To commemorate the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death, the Royal Collection will exhibit 12 of his drawings in 12 cities across the country, starting in February this year.
There will be a subsequent display, 200 drawings in all, shown at Buckingham Palace, starting in May.
And then, in November, 80 drawings will be exhibited at Holyroodhouse.
One could say that history’s most renown polymath will be well-celebrated in the UK!
Leonardo Da Vinci successfully became a world-famous artist and icon yet, in his day, he would have had nothing like the many opportunities we have today to inspire and motivate him. Aged 15, his father arranged for him to be an apprentice to a sculptor and painter – whereas, in the twenty-first century, a child showing promise could be awarded a scholarship to study at a school of art, enter a competition to exhibit their abilities an artist or even become a young sensation or child prodigy simply by showcasing their works on social media for the world to see.
With time, we have discovered new tools, materials, styles and more and we also have the added benefit of having numerous courses to choose from in order to help us excel, develop and even qualify in the field of Art. Add to that the development of social media which enables us to see what other artists are doing and experimenting in, along with getting feedback on our own ventures, all in real-time.
Let’s take a look at what art activities we can turn our heads and hands to across the UK!
Leonardo Da Vinci, the quintessential Renaissance man – some say the father of the Italian Renaissance, was a painter, sculptor, architect, inventor, engineer… surely we needn’t go on!
With this article, Superprof celebrates da Vinci’s accomplishments, and our country’s diversity, by finding art classes around the land that will help you round out your portfolio.
If you are a student, soon to graduate from art school, you must know how valuable mastery of multiple disciplines is.
If you are not enroled in any school but are seeking to unlock your creativity, and/or provide your child with a creative outlet, there are lessons and workshops for all of you, too.
Let us tarry no longer! Off we go, in the spirit of da Vinci, to discover and create!
A lot of people think of Art quite narrow-mindedly, just thinking of drawing and painting rather than considering the broad spectrum of artistic categories that this title encompasses. Sculpting, crafts, drawing, architecture, painting, fashion, photography, etc… all of these and more have their place in the world of Art.
So what kind of courses can you find out there? If you look hard enough, you can, of course, find lessons and workshops covering most of the above yet it can be more difficult to find evening classes on some more specialist subjects.
Fine Art Courses, which are more often than not taught via degrees at universities, offer students the opportunity to develop their ability to express themselves creatively through drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture, performance art and film, by studying artists who’ve set a precedent with their renowned works.
Fine art courses usually place emphasis on studio-based experimental work.
Graduates tend to go on to work as artists, photographers or designers, or in art galleries, museums or cultural organisations, teaching or arts administration, yet some take a different career path altogether and retain their love for art as a hobby. That said, many of the skills learnt in art classes can also benefit you in a number of other areas in business, particularly when it comes to creative thinking.
Should you wish to attend pottery classes or sculpture courses, these Fine Art branches can sometimes be offered as evening classes depending on your area.
Modern Art Courses are slightly more complicated than Fine Art ones as contemporary art continues to evolve. change and challenge, even to this day. Focusing on new ways to engage the viewer, modern art studies usually begin with you examining critical works by recent artists including Donald Judd, Barbara Kruger, Tania Bruguera, and Alfredo Jaar, among many others.
Students explore central themes (including social, cultural and political) from the last century and how these have had an inspiring dramatic impact on the arts. One of the key features of modern art is the somewhat challenging and inaccessible, so getting familiarised with these unconventional approaches is high on the priority list.
While some modern art workshops may enlighten you about new ways of creating art, such as digital methods, many courses will focus on theory.
More than a decade ago, the Tate Modern launched an innovative series of online art study programmes based around the Tate Collection and aimed at anyone who had an interest in finding out more about modern and contemporary art.
For more details on specific courses in your area, keep reading below!
No need to eavesdrop on instruction! You too can attend an art class! Sourcce: Pixabay Credit: Couleur
Sculpture has a long history in Scotland; some of the earliest examples of such work date back to around 3000 BCE.
Thus it would be natural to continue that heritage by taking sculpting courses in Glasgow, a city in itself a hotbed of art creation.
Traditional processes involved in sculpting include carving – the chiselling away of unwanted material, and modelling: the addition of material.
Today, we include under the header of sculpture three-dimensional pieces that have been welded, moulded or cast, alongside chiselled and modelled work.
A good place to start would be Sorenzo Workshops.
Their general focus is on prop-making for stage and screen, but they also host intriguing courses in moulding and casting.
You may start with their afternoon workshop for beginner moulding and casting or, if you have a bit of experience, you could attend their two-day session, which goes much deeper into technique and materials.
All materials will be provided, as will coffee, tea and snacks be – even for the short afternoon course!
These sessions are held in small groups, only 10 participants, so that everyone can get the necessary time and attention from the instructor.
You may also be interested in their Life Casting course, in which you will replicate your face, your hands or feet; even your whole head if you so desire!
