Do you want to be more creative? Or find a new hobby outside of work? I recently decided to start an evening art class, and it’s had a positive impact on my mental health and well-being. During the class I put my phone down to focus on creating something new. It takes my mind away from worries and deadlines. If you are interested in learning a new artistic skill, re-discovering your imagination, or just taking the time to relax, then I can guarantee there will be something for you here in the creative city of London. Here’s my roundup of the best evening and weekend art classes London has to offer.
Drawing classes in London
Drawing is a great place to start if you’re a beginner artist or haven’t picked up a pencil or brush in quite some time. It’s also very good for focusing the mind. As David Hockney says: “Drawing helps you to put your thoughts in order. It can make you think in different ways”.
Royal Drawing School
The Royal Drawing School offers evening classes in drawing. They are suitable for all levels, from complete beginners to experienced artists and creative professionals. Classes take place in the Shoreditch studios in East London, set in a converted Victorian warehouse. Other studio-based courses take place in West London studios, as well as museums and galleries across the city. Classes include life drawing, etching, portraits, iPad drawing and illustration.
The school also offers FREE art classes, including life drawing on a Monday evening, for students.
They offer excellent concessions for certain groups including students, job seekers, teachers, practising artists under the age of 40, and residents of East London. Check out the concessions here:
Location: East London and West London
London Drawing Group
LDG is run by 3 contemporary artists who want to get more people drawing. Tours museums and galleries – including the National Gallery – teach drawing by observation of works on display. Drop-in classes pick themes and topics, such as Surrealism (drawing dreams) or environmentalism. Day-long workshops take place on weekends. They run a Sunday life drawing class in Deptford.
Location: National Gallery, British Museum and life drawing in South London
Holborn/Covent Garden Life Drawing
Looking for a life drawing class? This is one of the most popular classes in London. The Covent Garden venue is LARGE with plenty of easels and comfy chairs. It can accommodate 50+ artists, so whilst they are very popular, there’s always room if you want to attend. During the session there is always one male and one female model. All abilities are welcome, with many newcomers joining. Easels and drawing boards are provided. The class takes place every Thursday evening from 7-9pm.
Location: Covent Garden, Central London
Pottery classes in London
Pottery can promote relaxation. The process itself is an outlet for creativity and engages your sense of touch. Plus, you might just end up with a pretty new pot for your kitchen cabinet (or mother-in-law).
The Kiln Rooms
If you haven’t picked up a piece of clay since school, it won’t matter at The Kiln Rooms. You can take part in a one-off 5-hour taster session or a 4-week beginners’ course where you will learn all the basic techniques and see if pottery is for you. Ready for a more advanced course? There’s a 12-week course or masterclasses for the intermediate and advanced potters out there. Classes take place on weekends or weekday evenings.
Location: Peckham, South East London
Crown Works Pottery
Crown Works Pottery is based in East London, tucked away in an old Victorian mews near to Bethnal Green and run by potter Giulietta Hextall. The Pottery has a small selection of full time makers, all creating bespoke ceramics and developing their practices. Giulietta also runs taster, beginner and intermediate throwing classes during day times, evenings and weekends. The classes are kept to a limited number of people of 8 per session, this keeps the classes intimate and allows all students to be given sufficient help in a friendly atmosphere.
Location: Bethnal Green, East london
Ceramics Studio Co-op
This artist-run ceramics studio and workshop offers various pottery classes for all abilities. Most take place over a few hours, offering an introduction to throwing, glazing. Classes are available during evenings and weekends.
Location: Bermondsey, South East London
Painting classes in London
“Painting is just another way of keeping a diary”, said Picasso. Easy for him to say. My diary would look slightly more neurotic than his. But painting always relaxes me, and I find it one of the most expressive art forms. Take your pick from these painting courses and classes in London.
Central Saint Martins
If you’re an absolute beginner, then you might want to take the Beginners Painting course at Central Saint Martins. This course will show you how to manipulate acrylic and oil paint with confidence and precision. Topics covered include: mark-making techniques, chiaroscuro, human body proportion, painting composition and colour theory. If you can’t make the 1 week course (Monday to Friday) then there’s the option to take over 5 weeks (Saturdays),
Location: North London
Slade School of Fine Art
The Slade School of Fine Art is the UK’s top art and design. Notable graduates who became professional painters include Paula Rego, Stanley Spencer and Jenny Saville. The school offers a range of short art courses on painting. They take place over the course of 8 weeks (1 evening a week) in the main Slade building on Gower Street. They are taught by practising artists, many of whom studied at the Slade. They aren’t for the absolute beginner but are designed to enhance students’ skills to enable them develop their practise after completing the course.
Location: Euston, Central London
Hampstead School of Art
Hampstead School of Art offers traditional studio-based tuition. All classes are run in 12 week terms, including evening sessions. Classes include portrait painting, abstract painting, Chinese brush painting and open painting
Location: Hampstead, North London
Short and weekend art courses in London
Looking for other short art courses in London over weekends and evenings? Choose from sculpture, collage, printmaking, watercolour painting, crafts, art psychology and more…
The Royal Academy offers a whole range of short art courses, with length ranging from weekend art courses to a 4-week evening course. Subjects include: drawing the Renaissance nude, drawing the animal form, colour through acrylic and watercolour, colour in light and life painting, and many more!
Location: Piccadilly, central London
City Lit Art School
City Lit Art & Design offers the most diverse range of short art courses in London. Choose from part-time, weekend and evening courses, taught by successful professional artists and practitioners. Classes include photography, fashion and textiles, drawing and painting, print, graphic design, interior design and even garden design courses. You can search by your level, length of course and time of day that you’re available.
Location: Holborn, central London
Camden Arts Centre
Camden Arts Centre offers short art courses for adults of all abilities. They are delivered by professional artists, areas such as ceramics, drawing, painting and theory. The length of the courses vary. Some of the most popular courses include 10 Weeks: Ceramics for Beginners, 8 Weeks: Drawing and Painting and 4 Weeks: Drawing in Colour. Most take place over weekends.
Location: Camden, North London
Heatherley School of Fine Art
Heatherley’s have a real range of day and evening classes. They are open to beginners as well as those with some experience and include life drawing, portrait painting, oil painting, watercolour, ceramics, figurative sculpture and printmaking.
Location: Chelsea, West London
Goldsmiths is one of the only art schools to specialise in art psychotherapy. They offer a range of short courses to art psychotherapy. Taking place over evenings, they include a taster session and a 2-day introductory workshop. If you want to pursue art therapy as a career, you can continue onto their year-long foundation course.
Location: New Cross, South East London