Welcome to Dorset Art Courses, a drawing and painting school situated on the central south coast, and offering part-time adult art classes in the Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole and Salisbury area.
We work in association with The Seasons Art Class, a highly respected national painting academy which has trained and nurtured literally thousands of delighted pupils over the years, helping to turn complete beginners who have never held a brush before into skillful, confident and creative artists.
Our lessons are taught by qualified tutors supported by fully trained classroom assistants, employed not only for their artistic expertise and teaching abilities, but their willingness to interact with students to help create relaxed, fun, and educational sessions that are frequently oversubscribed.
This approach ensures that even complete novices who have never drawn or painted anything before are able to become ‘competent amateur artists’ over the 14 week duration of each term, gaining in self-confidence and creativity while being taught a wide variety of painter’s tips and tricks along the way that results in them creating professional looking artwork time and time again.
Our tutoring format, curriculum, and method of training allows every pupil to develop and grow at their own pace, supported and helped throughout by our tutors and teaching assistants, with each session lasting about 3 hours and timetabled to take place one day a week for the duration of your studies.
This schedule provides plenty of opportunity for students to practice what they have learned between each lesson if they wish to, returning the following week with any questions or concerns they may have, ready to tackle the next course module.
We also print full colour handouts at the end of each lesson for you to take home with you, providing a recap on the day’s tuition, together with a step-by-step guide to the projects you have just done, and further tips to help you improve each week.
Our comprehensive curriculum covers a range of different artistic mediums and ensures that our students are proficient at basic sketching techniques, enabling even a complete beginner who has never held a paint brush, pencil or palette knife before to view their subject in the same way as an experienced professional artist does – With a ‘painter’s eye’ in other words.
And we show you the simple tricks used by many professional artists to produce outstanding pictures each time they pick up a brush, and demonstrate how you can successfully use these techniques yourself in your own artwork.
Our timetable does not require you to study for a formal academic qualification of any sort, although we do present a certificate to qualifying pupils on the successful completion of their tuition. Instead, we teach the skills necessary to help you become a talented artist in a fun, friendly and relaxed environment that is as much a social event as anything else.
In other words, we give you all the tools and knowledge you need in media such as watercolours, acrylic paints, oil pastels and sketching with pencils and graphite. You decide how far you want to take your new talent, with the option of returning for further courses at any time if you wish to progress further.
What Do We Teach?
We hold art classes in Salisbury, Wiltshire to the north and in towns along the south coast on a weekly basis, where you’ll be taught the observational and technical skills necessary to compose your own still-life studies in mediums such as vibrant acrylics and watercolours. You’ll learn how to create form and depth using colour, more muted and moody watercolour landscapes, colourful and contemporary semi-abstact artwork, figurative oil pastel paintings, and a range of other projects too.
Each 14 week part-time adult-only course teaches you how to paint in a variety of different media to help broaden your artistic education and experience, using A3 and A4 acrylic or watercolour papers.
This variety will often result in many of our pupils choosing a ‘favourite’ medium to paint with by the end of their time with us, and further workshops and courses are available to encourage these painters to develop their new-found creative skills further if they wish.
Our tutoring is structured around a relaxed and fun syllabus, taught by enthusiastic, personable and qualified art teachers with the support of trained classroom helpers, helping to create a pleasant, sociable atmosphere within each lesson that students want to come back to week after week.
Many of our pupils choose to go on and attend further modules once they have finished their initial learning, a sign that they feel they gained a great deal from their time with us.
… And some even choose to book into every single one of our classes!
Whether you’re an absolute beginner who has never sat in front of an easel or picked up a pencil, paint brush or palette before, or what we affectionately call an ‘improver’ who is returning to further develop their knowledge, our structured and fun tuition will bring out the very best in your artistic talent.
You’ll be shown everything you need to know, such as:
- Creating depth and tone through the use of colour
- The importance of shadows and light and dark shading
- Formal and informal perspective
- Horizons and vanishing points
- Setting a ground to make your drawings 3 dimensional
- Using tonal harmonies to help transform a picture
- How to mix pigments and understanding a colour wheel
- Competent and fluent figurative sketching
- How to draw a face while getting the proportions right
… and so on.
You will then be shown how to put these techniques into practice as you create your first watercolour picture, impasto acrylic painting, and pastel sketch under our guidance and supervision.
You’ll complete your art lessons with a selection of finished projects to take home with you… and you’ll be amazed at just how professional they will all look!
Our Bournemouth Venue
Our central Bournemouth art classes are held in the Ocean Suite at the Ocean Beach Hotel and Spa (formerly the Cliffeside Hotel), East Overcliff Drive, Bournemouth, BH1 3AQ.
This light and sunny double-aspect room is air-conditioned and situated right on the clifftop directly overlooking the sea, the Purbeck Hills and the Isle of Wight. It enjoys a stunning view combined with a warm and welcoming atmosphere and also has a large terrace leading off it which in turn overlooks the swimming pool.
It is the perfect room to teach in, and there is plenty of on-site free parking available, together with a regular bus service (Yellow Buses Route 33) which runs right outside, connecting with the town centre to the west and Southbourne, Littledown, Boscombe and Christchurch to the east .
You can read more by clicking here: Our Town Centre Venue
Our Christchurch Venue
Our weekly Christchurch art courses are held at the Christchurch Rowing Club, a fantastic location on the border of Christchurch and Bournemouth, just downstream from Tuckton Bridge.
The clubhouse is on the banks of the River Stour, and a wide balcony leads off the main lounge in which we hold our classes, enjoying far-reaching views up and down the river. It’s a truly inspirational location with a constantly changing outlook and is an ideal venue for our Christchurch art classes.
There is also easy access to a regular bus service and plenty of adjacent car parking which our pupils are able to use while they are attending their lessons. And an electrically operated stairlift provides access to the first floor for those students who find stairs a bit difficult.
Our Salisbury Classes
Our 14 week long adult-only part-time Salisbury art courses are held close to the picturesque city centre and its 13th century cathedral in the Harnham Memorial Hall, Watersmeet Road, East Harnham, Wiltshire, SP2 8JH.
Situated close to the banks of the River Avon, the Salisbury venue is located to the south-west of the city centre on the A3094 leading towards Netherhampton. A bus service runs outside and the A338 is close by, connecting with the towns and villages to the south of Salisbury, including Charlton-All-Saints, Breamore, Fordingbridge, Ibsley and Ringwood.
Free parking is available for use by our students while they are in the classroom each week and there is plenty of room for every pupil and lots of natural light at this venue.
You can find out more about our Bournemouth, Christchurch and Salisbury venues by Clicking Here