If you’re a keen beginner looking to learn something new in a creative environment or an established artist needing fresh inspiration with a new medium, you might be thinking of signing up to a series of art classes. We’ve shared some of our top tips to help you prepare and get the very most out of your art class.
Preparation: Tools and Materials
Art materials are an essential part of studying a new art form and with most long term art courses you will need to take your own tools and materials so that you can figure out what works best for you when creating beautiful art. Ask for a materials list from your tutor before the art class begins and choose a few pieces that you would like to treat yourself to. As you complete more classes, your tutor should advise you as to which materials are best for your particular style. There are plenty of art stationary shops to choose from that won’t break the bank, Cass Art has a huge range of art brands and offer excellent student discounts.
Positivity and Perseverance
Go into each class with an open mind. Remember, you can always start again, so loosen up and take risks. If you think you aren’t mastering a technique quickly enough don’t be hard on yourself. Take a look at the process pieces of very successful artists, you will soon see that no one’s art is aesthetically perfect on the first go, an idea will develop over time and will often take lots of planning, sketching and retouching. Repetition will teach you the most about your personal style and will help you to develop you as an artist.
Everyone learns differently and in an art class there will be people of different levels of experience and ability, so if you don’t understand something or if you need some extra guidance question your tutor and listen to their advice. Your tutor is there to help you to develop as an artist and encourage you in finding your own stride and style.
Speak To Your Classmates
Enjoy being with your new classmates and learn from them – everyone learns at a different pace and don’t forget; some people may have taken this class before or may be brushing up on old skills. Don’t worry if you feel behind or if someone has mastered a specific technique ahead of you, observe their method and see if they are doing anything differently to you, you never know, they might have a useful tip to share!
There’s nothing worse than blank canvas syndrome. Sometimes even the pressure of being creative with other people around can make you feel a bit nervous. To overcome this do a bit of homework and sketch out a few ideas between classes so that you can go in with more confidence and impetus.
You should take more than just art materials to a class. Take a note book and write down tips, techniques or inspiring ideas. You may find yourself at home struggling to remember how to do a technique which you mastered well in class, so making a note of colour combinations, which pencil thickness to use, which tools are best for carving certain wood types will make all the difference to your progress at home.
Take a Friend!
Going to a course with a friend is a great way to feel more relaxed and confident in a new environment – you can support each other and encourage each other to continue practising outside the studio! Plus, sharing some of your materials is a great way to reduce costs when you’re just starting out with a new medium.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Just like a musician, if you want to become a successful artist you should practice as much as possible outside the classroom. Set yourself targets and tasks and find out what inspires and motivates you to create things, whether it’s new music or trips to the beach. Continuing your practice when you aren’t in the classroom is key, read through your notes and concentrate on the smaller things which you found difficult to get to grips with before launching into a big project.
We run a program of art classes and creative courses for adults and children in a wide range of media, in venues across Liverpool. If you want to try something new, or develop an existing talent, take a look at our fantastic list of autumn art classes here!