Always wanted to learn more about art, or perhaps learn how to create your own paintings, drawings, or sculptures? It’s never too late – you can sign up today for an art class at a community college or other adult education center near you.
It is never too late for art – many people, after many years of working in another career, finally find the time to discover or pursue their real passion for art in retirement. Others enjoy it during night or weekend hours. Classes are available in all types of art, from lessons for beginners up through studio sessions attended by professional artists who enjoy the camaraderie of working together.
Classes in Art Appreciation
Classes where you learn about different types of art or make an in-depth study of a particular artist or period are often offered through museums. Some of these classes even involve travel to other countries to view the beautiful works of art on exhibit at the museums there – so if you’ve always wanted to go to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa, perhaps you could do so with a whole class of fellow art lovers!
One of the first types of classes a beginning artist takes is a drawing class to learn the fundamentals of composition. Often the class will begin with a still life study, but may then advance to the more complex life drawing which involves a real, live (and yes, often nude) model.
After you’ve learned to draw, perhaps you might want to learn to express yourself in paint. Classes are available in watercolor, acrylic, and oil painting, and in more advanced classes you may even learn to mix your own paints and prepare your own canvases.
Perhaps you’ve always wanted to create in three dimensions. Sculpture classes are available which will teach you to mold clay, weld metal, or create using a wide variety of other materials.
Sure, you’ve been snapping away for most of your life, first with that point-n-shoot, now with a cool new digital camera. But if you’d really like to see what an artist sees through the lens and learn how to capture that perfectly composed shot, a class in art photography may be for you.
This New Year instead of setting a resolution that feels like work and is destined to fail, try improving skills in an enjoyable way and take arts and crafts classes.
Each year, millions of people will set goals for themselves at the New Year. These New Year’s resolutions will frequently involve better themselves in some way, and in many cases will feel like sacrifice or work. These last factors account for why so many people fail to meet their New Year’s goals, and instead set the same goals for themselves year after year. (more…)
Ever try to force a cat to sit in your lap? It never works and the experience is usually not good for the lap or the cat.
The same is true of kids and art. You can’t force a child to develop artistically but you can encourage their natural interests by gently guiding then to the next level and allowing them to take the next step — if that’s what they want to do.
In almost any medium of childhood play there are natural paths leading to one or more of the arts. Kids don’t leap from play dough to museum quality pottery in a single bound — but they can make the journey if you act as guide and mentor.
Plunking away on the keyboard of a toy piano may lead to Carnegie Hall and a lifelong love of music — if there is natural talent and interest. It could just as easily result in a kid who has the ability to make any piano — baby grand or upright sound like a $3.98 toy piano.
Your role in your child’s natural artistic progression is that of teacher and mentor – but not art critique You can help your children progress to the next level by introducing new techniques and mediums for expression when you sense they are ready to take the next step. A few words of encouragement can work wonders. Introduce a new technique or medium by sitting down with them and showing a few tricks and techniques to get them started. If in doubt, seek the advice of local art teachers. They will be glad to offer suggestions.
In drawing or painting children typically progress from scribbling lines on paper with a crayon to simple stick figures to filling in the details, and finally to more lifelike drawings using perspective and shading.
For example: Lollypop trees (circles on sticks) are great for young kids but look a little silly when drawn by older children. Turning lollypops into “real” trees requires branches – and most kids don’t draw branches because they don’t know how. Show them. Forget the leaves and just draw trees with branches. THEN add the leaves. Whatever age of the artist, the resulting image will look more like a tree than a lollypop
Sample Progression Paths:
Three Dimensional Art
Play dough > Modeling Clay > Modeling Compounds > Real Clay Ceramics / Pottery > etc.
Two Dimensional Art:
Crayons > Finger paints > Poster Paints > Water Colors > Felt-tip markers > Pen and Ink > Oil Painting > etc.
by Dennis Randall