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.

Courses focus on 3 aspects of being an artist

  1. Core drawing + 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. Materials + techniques in a wide variety of materials to help you develop a rich and vibrant visual language.
  3. Creativity + self-expression and nurturing your creativity to help develop your own artistic style.

Courses 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.  I have invited other skilled artists whose teaching and ethos towards your education I admire, and who I think can add something special to what I already offer within my studio.  

Read all our full biographies here.

Frequently asked questions

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

  • The weekend Begin to draw + paint course is specially aimed at absolute-beginners.
  • The ‘Introduction’ courses are designed as the ‘next steps’ of learning for beginners and improvers.
  • The other weekend and evening courses are suitable for beginners, improvers, and intermediate artists, unless indicated otherwise.
  • The ‘peer-led’ art groups are suitable for everyone, no matter what level of ability

Why are so many courses suitable for mixed-ability groups?

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’.

Will I fit in at Creative Art Courses?

Everyone fits in and is very welcome at Creative Art Courses.  
I, and all the other tutors pride themselves in offering a welcoming and fully Inclusive studio that embraces Diversity and celebrates individual achievement.  We welcome everyone of all ages, backgrounds, faiths, gender, LGBTQ, race, ethnicity and ability and ensure you feel relaxed and comfortable. 
(There are restrictions for wheelchair users due to the historic nature of the building.  Please email me for details.) 

There are courses specially designed for absolute beginners; beginners and improvers, and others for beginners to intermediate artists.  You need to self-asses your ability level – however – 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 absolute 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.  

The ‘introduction’ courses offer students a supportive next-step to becoming increasingly independent in their art skills and is a great way to continue after attending the Beginners course, or equally a great place to start if you have some foundation in drawing and painting already. All my other courses are suitable for beginners to intermediate 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.

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 have organised my courses into 4 stands which makes it easier to understand the range of courses on offer and make quick comparisons.  See the bottom of each course page.

However, 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 or attend Ancoats Visual Arts in my studio, 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).

I do offer two courses that teach traditional painting techniques – Acrylic painting and Watercolour.

What will my experience be when I attend a course with Creative Art Courses?

  • Have a look at the videos which can be found on the gallery + video page.
  • 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.
  • A fun and enjoyable time learning, focusing on art, and socialising.

Do I need to bring my own lunch?

Yes, lunch is kept to half an hour, so it is best to bring your own lunch on full day courses.  There is a corner shop just 3 minutes walk away that offers a limited range of sandwiches, chocolates, crisps and drinks . No other sandwich shops or takeaways are near enough to get to within the lunch period.

I live with a debilitating condition – will this count against me if I need to cancel at the last minute?

I appreciate the difficulties of living with a serious long-term medical condition and the uncertainties this brings.  I have therefore tried to offer such students a more favourable set of T+C’s in relation to Cancellations and Transfers. 

There are conditions you need to meet to qualify so please read the Terms and Conditions before booking.