How to Pick a Class

So many choices, how do I decide


Am I a beginner, intermediate,
or advanced?  How to decide

Questioner to Decide your level.




How to pick class.
First decide what kind of art work you are interested in. The workshop offers classes from realism to abstract. Then look for the medium you paint in. Once you locate a class that seems compatible, (click on Week link) read the description to determine what level the instructor is teaching on. If you are a beginner you wouldn't want to apply for a class that catered to the more advanced painters, or if you are advanced it would be a lost week to enter a class that had little to offer you.

Sometimes the instructors have books out these are mentioned in the bio's and class descriptions. Not all teachers teach their style of painting. A lot of classes are geared toward using new materials and learning new techniques. Look for mention of this in the description. If the description mentions any technique or demonstrations, there is a good chance that you will get how-to information. If the class mentions some demonstrations, you will probably be expected to know how to paint already, and will be learning more in-depth painting study.

What do the suggested Levels mean?

If the class is listed as a Beginner class you can be assured that you will get a lot of technique instruction and demos to help you improve your skills with the medium. You will be comfortable asking questions about the different tools used and be exposed to new ideas to compose and paint a better painting.

If the class is listed as Beginner/Intermediate you will also get good critiques as well as instruction  advanced techniques, composition will be discussed more as well as color theory and perhaps use of line depending on the focus of the class.

Intermediate / classes expect you to know your way around your pallet, and prepare you to think more about what the focus of your work could be. They will open you up to newer ways of dealing with the mediums you have already become familiar with. 

Intermediate / Advanced classes : expect to be challenged in ways you many not have before if you are used to full morning demos this may not be the case in these classes.  You will learn more about design, concept and content and create more from your own materials.  You will be given assignments and critiques will address how well you achieved the assignment and perhaps move out of your comfort zone and experience a new way to approaching the problem of expression.

Advanced/Intermediate :  Very little technique instruction will be given , however depending on the focus of the class new materials may be introduced, personal one on one critiques of your work from home may be offered, design and composition will be critiqued in a more direct manner helping  you learn how to communicate better with your art.

Advanced/  For the accomplished painter who wishes to push his/her work to a higher level, or to understand more about the your direction and concepts and to get feedback from others. You may be asked to bring slides of your work from home issues discussed may focus on bodies of work as opposed to single efforts. critiques may focus on your ability to express yourself in an effective way.


Questioner to  Decide Your Level in the Art World/Workshops  
Which Level Are You (please note: this is just a guesstimate list and should be used only judge which class would suit)  
There are always grey areas in anything. But hopefully the following can give you a good idea what is meant by beginner, intermediate, or advanced painter. You be the judge.

You are a beginner if:

  1. You have never learned to draw, paint, etc.
  2. You haven't picked up a paint brush or pencil to make art since high school, or college, and that was more than 20 years ago.
  3. You are tired of the paint by number kits and want to do something on your own.
  4. You just had a few classes at your local  Recreational/or /Art center and they told you are pretty good.
  5. You think art materials are very expensive, and that student grades will work just as well.
  6. You know a little about the color wheel, but can't identify cadmium red from alizarin crimson on your pallet.
  7. You still squeeze out just enough paint to do the one painting you are working on.
  8. You need to ask about the size of a brush used in a demo.
  9. You have begun working on you own stuff, but only with a qualified instructor guiding your every step. (I know, this is a tough one, but if you want to improve take it in the spirit it is offered)

If you can answer yes to more than 3 of the above You are a beginner.

You are an intermediate painter if:

  1. You know your color wheel, but are still struggling with some of the concepts.
  2. You have begun developing a style, but are not satisfied it is all yours.
  3. You have practiced more than one medium.
  4. You find yourself collecting ideas and comparing your work with others.
  5. You are ready to move on, and try newer things.
  6. You still can't see where your work needs improvement, but can take the criticism of peers.
  7. You are real good at realism but feel lost doing an abstract or non-objective piece, or visa versa. (this can also apply to advanced painters)
  8. As good as you feel your work is, much of what you see in magazines looks more finished.
  9. Being in a class where you are learning a new technique and style makes you nervous, but you do it anyway. (Even if your works looks like it did 10 years ago, and you know you can do better.)
  10. You do good work, but many still say "I see you are studying with "XXinsturctorX" and you don't know them.
  11. You feel your work is very good.
  12. You have bit the bullet and rented a real art studio space.
  13. Your work is in a gallery.
  14. I'm pissing you off.
  15. If you can answer yes to more than 3 of the above you are in the intermediate stage.

You are advanced if:

  1. With the exception of 9 and 13 above, most of the above does not apply to you.
  2. You welcome any criticism about your work, don't get offended if it comes from peers, then make up your own mind as whether to do anything about it or not.
  3. You have a definite style.
  4. You have a direction.
  5. You still believe you can do better.
  6. You know what you want to do next. In this case you are self motivated.
  7. You enjoy a challenge and don't mind making mistakes because you have learned that everyone does and paper is cheap.
  8. You are ready to experiment, to expand your thinking etc.
  9. Your questions about art have nothing to do with process.
  10. You wonder why you still have trouble doing what you want to do.