'Many people think that being a graphic designer means going to an expensive art school and buying expensive software that will cost you thousands of dollars. This is so far from the truth. There are hundreds of online education centers that offer top-notch graphic design training.' - Fabrizio Moreira
Types of Online Art Instruction
Whatever your speciality, be it watercolour painting, portrait painting, oil painting compositions, pastel painting, abstract painting, collages or painting with acrylics - the average person will require 10,000 hours (the equivalent to 2 hours a day for 7 years) in order to master how to draw and paint well.
If you are able to progress in your painting on your own, then it seems like it would make sense to seek the advice of an experienced online teacher to help you further improve your skills from the comfort of your own home.
Nobody can really learn how to produce a still life image or a figure drawing (life drawing) done with oil paints or even how to paint the human hand in watercolour, pastel or charcoal without knowing some basic drawing techniques.
Online art instruction can take on a variety of forms, including finding free art online for inspiration, learning how to draw through demos and video instruction, trying out digital painting, or taking online art classes.
If online art and painting classes are what you want then this guide will help you to find a suitable teacher to turn you into a professional artist or amateur pro!
Criteria for Selecting a Good Online Painting Teacher
'I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.' - Frida Kahlo
Online Painting Tutor - Essential Criteria
Learning how to paint with an art teacher can help you to improve much faster than you would through self-study. Before you launch full speed ahead in your online search for an ideal painting tutor, define some key criteria for the kind of art teacher that you want before you start:
- Geographical location - whether you are in the centre of it all in the booming capital of London or far out on a farm in a rural village, you will be able to find a painting tutor located close to you. As you begin your search, prioritise the location of your painting teacher as an essential factor. Afterall, it would be a great shame to have found your 'ideal' tutor only to discover they are located in a city many miles away from you!
- Level taught - not all teachers are able, willing or qualified enough to teach all levels. If you are a beginner then this should not be too much of a problem for you as the majority of teachers will offer some sort of painting course to beginner level art students, for example, painting for beginners or oil painting for beginners. However, if you have already attained an intermediate level or a more advanced level in your painting studies and would like to perfect particular painting techniques, like colour theory, colour mixing, blending, shading, reflection, shapes, tones, shadows, realism or brushstrokes, then make sure that you check what level of student the teacher is able to cater for.
- Standard of teacher and their qualifications - in the same vein, you could always 'settle for' a teacher who is still a student at an art school like the College of Fine Arts in Paris or the Royal Academy of Art. If you are looking for a teacher with more experience though, it would be better to verify what sort of teaching and painting experience they have and whether they have obtained the associated qualifications. Obviously, the quality of the course will vary (as will the price!) according to the kind of teacher that you go for. If you are looking to prepare yourself for the entrance exam to art school then it would probably be wise to enlist the help of an art school student or former student from your desired school who will already have a sound understanding of the application process.
- Course type proposed - face to face or via webcam. I strongly recommend that you attempt to use a teacher that you can meet in person for face to face tutoring. When learning to draw it is always good to take part in a workshop offline as well as online so that you can observe all the details of how to reproduce an image and touch artworks and painting materials first hand to get a better understanding of better textures required. The teacher will also be better able to correct you if they are able to see your work. However, if you are not at home during the holiday season but want to continue your studies then it would naturally be better to try an online course or painting tutorial via webcam.
- Course specialism - there are a number of painting courses which offer the teaching of different specialist techniques and areas that are related to the preferences and competencies of the course teacher. Watercolour painting courses, acrylic painting courses, à la carte painting courses, history of art courses or classes on how to paint a landscape. It is important to know what kind of specialist teacher you are looking for before you begin your search.
- Cost - not everyone has an unlimited budget when it comes to paying for a painting course. Thus, the price is obviously a determining factor when choosing a painting course, especially if you are looking for a daily course for which you have allocated a certain budget. Tuition fees will vary depending on your criteria (standard of teaching, student level, geographical location, general or specialist course). As a student, you can expect to pay approximately £15 an hour for a general course whereas a teacher with qualifications from an art school will probably advertise a starting price of £35 an hour. Some teachers offer the first course free whilst others offer reductions if you sign up for blocks of 10 or 20 lessons. In any case, it is important to set out your budget before looking for a teacher and gaining an understanding of the course.
- Response time - sometimes, you will find yourself in a situation where teachers in your area have so many pupils that they will not take on any more. You may also find that teachers take their time to reply and that the course is not actually what you are looking for. For these reasons it is important to make sure that you find a teacher who is both available and able to personalise the course to your needs.
The easiest way to find an appropriate painting course or painting tutorial is to write down which teachers and courses are available and your own criteria. Adjust your own criteria according to the actual market to ensure you have realistic expectations.
For example, if you wish to spend £20 an hour and are looking for a highly qualified instructor then you may need to either rethink your budget (which is not always easy), accept a less qualified teacher or opt for a teacher who is currently still an art school student.
