Noah Bradley, a renowned artist and illustrator, wrote here on how you can spend $10k - the cost of an art school education in the USA - on a focussed, more quality art education from a variety of online and book sources. I'll copy them below. While I may not be able to afford some of these straight away, if I find a job which supports my living and allows me time to develop my art as a hobby, I'm sure I'd be able to fund some of these.
The $10k Ultimate Art Education
- $500 - Buy an annual subscription to The Gnomon Workshop and watch every single video they have.
- $404.95 - Buy Glenn Vilppu’s Anatomy Lectures and watch all of them.
- $190 - Buy all of these books and read them cover to cover.
- $1040 ($20/week x 52 weeks) - Weekly figure drawing sessions. Look up nearby colleges and art groups and find a weekly session to attend.
- $2500 - Sign up for a SmART School Mentorship when you feel ready to get one-on-one guidance to push your abilities.
- $2400 - Sign up for four classes from CGMA. Get taught by professionals in the industry on exactly the skills you want to learn.
- Free - Watch all of these keynotes.
- Free - Study other things for free. Suggested topics: business, history, philosophy, English, literature, marketing, and anything else you might be interested in.
- $500 - Throughout the year, use at least this much money to visit museums in your area. And not just art museums. All museums.
- Free - Create accountability. One of the great advantages to attending a school is the comradery. So use the internet to create your own. Go join a forum where you can give and receive critique on the work you’re developing. There are many different ones out there that can suit whatever flavor you prefer.
- The rest - Materials. Buy yourself some good art materials to create with. Whether digital or traditional. Don’t skimp.
Some other resources I've found and am interested in using: (no doubt this list is subject to change)
Chris Oatley's 'The Magic Box' - http://chrisoatley.com/digital-painting-in-photoshop/
Digital Tutors - http://www.digitaltutors.com/11/index.php
Will Terry's courses - http://willterry.com/store.php
Noah Bradley's Art Camp - http://artcamp.com/
and his Art of Freelancing - http://www.theartoffreelancing.com/
CG Master Academy (this one is much more expensive but to consider when I have a good income) http://2d.cgmasteracademy.com/character-design-for-animation.html
Skillshare - http://www.skillshare.com/classes/design