Edinburgh, fortunately for you, is one of the great artistic cities of the UK. With some of the major museums and galleries in the country, a highly reputable school of art, and the largest art festival in the world, it is certainly one of the best places in the world to take art classes.

It’s also one of the UK’s cities most welcoming for artists, with plenty of art students, painters, young artists, and professionals, all making use of the busy cultural scene and art education infrastructure. Sometimes it seems that there is an art center on every corner, an art show every week, and public photography or visual art exhibits everywhere you look. It is, indeed, a nice place to be if you are an artist.

And then there are the festivals. It’s not for no reason that Edinburgh is known as the ‘Festival City’. During the summer, people come from all over the world to enjoy the constant stream of different festivals – from the Edinburgh Art Festival, in which every art museum in the city hosts different events, to the Book Festival (the biggest in the world!), and the famous Edinburgh Fringe.

This latter deserves a special mention – because it’s a collection of drama, comedy, spoken word, and visual art shows is unmatched across the world. Edinburgh really comes alive in August, when every drama and art student in the country – pretty much – descends on the city. There are professional companies, student work, and public art in all its different mediums. If there is a reason to study anything in Edinburgh, it’s this.

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paintbrushes in a painting class
Get messy with a painting lesson!

Edinburgh’s Art Classes.

But enough about our love for Scotland’s beautiful capital. You’re here to learn about how you can learn to paint – in an art studio, in an art institute, or even in art galleries. And, of course, there is plenty on offer, with arts education programs running from the community painting club to degrees in the history of art, a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and arts degrees from one of the best art schools in the country.

So, whether you are interested in developing your expressive potential, if you fancy doing a still life or two of the human figure or dabbling in watercolors, or if you want to study art history from da Vinci to impressionism, you’ll find something that floats your boat in Edinburgh.

But first, let’s think about why you might want to learn painting in the first place.

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Why Take a Painting Class?

Some people just love to paint and draw. They always have a sketchbook with them, they can’t talk about anything apart from art and design, and they love to show their artworks to anyone that would care to look.

Yet, given the reasons why most people get into portraiture or the arts and crafts, or why they develop a passion for art, to begin with, is usually because they enjoy the process, they have a good natural technique, and they find the whole process incredibly relaxing and rewarding. So why would they want to go to a class?

Well, the benefits of an art class or arts degree are the same as the benefits for any other recreational class. It develops your technical range, expands your knowledge of and passion for the arts, and introduces you to loads of different people with the same interests. If you continue practising your interest in the visual arts at home, great! – but you may find that you don’t develop much in your skill. You may just stick to your comfort zone and not have the push to explore new horizons.

This is the thing really. Because whether it’s printmaking, ceramics, or digital media you are into, people always develop further when they have the competition and camaraderie of a class, and the guidance and experience of a teacher.

But, it’s your call at the end of the day! And, if you do decide to take classes – whether adult classes or those for minors – you know where to find the one for you. Right here!

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a child in an Edinburgh painting class
Why not join a painting class today!

Opportunities for Learning Painting in Edinburgh.

So, what are the best options in town? Here we show you the best range of options, for everyone. So, whether you want a private art teacher to give critiques to your work or art workshops in which you can practice your technique with lots of different people, you’ll find something that suits you here.

There are undergraduate and postgraduate art programs too – so if you are young and super-serious about your work, we won’t leave you out.

Join a Painting Class at The Art Club Edinburgh

The Art Club is an incredibly professional outfit based in Bonnington, just around the corner from the Royal Botanic Gardens. They run all sorts of different arts courses, lessons, and art camps, in which you can develop all sorts of your painting technique. They’ll help you to develop your creative process and introduce you to different art forms in their weekly classes.

These classes – both kids art and adult art courses are available – run either weekly in the evenings over ten weeks or intensively over school holidays and breaks. The ones for kids include a trip to the zoo at which children can practice their sketching.

For those absolutely committed to painting, there is the opportunity every year to join the Art Club in their annual ‘luxury art holiday’ – in either France or Morocco – whether you can paint in peace in a jaw-droppingly beautiful environment.

Take Your Painting Skills Outside with Look and Draw Workshops

In all different locations across Edinburgh – from Abbeyhill to Dalry – Look and Draw run lots of different innovative painting workshops. ‘Drink and Draw’ is a fun alternative to painting, whilst life drawing is another perennially popular option.

In terms of painting, there are options for regular weekly practice sessions, running from between five weeks and twelve weeks.  Studio art workshops, painting outside, and innovative art methods are all available from Look and Draw.

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paint brushes on a table
Grab hold of your paintbrushes, guys!

Find a Private Painting Tutor with Superprof

Group art classes are all well and good. Yet, if you are more into the actual technique and learning of painting – rather than the boozing or social opportunities – you may well find yourself more suited to private painting tuition.

Whilst it is often a little more expensive, the complete attention that a private tutor can give to your work is invaluable. Priceless, we might say. Because, an expert eye on your creations, a friendly and motivating guide for further development, and a dedicated space to be exposed to different opportunities is worth everything in the long term.

Superprof is a great place to find a private painting tutor in Edinburgh. We host ten painting tutors across the city – art professionals offering all sorts of specific techniques and, always, dedicated attention to you.

Once you are happy with the quality of your painting, why not try a different subject? We have over seven million tutors teaching over a thousand subjects across the world. There’s no excuse not to keep learning!

Study for a Bachelor of Arts in Painting at the Edinburgh College of Art

If you are aiming for a professional career in painting or fine art, there’s really only one place to go in Edinburgh. That’s the Edinburgh College of Art, which doesn’t just have an incredible reputation for the artists it produces – but has a reputation for an incredible social life and the parties too.

It provides great opportunities to exhibit your work too, with regular art shows of student works – which experts often take the time to attend.

The BA in Painting is, of course, the course for you here. You’ll be painting full time in purpose-built studios, so you’ll have the time and space to explore and expand your talent. The rest of the time is spent with theory, with understanding and critiquing the practice to which you are committing.

Or Learn about the History of Painting with the University of Edinburgh’s Master’s in Art History.

If you’ve finished a practical arts degree, maybe a postgraduate course in art is for you. The University of Edinburgh offers a highly reputed MA in Art History, in which you will be studying, engaging with, and critiquing the art practices, theories, and works of the most famous artists in history.

This is, of course, a research-based qualification – with a dissertation at the end. But if you are interested in the more cerebral, theoretical aspects of painting, then there is absolutely no reason why you wouldn’t love this course. There is an awful lot of opportunity to focus on the areas you most enjoy too.

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