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How to Become an Art Teacher

By Sarah, published on 18/05/2018 Blog > Tutoring > Advice for Tutors > A Guide to Teach Painting!

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it. ” Salvador Dali

You might not be Van Gogh, but if you have an advanced level in painting, why not pass on your knowledge to budding artists?

A study sponsored by the Guggenheim Museum proved that students who participated in an art course performed better than other students in six literary subjects. What better reason is there to teach art?

But how do you become an art tutor?

What Diplomas Are Required to Teach Painting?

Most positions for teaching art require special qualifications. Diplomas and higher education are highly recommended but it is also possible to teach without these.

A quick guide to painting and teaching diplomas so you can become a painting tutor.

School Curriculum

Before you get to higher education, it is essential to start with a solid foundation.

This is achieved at primary school. This is when you learn all about primary colours through using gouache or watercolours.

Compulsory art lessons taught at secondary school lets you develop your artistic side, creativity and imagination before opting to study Art at A-level.

You then have the option of taking Fine Art, Art and Design or Art History at University or going down a different route!

How to find pupils to teach painting. A degree is not always required, however, if you want to be an art tutor. Source: Visual Hunt

Diplomas

To teach art at secondary school level in the UK, you’ll need a degree and a recognised teaching qualification. Before applying for an art teacher position at a school, here are some things to consider first:

  • Hone your artistic skills
  • Obtain a Bachelor’s degree
  • Complete a teacher education course
  • Get a teacher’s certification
  • Gain teaching experience

If you’re serious about teaching art for higher education students then you may want to think about doing a Master’s degree in Fine Arts or Art Education. A Master’s degree will build on the skills and knowledge learned during the Bachelor’s degree. Master’s degrees nowadays also tend to focus on artistic technologies, digital media and tools.

Teaching Without Qualifications

Beyond art degrees and qualifications, most importantly you’ll need certain qualities and attributes to become an art teacher.

Instruction, passion and artistic flair will make you the perfect teacher, even if you do not have a degree.

For example, you can give private lessons in painting, teach art groups or become an art assistant at a high school.

Where to Teach Painting?

Oil painting, gouache, acrylics, watercolours, all painting techniques can be taught in a variety of establishments but not in the same way.

Depending on the institution and your method of teaching, you will not have the same type of students.

Here’s an overview of places where you can teach art and give painting classes.

At Secondary School

College teachers are called “art teachers“. More than learning to paint, college courses focus on the visual arts.

In other words, you will not only teach gouache, how to use colour, or paint with watercolours.

You’ll also have to teach art techniques such as making cardboard models, paper mache, the basics of drawing, or editing images on a computer.

However, some students will be planning on taking art at A-level.

You will, therefore, be required to guide the students in learning to draw and learn some artistic techniques such as painting a landscape, painting a portrait, painting a human body as a living model to understand dimensions and perspective.

Sixth Form

At A-level, art is no longer a compulsory subject.

As a teacher, you will be able to teach the real nitty gritty of the world of art to your students.

What was expected of students before is not the same in sixth form. At this stage, students have actually chosen to continue studying art. They are interested and want to learn.

However, it is still largely focused on visual arts, not just painting.

So you have to have broad enough knowledge and be able to teach all kinds of techniques (graphite, charcoal, coloured pencils, still from China, acrylic, digital painting, …).

Teach art and share your creativity with painting lessons. Share your passion for art with sixth form art students! Source: Visual Hunt

At Art School

Art and fine arts schools also recruit many painting teachers to help students perfect various techniques but also teach them some new skills.

Why not take the opportunity to have fun by preparing original art courses?

However, teaching at art schools of higher education requires a fairly high level in artistic skill but also in art history.

