Many students over the years have joined a sketching or drawing course in the hopes of becoming a great artist, only to find that it's a skill that takes hours and hours of practice to improve, let alone master.

But this doesn't mean that these students shouldn't even try to draw. This quote from world-famous drawing teacher Kimon Nicolaides gets at the heart of what learning to draw is all about.

"Learning to draw is really a matter of learning to see - to see correctly - and that means a good deal more than merely looking with the eye." 

While techniques, lines and perspective are all important, the most important thing is that you are seeing and showing the truth.

So if you're interested in learning some new creative skills, drawing, sketching and painting classes are a fun start!

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The best drawing classes in Sydney

If you're looking for drawing classes and you're in Sydney, then you're truly spoiled for choice! This city is choc-full of school and studio courses, workshops, life drawing and painting sessions and so much more.

In fact, there's such a range of options for creative drawing classes that picking just one can be truly overwhelming. That's why we've broken our list down into two categories:

  • classes for students who just want to have some fun and get creative
  • lessons for students who seriously want to brush up on their drawing skills.

This should help you decide which of the courses or sessions will be the best for you as a student and save you hours in front of the computer.

Have fun with friends while you draw
Art classes don't have to be so serious, they can also be a chance to catch up while doing something creative | Photo credit: Pavel Danilyuk- Pexels

I just want to have a little fun and learn to draw:

For sessions that leave some room for having a good time, you can check out:

Sundown Sketch Club at the Museum of Contemporary Art: 

This creative sketching session happens once every Fri and goes for two hours. Beginners are welcome and the group is guided throughout the session by MCA artist-educators.

It's a fun option for people who are interested in trying different styles of drawing.  The theme and subject of the classes change every week, from life drawing to experimental drawing techniques.

Your hard work will be rewarded by views of the Harbour and Bay, along with a nice wine and cheese snack in the room.

You can book online at the MCA website. Be quick though, most workshops sell out pretty quickly every week!

Life Drawing at Friend in Hand Hotel:

For those who want to have a cheeky drink while they draw with a group of friends, this relaxed sketching session is a fun choice.

Taking place every Monday night between the hours of 6:30 pm and 9:30 pm (UTC +10:00), it's a fun chance to brush up on your sketching skills while spending time with your mates.

As a warm-up, the model will change pose every minute. By the end, they will be doing 20-minute poses, so you can really draw their pose and 'see' as Mr Nicolaides suggested.

As Life Drawing Classes Sydney go, this option is probably one of the most fun!

Mixed Media Classes at Work-Shop Sydney:

This 'creative concept studio' was designed to help students broaden their horizons and learn some skills that are a little out of the ordinary, with a range of creative art classes.

They offer drawing classes at different levels, like Drawing for Dummies or more advanced classes, like GenARTIS, which focuses on using painting and drawing skills to draw particular parts of the human body.

If you want to expand your interests, you can try other fun classes like Watercolours and Wine or Linocut Printmaking, where you can use your drawing skills to create new types of art.

You can book classes as you like, and don't have to commit to any term schedules. Be careful to read the details about each class clearly. Some may require you to bring materials yourself, while others will provide materials for a fee.

Better supplies can improve the quality of your art
Whichever class you join, read the details carefully to make sure you bring the right materials. | Photo credit: cottonbro- Pexels

For people who want to get a little more serious with their drawing:

So far, our focus has been on classes that offer something fun to do on a Fri night, but not so much total focus on instruction in drawing techniques.

If you're looking to join a course or weekly workshop that is more serious, that you still have plenty of options in Sydney, from the Bay to Rozelle. Here are the details of some of the most popular:

Sydney Community College Workshop or Course:

This community college based in Rozelle, est. 1986, has been providing art classes for adults since it opened its doors.

They now offer courses for beginners, as well as courses in specific creative styles like Floral Drawing or Portraiture.

You can choose to book your place in the workshop week by week or to join a fixed course which usually goes for a month.

For example, a current offering is the Drawing Course for Beginners which happens every Tue or Thu from 15 Jul- 19 Aug,  from 6:30-9 pm (UTC+10:00). It will cost you around $270 including GST (est. $27 an hour).

Another option could be the Urban Sketching Course for more students with more experience that happens every Fri or Sat for two weeks, from 10:00 am-1:30 pm (UTC+10:00). This is priced at $170 including GST (est. $24 an hour).

This school is a good option for students who want really want to brush up on their drawing skills, but don't want to commit to a course the goes for more than a month or so.

A Drawing Course at Sydney Art School:

This art school not only offers courses in everything from drawing to painting to silversmithing, but they also allow students to study for a Certificate or Diploma of Visual Arts.

The shortest course on offer here is 8 weeks in total, once a week, although they do offer some once-off workshops you can join.

There's a huge range of classes, from Essential Drawing Skills to Art Theory, History & Professional Practice, so you can really expand your knowledge of art beyond simply drawing or sketching.

Draw skills are the basis for many types of art
Drawing courses can give you an important foundation that you can then use while working with other materials, like paints. | Photo credit: Yang Li- Pexels

Another great thing about this school is that they have studios across the Hills Shire and Hornsby Shire areas, so you're likely to be able to find a class or studio close to you.

Most classes happen every day at different times, so you're also very likely to find a class that suits your week, whether it be Tue at 7 pm (UTC+10:00) or Fri at 10 am (UTC+10:00).

You will be asked to bring your own materials to each class, although there is the possibility of buying a total resource kit from the school which includes a paper pad, pencil set and more.

A term-long course at Art Class Sydney:

This school has a smaller range of drawing classes compared to the two above, but they make up for it in terms of the time you get to spend in each class.

While most drawing classes offered last for around 2 hours, classes at Art Class Sydney can go for anywhere from 2.5 hours to a whopping 4.5 hours, depending on the course you choose.

Like most schools, you will also be given a list of drawing materials to bring to each class. Because they are in line with schools, each term usually lasts for about two months, with 8 or 10 classes for an est. total of 25-30 hours.

Prices will depend on the class time, but they usually run from about $430 to $585 a term in total (including GST).

 

Taking private drawing classes

Improve your skills by drawing the same object from different angles
Private drawing classes can allow you to focus on the techniques and skills you want to learn most. | Photo credit: Messala Ciulla- Pexels

So far, we've only listed group classes that are scheduled week by week, but there is always the option of learning to draw with a private tutor, which comes with its own set of advantages.

This could be a good option for students who are true beginners and have never held a paintbrush or pencil before. You have the room to make mistakes without feeling anxious that anyone will see.

You can also spend your hours of class focusing and perfecting more basic techniques. Week by week you'll start to notice great improvements in how you draw!

Another benefit is that you can organise each class during the hours of the week that most suit you, whether it's Tue morning, Thu evening or Fri afternoon. There's no term to stick to, and you won't lose a class if you need to skip a week or two.

You will still need to bring your own materials, but if you forget something, your teacher will probably have some extra materials you can use in their studio.

Many tutors even have their own private studios, where you can draw comfortably and set to create art that you can be truly proud of!

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Giulietta