Learn to paint in acrylics
Online painting tuition
When the Covid virus prevented the running of my Wirral (UK) based ‘physical’ art classes in the spring of 2020, on the suggestion of one of my students (thanks Geraldine!) I moved one of my art classes online.
It was a great opportunity in difficult times to approach classes from a different angle, and to maintain the positive group spirit we had developed over the years. With students largely confined to home, I was able to encourage them to focus on work that was personal to them, and they opened up and responded to my cajoling with brilliantly creative work. With video demonstrations I was able to spend longer on demonstration paintings. A WhatsApp group enabled us to continue the social aspect of the group, and provided a means of giving feedback and monitoring progress.
The fundamental format of online classes is the same as ‘physical’ classes – yours truly setting a brief, followed by the making of a demonstration painting before students have a go themselves.
The briefs I set tend to balance the development of skills in various disciplines – landscape painting, portraiture, still life etc. – with help on improving general drawing and painting skills. They are meant to be both fulfilling and enjoyable!
At the physical classes I generally alternate demos in oils and acrylics. Working from home with a young family, I work exclusively in acrylics to avoid the pong of solvents. Online classes are therefore more focused on painting in acrylics, though much of what we cover is transferable and also applicable to oils. The demos are recorded and posted (unlisted) on YouTube for students to watch at their leisure (or their homes). By way of example, here’s a drastically edited video demo for one of our recent 2-week projects – making a painting from a sketch.
Once I’ve set the brief and posted my demo it’s up to students to give it a go. Photos of work-in-progress are sent to me via the WhatsApp messaging service, to which I respond as quickly as possible – also via messaging service – with comments and suggestions. So there’s therefore no pressure to paint at a set time or ‘live’ in front of others, but students have the chance to see each other’s work, to take inspiration from this and to provide empathetic encouragement! Though I post to the group, photos and comments can be sent privately if preferred.
As with my ‘physical’ classes, my online classes are intended to demystify painting and drawing – making the subject more approachable and less intimidating, particularly for those who have always wanted to paint but have struggled with self-confidence or fear of failure and been reluctant to take the plunge. I try to present classes in a straightforward, unintimidating and enjoyable way, and my teaching style leans towards gentle encouragement and guidance. Classes are designed to be suitable for beginners or more experienced students who are looking for fresh input and impetus.
I’ve enjoyed running the online classes to the extent that I now hope to make them a permanent offer. If you are interested in perhaps joining classes, or would like to know more, please contact me.