Western Australia has a vibrant visual arts scene with over 250 galleries and art studios with exhibitions and workshops statewide, featuring everything from traditional Indigenous arts to contemporary Australian art.
Perth, the western state's capital city, leads the way with a rich tapestry of art and cultural experiences on offer, from the Art Gallery of Western Australia through to the street art and murals dotted around the city's streets and laneways.
Some of the many arts attractions well worth a visit (to whet your creative appetite) include:
- Art Maxx Gallery — abstract expressionist art exhibitions and sales
- Kidogo Arthouse (Fremantle) — housed in an 1884 heritage-listed building, exhibitions range from sculpture to Indigenous arts
- Maalinup Aboriginal Gallery — featuring cultural activities, bush tucker and artwork exhibitions
- Art Gallery of Western Australia — established in 1895, the gallery houses the state art collection and hosts touring exhibitions
- streets of Perth — download the online mural and street art map from visitperth.com and take yourself on a walking tour.
Once you've been inspired by the wide range of art, techniques and materials, why not check out some of the drawing classes Perth has on offer? Superprof is here to give you an overview of the different styles you can try and where you can access classes and workshops.
What are the Different Types of Drawing Styles?
I sometimes think there is nothing so delightful as drawing.
~ Vincent van Gogh ~
There are multiple different types of drawing styles and techniques to explore — why not try one that appeals? Better still, try them all. Here are a few to get you started:
- Line drawing: the emphasis is on the line, without the shading
- Doodling: let the subconscious mind flow — who knows what ideas will spark from it?
- Cartoon: fun and semi-realistic, think anime or caricature
- Still Life Drawing and Life Drawing: observations viewed by the artist and portrayed in the art work
- Anamorphic: 3D drawing or painting at its best, the pictures seem to pop out of the page
- Architectural: precise and packed with detail
- Fashion: figures are typically elongated and simple, and the focus is on the essence of the garment
Whether you enrol in beginner drawing classes in Perth, life drawing classes or any other type of art class where drawing is the primary focus, the chances are that, as beginners, the first techniques the teacher will focus on will be the 'drawing basics'. These are five skills considered essential in any drawing style:
- Recognise edges, lines and angles in the objects you see and draw
- Identify space
- Determine and apply proportion and perspective
- Decipher shadow, highlights and gradations of tone
- Pull everything together simultaneously and unconsciously
Basically, it all comes down to being taught the skills and techniques and then practising them — over and over again, but without losing the fun.
Beginner Drawing Classes in Perth
With so many wonderful galleries and public art spaces in Perth, it comes as no surprise that Perth is a great location for artists — from budding beginners to the experienced artist. For beginners, booking in to a class when you've barely drawn a circle since you were in school may seem a little daunting, but once you get over that hurdle, you won't regret it. Check out the great beginner drawing classes Perth has to offer.
Atwell Arts Centre & Gallery
The location alone will inspire your creative flow: situated at the historic site of the Atwell Family Dairy Farm, the Atwell Arts Centre & Gallery offers a range of art classes for adults and kids, beginners to advanced.
- Art Starters is run for absolute beginners who have not looked at paint or a coloured pencil since they left school; a 4-week course that gives students a taste of different skills, techniques and materials.
- Drawing Fundamentals is designed to give beginners a solid foundation in fundamental techniques both for drawing and sketching prior to painting.
- Drawing & Cartooning covers basic structure, form, characterisation, movement and perspective.
- Traditional Drawing covers techniques for both black and white drawings and colour.
- Drawing & Cartooning is one of the most popular classes for kids and, as such, is held three times a week.
Fremantle Arts Centre
Built by convicts in the 1860s in the Australian gothic architectural style, the site opened as the Fremantle Arts Centre in 1973 after multiple reinventions, including one stint as a lunatic asylum. These days it holds numerous drawing courses for budding artists including:
- Ink Drawing in a Day
- Sketching in Watercolour
- Escape into Drawing.
The Arts Centre also holds workshops for kids and teens such as manga drawing, quirky monster drawings and cartooning.
Galleria Art Studio
Artist and teacher, Karen Frankel, established the studio in 2003 with a group of five keen and creative students. Today, she has expanded the studio (and moved out of the scout hall she started in) to employ a number of teacher artists and host classes and workshops for adults and kids, covering art skills for tiny kids through to big kids, as well as workshops for adults in drawing and painting (acrylic, waterpaint and oils).
All classes at Galleria Art Studio cater for beginners but are adaptive to the learning needs of all students.
Perth Art Group
These painting and drawing classes in Perth are run over 6-week periods, every day of the week for no more than seven students per class. Students can choose either drawing or painting to work on for the 6-week program. Skills covered include how to draw from observation, obtain the correct proportions, shading techniques and how to use the '5 drawing basics' to draw the face and head. Students try different drawing materials, such as graphite pencil, charcoal, chalk, ink and coloured pastels.
Students can re-enrol in the next set of six workshops once their current course is completed. At this time, they may choose to do the painting component or continue work on their skills in drawing.
Life Drawing Classes in Perth
It may be that, in your beginner drawing classes in Perth, you may have touched on still life drawing or figure drawing — neither of these, however, are quite the same as life drawing.
Put simply, life drawing is the art of drawing the human form — most commonly, and traditionally, unclothed. In life drawing, artists rarely draw from photographs or memory, instead they use live models — the same applies for life drawing classes.
While this is not going to be everyone's cup of tea, if you think you may be interested in trying your hand at this challenging, yet rewarding art skill, there are a number of life drawing classes in Perth where you can enrol for a beginner's day course or for regular weekly sessions.
- Casual Life Drawing and Painting on Sunday Mornings at the Atwell Arts Centre and Gallery
- Life Drawing Sundays (for adults) and Life Drawing For Kids at the Fremantle Arts Centre
- The Art Garage run informal life drawing evenings in Mt Hawthorn
Western Australia is a Big State — What if You're Too Far Away from Perth?
Not everybody lives in a location that enables them to nip out for a couple of hours once a week to attend drawing classes in Perth. If this is you, there are still options — your local community college or TAFE will likely offer drawing lessons and workshops and there is also an unbelievable range and number of online drawing classes for everyone.
If cost is an issue (remembering that good quality art materials can cost an arm and a leg as well), YouTube is a great option. You can find anything from basic pencil techniques through to life drawing classes on YouTube. The downside is, of course, there is no interaction with a teacher, however, you will be able to see everything clearly, pause and rewind if you missed something and watch the video over and over until you master a particular skill or technique.
Private tutoring is also an option if you can't find an art class that suits your schedule or your interests. A number of art tutors can be found online, including at Superprof where you'll find a number of tutors offering private online and in-person art tuition in a range of styles for a reasonable hourly rate. Superprof tutors specialise in all drawing fields, including digital drawing, street art, pencil drawing, animation and manga.
Success is a worn down pencil.
~ Robert Rauschenberg ~