Advice & Guidance, General

A Comprehensive Guide to Finding the Perfect Art Tutor for Your Creative Journey | Ali Hargreaves

12th December 2023 Estimated reading time: 4 mins

If you are thinking of finding a good art tutor, it is important to do a little research first and make sure that the potential tutor is right for you.

I have often heard people in art groups say, ‘We had a brilliant artist demonstrating, but they couldn’t explain what they were doing,’ or ‘They were a good teacher, but their art wasn’t up to much!’ It is essential that your tutor is an artist you admire and, just as importantly, a teacher who can instruct you well and help you progress to the next level.

Ali Hargreaves-art-tutor-finding


Choosing an Art Tutor: Styles, Teaching, and Feedback

Consider what kind of tutor you are looking for

Some tutors or teachers are highly entertaining (as well as giving you helpful advice.)  Certain tutors/teachers are experts in particular subjects e.g. animal portraiture, landscapes, life drawing, etc. Various tutors/teachers tailor their courses to individual needs.

• A good teacher will bring confidence to their students by focusing first on the student’s strengths and then giving instruction on how to improve on weaker areas. I believe that this kind of instruction helps build confidence.

• A good teacher needs to be a competent artist with lots of knowledge of the principles and elements of art. They will have clear objectives for their lessons so that you know what you are focussing on each time you attend.

• A good teacher is a good communicator who can project their voice, engage their audience, and explain things clearly.


Ali Hargreaves-art-tutor-finding

Assessing Your Art Tutor: Key Questions to Consider

Does the tutor’s art style inspire me?
There are so many different art styles out there and you must be inspired by the work of the tutor. For example…and I know this is obvious, but if you only want to paint landscapes you need someone who just teaches landscapes! If you love bright colours, you need a tutor who loves them too. If you want to develop your style, you need a tutor who can direct you to do just that.

Are you receiving enough critical advice?
Feedback is crucial for improvement. If a teacher consistently says, ‘That’s nice,’ it won’t help you progress. Yet, overly critical feedback might discourage you. Look for a tutor who strikes a balanced approach. You need constructive criticism that’s informative and helpful. Everyone is unique with different strengths and weaknesses. A good teacher assists both individual and group needs.

Does each class have learning objectives?
This might sound formal but if there is a structure to the classes, you can make sure that you cover everything you need to know, and this will eventually help you to develop your style.

Is the class size ok for me?
Some people like to be in a large group, and some prefer to be in a small one. Or you may prefer one-to-one tuition. So, check out the size of the group you will be attending. If you are attending an online course but would like to be part of a community, you may consider Zoom classes. If you would rather work at your own pace and want to be able to do it at odd precious moments in time, then you may need video lessons that can be offered on a flexible basis.

Ali Hargreaves-art-tutor-finding



Does the tutor cater to all abilities?
Trained teachers grasp the importance of differentiation, catering to beginners and accomplished students, ensuring everyone is appropriately challenged. Some tutors and students opt for specialised classes like Beginners Watercolours or Acrylics Improvers. Consideration of preferences helps in finding the right tutor.

How important is it for you to improve?
Do you want to improve? For some, it’s about creative enjoyment with like-minded individuals. Many tutors provide this experience—they might be the right fit. If improvement is your goal, assess your progress under your current tutor. If not, question the situation!

Has anyone recommended an art tutor to you?
Recommendations and reviews are valuable. Keep an eye out for them!
Look the tutor up online as most will have websites and social media pages.

Are you enjoying the class?
You must enjoy your class. If you are happy then you are much more likely to succeed. Your teacher should be welcoming and encouraging.

Whatever you are looking for out of your art classes, there is one that is perfect for you. You may not find it straight away but don’t be afraid to dabble in a few classes.

Unlock Your Creativity in 2024! Enjoy a day of fantastic inspiration and advice with a hands-on painting workshop, hosted by your favourite professional artists at SAA HQ. Visit our website for a calendar of upcoming workshops.Ali Hargreaves, art-tutor-finding

For additional details about Ali and her work please look at her dedicated SAA pages or her website




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