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 >

General Art

weekend 2-day courses

Begin to draw + paint

Weekend course 2-days

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

Expressive drawing L1

Weekend course 2-days

Learn to draw with an inventive + self-expressive approach to create semi-abstract contemporary style drawings

Realistic drawing L1

Weekend course 2-days

The perfect course to develop skills in drawing accurately and realistically from life using graphite pencil

Acrylic painting L1

Weekend course 2-days

The perfect introductory course for beginners to start learning acrylic painting skills and techniques

Acrylic painting L2

Weekend course 2-days

Further develop your acrylic painting with added skills, techniques and creative styles

Abstract Art

Weekend course 2-days

Learn 10 foundational keys to creating highly personal self-expressive abstract art

Creative sketchbooks

Weekend course 2-days

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

Urban sketching Ancoats

Weekend course 2-days

Build confidence in technical and creative urban sketching techniques with a focus on drawing buildings

General Art

Weekend 1-day courses

Experimental drawing

Sat workshop 1-day

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

Mixed-media textures

Sun workshop 1-day

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

Charcoal drawing

Sat workshop 1-day

Discover the freedom of gestural drawing with willow, and the drama of compressed charcoal

Dynamic colour mixing

Sun workshop 1-day

A step-by-step and practical guide to mixing the colours you want with ease by understanding Hue, Tone + Chroma

General Art

Midweek Daytime courses

Art + Creativity

Mon morning course 10-session x 3 terms

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

Weekly Art Class

Wed morning class flexible booking

Be inspired every week with new art projects every session exploring a variety of materials + techniques

Ancoats Visual Arts

Tues afternoon peer group

Peer-led art group for everyone who loves visual arts and craft, with support and friendship included

The Modern Masters

Thursday morning course 6-sessions

Transform your drawing + painting with insights from Cezanne, Matisse + Picasso

General Art

Evening 6-session courses

The Art Elements

Thurs eve course 6-sessions

Key learning about line, tone, form, colour, shape, texture, pattern and composition

Essential Drawing Foundations

Thurs eve course 6-sessions

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

Life Drawing

Courses, Classes + Peer-groups

Begin Life Drawing

Wed afternoon class flexible booking

The absolute-beginners life drawing class for those new to art and those just new to life drawing.

Life drawing Foundations

Thurs morning course 6-sessions

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

Life drawing Ancoats

Mon eve peer group

Peer-led life, figure and portrait drawing and painting for everyone, with support and friendship included

Children + Youth

Art classes with a curriculum or leisure focus

Children’s art class

Sunday morning class  1-session

Ages 8-10 or Primary-school aged. Tutor-led art class exploring a variety of materials, artists, and techniques

Youth art class

Sunday afternoon class  1-session

Ages 11-15 or Secondary-school aged. Tutor-led art class exploring a variety of materials, artists, and techniques

Mentoring + support

Midweek Daytime sessions

Art-school Crit

Fri afternoon 1-session

Supportive crit sessions to guide and support everyone to unlock their creative potential

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.