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Art courses and drawing classes for beginners to experienced artists
and those of you yet to try

Creative Art Courses offer you the perfect blend of supportive quality teaching, enthusiastic encouragement, and space to experiment at your own pace.  All of us at Creative Art Courses have an Inclusive approach that embraces Diversity and celebrates individual achievement. 

Discover inspiration & creativity 

A great learning experience
The Gallery Studio offers students a warm welcome where everyone interested in learning and growing as artists can feel comfortable to pursue their passion for drawing, painting and mixed-media: start your journey as a complete-beginner; develop your skills further as a beginner + improver; or re-invigorate your creativity as an intermediate. Even those artists with more experience find my courses stimulating. 

The highlight of the course was “seeing progress on the work I have created even in just two days.”    Emma R

Great for beginners & Improvers 

Creativity at the heart of historical heritage
Our studio is based in Hope Mill and is part of AWOL Studios, Manchester’s largest creative hub of over 80 creative businesses. You will find The Gallery Studio an inspiring and creative space where you can cherish the rich cultural history of the grade 2 listed mill reaching back into the heart of the Industrial Revolution, while nurturing your own artistic development.  

Easy access from the city centre 

VIDEos to watch

What do my students think?

“Really relaxed, well structured, productive. Time flies!”
“It was fun, positive and a great learning experience.”
“Fantastic. Enough variety without feeling like it’s going too fast.”

“Simple and easy to book. All the info you need to know is there. Quick response from Brian confirming place and good communication before course dates.”

“Very friendly, informative teacher.  Well equipped studio, nice environment.  Course was well structured – moving + building well on each step of learning.  Great fun.”

More >

Manchester’s most welcoming studio

Everyone finds they are made very welcome, are comfortable and happy spending time in the studio able to learn and grow as an artist.  

Whether you are just beginning or looking to improve further your tutor will make sure you are able to make the best possible progression.  All the expert tutors offer supportive and encouraging teaching and a warm and welcoming greeting every time.

Come along and join us –  the Gallery Studio at Hope Mill is the place to nurture your creative spirit and grow your skills and confidence to become the artist you have always dreamed of.

Read More >

Videos to watch


“Loved it! you’ve shown me a different way to approach art and my creativity.  I feel as if you’ve opened up in me a new way of seeing things.”

Donna B | Drawing Foundations
                   More Testimonials >

Brian in studio2web

Hi, I’m Brian Raymond
As lead tutor I’m passionate about every art course and drawing class that I have planned for you.  Each one is designed to leave you inspired, passionate, and more able to make a success of your drawing and painting.  
More about Brian >


Structured learning
Carefully structured teaching that will lead you step by step, giving you the confidence to try new things.  

Individual attention
Loads of individual 1:1 encouragement to explore, experiment and discover.

Inclusive + personalised learning
A teaching style that focuses on your individual needs and is fully accepting of your individuality.

Creativity and technical skills
Teaching that allows you to learn new technical skills and develop your creativity, and leave inspired to continue to develop your skills further at home.

Welcoming studio
The Gallery Studio is a warm, creative and friendly space offering a relaxed informal, yet focused, teaching style.

Essential Art skills
Students learn essential foundation skills that provide the springboard to future artistic independence.

Within easy access of Manchester city centre
Easy to travel to from Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan, and within easy access of mainline train stations and motorway networks making us accessible from anywhere in the country. 

Beginner –  Improver – Intermediate – Experienced.
Everyone is welcome.

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Choosing the right course

Courses are grouped into 4 strands, each with a different focus. 
Create your own patchwork of courses depending on your interest and availability. 
There is no specific starting point.


Fundamental building blocks applicable to all art styles


Materials + techniques to fall in love with


Stand out – learn to develop a strong artistic voice.


Ongoing development away from formal courses

Student Quotes

“Completely refreshed my style of drawing, and attempting to put myself out of my comfort zone.”
Giovanni I  | Life drawing
“Challenging, fun, encouraging, exciting.”
Elaine L  | Life drawing

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Student Quote

“From week one I knew this was going to be good, and that first class was almost worth the fee alone. I think this course was an incredible experience and I know I’ve learnt a lot over the six weeks.”
Meg K | The Art Elements

The Blog

Read the blog for previous course reviews with updates on all courses and classes along with a mix of arty tips and tricks.



Black acrylic paint is an extremely versatile addition to your colour palette – just use it VERY carefully.  Small amounts will have a dramatic effect on the colours you are mixing.

You need to understand what it can do to use it correctly and avoid dirty colours.

The Best pencils for drawing and sketching

There is a huge range of pencils to choose from which can be confusing.  This post will help you cut through the confusion and let you know what the best pencils for drawing and sketching are, and how to use them.  You’ll find out why you really only need 4 pencils.

Firstly, I’ll talk about pencils in detail – so you understand exactly what is involved in selecting the best pencils for drawing and sketching, and know how to use them.


Using erasers for rubbing out mistakes comes last on my list of top 10 uses for rubbers and erasers!  Read further to find out my top 10 tips.  

If you’re new to drawing or just enrolled on an art course or drawing class you may be wondering what else you can do with a rubber or eraser other than rub out your mistakes. 

Why bother keeping a sketchbook?

This is a very good question.  At the moment I keep 3 different sketchbooks – each for a different reason.  Way back at art school I was always told to keep a sketchbook and you will find virtually all art teachers will tell you the same.  So there must be a reason – but what is it?

We teach the Arts: AWOL ICE is a group of tutors based at AWOL studios who are proud to embrace the independent spirit of a creative Manchester.