Discover also how you can learn to paint at Art school!
Cost of Painting Materials
When setting your budget you will also need to consider the cost of purchasing painting equipment and art materials:
- Charcoal (drawing sticks)
- Poster paint
- Indian ink (also known as Chinese ink)
- Coloured crayons
- Pigments (colourants)
- Felt pens
Painting will quickly turn out to be a rather expensive hobby! Consider the cost of painting materials before delving fully in to discover the joys of pictorial art!
Have you already tried painting at a painting association?
Help in Finding Your Online Painting Tutor
Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do. Edgar Degas
Now that you have finished defining all the basic criteria for your dream tutor, it is time to start finding one! There are a number of places on the internet that will offer you help in carrying out your search.
The principal of these sites is actually the same as the small hand-written ads that you find at your local greengrocer's or butcher's - the only difference is that these ads are online and can be for people anywhere in the world! Painting tutors and art teachers will post an ad explaining their teaching and art qualifications, teaching specialism and the proposed cost of their classes.
You will find small ads like this on Vivastreet or Gumtree. You simply select your region, choose painting classes and then select the category classes in services. You will also have the opportunity to enter your postcode and the maximum price that you would pay for classes. The ads will then be filtered by date advertised or price.
Don't hesitate to advertise on Facebook that you are looking for a painting teacher to further your painting skills/ master a particular painting technique/ start out painting in order to develop your creativity.
You can also post questions in Wanted Community and ask for recommendations in order to complete your search for the online painting tutor of your dreams!
Social media sites are all more or less a kind of modern word of mouth. Through a friend of a friend of a friend who happens to be taking classes with a certain tutor, you might just find your future graphic art and design teacher!
Finally, the best way of finding an online painting teacher who fits the bill and whose skills are in line with your search criteria is to use a specialised platform for finding a teacher/student.
There are several of these sites platforms on the web and they allow users to find a teacher according to a list of detailed criteria, such as geographical location, course type, price, etc...
Check for the best painting classes London here.
One of these platforms is, of course, Superprof, which is very easy to use. You simply need to fill in your subject and the town where you are located in order to discover a super-professor near you! You can then refine the search criteria by selecting the level of class, cost, distance to your house...
The tutors on our platform are all certified in the services they offer and tutors are required to give as accurate information as possible when posting ads to students.
You can also check to see when the tutor last logged-in to see if their account is still active and avoid wasting time on a tutor who is not likely to be available.
At Superprof, it costs £19 for a student pass that will be valid for a whole year. The student pass allows you to connect directly with painting tutors in your area, or indeed any tutor of any subject located anywhere in the UK!
A nice bonus is that the first lesson is usually free!
If you are really serious about painting, you could also decide to opt for doing a course in graphic arts at college or university...
Perhaps you could learn to paint with a painting association...
Testing the Online Painting Tutor's Classes
Once you have whittled down your search to a handful of painting tutors that you think may be what you are looking for, it is time to try them out!
The beauty of Superprof is that the initial hour is normally free for you to try a trial lesson. Not all tutors offer this but for the ones who do it is a handy way of selecting which tutor you want to eventually be your online painting teacher!
The advantage of this free hour's lesson is to make sure that their teaching style matches all the criteria that you were looking for and stops you going away feeling disappointed. Not having to pay a penny for the first lesson is always nice too. 😉
If you feel that the teacher that you have chosen is not suitable it is possible to change straightaway without having to pay any money back.
My advice? Select two or three tutors offering the first hour free! If the first one seems suitable, well - all the better! If that is not the case though, you could try another one or two to see if you gel better. Normally though, if you have already selected them according to your essential criteria they will probably not be far off the mark!
Establish Painting Classes Together
Painting Workshops in a Group
The painting teacher of your dreams is definitely out there. However, sometimes it is even better to work in a group so that you can share ideas.
If you decide to go for this option you will be able to choose the subject matter, such as abstract art, trompe l’oeil (the French art technique, 'trick of the eye'), landscape painting, etc. and perfect certain artistic techniques and practices. The teacher is there to adapt to your needs.
The course is constructed according to your level and naturally, your expectations and how quickly you progress. You will really work together as a team with the other classmates, which is not always the case when attending a community art lesson.
Now it's just time for you to try it out!
Or why not try enrolling in an art school to become a pro?
Definitions - Online Painting Teacher
Painting is a demanding art that requires months, if not years, of practice in order to master different artistic techniques.
What is Abstract Art?
Abstract art is the opposite of representational art. Abstract art does not attempt to represent the real but is a pictorial representation of the depths of the painter's imagination and creativity.
What is the French Technique, Trompe l’Oeil?
The French art technique, trompe l’oeil, means trick of the eye or deceive the eye and is a type of painting that aims to create the illusion that objects in a painting are in 3D or at a different perspective to what they actually are.
Now discover this complete guide to art classes in the UK...