AWOL Studios at Hope Mill in Manchester

Looking for Art Classes in Manchester?
Try Creative Art Courses based at AWOL Studios in Ancoats

AWOL Studios is a thriving collective of over 80 creative art studios, businesses, music studios and theatre. 
A creative pulse in the heart of historical Ancoats.

Courses + Classes

Find the perfect art course
by course title …  |  by course calendar >

Begin to draw + paint

Weekend course 2-days

The absolute-beginners guide to starting art, drawing and painting

Realistic drawing L1

Weekend course 2-days

The perfect course to improve skills in drawing accurately from life

Expressive drawing L1

Weekend course 2-days

Learn a creative, self-expressive approach to semi-abstract contemporary drawing

The Art Elements

Thurs eve course 6-sessions

Key learning about line, tone, colour, shape, texture, pattern and more

Abstract Art

Weekend course 2-days

Learn abstract art techniques to create exciting expressive images

Creative sketchbooks

Weekend course 2-days

Learn sketchbook skills to enable your creativity and artistic vision to flourish

Acrylic painting L1

Weekend course 2-days

The perfect course to start learning to use acrylics paints

Acrylic painting L2

Weekend course 2-days

Further develop your acrylic painting with added skills and techniques

Urban sketching

Weekend course 2-days

Build your urban sketching confidence with a focus on drawing buildings

Essential Drawing Foundations

Thurs eve course 6-sessions

Learn core drawing skills to improve accuracy, perception and clarity of vision

Art + Creativity

Mon morning course 10-session x 3 terms

Gain skills to grow creative-confidence and learn how to flourish as a visual artist

Creative life drawing Foundations

Thurs 10-session or 3-day weekend course

Fully taught life drawing course to improve core skills, observation and clarity of vision

Experimental drawing

Sat workshop 1-day

Explore drawing in its purest form to expand your gesture and mark-making

Mixed-media textures

Sun workshop 1-day

Create tactile mixed-media textures using a variety of materials and techniques

Charcoal drawing

Sat workshop 1-day

Discover the freedom of gestural drawing with willow and compressed charcoal

Dynamic colour mixing

Sun workshop 1-day

A step-by-step guide and exploration to mixing the colours you want with ease

Cezanne-simplifying nature

Mon eve workshop 1-session

Learn from Cezanne, the Father of Modernism, and improve your own art

Matisse-expressive colour

Mon eve workshop 1-session

Learn from Matisse and bring outrageous expressive colour to your own art


Mon eve workshop 1-session

Learn from Picasso and re-imagined how to use dynamic lines in your own art

Weekly Art Class

Wed morning flex 4-class block

Begin a new art project each week with inspiration and supportive teaching

Learn Life Drawing

Wed afternoon flex 4-class block

Expand your life drawing knowledge and skills topic-by-topic

Creative Wellbeing

Fri afternoon drop-in 1-session

Art projects for wellbeing, mental health, and creative enjoyment

Life drawing Ancoats

Mon eve peer group

Peer-led life, figure and portrait drawing and painting for everyone

Ancoats Visual Arts

Wed day / eve peer group

Peer-led art group for everyone who loves visual arts and craft

About my art courses

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. 

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 

Creative Art Courses probably offer the widest choice of visual art courses in the Northwest?
AWOL Studios at Hope Mill is the perfect location for creative art classes.

Join us AWOL Studios and Hope Mill
Discover your creativity at any one of the many drawing, painting and mixed-media courses offered by Creative Art Courses.

Creative Art Courses, part of AWOL Studios within Hope Mill, is proud to be part of Hope Mill’s new historical chapter. Hope Mill is a beautiful grade II listed building built in 1824 as a cotton spinning and fustian weaving mill for Joseph Clarke & Sons. Over the 177 years of its history it has had many other guises, from engineering works to dog bed factory, gradually and gracefully falling into decline and disrepair until it was rescued by Hope Mill Partnership in 2001.

AWOL Studios was the first business to lay down its artistic roots in Hope Mill in 2007 and has become one of the most important centres for the arts in Manchester, allowing for a natural regeneration of this important historic building and attracting a myriad of other creative businesses. The final piece of the jigsaw saw the mill’s old engine room refurbished and transformed to provide a fitting setting for Hope Mill Theatre.

The Gallery Studio
All the art courses offered by Creative Art Courses are taught by qualified and experienced tutors.

Our studio at AWOL Studios was originally designed as the Gallery space – hence it’s name The Gallery Studio!  It has innovative swiveling walls that open up for special events to offer an open plan exhibition space.  The studio is secure and warm and makes the most of the natural symmetry and light of Hope Mill. The studio has stunning views over the surrounding area of Ancoats and the Ashton Canal, and onwards to Manchester city centre and The Pennines. It’s a great place to soak up some inspiration and you’ll feel the creative buzz the moment you arrive at AWOL Studios.

Creative Art Courses guarantees you a quality learning experience that will ensure you to leave inspired, with new skills and techniques.

Beginner – Intermediate – Experienced
Everyone is welcome



Student Testimonials

“Really interesting.  More educational than I thought it was going to be.  Warm, friendly, clean and light.”
Simon C
“Well worthwhile.  Learned a lot.”
Ruth C
I wanted an opportunity to … discover how to be creative. I found it a really good experience + gave a good flavour of different materials and techniques and how to use them. Angela B
“I learned real and useful techniques. I learned how to see what was wrong and how to fix it, and techniques I can replicate, practice and use for drawing and painting.” My course highlight was “the Vision Cone and practicing it.”
Susan W


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, ensuring you 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, learning environment.

Essential Art skills
Students learn essential core 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.