphics, animations, and models into his tutorials, allowing you to quickly understand every bit of the lessons. Each clip is set in 720p, making it great for viewing. Every chapter has at least one instructional video which you can go through repeatedly while taking the course. And if you are someone who finds it difficult going through somewhat plain educational-oriented content, Proko has got you covered. Stan boasts an incredible sense of humor, which is usually reflected in his drawing videos, and this lightens the mood and makes learning a fun experience.

Figure Drawing Fundamentals:

In the art world, it is always important to start by learning how to draw figures. This is precisely what Stan offers in his figure drawing session. This course takes you teaches you how to draw human figures of all body types, in any position, and light them from any perspective. It is a course in which many artists see a lot of growth and improvement. Click here to visit Proko Figure Drawing Fundamentals

You’ll learn about:

  • Gesture: This is one of the most essential concepts of figure drawing. If you didn’t know, gesture is the motion, rhythm, flow, action, and posture of the pose. This course focuses on finding the lines of action, teaching artists to easily and promptly identify the main character of the pose.
  • Bean: The bean is just a simple representation of the torso, which is strikingly similar to the flour sack that nearly every animation student is aware of. In each body pose, the torso has a side that pinches and a side that stretches, and the bean is arguably the simplest way to visually represent this. In simple terms, the bean is the most effective tool for identifying and drawing the leaning, tilting, foreshortening and twisting of the body.
  • Structure: This section involves breaking the parts of the body into simple geometric forms such as cylinders, cubes, spheres.
  • Landmarks: This section covers the bony protrusions that can be used to define proper relationships between the body’s different parts.
  • Robo Bean: This section involves representing the body in boxes to help find its orientation. You can then use it to visualize the body in a 3D form.
  • Mannequinization: Here, you begin to give your drawings the perspective and volume to help invent poses as per your imagination. It is also important to mention that this section is where your drawings begin to look more like humans.
  • Critiques: In this section, Stan Proko critiques the work submitted by the student.
  • Balance: This part takes you through the body’s center of gravity as well as how to represent this in your drawings.
  • Proportions: Proko breaks down the proportions of the human body and precisely explains the differences that exist between Robert Beverly Hale, Dr. Richer Paul, and Loomi Andrew’s proportional concepts.
  • Exaggeration: This section involves giving the drawn image more life.
  • Measuring: Here, you’ll be taken through how to accurately and effectively use Dr. Richer Paul’s scientific system of how to measure an average person.
  • Prerequisites: This talks about the materials, how to sharpen your drawing pencil as well as a general overview of the basic terminology involved.
  • Shading: This section is about adding more value to your forms.

As you may have guessed, the main objective of this particular course is to simplify the subject into its most basic components, which you can now easily build upon until you execute a fully rendered drawing. Those who have taken before this course know that Stan tends to put lots of emphasis on the gesture section, especially during the early stages of the course. An excellent gesture drawing should capture the essence of the pose with the fewest marks possible. Even though this section is relatively more straightforward, sacrificing speed for precision is always recommended, particularly for beginners. You should progress through the lessons slowly, going through the exercises repeatedly until you master everything.

Standard features of the figure drawing course include extended lessons with in-depth videos that cover lots of information about every single topic. Premium course members will also get access to a couple of example drawings as well as real-time demos that will help them develop their skills.

What’s more, the course brings on board a spectrum of exercises to enhance your knowledge about the subject. After you are done with the lesson, Stan will personally show you how to go about the assignment. It is also important to note that premium students that follow along with new clips and submit assignments have an opportunity to feature in critique videos.

Portrait Drawing Fundamentals:

This course is subdivided into 18 distinct clips tailored toward showing you an effective way to draw the portrait from any possible angle. You will be shown how to draw the head per the Loomis principles of figure drawing. Of course, this is something you can learn yourself. However, as we told you before, Stan has a fantastic way of teaching, making your entire learning experience fun and enjoyable.  Click Here to Visit Portrait Drawing Course

You’ll also have access to moving 3D models that you can later use to practice from. For instance, you’ll have at your disposal a 3D model of Loomi’s head, which you’ll be able to continuously visualize from any angle. This will allow you to learn and understand how to draw the various planes of the head accurately and correctly from nearly any view.

And once you have mastered how to draw the head appropriately, you’ll proceed to the anatomy of the eyes, lips, ears, and nose. All this information is available in separated sub-lessons for each facial feature. You will be taught how to draw these facial features through specific exercises. The head is the most complex subject, perhaps it is the part of the body we are all familiar with. When you talk to someone, what part of the body do you always look? There face, especially the eyes.

