Skip to content

Top tips on making an Instructional video

make an Instructional art video

Written By Frankie Sharman from our Colour in Your Life team and from Mark Waller’s channel Explore Acrylics

Frankie is in charge of the CIYL YouTube Channel and some of our online content. She also works with Mark Waller, where amongst other things, she creates and edits his instructional videos. One of the videos she posted has now had over two million views!

Consider delivery

I know it’s not very “creative”, however when making tutorials you do need to consider how you are going to deliver your tutorial to viewers.  That depends on the platform you will be using, and what your potential viewers are searching for.  Let’s presume you are going to deliver via YouTube or another free platform like Facebook or IGTV.  Actually, these options a great way to build your audience and following, while you are organizing another platform, like FASO to potentially sell them through in the future.

First things first – research keywords

What are people searching for?  There are a lot of ways to do this and TubeBuddy’s Keyword Explorer is a great tool.  You can also bring up YouTube and just starting typing “how to paint…………. ” for example – you will see a long drop-down list of examples that people are searching for first up.  Unless you have a very established channel, don’t go for any of the top keywords, a longer tail keyword will get you more views for example “how to paint for beginners” may be a better option here. 

Use the main keyword you have chosen in your YouTube title, description, and first up in the tag box as well – yes they rate the tags in order :)  Then, add a whole heap of related keywords including the top ones.  YouTube is one of the biggest search engines in the world (second only to Google, funnily enough), so it’s worth getting this “backend” part as right as you can.


When filming your tutorial, it is really important that you have good audio, especially if you are going to be talking.  Invest in a lavalier mic, (lapel mic)  or if you’re filming on an iPhone (a perfectly acceptable option these days), there are lots of mic’s that attach to your iPhone directly or remotely via bluetooth for example. Do some research on the internet about this first – there are heaps of quality options that will not break the bank. 

If you have used music in your video please ensure you add any relevant credits for this in an outro title.  Copyright strikes can occur when music is used on a video (and licensed and/or paid for by the original video creator) and uploaded to a different creator’s YouTube channel, so this is something important to consider. The use of creative commons licensed music is encouraged for this reason, or via YouTube’s free Audio library. or

How do I place a credit for this music in my project?
Title Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


Depending on what you’re using to film – on iphone, Gopro, digital SLR etc, you will need some kind of tripod or arm to steady your camera.  Find the best angles and try to organize some close-ups too – even if it means painting the same thing twice or more.


Lighting is also extremely important.  Take some time to set up your scene so you have the best lighting without any glare spots etc.  Have a look at a couple of YouTube clips on setting up lighting.  It really does make a difference. 

Consider your background

Make sure the background is engaging without feeling cluttered.  This takes some practice too.

Engaging content

This is by far the most important element of a successful tutorial, particularly on YouTube.  It’s also the most elusive element!  Try to deliver your content in an authentic, engaging way – let your passion for the subject and the process shine through, and this will spark interest in your viewer. 

Self-deprecating humour always comes across well too.  If you don’t like the camera, don’t put yourself in the frame!  Just focus in on your artwork and do voice-overs instead. 


Editing is also important but far less than it used to be!  Be sure your tutorial makes sense to viewers, ensure the audio is clear, your transitions aren’t jarring, and add some background music underneath (quietly – you don’t want your viewers distracted by noisy, jarring background music). is a great place for creative commons licensed music, which you can use free of charge – as long as you credit the author in the end titles (there are instructions on the website, easy to follow).

There are plenty of editing programs around that are aimed at beginners and you don’t need a cinematography degree to operate :)  Imovie is a great place to start. Or outsource your editing. Read more below.

Lastly – keeping it relatively short helps.  You know what you like watching – try to replicate that experience for your viewers!

Hoping that helps in your own tutorial journey!  It used to be so much fun going viral – let’s bring it back :D

Written by Frankie Sharman  Mark Waller’s channel Explore Acrylics

Outsource your editing

If you are making a video and are reluctant to do the editing, you can outsource your editing. Why not see if Sophia, our filmmaker, is available. Email her today with your proposal.

Not ready to make your own video?

Leave it to the professional team at CIYL and we’ll get you and your art in front of an audience of Millions!

Read more here about being on the Colour in Your Life TV show here

1 Comment

  1. Richard Brown on April 23, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    Thanks for the article

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Join The Art Revolution

Sign up to our email list to get notified about TV episodes, news and special offers. (don't worry, we never spam)

Join as a free member and receive our newsletter with news and latest episode releases, but join as a VIP premium member and receive so much more.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Colour In Your Life

Featured Artist Pack

Market yourself to an international audience and take your career as an artist to the next level. Sign up to download the Colour In Your Life Featured Artist Pack.

Thanks for subscribing. Your download will be sent to your email.

Are you ready to take your practice to the next level?

Be on the Colour In Your Life show and market yourself to an international audience and take your career as an artist to the next level. 

Get in touch with us to get more information.

Thanks for registering your interest to be a featured artist in Colour In Your Life. We'll get in touch with you as soon as possible.