Dust off your cookie recipes and pull out your ugly sweaters—it’s holiday season! Whether you want to wow your friends and family with homemade gifts or learn a new hobby with someone you love, this list of November’s top-rated Skillshare classes will help you find something special to bring to the holiday table. 

Illustration Classes 

Portrait Drawing: a Beginner’s Guide to Drawing Faces 

A split screen; the left side shows a still image of a brunette white woman in a yellow shirt looking into the camera. The right side shows a sketch of the same woman, with the hairline, browline, nose line and jaw line clearly marked.
A few simple tips can help you add more lifelike, expressive faces to your illustrations. 

A character’s face can communicate mood, personality and expression if drawn correctly—but figuring out how to draw them can be a serious challenge. 

Illustrator Brooke Glaser is here to help you rise to that challenge, and have a lot of fun along the way. In her simple, easy-to-follow lessons, she’ll show you the ropes of drawing a correctly proportioned, recognizable face.

Mini Class: Draw a Quirky Pet Portrait 

A screenshot of a pet portrait mid-process in Adobe Photoshop. It’s a brown, black and white dog dressed in a shirt and tie, smoking a pipe.
This quick project will let you pay homage to all your four-legged friends, and have fun in the process! 

Looking for the perfect gift for the animal-lover in your life? Take art director and illustrator Sarah Beth Morgan’s advice, and consider a quirky pet portrait. In just twenty minutes, Sarah will walk you through everything you need to know to do this quick, fun, and highly personalized digital project. 

Colored Pencil for Beginners: Layering and Blending 

A colored pencil illustration of a red and yellow pear, mid-process. Macedo’s hand is visible in the shot, holding a yellow colored pencil.
Once you’ve mastered a few simple techniques, you can use colored pencils to create complex, textured illustrations.

Consider for a moment the humble colored pencil. Neither as bold as a marker nor as somber as charcoal, this workhorse of the art supply world is forgotten all too often. 

But artist Matheus Macedo knows the worth of a colored pencil, and he’s here to make sure you do, too. Join him in exploring all colored pencils have to offer the budding artist, from layering and blending, to rendering texture, to creating realistic illustrations of the world around you. 

Stunning Stained Glass in Procreate 

An iPad on a wooden table, displaying a Procreate file. The file is an illustration of a stained glass window in the shape of a roller skate.
Learning to create stained glass is a long, arduous, and expensive process, but Lisa Bardot can teach you how to do the next best thing.

Maybe your holiday traditions involve spending time near stained glass windows; maybe they don’t. Either way, there’s no reason you can’t appreciate their beauty right in your own home. Illustration artist Lisa Bardot can capture the magical textures and colors of stained glass in Procreate, and with her help, you can learn to do the same. 

Interior Design Classes 

Upcycled Home Decor: Furniture Makeover for Beginners 

An overhead shot of Tarboton measuring the width of a wooden cabinet. The cabinet is sitting on a white dropcloth, on top of a hardwood floor.
If you want things done right, sometimes you just have to do it yourself. 

You don’t need to win the lottery, or score a big holiday bonus, to decorate your home with stylish, on-trend furniture. All you need is a little know-how and a friend to help you along the way.

Home decor and DIY expert Bronwyn Tarboton wants to be that friend. She’ll show you how to find perfect pieces to upcycle, and what to do with them once you’ve got them. If you find yourself hungry for more home improvement when you’re done, don’t worry—this class is just one part of her DIY Decor Learning Path

Photography Classes 

Product Photography: A Beginner’s Guide to Props and Styling

A pair of beige sneakers being styled against a backdrop of brown and green leaves. Nene’s hands are visible in the shot, positioning one of the shoes.
The difference between a good product shot and a great one? It’s all about the styling. 

Product creation is a lot of work. You have to invest time, energy, money and creativity into building the best possible version of your idea. After all that, you—or the clients you’re taking photographs for—deserve to see it be presented to the world as compellingly as possible. 

Photographer Rose Nene knows how important it is to capture a product’s best side. With her guidance, you’ll learn how to use storytelling, props and styling to make sure whatever you’re shooting catches everyone’s eye.

Painting Classes 

NEGATIVE PAINTING: Master the Essential Watercolor Technique & Level Up Your Art 

A watercolor painting of a blue and teal leaf. The veins and edges of the leaf are defined by unpainted, or negative, space.
Using negative space in your painting can set your work apart from the crowd.

There’s nothing negative about watercolor painting—it’s a fun, enriching practice that produces gorgeous artwork. The technique of negative painting, on the other hand, can play a significant role in creating watercolor art that stuns and captivates your audience. 

Artist and illustrator Anna Bucciarelli uses this technique in her work all the time, and so can you with a few of her tips and tricks. Join her to learn how to add intricacy, definition and dimension to your watercolor paintings. 

The Gouache Files: How to Mix Watercolour and Gouache Painting like a Pro 

A mid-process watercolor painting of lavender sprigs. Also in shot is a watercolor palette, a tray of gouache paint, and Cook’s hand, painting a green leaf.
Mixing gouache and watercolors allows you to bring the best qualities of each into your painting. 

Not all fantastic things work well together. Peanut butter and mashed potatoes are both delicious, but you’re not likely to see a fusion of the two on your holiday table. 

Luckily watercolor and gouache are a match made in heaven, and textile designer and illustrator Kate Cooke knows it well. She’ll teach you how to work with both mediums on one page to create captivating, ethereal artwork. 

Peacock. A Free-Flow Watercolour Masterclass with Jane Davies 

A watercolor painting of a peacock mid-process. The sketched bird is faintly visible on the paper, and a large swatch of mixed watercolor in blues and greens stretches out across the page. A few tubes of paint, a paintbrush, a glass of paint water, and one of Davies’ hands are also visible in the shot.
Let your creativity run wild with Jane Davies’ free-flow, wet-on-wet painting method.

Artist Jane Davies likes to approach watercolor painting with the spirit of liberation in mind. Her style isn’t about creating visible brushstrokes or intricately rendered detail, but instead using free flowing pigment on wet paper to capture the essence of her subject. Why not join her in a project perfect for a chilly winter afternoon by learning to paint a peacock? 

Animation Classes 

Into the Ocean: Character Sculpting Essentials in Blender 3D 

A 3D rendering of a small yellow seahorse in the ocean, bathed in light from above, next to some large gray rocks.
Bring expressive 3D characters to your animation work.

Sculpting 3D characters might sound like the kind of work that’s only done in high-end movie studios, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, animation director John Knowles can teach you to master the basics without even leaving your couch. Step by step, he’ll show you how to sculpt, build and render a 3D underwater scene using Blender, a free 3D computer graphics software tool. 

‘Tis the Season to Be Learning! 

Give yourself the gift of starting the new year with a new skill under your belt, or a fresh hobby to carry you through the winter months. December might only come around once a year, but knowledge and creative growth will stay with you in 2023 and beyond.

Written by:

Dylan Morrison