Online Fine Arts Certificate

Fine Arts Certificate

Develop your skills and experience in traditional media and photography on your time with our completely online art classes. Enrich your vocabulary in the visual arts, exploring the purpose and methodology of art-making. Our online drawing and painting classes instill a rigorous, traditional approach to representing still life and human subjects with attention to critical concepts of line, mass, form, perspective, value, color, and composition. Taking art courses online will allow you flexibility to continue with your everyday routine. Start your art career with a professional certificate from Sessions College.

online painting courses
Student work by Shymiin Chor, Fine Arts Certificate

Deepen Your Artistic Skills in Just Six Months

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Complete Your Program in 6 Months

Program Outline

Designed for the busy adult learner, the Professional Certificate can be completed in six months studying part time. (Nine month tracks are available.)

Level 1

4803 Intro to Visual Arts
4018 Intro to Drawing
4800 History of Art
4501 Drawing I

Level 2

7002 Digital Photography I
4502 Figure Drawing
4700 Painting I

Already have some art experience? You can customize the program around your learning goals. Browse our online art courses or course list and talk to an advisor.

Program Courses

4803 Intro to Visual Arts

Develop an understanding of the visual arts by exploring your own artistic creativity. You'll explore paintings, sculptures, experimental pieces, and more, learning to critique their composition and decode their social or political purpose. You'll be introduced to the elements that make up a visual message and build a vocabulary of fundamental terms and compositional techniques.

4018 Intro To Drawing

Learn how to draw with proper techniques, learning how to represent what they see through studies in contour drawing, perspective, positive/negative space, and value. As you progress through this class, you will develop a better understanding of the forms you are observing and become more skillful in representing those forms.

4800 History of Art

Build a foundation in art history and gain a deep understanding of art and the artists who create it. Explore profound themes that have concerned artists for centuries: nature, the human body, society, religion, and politics. Through engaging lectures and projects, you’ll learn how to identify the mediums, materials, and techniques artists use and discuss the styles of important artists, art movements, and historical periods from antiquity through the mid-20th century.

4501 Drawing I

Learn how to analyze what you see in the world around you and communicate it on paper. Through hands-on projects, and guided by a professional artist, you will explore the critical concepts of line, mass, form, perspective, value, and composition, building a solid foundation for all your art and design work.

7002 Digital Photography I

Explore the interaction of photography techniques and environmental factors to create powerful digital images. Students learn the fundamentals of lighting, perspective, and set up and explore techniques for classic assignments: portraits, product shots, indoor and outdoor location shoots, and fast-action sports. Whether you’re a fine artist, graphic designer, or Web developer, a mastery of digital photography gives you creative control of the medium.

4502 Figure Drawing

Follow traditional methods to learn the standard measures and proportions artists use to achieve naturalistic and expressive figure drawings. Illustrations and activities guide students through the structure of the human skeleton and help them understand how the body’s anatomy shapes its external form. The course builds progressively from the fundamentals to the challenges of portraiture, three-dimensional form, composition, and expression.

4700 Painting I

After a thorough orientation to the painter’s materials (paint, canvas, brushes, and solvents), students study a systematic and time-honored approach to painting that enables them to capture proportion, perspective, and lighting. Students learn how to build a foundation with preparatory sketches and underpainting, then gain control over value through monochromatic painting and color studies.

Program Objectives
In the program, students learn how the following skills:

#1 Visual Arts - You will be able to discuss and creatively explore the fundamental visual elements of art and the composition and visual communication techniques used by artists.

#2 Basic Drawing - You will be able to create basic line drawings using pencil and paper following the principles of perspective and proportion. You will be able to identify and draw positive and negative space in a drawing subject.

#3 History of Art - You can identify and discuss the different ways that artists have approached the themes of nature, the human body, realism, religion, and power and protest throughout the ages.

#4 Intermediate Drawing - You will develop drawing skills that show the ability to analyze a subject, represent realistic form and perspective, manipulate value and color, and reflect contemporary stylistic approaches. Your work will be informed by subject, lighting, color, and media choices.

