Melbourne, capital city of Victoria, is a city buzzing with dynamic arts and culture. From its prestigious art galleries to the hole-in-the-wall galleries and popular street art, Melbourne has something for every art enthusiast's taste.
A few of the arts sites well worth a visit for those in the region include:
- Hosier Lane — street art in an urban, open-air 'art gallery' where the work changes from day to day
- Heide Museum of Modern Art — modern and contemporary Australian art housed in three galleries, two kitchen gardens and a sculpture park
- Koorie Heritage Trust — one of Australia's largest collections of Aboriginal (Koorie) art and artefacts
- The Lume — a digital art gallery where you can 'step into' artwork online.
After a day or two soaking up the broad range of arts on public display in and around Melbourne, you'd be hard-pushed not to be inspired not to want to pick up a pencil or paintbrush and create your own drawing or painting masterpiece. There are so many artists to view and techniques to explore, it may become overwhelming — where do I start?
Quite simply, we suggest you start with drawing — a pencil, an eraser (maybe) and a piece of paper is all you need ... as well as your imagination!
And, you're in the right place. With all the inspiration and an abundance of drawing classes in Melbourne, you're ready to start creating.
What's the Best Way to Learn to Draw?
Everyone can draw. We all did it as kids. Big bold lines, bright splashes of colour, creative, free — we didn't care about drawing skills or using the 'right' techniques. It was just fun! Then somewhere along the way, on the journey into school and adult life, we forgot how to be creative and got bogged down in the 'I can't draw' mindset. We lost the fun.
There are many ways, as adults, we can learn to draw (again), it's a matter of finding a way that suits our personality and our life.
Books and Blog Posts
There are some great books and blogs out there for everyone from beginners through to experienced artists wanting to refine their skills and techniques. The pros of learning from the written word are that you can set your own schedule around your life and review techniques and lessons as often as you need. Cons are that, unlike a live teacher, a book or blog can't give you valuable feedback on your work, or personal encouragement.
YouTube and Online Pre-recorded Courses
You could spend days online scrolling through all the YouTube and Skillshare lessons available for different drawing styles and techniques. The pros are the same as books and blogs, with the added advantage of being able to watch the teacher demonstrate the different drawing or painting skills and techniques. But, because the teacher is not right there with you, or live, the cons are exactly the same.
Online workshops and short or long-term courses combine the benefit of being able to create in the comfort of your own home with the feel of a face-to-face class because of the interaction with the teacher and other students. Some online lessons and workshops are recorded so you can watch them again later to revise skills and techniques.
Group Classes and Private Classes
The ideal scenario is to take a live drawing class, in person.
The interaction with the teacher, and with other students if you're not doing a one-on-one class, is invaluable, especially for beginners.
With this in mind, Superprof has put together a short list of beginner drawing classes in Melbourne to get you started on your creative journey.
Where Can I Find Beginner Drawing Classes in Melbourne?
As mentioned previously, in Melbourne you're in the right city to totally immerse yourself in art and craft of all styles and for budding artists of all levels.
Melbourne Art Class
Located in the inner Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn, the Melbourne Art Class studio started out in 2008 as a community art class for kids. It has since expanded to offer a comprehensive range of art styles and purposes for all levels, pulling together the who's who of Melbourne artists to teach all sorts of courses, including:
- Introduction to Life Drawing Short Course
- Introduction to Observational Drawing Short Course
- Abstraction Studio Art
- Drawing Bootcamp
- Portrait Drawing
- Drawing and Painting Classes for Kids
Established in 2009, Fitzroy Painting specialises in 'back to basics' methodology for drawing and painting. Their art classes are small and informal and all tutors are professional practicing artists whose work you can see in regular exhibitions throughout Melbourne.
Classes on offer include:
- Drawing Studio
- Portrait Drawing Workshop
- Painting Workshops (watercolour, landscape, oil and abstract)
The Art Room
Located in Footscray, The Art Room is an independent art studio offering courses and workshops for all levels and ages. The Art Room is not only about art workshops and lessons, but about building life experiences and long-term relationships with a goal to create a sense of community. Courses are available both online and in person and include:
- Foundation Drawing
- Casual Life Drawing
- Young Adult Drawing Workshop
- Exploring the Human Head
Melbourne Museum — Digital Art Class
Digital art is currently experiencing a huge rise in popularity, especially amongst professional artists and book illustrators. With apps like Procreate, artists are able to draw original work and adapt pieces digitally, blending the best of both mediums. Melbourne Museum is now offering their Digital Art Class to all students from beginners to experts. It's a great opportunity to explore the resources of the museum and learn new techniques with materials you may not otherwise have thought to use.
If you don't live in Melbourne, or can't get to any of the classes listed above, Superprof currently has over 20 drawing tutors listed who are based in Melbourne, and hundreds more outside of Melbourne and around Australia. Most Superprof tutors provide both online and face-to-face lessons and will adapt their teaching to suit your skills and creative requirements.
Should I Try Life Drawing Classes in Melbourne?
On your search for beginner drawing classes in Melbourne, you may have noticed life drawing classes as one of the options available in the location you are looking at. Life drawing is certainly a skill worth developing, however, it is important to know exactly what it entails as it is not everyone's cup of tea.
Life drawing, also known as figure drawing, is quite simply, the art of drawing the human form. In most cases, it is the nude human figure you learn to draw and there is often an emphasis on anatomic correctness. In addition, true life drawing is undertaken with a live model, rather than from a photo, memory or imagination.
Now that you are aware of this (as it can make some budding artists a little uncomfortable) if you are still interested in pursuing this fascinating art form here are three important 'need to know' tips:
- Develop an understanding of proportions — this allows artists to create a more realistic figure.
- Practise, practise, practise — this goes without saying, but draw from different perspectives and use a range of models.
- Don't shy away from the tricky bits — hands and feet tend to be the nightmare regions for artists. Whatever yours is, don't give up until you've got it.
Check out some of the workshops and lessons listed in the previous section and enrol in life drawing classes in Melbourne.
I've Mastered the Basics — What Next?
Once you've caught the creative arts bug, it's hard to stop — and why would you want to? Each art school, studio or other location listed above also offers intermediate and advanced workshops, lessons and drawing classes in Melbourne as well as a host of other classes covering a range of styles, using different techniques and materials.
Try your hand at something from this range, all of which will expand on your new-found skills gained from your learn to draw classes:
- Melbourne Art Class
- Creating Calm – Art Therapy Course
- Inspirational Collage
- Watercolour and Mixed Media Short Course
- Japanese Ink Painting Workshop
- Painting Still Life
- Fitzroy Painting
- Classical Oil Painting for Beginners
- Atelier Class (choose your preferred field of portraiture, abstraction, still life or landscape painting)
- Master Copy Portrait Painting Workshop (learn by studying the techniques of the Old Masters)
- Abstraction Through Landscape
- The Art Room
- Grisaille to Glazing
- The Life Drawing Experiment
- Open Studio
- Sculpting the Human Head
- Lino Printing
- Group Critique
- Animation and Manga Art
- Fashion Design Art
- Clay Sculpting
- Fine Arts and Craft Techniques
There really is something for everyone.
Start small, build your confidence, start having fun again and the creative world will be yours to do as you wish.