Streaming through the range of choice available for art classes in Canberra, followers of creative types, be it those in drawing, painting, nature or portrait photography, or any other creative craft will notice that you don't have to go to a larger city to find that art is the life force of Canberra and runs in our veins!
The art community in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Adelaide, and Perth - eat your heart out because the community in Canberra is a lab of constant creative energy.
Now, not to discount the art life, artists, and range of workshop, studio, and class choices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Adelaide, and Perth, but the nature of the local art experience in Canberra is second to none with many national stars finding their feet here.
What's more, because it's the national capital, it brings together many an event, gallery, and museum that you can book into easily to learn about watercolour paint, acrylic and oil painting, drawing, or photography via classes delivered via videocam or streaming online.
If you do find yourself amongst nature of the pristine location of our bush capital, you will also find that the influences from other cities are all palpable and the best of the best ends up in Canberra.
From the National Gallery to the ANU art school, courses and getting to learn about art in Canberra is the main event!
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Getting to Grips with Art
To start with, before we understand the role of art in Canberra, let's get to know painting, drawing, and photography in a general sense.
Drawing a picture of this runs all across human history, from cave paintings to ancient civilisations, to art schools, to today in every location humans have lived.
Long before you could even put a label on the arts, let alone offer a class in the arts, the citizens of the ancient world were finding ways to workshop what they found in nature and any given human event.
Notably, Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia were the first to modernise art techniques that were delivered to the masses and garnered lots of followers.
Shipping these ideas to Europe, the ancient Greeks and Romans then used these to show deference to the gods, communicate ideas, and simply enjoy the choice of arts they could enjoy with a DIY kit at home or in public.
Coast ahead to the 14th century, and the Renaissance came streaming into our life. The local experience became positively celestial, with the stars of the art world still being renowned today (think Michelangelo or Da Vinci).
This was not just a local phenomenon - you will find that there is a book on the Renaissance in Italy, comparing it to the book on the Renaissance in Germany and France.
This runs into the 19th century when art and the arts began shipping themselves and their enlightened ideas internationally. This is notably the time of the birth of photography and public galleries, which is incidentally when many a local location - Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Adelaide, and Perth (no Canberra art community or even city at this stage yet!) - began getting to learn about their benefits of experience with art and craft.
Cubism, Modernism, Dadaism, and Impressionism all came out of this class of ideas, which followers of the art world and art life will know are still used to workshop events today, even many a streaming and videocam event.
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Noteworthy Canberra Galleries
Regardless of whether you're a local, and irrespective of where your classes are delivered, the nature of the arts and craft community in Canberra is such that there are constantly new artworks that are shipping into the city which kit the location out with a certain nature and flare.
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National Gallery of Australia
The centrepiece of the Australian art landscape, this gallery is internationally renowned for its diverse collection and fantastic curation.
It brings together the most impressive elements of Indigenous, European, Asian, Pacific and Islander Australian art, with a focus on discovering the depth of Australian identity, as well as seeking to emphasise the role of Aboriginal art and culture and its impact on life today.
It also has a significant photography section, which documents the birth and development of a nation. This is noteworthy for the housing of some of the most detailed and oldest interactions of white settlers with Indigenous Australians, given that photography was only invented around the time that Europeans colonised the country.
For those who love the art experience too, there is plenty of modern and conceptual art to explore and beautifully manicured gardens and sky rooms to discover.
If you're looking for something to do for the weekend too, workshops and events are run regularly in the gallery space where you can unwind and take a class and learn, or have a dance and take in some culture.
The National Portrait Gallery
Spanning painting, photography, and sketching, this is the place for a personal experience. It's not all someone sitting in front of a canvas or lens and posing for it either - the portrait gallery seeks to capture moments of human movement and existence that wouldn't have been able to be captured otherwise.
It showcases some of the greatest Australian figures, both in terms of fame and cultural significance. There are even some unknowns in the collection, but the quality of the work is sure to move you. You can see The Huxleys, Deborah Mailman, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Hugh Jackman, and Lee Lin Chin on display here and feel a certain dynamism you may not get in other kinds of spaces.
There are also regular events held here, with the event space being used by parliament and the public alike. This is a testament to the excitement of being here, and you can come and take evening tours or workshops and classes.
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Discover more about the art scene in Perth.
Types of Art Classes
The choice within the range of art classes is behemoth and can bear many a label. Having a look on a site like Superprof can help, but starting with a keyword search of your skills and desired outcomes from a delivered course is the best way to find what you're after.
Painting classes are the backbone of many styles of art. For this reason, they provide you with much of the appreciation and skills needed to become great artists.
The lessons will revolve around understanding the history of art and the arts for beginners, then progressing into techniques and materials used.
Once you've mastered this somewhat, inspiration can be drawn from the styles of famous artists.
Watercolour, oil, and acrylic will be the main paint types you work with initially and then continue with throughout, with different methods and brush widths, as well as colour mixing and brush pressure.
Similarly fundamental to a general understanding of art, but with a focus more on lines than strokes, you will study famous styles and discover how these have influenced art and how to recreate them.
Beginners will learn how to use pens and pencils to best capture still life or movement-based purely on the lines and silhouettes cast. Once this has been achieved, bringing depth and light and shade are added to the mix for more dynamic artwork.
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The most modern of the arts, these classes will differ slightly in that finding your inspiration will come first. Whilst you might lack technique, everyone knows how to push a button, so learning how to create the photo isn't the hard part.
You will learn in these courses to develop a second sense of what is eye-catching in a frame by sensing out of the corner of your eye whether it's got the lines and colour to create a great picture.
You will probably also learn about the before and after the process, with camera setting used for desired effects, and potentially darkroom development of film and editing with Photoshop or other software.
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Places to learn
Classbento really is the place to look if you want a range of private or group classes, delivered in a private or group setting. This can be for beginners or experienced creative professionals to develop further or just have fun.
This can suit all budgets, levels of commitment, locations, and intentions. They will show the range of classes on offer all across Canberra which can especially suit amateurs and private operators who want to get involved in the community.
For the more serious artists among us, the School of Art at ANU is second to none, with some of the most exciting lab classes and workshops in Australia.
One big benefit of this is that you get to be very close to lots of the renowned galleries of the nation's capital and beautiful surroundings in nature. Whilst it might not have the beaches of Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, or Perth, nor the streaming cultural backdrop of Melbourne or Adelaide, Canberra is one of the stars of the Australian art world and this should be taken advantage of.
You can also explore the art scene in Brisbane if you're not based in Canberra!
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