#5 Digital Photography - You will develop a basic ability to handle different kinds of photo shoots including portraits, product shots, indoor and outdoor settings, and fast-action photos. Your photography will show the ability to manipulate framing, perspective, distance, and lighting to get professional results.

#6 Figure Drawing - You will be able to represent through figure drawing the characteristic shapes and proportions of the human face and body in frontal, profile, and three-quarter views. Your work will show a basic ability to represent three-dimensional form, composition, and expression.

#7 Painting - You will demonstrate a basic grasp of traditional painting techniques that enables you to capture proportion, perspective, and lighting in the world around you. Your still life paintings will exhibit different painting techniques and conceptual approaches.

Student Feedback

The instructors gave great honest feedback. They broke down the lessons in a way that made it more personal and easy to relate. As a fine artist I am confident that I can create pieces that buyers will enjoy. The class has taken what natural talent I had and given me tools to create beautiful pieces.

Tinamari Harb, Fine Arts Certificate

Student Work

Featured Faculty

Taz Tally Taz Tally is an industry-leading expert in digital imaging and pre-press techniques.
Jordon Schranz Jordon Schranz is an audio/visual artist and designer.
Fiorella headshot Fiorella Shalat is a sculptor, textile artist, and art educator.

Career Information

Graduates are prepared for entry-level positions as fine artists. Potential employers for Fine Arts certificate program graduates include entertainment, publishers, restaurants, schools and colleges, and government. Self-employed fine artists may be able to sell their work to art galleries and museums, private clients/commissions, specialized art or design studios, stock art firms, and publishers.

A certificate in fine arts from Sessions College can prepare you to apply your skills to these types of careers:

  • Artist
  • Painter
  • Studio Artist
  • Fine Artist

Visit our Career Center for more information, or browse the Federal Occupational Handbook or O*NET database.

Job Facts

You want to know you can find employment after taking art classes. What does the career landscape look like?

Facts are sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. For more information about fine arts careers, the art community and grants visit: American Craft Council, National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, The Association of Medical Illustrators, and The National Endowment for the Arts.


Median income for Fine Artists in May of 2017 was $49,160 per year, 30.4% higher than median for all workers.


Employment of Fine Artists is projected to grow 6% from 2016 to 2026, as fast as the national average for all occupations.

Take advantage of our award-winning programs. They’re accredited, affordable, and delivered 100% online.

Getting Started

Enrolling online is easy and convenient.


Complete our free application form online.


Ask us about payment options and customizing your program.


Confirm your payment and register online.

Program At a Glance

Open Admissions. The Professional Certificate is open admissions, with classes starting each month. To apply for the program, simply complete our free, no-obligation application and select your program options. Applicants are expected to have graduated high school.

Six Month Program. Classes start at the beginning of each month. The program can be completed in six months studying on a part time schedule. If you need more time to complete, there is a painless extension policy for an additional 6 months of access for students who qualify based on academic progress.

To take this program, you’ll need the following:

  • Mac or Windows computer with an Internet connection.
  • Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator CC.
  • Your computer must meet software manufacturer requirements.

Student discount on Adobe Creative Cloud software is available to enrolled students.

This program is available in 6 or 9 month tracks. Choose the track that best fits your available time.  
 Program Length Avge. Time/Week
6 Month Program360 hours15 hours/week
9 Month Program360 hours10 hours/week

Sessions College programs are flexible and affordable. There are no textbooks required; tuition costs include all digital materials.

Professional Certificate6 month track9 month track
Registration Fee$200$200
Total Cost$3,024$3,174
* Promotional tuition in effect until November 30th, 2018. Tuition includes $260 digital materials fee and $75 technology fee. (Full tuition for Professional Certificate = $6,560 / 6 months, $6,710 / 9 months.)

Enrollment in any certificate program requires a $200 registration fee (non-refundable five days after beginning of Orientation class or submission of first assignment). All tuition and fees must be paid on time, including those paid by third parties.

Fine Arts Advanced Certificate program

Add concentrations and build a deeper portfolio.
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