Sadly, none of Leonardo da Vinci’s sculptures has survived; perhaps if he had had plaster to work with, he could have made his elusive horse and rider concept a reality!
Whether you are a talented sketcher or you wish to learn the art of drawing, then life drawing can be an incredibly rewarding activity. Why not, therefore, join a life drawing club like the Look and Draw Workshops that are available in this city.
The Sunday Life Drawing Club runs every Sunday afternoon from 1 – 4 pm and works on a drop-in basis, so you aren’t committed to attending each week if you have other things on.
The class is untutored and you’ll need to bring your own materials (except easels and boards are available for everyone to use) but the act of being part of a group of like-minded artists can teach you very much itself – see how different everyone’s interpretations of the same subject are, how they work, what materials they use and in what style they perform.
No advance payment is required, and you can pay for either 2 hours at £7 or 3 hours at £10 (the first two hours consist of more, shorter poses) and prices include biscuits and warm beverages.
The class is held in the basement space at Wasps Artists’ Studios, Dalry, Edinburgh.
To gain more inspiration in between workshops, why not organise some museum visits to get a feel for the different ways you could express yourself creatively? You could organise to go alone or you might like to ask around and see if any of your peers are up for an art field trip.
One of the National Galleries of Scotland, for example, is situated in the heart of Edinburgh and features a range of collections dating from previous centuries until modern day. The city-centre gallery is open daily, from 10am-5pm (Thursdays until 7pm) and it is free to get in. There may, however, be a charge applicable for certain exhibitions.
Da Vinci must have been a visual learner: the wealth of pencil sketches he left behind attests to the fact that, for him, seeing must have been believing.
The exquisite detail captured in his anatomy sketches lends credence to the story that he would exhume freshly buried cadavers in order to perfect his illustration (and understanding) of the human body.
No Mancunian who wishes to execute a life drawing need rob a grave today!
If you are simply dying to put pencil to sketchpad, head over to the Independent Art School on Wednesdays, in the evening, and take your place in front of the model.
For a monthly fee of £59, you will have access to an experienced art teacher who will provide one to one instruction as needed, and basic art supplies.
Whether beginner, intermediate or more advanced, every artist is welcome at these sessions.
That means that, if you are a student at Manchester School of Art who seeks a bit of extra guidance for his/her art program, know that this art studio will provide the help you need.
By no means is this facility limited to pencil sketching. They also teach drawing and painting – with watercolours, acrylics and oils; and ceramics and pottery, both to adults and through kids classes.
Where else can you find art classes in Manchester?
You may take on collaborative project in your art classes Source: Pixabay Credit: StockSnap
Were a polymath of da Vinci’s calibre alive today, s/he would most likely live in Leeds – not because of the city’s long history or diverse economy, but because of its penchant for celebrating art!
Leeds was most recently voted the most cultural city in Britain; ahead of our capital city, even!
Where this Yorkshire metropolis is concerned, the question is not so much which art to learn but, of all of the art instruction available, which one to learn first?
A visit to Inkwell Arts may help you decide.
There, you will find an open art class that meets every Tuesday and an abstract painting class, in session every second Saturday of the month.
Basic materials are provided for each lesson so, even if you are a beginner and don’t quite know where your talent or aspiration lies, you may try working with pencils, charcoal, pen or paint.
Although these courses are all adult classes, if you are preparing for your A-levels with an eye on matriculating at the University of Leeds, you would be welcome, too. You may bring your own materials, if you’d like.
You should also bring your portfolio so that artists working there may critique your painting technique ahead of your audition!
From printmaking to pottery and sketching to sculpting; through sewing and salsa dancing: Inkwell can give you exposure to everything art!
Can you imagine da Vinci, salsa dancing with wanton abandon?
Midway through his life, da Vinci had already earned such a reputation that he was commissioned to create a statue, intended to be the largest equestrian statue in the world.
For that purpose, our favourite artist studied horses.
He made fine sketches of said beasts and even built a life-sized clay model, which the invading French subsequently used as target practice, completely demolishing his work.
Should you learn the art of pottery from Midland Potters, rest assured that your clay work will not suffer from hordes of attackers!
Members of this association work in concert with various studios in and around Birmingham to teach anyone interested in moulding and firing clay.
You will find their addresses, along with every other concern mentioned in this article, in the table below.
You needn’t know anything about throwing a pot or how to work a potter’s wheel to join them. All you need is a desire to learn and a willingness to get a bit dirty!
Courses vary according to the studio and artist you work with, so we urge you to make inquiries soon so that you might present everyone on your Christmas list with a unique gift, made by your own hand.
Find out where you can take art classes in Birmingham.
Children of all ages can enjoy art classes in London! Source: Pixabay Credit: Betina Suarez
Newcastle College has purpose-built facilities for art, design and creative industries, named the Mandela Building.