For example, you’ll need to know about all the artistic trends (Impressionism, Realism, Cubism, Romanticism, Dadaism, …) and the great painters (Rembrandt, Manet, Monet, De Vinci, Courbet, Delacroix, Degas, Munch, Van Gogh, Picasso, …)

At an Association

All painting techniques such as oil painting, ink wash painting, gouache, watercolour, porcelain painting, are taught at art societies.

These let people who want to learn to draw or learn to paint attend weekly classes throughout the year.

These courses are usually for recreational purposes. The lessons and the expectations of students are not the same as a more serious art course.

To apply for this teaching position, the level required is not as advanced as an art school. However, you should have a good foundation in art and art education to be able to teach properly.

With Private Lessons

Private lessons can also be an option when wanting to teach painting. The advantage is the freedom that these kinds of classes offer. It’s up to you to decide what art techniques you teach and how.

Home tutoring, online lessons, intensive courses, weekly classes,… it’s entirely up to you.

Painting Classes: How to Find Pupils?

When you start as an independent tutor, it is not always easy to find students who want to learn painting. There’s no template for you to use when advertising your classes.

So, where do you start?

Through Word of Mouth

Start with your circle of friends and family. Talk to those close to you about your ideas to become a painting teacher and why not show them your work.

They will then be aware of your specialities such as oil painting or watercolours. Maybe someone in your neighbourhood desperately wants to learn how to draw or paint!

These people will be your first customers. Your friends and family will then help spread the word about your private lessons. Eventually, through word of mouth, you should have a list of students in no time.

Advertise your painting teaching services at local corner shops near you. Post adverts in local shops. Source: Visual Hunt

Advertising

In schools or local supermarkets, stick your advert on the noticeboard.

Make sure that your ad looks good and stands out from the rest.

Don’t forget to put all the basic information in your ad like the different techniques you teach (ink wash painting, watercolours, acrylic painting, porcelain painting, introduction to sketching in charcoal, pencil drawing, etc.).

Also, include your contact information so that students can contact you easily.

Whether it’s in secondary schools and colleges or art schools, there could be many people interested in private painting lessons.

Preparing for an entrance exam a Fine Arts course, to develop their artistic skills, or just for fun, there are plenty of reasons to take one-on-one art lessons.

Social Media

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, … social media can be extremely useful when it comes to expanding your personal and professional profile.

For example, why not create a page or website where you publish different tutorials showing people how to paint a landscape, how to paint a still life, paint a portrait, etc.

Through searching for advice and information online, prospective students will come across your material.

And why not start a blog?

A blog gives you the opportunity to regularly publish your paintings and drawings as well as give advice to other artists.

Online Platforms

Like Superprof, some online platforms connect students and teachers.

In this case, it is important to make your own profile as precise as possible and list all the techniques you teach and the type of classes you offer (intensive training courses, weekly classes, painting classes for children, lessons for beginners, etc.)

How to Give Private Painting Lessons?

When you start in the middle, it is not always easy to get organised and know where to start doing home painting classes. Private lessons in painting require you to make several choices.

How to find art students and painting jobs. Group lessons? Home tutoring? Source: Visual Hunt

Choose your lesson type

Weekly classes, group lessons, painting workshops, online tutoring, painting classes, home-study courses, the first step for a private art teacher is to choose which way you want to teach.

But also what you want to teach: oil painting, acrylic painting, Chinese painting, colouring a comic strip, the basics of drawing, learning to paint landscapes, reproducing famous artistic works, introducing students to fine art, etc.

Organise a Course

Once these decisions have been made and you’ve got some students ready to learn, you now need to know how to put a course together.

This involves assessing the level of your students to create a course that adequately meets their expectations (development, introduction, etc.) and allows them to chart their progress.

Set your Price

The price of a private painting course must be set according to the experience of the teacher, the type of course given, the level of the student, the city, but also according to the current rates of fellow private teachers.

Declare your Income

As self-employed, an employee of an organisation, … it is important to declare your income as a private tutor. Don’t forget to start organised and keep up with admin to stay on top of things.

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