Stefan Bucher wants to teach you how to create and draw your own creatures. He’s a bit partial to monsters, but his online class and the skills he teaches could work with just about any kind of character you wish to develop, not just monsters. (Think superheroes or robots!)
I’ve been enjoying Stefan’s Skillshare videos, and I’m also enjoying browsing the service looking for other things to learn. Categories include photography, DIY, culinary, and many more. Skillshare is exactly as it sounds… experts and gurus sharing what they know with those of us who lack certain skills. Even better, you can interact with the expert with the built-in discussion system and download any support files that the instructor wishes to share. (Stefan allows viewers to download a scan of the blown-ink sample he uses in his videos.)
Stefan’s “class” isn’t one video — it’s a collection, all narrated by Stefan as you see his hands in action and hear him discussing not only developing the design but all the story behind your character. Videos are short, usually less than 8 minutes (some as short as 1 minute), and they include not only a video that describes materials you’ll need (he mentions specific brands, but also makes recommendations that are generic) but also tips on prepping your work area.
Videos progress by demonstrating the best techniques for using a can of air to spread ink and then move to using pens and pencils to fill in the details to the air-blown ink to create custom creatures. Stefan discusses looking at the blown ink and finding interesting places to add eyeballs, mouths, appendages, and more. The videos are really fun to watch — if you like seeing artists do their thing, you’ll really enjoy watching Stefan in action.
What’s so cool about the Skillshare site (and Stefan’s 8 videos more specifically) is that you’re getting the expert… his/her voice, recommendations, and personality. It’s all there in the videos, and I think kids will enjoy the one-on-one feel of the videos as services such as Khan Academy give them… a focused, “this is about you” experience.
You can check out Stefan’s videos for free… Skillshare is free to use, but it also has an upgraded account offering should you find you REALLY enjoy the service. The free account gives you one hour of videos per month — $8.95 per month gives you unlimited access. Stefan’s eight videos total less than an hour, so you’ll be able to watch them all using just the free account.
I’ve been a huge fan of Stefan’s since discovering his 100 Monsters project. My sons love his style, and I just appreciate him taking the time to share his process for creating his unique and amazing creatures. You can find out more about Stefan on his website, and be sure to grab a copy of his book if you enjoy his monsters in the videos.