The face is the most information-dense part of the body, so your eyes will be drawn to it naturally. Therefore, it is unsurprising that even those who don’t have any knowledge about facial anatomy can quickly identify a poorly drawn portrait. Those who are familiar with Stan’s portrait drawing know that he usually starts with a simple lay-in and subsequently uses a sphere to represent the cranium before adding the jawline and mask of the face. Stan then segments the face into thirds; nose to brow, chin to nose, and brow to hairline. This provides the platform on which the nose, eyes, mouth, and hair can be easily added. Each of these sections is articulately presented individually in separate videos.

Most aspiring artists usually approach hair the wrong way. In this course, Stan will show you how to give hair volume in your drawings. After a couple of trials and following Stan’s instructions, you’ll get some convincing results.

A significant number of the videos provided in the portrait course are freely available on the Proko YouTube page. However, when you purchase the premium version, you’ll get two full-length portrait drawing demos as well as 3D models. The long-form models explain how to bring all the concepts together into a complete portrait drawing.

Anatomy:

This is arguably the most comprehensive Proko course. This course is separated into three distinct sections, including the arms, torso, and legs. Even though no content covers bones or facial features, Stan covers the neck muscle as well as the spinal cord. Click Here to Visit Anatomy for Artists

Every section is divided into subsections to help make the learning process somewhat more manageable. The first chapter is quite universal and covers anatomical terms as well as the various joint types. Regardless of what you are interested in, you will have to learn about joint types. Stan starts by taking you through the deepest layers, including the tendons and bones, before gradually moving out into surface muscles. For instance, under the arms lesson, you’ll begin by learning all the bones found in the hand and arm. From there, you’ll move deeper into the muscles, with each muscle having its subsection.

These muscle classes are extremely detailed because they are the forms you will be drawing in the figure course. Every single lesson features a series of exercises intended to help you practice and fully understand one muscle group before you progress onto the next level. Each new chapter focuses on one muscle or bone at a time. Below is a brief description of what you’ll learn in anatomy course:

  • Skeleton: In this chapter, you’ll go through the skeleton structure, its joints, and associated landmarks to help you with proportions and drawing the body in motion.
  • Tracking muscles: The attachments (the origin and insertion) of muscles to help you put the muscles in the right spot and draw the correct shapes.
  • Simple forms: In this section, you’ll learn about the planar block forms, after which you’ll know how to shade, make an accurate perspective, and make the muscles feel 3D.
  • Layering: You’ll learn about muscle layering to help you to accurately draw what everything looks like on the surface of a person.
  • Cross Sections: This chapter will help you know how to visualize muscle layering.
  • Body types: After successfully going through this chapter, you’ll know how to identify the type of character you are drawing, and this dramatically increases both creative freedom and accuracy.
  • Idealization: When you know how to idealize, you will always find it easy to remove those things that can potentially hurt your drawing and include those things that may be missing to make it better.
  • Function: The body is simply a machine, and knowing its function will allow you to understand its limitation. You’ll equally learn how to draw the body in motion.

The anatomy course also brings on board several enticing features such as extended lessons, demos, and examples, eBooks, assignments and answers, critique videos as well as 3D models. The lessons offered in this course will go above and beyond your expectations. They are thorough, lengthy, and insightful. If you are interested in this particular course, you can buy each section separately, or all together at a discounted price.

Caricature Drawing Course:

As we previously stated, this course is not taught by Stan. Instead, Court Jones will take you through the entire section. The first part of the course covers the primary caricature concepts. Here, you’ll use techniques such as abstraction and exaggeration to enhance a rough sketch and make it a fully designed caricature drawing. Click Here to Visit Caricature Drawing Course

The second part of the course focusses on building your caricature muscles. The exercises offered will help enhance the visual part of your memory and trick you into creating somewhat stronger exaggerations. There are lessons on how to break bad habits, how to tackle mental roadblocks as well as methods on how to figure out those difficult faces. You’ll also learn something about digital painting. Like the previous courses, the caricature course comes jam-packed with amazing features such as extended lessons, critique clips, narrated demonstrations, and assignments.

So, how do these courses cost?

  • Figure drawing fundamentals pricing: The premium figure course includes more than fifteen hours of instruction, a full length narrated drawing demo, and assignment examples. It costs $99.
  • Portrait drawing course: The whole course includes two narrated demos as well as 3D models and costs $59.
  • Anatomy course: The three-pack bundle costs $250. You may also choose to purchase each part separately for $99.
  • Caricature course: This section consists of two parts, with each part costing $99. You can also purchase the two parts combined for $170.

Is There a Refund Policy?

