The course often features multiple angles. This helps students see close details when it is helpful. Watching with wider angles helps students see the entire drawing, or they can watch the use of the shoulder and arm in the drawing process.
“The cool thing about this course is that students can learn at their own pace. They can take a break and come back to the course later if they want,” said Neuman. “And once they enroll, they have lifetime access to the videos and other support files.”
Simon is also a visual art professor, and Neuman is a digital media and communication professor. But for them, this was a side project unrelated to their full-time jobs, although teaching the topic in person did help with forming the instruction in the online course.
“We made sure to use our own time when filming and editing the course, since we are also full-time university professors who have to dedicate time to grading, developing courses, teaching, advising, and so on, which ends up being well over 40 hours per week,” said Neuman. “But we still found time to produce this course, although it took about eight months, sometimes only getting to record two hours a day on the weekend, for example.”
“Online education is definitely a growing area, whether it means fully online university degrees that have more theory as well as more in-depth, individualized guidance and feedback, or online courses on a specific, technical topic, from Photoshop to drawing, on a site like Udemy,” said Neuman. “There are also design and coding boot camps at universities or training companies. It’s an exciting time for education, and I’m glad to be involved in these kinds of projects. Jonathan is a talented artist, and honestly, it’s amazing that people can learn from him this way, regardless of where they live.”
If you enroll in the course, you might notice some local scenes. For example, the demonstration of drawing moving animals was filmed around Lake Morton, and the gesture drawing of a cityscape was filmed at Lake Mirror. Although produced locally, the course has attracted students from 143 countries, including Spain, Germany, Brazil, and Poland.
“Since anyone with an internet connection can enroll in the course, you don’t have to live in Lakeland to take it. That’s the beauty of online education,” said Simon. “However, we are excited to share this course with our fellow Lakeland and Polk County residents.
Art is for everyone!”