Creative Art Courses is an independent art education studio, probably offering the widest choice of artist-led art courses in Manchester.  Your learning lies at the heart of what we believe in: student-focused learning, along with a lot of fun and enjoyment in the creative process.

Teaching ethos

I am passionate about teaching art. I have a love for the subject and for inspiring people to greater creativity.

“Being an artist requires us to find our voice and express our uniqueness and individuality.”

As artists, we are always keen to develop our technical skills in the craft of drawing and painting – and rightly so.  But how much time do we devote to developing and nurturing our creative skills as artists?  You need both to truly develop as an independent artist.

My teaching is designed to guide you towards reaching your goal 
of being a creative confident independent artist.

I focus on 3 aspects of being an artist

  1. Core drawing and observational skills to give you the ability to master the technical challenges of observing what you see and drawing it accurately on paper or canvas.
  2. Creative techniques in a wide variety of materials to help you develop a rich and vibrant visual language.
  3. Developing self-expression and nurturing your creativity to help develop your own artistic style.

My courses and classes are designed to teach
Creativity and Technical skills together – hand in glove.

Think about it – technical skill on its own, is not the pot of gold you hope to find at the end of the rainbow – learning how to make satisfying, personal and expressive artwork – probably is.

I started Creative Art Courses in 2010 after 15 years of teaching adults.  I have planned my courses, classes and workshops to inspire , stretch and challenge your creative skills.  Read my full biography here.

Beginner, Intermediate or advance

Does it matter what level I think I’m at?

  • The weekend Begin to draw + paint course is specially aimed at complete beginners.
  • The weekly day-time ‘Leisure learning’ classes are designed for beginners to intermediate artists.
  • The ‘peer-led’ art groups are suitable for everyone, no matter what level of ability.
  • My ‘Structured learning’ weekend and evening courses are suitable for beginners, intermediate and advanced artists.

So why do I try to teach mixed-ability groups as often as possible?

Mixed ability classes are dynamic and offer increased learning opportunities.
Beginners are inspired by working alongside more experienced learners.
Experienced learners build self confidence by sharing their knowledge and skills.

Streamed classes can put a ‘glass ceiling’ on your learning and limit your progression.
Adult learners bring a life time of skills and experience to the class. This can’t be streamed.
I believe in leaving the opportunity open for unexpected leaps of learning and creativity that can propel students beyond the narrow definitions of ‘beginner, intermediate or advanced’.

This is why – We draw. We learn. Have fun – together.

Frequently asked questions

Will I fit in at Creative Art Courses?

Everyone fits in and is very welcome at Creative Art Courses.  All my courses are suitable for mixed abilities.  Being in a mixed ability class is inspiring and everyone benefits – all students contribute something worthwhile – each in their own unique way.

But I’m just a beginner – what course will suit me best?

I understand it can be intimidating when you’re beginning something new.  I’ve designed a course specially to give beginners a helping hand – a first step onto the creative ladder.  The Begin to Draw and Paint course is a great starting point and will give you all the foundation knowledge you need to continue with confidence.  

All my other courses are suitable for beginners to experienced artists and if you are determined and enthusiastic to give drawing and art a go – then there should be nothing to stand in your way.

I teach at a pace everyone can follow, so you will not be left behind, with lots of 1:1 support and guidance – so browse my website with confidence and pick a course that intrigues you the most.  Simple.

I’m looking for a beginner’s class, but can’t see one on your site?

Apart from the ‘Begin to draw and paint’ course, all my courses are suitable for mixed ability groups that are great for all skills levels, even if you have yet to start drawing!  So whether you are a beginner, intermediate or an experienced artist, you will fit right in. 

All my courses are underpinned by what I think of as the fundamental principles of what it means to be creative so beginners tend to absorb this information like a sponge, while more experienced students use it to re-focus their attention on key skills and techniques.  Everyone leaves inspired, having learnt something new.

What kind of things will I learn?

 That depends on which course you book.  Read each course description for more details.  However there are 2 sets of fundamental principles underlying all my courses which are crucial for you to understand to be able to improve and develop as an independent artist. 

These fundamental principles are;

  1. Learning to understand and to manipulate the Art Elements (Line, tone, colour, shape + form, etc). A bit like a musician learning the basic notes and chords on their chosen instrument, and then learning how to manipulate them to write their own music.
  2. Learning how to adopt good Art Practices that underpin our ‘seeing’, ‘looking’, and rendering while drawing and painting . A bit like a martial arts expert lays down foundations of good habits to help hone their skills.

Is there a particular course I should do first?

I would suggest you start with the course that intrigues you the most and fits in with your available time.  Everyone joins Creative Art Courses with a different set of skills and interests, so there is no specific course to start with.  I have had many students enrolling on multiple courses – everyone tends to start with a different course.  My courses are a mix ‘n match heaven!

You can sign up for one – go home having learnt and been inspired and then develop these skills at home.  Perhaps join a local art group, and when you feel you need another burst of inspiration, and further tuition and guidance you can return to Creative Art Courses and enroll on another course when it suits you. 

I went to art collage years ago and want to get back into art again.  Is there a course for me?

I started Creative Art Courses because I wanted to offer a range of creative courses that would stretch and challenge adult students and were not generally available through ‘adult education’ type courses. 

All my courses offer enough content to make you think and re-examine your ideas and arts practice.  The courses offer you the space to explore, play and experiment with supportive guidance and tuition aimed at helping you become a confident and independent artist.

What kinds of art materials will I get to use?

Each course is different.  However, across all my courses students will have the opportunity to use;

Dry ‘drawing’ materials

  • Pencil
  • Graphite
  • Charcoal (willow and compressed)
  • Pastels (oil and chalk)

Wet ‘painting’ materials

  • Acrylic paints
  • Ink (drawing and printing)
  • Watercolour paints

I see a lot of talk about drawing on your website, but not a lot about painting.  Why is this?

I think I use the terms ‘drawing’ and ‘painting’ a bit differently to many other artists. 

I use the term ‘drawing’ to mean the act of looking, really studying an object and trying to understand its form, shape and colour.  To really get to grips with your subject matter. 

All my courses tend to stress this side of art making.  And it can be done whether you use ‘drawing’ materials or ‘painting’ materials.  However you understand drawing and painting, you can draw with wet ‘painting’ materials and you can paint with dry ‘drawing’ materials.  Believe me!

I use the terms ‘drawing’ and ‘painting’ quite loosely and many courses offer you the chance to use both dry drawing materials and wet painting materials (see the above list).

When you book on a course with Creative Art Courses you will experience

  • High quality teaching to nurture your creative spirit, actively encouraging you to find and develop your own artistic voice.
  • Your learning and development towards artistic self-confidence lies at the heart of my ambitions as a teacher.
  • My drawing classes teach you skills and techniques that provide the springboard to your artistic independence.