You may be thinking you might want to take a painting workshop. Or you’ve done an online workshop and are thinking about what to do next. You may even be deciding whether to take your first painting workshop. Perhaps you’re torn between wanting to take a painting workshop and being concerned about the time or the cost. I get it – a workshop is an investment.

Do you relate to any of these internal debates? If so, this post could be a useful way of putting these thoughts into context.

Here’s a list of things to consider:

  • Making art is good for your health – here are some of the reasons this is true.
  • Painting increases your creativity
  • Developing your art-making will add to your sense of curiosity
  • Painting workshops will help improve your problem-solving
  • Making art develops new neural pathways in the brain
  • Developing your painting repertoire enhances your memory
  • There’s an improvement in spatial awareness when you have to build up 3D images in a 2D plein
  • The act of painting helps develop your fine motor skills
  • Better eye-hand coordination. This is one of the reasons young people benefit from playing computer games. Painting uses very similar skills. Bet you never thought that painting and computer games could have the same bonuses
  • The more we learn to paint, the more we improve your skills of observation.

The emotional benefits of taking a painting workshop

  • Painting helps us find and dive deeper into our passions as we express them in the paint
  • Learning from art tutors who are themselves passionate about what they do is such an energising experience
  • An obvious reason to take a painting workshop is to develop your technical painting skills
  • If you’re stuck on taking the first steps in a new medium or a new style, a tutor who knows this particular aspect of art will help you overcome the stuckness involved in taking the first steps and get you up and running faster
  • Art workshops give you encouragement to explore. Yes! Go and explore more!
  • Fresh ideas come from working with other people. The 3 C’s of conversation, collaboration and connection are so powerful
  • Aha-moments can often come from getting just the right piece of information from a tutor: those points where the last piece of the puzzle slots into place and suddenly you know exactly what comes next
  • Taking a workshop can be just the juice to rejuvenate you and get you motivated again when your art has gone stale. (It happens to us all).

Good for overall development

  • Art workshops are fun and can be a great activity to enhance your relaxation
  • Taking a painting workshop will speed up your art journey – step onto a fast track
  • Get comfortable with being messy. This is a wonderful reason to take a workshop. I never think about leaving a workshop with a finished painting. I expect to finish up with a messy piece of work that has set my brain alight with new ideas.
  • Ideas, ideas, ideas. Painting builds your imagination
  • You can use workshops to build your own art journey. Everyone has their own interests and skills and the problem with a fixed long course is that the curriculum is seldom a perfect fit for what you want to learn. Instead, you can take the specific art workshops to develop exactly the skills you want to learn. You can create your own virtual art school with the right set of workshops
  • Your art is a way to express your unique personality. Taking an art workshop to fit is a great way to get those expressive marks moving across the page.

The added plus of online workshops

There are a few areas when the rise in online workshops can be a big benefit:

  • Time is at a premium for many of us. Going online for your art workshops means you can do the work in your own time, and you save the travel time
  • Costs. Tutors need to make a living and in the physical workshop, can only accommodate a few pupils so the price has to be higher. Online workshops can be a cheaper option.

When taking a painting workshop in person brings bonuses

  • Time – there is a counterpoint to the time aspects of the online vs in-person workshops debate. Although you can work through an online workshop in your own time, that could mean there’s a delay in starting and you don’t carve out a good block of time to do the learning.
  • Meeting other artists. Our artist communities are so valuable as a resource for support and feedback. So many of my artist friendships would not have happened if not for a shared workshop experience
  • Feedback is possible online, but if you are working in a group in the same place at the same time, the tutor can give immediate feedback to all students, and if necessary, demonstrate the technique again to make sure everyone is comfortable. The teaching can be specific and tailored to every student.

If you’ve reached this far, congratulations. This is a long list. But that just goes to show just how incredibly valuable it is to take a painting workshop. Whether its online or in person, please make the investment in yourself. You are truly worth it and your art will take a jump forward when you take the time to do some dedicated high quality learning.

If you want some studio tips and ideas in your inbox and you’s like information about some online programmes sign up here.

For news about upcoming in-person workshops in the Cambridge area, add your name to the box below the current workshops