Here, you can benefit from a range of installations and equipment, helping you to discover, explore and experiment with art, design and digital media concepts, including:
Typical courses range from several weeks to two years in duration and can offer you a range of qualification levels, such as BTEC, NVQ, A Level, BA Honours Degree and more. The subjects covered include Fashion and Textiles, Art and Design, Photography, Photoshop, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Fine Art, Sculpture and much more.
From Newcastle? Know all about the Angel of the North?
Well, as much as you thought you knew about your city’s emblem, the sculpture of the angel that stands on a hill in Gateshead, you can discover more about this Antony Gormley design as well as other symbolic sculptures around the UK (such as those by Henry Moore, for instance) by completing a course which focuses on sculpture.
As well as learning about sculptors and their famous pieces, you will also learn to develop your own ideas and how to implement these as 3d art pieces.
Are you keen to create a portfolio that you can take to colleges, universities or prospective employers, in order to showcase your talent but not sure where to begin? If you think that putting together a few examples of your work is enough to impress an outsider, then you may wish to think again as many viewers, depending on what it is you are applying for, want to see a particular story, theme or visible progression of ideas from concept to final piece.
For example, if you have aspirations to become a children’s book illustrator, you should know that publishing houses like to see works produced in a consistent medium, showing main characters from a variety of angles and displaying different moods, as well as a mixture of sketches and full-page layouts with backgrounds included. Many will also clarify that the ability to draw children and animals is a must.
Art House in Sheffield offers a Start Your Own Sketchbook Adventure course, which is described as a fun, fast and quirky sketching and doodling exercises to get you started on your own sketchbook.
For those simply wanting to enjoy their favourite pastime, Colette can help you to enjoy sketching and developing your ability. Meanwhile, if your aims are more commercialised, she may be able to help you to stay focused on your goal and nurture your ideas and inspiration to spark your imagination in the best way. As suggested, it is up to you, however, to know where you want this sketchbook to take you ultimately.
Key features of the workshop, which runs across 6 weeks and costs £78, are:
Each student gets a free sketchbook included.
In an episode of classic Dr Who titled City of Death, The Doctor travels back in time to talk with Leonardo da Vinci.
In fact, there have been plenty of da Vinci representations of him in his time but, to our knowledge, none of him brought forward in time, to see the modern marvels we live alongside, as a matter of course.
Wouldn’t it be astounding if he were to suddenly materialise in the open studio of University of the Arts?
Just imagine that relentlessly curious mind, experiencing public transportation – the tube and double-decker buses, and indoor plumbing, for the first time!
If your mind is equally relentless and curious, yearning for discovery, perhaps you too could set yourself to sketching, sculpting and painting.
In fact, if you were looking for painting classes, art workshops or cartooning classes for children, you would most certainly find them in London.
Take, for example, the London School of Arts.
You may enrol your child as young as four years for lessons in drawing, colour mixing, and simple watercolour painting.
Should your young artists be a bit older, they will study the concepts of light and shadow, and receive an introduction to abstract art.
In fact, all of that art education facility’s drawing classes cover the fundamentals of fine art:
how to draw and paint
painting techniques are emphasised!
refining drawing skills
exploration of media and working with mixed media
the composition of a masterpiece
What about classes for you?
Of course, there are adult classes at the School of Arts. Enrolling there, you will learn to explore your imagination and express yourself creatively in whichever medium you choose.
And, in London, you would definitely have a choice of media to express yourself in!
If you could travel back in time, who would you most like to meet?
My unwavering answer is: Leonardo da Vinci.
The prolificacy of his mind, the dedication to his work, the advancements he made in science, art, medicine…
Is it true that one should never meet their heroes?
And why hasn’t Dr Who brought Leonardo into today’s England?
Well, in a sense… have you seen Peter Capaldi Inside the Mind of Leonardo?
Perhaps that is the closest we’ll get to The Doctor ushering the man widely thought to be the most creative of all time into the 21st century.
Oh, well! At least, we have next year’s planned exhibits to look forward to.
In the meantime, you can find your new art school in the table below:
|Facility's Name||Physical Address||What You Can Learn||Web Address|
|Sorenzo Workshops||Design Hub R-12, 100 Borron Street, Glasgow, G4 9XG||moulding,casting, lifecasting||http://www.sorenzoworkshops.com|
|The Independent Art School||Central Buildings, Oldham St, Manchester M1 1JQ||life drawing, drawing and painting, pottery and ceramics||http://theindependentartschool.com/manchester|
|Inkwell Arts||31 Potternewton Lane Chapel Allerton Leeds LS7 3LW||drawing painting jewellery making felting||http://www.inkwellarts.org.uk|
|Midlands Potters||Various addresses in and around Birmingham||Ceramics and pottery||http://www.midlandspotters.co.uk|
|London School of Arts||30 The Town, Enfield EN2 6LU||kids and adult painting drawing||http://londonschoolofarts.com|