Alternatives to Digital Art School

Alternatives to Digital Art School

Professional digital art training comes with a host of extensive benefits. Whether it’s access to state-of-the-art equipment, a structured environment, or professors and potential mentors, art school gives you knowledge and experience you might not obtain elsewhere, even if you’re a natural pro at digital art. But that doesn’t mean you have to sign up for a traditional 2-4 year degree.

Consider these alternatives instead:

Cubebrush Tutorials

Learn from tutorials on a site created by CG artists for CG artists. This is a great option for every skill level, from those just starting to experienced vets wanting to up their game in certain areas.

Cubebrush gives digital artists access to plenty of affordable material, whether it’s a one-off tutorial or a longer term course. Here are some of our top tutorials:

Art School for Digital Artists 

With over 10,000 enrolled students, Marc Brunet’s ART School is a well-regarded substitute for traditional institutions. The package includes an organized curriculum full of all of the fundamentals that you would be taught at an actual art school, but for a fraction of the price. As a self-taught program, it will allow you to go at your own pace while ensuring you understand the essential skills you’ll need as a professional digital artist.

With the purchase of ART school, you’ll receive:

  • Over 80 hours of content divided into 10 terms
  • Assignments to check your progress
  • A signed certificate after completion of the program
  • The option to upgrade it by purchasing the Feedback addition, which will give you access to professional feedback on assignments

Digital Speed Painting

This one-off tutorial by Loish runs through the steps she takes to create her renowned digital speed paintings. Loish walks students through the process she takes for three types of drawings, including where she exercises creative liberty, what tools you should always have in your kit, and how to add details and textures to make your digital paints come to life.

This package includes:

  • An hour-long video tutorial with a descriptive and detailed voice-over
  • The Loish brush set
  • Low-resolution pngs of Loish’s final images
  • Original reference images used

Biped Rigging

As one of the top Rigging courses for Maya, this pack equips you with all the methods you’ll need to know to build both basic and complex rigs. Run by industry expert Antony Ward, AntCGi is known for producing comprehensive modeling tutorials on all things Maya. This particular 17-video tutorial walks you through the necessary tools needed for the full rigging process, including:

  • Blendshape Rigging Tool
  • IK <> FK Matching Tool
  • Mirror Rig Tool
  • Quick Limb Tool
  • Joint Arc Tool

Topics covered comprise of joints, control creation, hand rigging, skin weights, squash, stretch, space swapping, and more.


3dtotal Ltd is a great platform for artists of all types. The original site was established in 1999 as a repository for 3D images, and over the years has developed into a respected space for digital artists to develop and showcase their skills. 

From sketch artists to digital animation creatives, there is wide variety of resources available. Build your skillset, gain a new perspective and ultimately grow as an artist with 3dtotal, or you can simply choose to showcase your best works for fans and artists alike.

Resources on 3dtotal include:

  • Galleries: Explore thousands of images with browsing options such as staff picks, popular, recent & debut galleries, or simply choose the search function if you have something in particular you want to see.
  • 3DTotal Publishing: With access to 3D totals bookshop you can find hundreds of physical and ebooks as well as figurines and with each book purchased, 3dtotal is committed to planting one tree. Not only that but 50% of net profits go to charitable causes so you can really give back whilst benefiting from their amazing collection!


Unless you’ve had absolute zero exposure to the world of digital art, you have probably heard of DeviantArt. Perhaps one of the biggest names in the industry, you really can’t go wrong by using DeviantArt as a one-stop shop for your digital art education. 

On DeviantArt you will find tons of categories to browse through, filled with high-quality step-by-step material for you to perfect your digital art skills.

DeviantArt offers:

  • Unique tutorials: From Photoshop for 3D graphics to Rendering, ZBrush & Digital painting, you can learn virtually any skill that interests you with widely available step-by-step guides. 
  • Community forums: Hosting the largest online art community out there, DeviantArt is the perfect place to meet and learn from artists of various skillsets, levels, and niches. Whether it’s getting feedback on the work in progress of your most recent piece, or participating in an art competition to challenge yourself, community forums are ideal for learning by engaging with your fellow artists.

Get More For Less

Learning is a lifelong process, especially for artists. And in today’s highly digital world, there are a plethora of options that you can use to educate yourself. Whether it’s learning directly from a tutorial, or passively learning through exposure to other artists’ work, there’s an array of methods that can supplement traditional art school. 

Put aside your worries about committing to art school and dive into the numerous digital art platforms you have access to today. You can improve your skills at your own pace. 

Make the most of the endless digital art resources from pages like DeviantArt, 3DTotal, and Cuberush. There is no need to wait for fall semester or apply for student loans— learn from the best professionals in the field today!