Proko offers a trial period of 30 days. During this time, you’ll have access to a variety of lessons, demos, assignments as well as critiques to keep you grounded as you weigh your options. And if in any case you are not interested in the course and you choose not to continue, you are free to ask for a refund. You only need to send an email to support@proko.com, and you’ll get your money back.

So, Who Will Benefit From Taking this Drawing Course?

The most apparent reason why you would want to take an online art course is its convenience. After all, who has the time to attend a drawing class? With family and work commitments, it is always challenging to create enough time to explore your artistic and creative side. Regardless, you still have to find time to do it, and this is where an online art class proves handy.

Proko drawing course is recommended for nearly all types of artists out there. So, if you are looking for an art course that will potentially take you from the very beginning of your artistic career to that point where you’ll be able to produce expert-quality illustrations, this course should be your ultimate option. Every artist out there needs to spend some time honing their skills to be able to produce quality work. This particular course is designed to help you do just that!

Beginners will also find this course very helpful. The course content is generally geared toward amateur artists. All the four courses are, in my opinion, the best way to start how to become an artist. These clips break down complex ideas into a straightforward step-by-step exercise that anybody can practice. Stan has the skillset as well as the history to prove he’s a highly competent instructor. What’s more, his teaching style is so direct that you should never feel confused or lost.

Of course, it is imperative to note that the Proko drawing course isn’t a miracle-worker! You will need to dedicate lots of your time and effort. Simply put, if you follow these lessons as instructed by Stan, and put in the work, you’ll ultimately see drastic improvements!

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Alternative Courses Worth Looking at:

Udemy Drawing Courses:

Udemy offers a broad range of relatively cheaper courses. Some of the courses offered by Udemy worth looking at include:

  • Ultimate drawing course – beginner to advanced: This is a fairly detailed drawing course that is suitable for both amateur and advanced artists. You’ll learn the anatomy of the human eye and how to draw it perfectly. You’ll also how shadows and reflections are cast, how light reacts with the human eye, how to break down objects into simpler shapes. What’s more, you’ll learn about perspective as well as how to maintain the right perspective from different angles, how to use different shading techniques to add value and volume to your piece of art, and how to create texture to add another level of realism to your artwork and many other important things. Simply put, this course will help you develop a robust, well-rounded set of essential skills as an artist. You’ll study nearly every single aspect of drawing. This implies that the course is ideal for beginner artists as well as experienced individuals who need to sharpen their skills. In terms of price, this course costs $149.99.
  • The art and science of drawing/basic skills: If you are ready to start developing your art skills, this can be a great place to start. To become an established artist, you must have a solid foundation in the basics. This is a very straightforward and easy course that is designed with beginners in mind. So, if you have never grabbed a pencil and sketched anything in your life before, this should be your ultimate course. You’ll be taken through the basics and develop a solid understanding of every single step. However, it should be noted that this course is not ideal for advanced art students. It is meant for those who are just starting on their drawing journey. For artists looking for fairly advanced drawing courses that cover a broader range of subjects, this course isn’t suited for you. The price of this course is $19.99.

Skillshare Drawing Courses:

If you didn’t know, Skillshare is an online education site where anybody can put up classes on whatever topic they want. There are more than 20,000 classes on Skillshare. Click this link to visit Skillshare. However, we are not interested in all of them, but rather just those that can help us become great artists. Skillshare classes are relatively shorter and cover smaller topics as well.

The art classes on this site are mostly suited for beginners, with courses on oil painting, acrylic painting, drawing, and watercolor painting dominating. Other common lessons include how to design a female character, pen and ink illustration, imaginative drawing, character illustration, among others.

In terms of pricing, Skillshare is currently one of the most affordable platforms, with a $16 monthly subscription fee. There is an annual subscription that costs $99. They also offer a generous two-month free trial period. However, in all honesty, I don’t think it is worth subscribing to the premium membership for Skillshare art classes. Instead, you should just take these courses freely during the trial period. In two months, you can grasp as much information as you can.

The Bottom Line:

So, you can see that Proko drawing courses are head and shoulders above both Udemy and Skillshare courses. They are not only offered by a proven expert in the art industry, but Stan also presents all these excellent information videos. The content is laced with lots of humor, making it fun and enjoyable to go through. Though they are relatively quite expensive, Proko’s premium drawing courses are worth it.

Ian

Ian Walsh is the creator and author of improvedrawing.com and an Art teacher based in Merseyside in the United Kingdom. He holds a BA in Fine Art and a PGCE in teaching Art and Design. He has been teaching Art for over 24 Years in different parts of the UK. When not teaching Ian spending his time developing this website and creating content for the improvedrawing channel.

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Is Proko Premium Art Course Worth It?