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The act of painting is a great way of winding down after a stressful day at work, encouraging you to switch off the analytical side of your brain and allow the right hemisphere to take the reigns.
Today, studios, artists and like-minded people all over London have started drop-in painting classes that can quench your artistic thirst, and hopefully offer a bit of cathartic release.
We've selected the best options in London for drop-in painting classes so, whether you are a beginner looking for something fun as a one-off, or searching for something local where you can learn how to paint without the commitment of a course, we've got you covered!
The best painting classes in London are:
- Master Peace
- Artistic Oil Painting Class with Allan Storer
- Merriment Allier
- Katya Art Studio
- London Art Classes
- Outdoor painting with Richmond School of Painting
- The Clothed Model with Richmond School of Painting
- Slade School of Fine Art
- Frank Watercolours
Discover your inner creative with Dragon's Den success, Masterpeace. Run by a team of 20 artists, the studio based in Belgravia, London offers a range of different art classes. Like the name suggests, MasterPeace are less focused on the finished product, and more on how the artistic process can be an avenue for meditation and mindfulness.
Out of the many worthy classes to choose from, Obby recommends the Coached: Studio Painting Experience. In this relaxed session you will be guided by a professional artist and create your own unique acrylic painting. With the added bonus of a free cocktail and sweet treat, what's not to love!
You can also opt for the chilled-out and merry, Al Fresco:Paint and Sip in our Courtyard, where you will select from 10 different painting kits and work semi-independently with an instructor. All while the sun beats down!
With such a broad variety of classes, as well as their welcoming and mindful attitude to art, MasterPeace is an easy pick for the top spot for our Best Painting Classes in London.
2. Artistic Oil Painting Class with Allan Storer
This is an Artistic drop-in painting class in London that doesn't require the commitment to a course. The classes were started by Allan Storer who felt that London needed a casual, accessible painting course led by a professional artist.
Allan has a genuine passion for teaching and is keen to pass on his skills to students, which is what makes his classes so enjoyable and instructive. At an extremely affordable price of £25 , Alan accommodates everyone, whether you're a complete beginner, or a slightly more experienced painter who's interested in receiving further professional guidance.
If you are a beginner, Alan will sit you down and teach you the ins and outs of oil painting, as well as certain techniques you need to use on paper. On the other hand, you can bring your masterpiece along with you, and Alan can help you navigate the tricky parts you might be struggling with. The only rule for this class – you must bring your own canvas!
3. Merriment Atelier
Coming in at number 3 for our Best Art Classes in London is Merriment Atelier. Known for their celebrated Paint and Sip in Style Workshops, there's no better way to unwind and get your creative juices flowing than popping down to one of their events.
Despite the range of workshops they offer, Merriment Atelier insist that all their respective painting styles have one chief goal: "to inspire you to live the life you love".
With a complimentary cocktail as well as canvas and paints included, you're sure to have a great time at their upcoming event – Paint and Sip Part: Lavender Fields in Tuscany held at the Kings Head, Twickenham. Come on your own or with friends and spend the two-hour class sipping, relaxing and refining a beautiful acrylic painting.
4. Katya Art Studio
At her Studio in Pinner, London, Katya is not only an expert artist who will guide you to create your own unique creation, but also the consummate hostess!
Whether it's you yourself, or a gift for a special someone, students can enjoy a glass of wine and a spot of lunch while they receive step-by-step instructions on how to create their masterpiece!
Even if you've never even picked up a paint brush or seen an easel in the flesh, Katya's expertise and friendly approach will ensure you will have learnt a variety of techniques by the end of the class. What you choose to paint is totally up to you, whether it is inspired by London cityscapes, life models or photographs.
5. London Art Classes (Nick Malone)
Nick Malone is one of the cities most notorious painters – his beautiful large-scale canvases capturing the hearts of the art scene for a while now. On a Saturday afternoon, Nick opens his beautiful studio in Dulwich to teach painting classes to those interested.
At £60 a session you are invited into his studio for the entire day – from 11.00 till 4.00 – and given free reign of Nicks art supplies. Specialising in painting, Nick will also teach you how to mix paint with other mediums and encourage your own creativity to shine through.
6. Outdoor painting with Richmond School of Painting
One of the best painting classes in London for more advanced painters looking for something a little different.
This amazing class with Richmond School of Painting is a group activity that will help you improve your ability to paint outdoor scenes. It can be tricky to master the art of landscape painting, especially in England, as there does tend to be large swathes of similar colours.
The classes will be guided by an experienced teacher who will make sure they spend enough time on each student, encouraging them to experiment with different mediums and potential techniques.
These drop-in painting classes are perfect for if you feel your painting has become a little repetitive, You'll also get to meet fellow painters with different styles way and hopefully learn from them.
7. The Clothed Model with Richmond School of Painting
Though it may be overshadowed by life drawing, painting a clothed figure allows for a totally different range of colour-mixing and expression. The drop-in painting classes at the Richmond School of Painting will help to expand your understanding of this underappreciated medium.
In the Renaissance, the form of a figure was often expressed through drapery. Clothes can be overlooked when viewing a painting, but they are key in the makeup of any clothed figure and, let's be honest, everyone aside from our intimate other's are mostly clothed!
With the help of artist Alice Neel, you will observe the clothed figure and paint the hands, head and fabric with equal emphasis . By closely looking at shapes, lines, colour, texture and tone, clothes will not be side-lined in the study of a figure, but emphasised and celebrated.
N.B. All these class do require booking, and although they offer a flexible schedule, the teachers of the class need to know numbers so they do require booking in advance.
8. Slade School of Fine Art
A contender for one of the best art schools in the UK, The Slade School of Fine Art has produced students who went on to have impressive careers as professional artists – Paula Rego, Stanley Spencer and Jenny Saville (to name a few). Ar Slade, there are several art and painting courses which take place over 8 weeks (usually once a week for 8 consecutive weeks).
All courses are taught by practising artists, many of whom studied at the Slade, so you can be sure of receiving the highest quality instruction. It should be noted that these courses are not suited for absolute beginners; they are more geared towards intermediate and advanced level artists who seek to refine their skills and techniques with the aid of a professional.
9. Frank Watercolours
At number 9 in our Best Art Classes in London is the inimitable Frank Watercolours. Frank has been painting and teaching for the majority of his career, and is the Watercolour Tutor at Kew Art Studio where he holds regular six week courses for beginners as well as advanced students.
He also holds regular Watercolour Workshops and courses both online and at the iconic Mortlake, Anglian & Alpha boathouse on the banks of the River Thames. A great pick for those who are interested in the great potential and ethereal quality of this artistic medium.
Need more Advice?
With it's sprawling cityscapes and rich cultural history, London has a longstanding artistic heritage. Of all the many places in the world, the home of the Globe Theatre and Tate Modern isn't short on inspiration! So, if you suddenly find your creative urges desperately need an outlet, you have artistic techniques that need refining, or you'd like to relax and unwind, Obby's Best Art Classes in London will have something for you. Why not silence that inner critic, throw caution to the wind, and discover your creative side?
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