Guided Painting Live


Guided Painting Live

I started the Guided painting classes in 2014. I was initially sceptical. The sip and pint classes were becoming very popular and I thought this might be a “good gig”. The idea of everyone painting the same thing didn’t sit well with my philosophy of teaching. I believe in giving students the knowledge and tools to make their own art. I never teach a house style. I don’t believe students should copy photographs and certainly never copy another artists work. So, you can see that Guided Painting felt just a bit “wrong”.

I learnt so much with my first class. I had the idea that I would paint, and the students would follow my direction and example. I soon discovered this really didn’t work. At the time I was teaching in the train carriage. It was a narrow space and the students couldn’t physically see what I was doing. I also realised that not everyone works at the same pace (obvious). One of the students who was really organised, and she photographed every stage and meticulously wrote out the instructions. I had an “Ah Ha” moment. I went home repainted the image with instructions and photographed every stage of the process. I have used this format ever since.

 I was initially dubious about the educational value of the Guided Painting and thought of it as a social occasion for students. However, over the 5 years I have been teaching this style of class I have found that students learn a lot and that it really works. It’s turned out to be a comfortable way to learn about painting. For Guided classes I have done the hard work, thought of a subject (trickier than you might think), organised the composition, designed the palette, worked out the lights and darks and so on. The student learns about paint application, mixing paint, using binder, layering paint, blocking in, the importance of lights and darks, holding a brush, types of brush etc. The class is a safe space without the anxiety of having to tackle some of the trickier aspects of painting. Many of my Guided painting students have gone on to take regular drawing and painting classes with an aim to developing their own style. The Guided Painting class gave them the confidence to do so. Many of them have said that the classes really helped their confidence and gave them the impetus to go ahead and be brave.

 I wanted to make sure students had great images to paint. A lot of the sip and paint class images I had looked at were so cliched. I know they have their place, but I wanted to give my students something lovelier.  A lot of my early work was very whimsical, I illustrated a children’s book and designed greeting cards for an American company for a while. These images pop up in the Guided Painting to live again.

So, what is it? Guided painting is a step by step class. The student is given detailed, patient and expert tuition to guide them through the painting process. I provide written illustrated instructions for you to follow. I will be there to give individual guidance and help. Students have a great time in a relaxed environment and go home with a finished painting. Everyone works on the same image, and the results are all different. This is a great way to get back into art, the feeling of finishing a painting and going home with it on canvas is magical. Students learn a lot about painting and gain new skill and confidence.