An older Jewish man paints a ceramic fish art project.

Fine art

Fine art covers a wide range of disciplines—from simple pencil drawing to filmmaking. What distinguishes fine art from other applied arts, such as design or crafts, is that it has no other purpose than to delight. Fine art is, put simply, for art's sake. 

Drawing

Drawing can be anything from a simple sketch to an intricate portrait. You can use many different mediums, such as pencil, graphite, charcoal, ink and chalk. 

Drawing is, of course, an art form in its own right, but many people also learn to draw in order to progress to other arts, such as painting or sculpture. Whatever motivates you to learn how to draw, there are plenty of ways to do so.

Taking a drawing class

To find a drawing class near you, try entering the search term "drawing class" and your location into Google. You can also check out the Hotcourses website, which has plenty of classes on offer. 

Learning to draw online

If you prefer to learn in the comfort of your own home, then learning to draw online may be for you. There are plenty of online resources, but here are a few we've heard some good things about:

If you want to go totally digital, we've found some impressive apps for drawing and sketching:

Painting

Painting as an art form is the practice of applying colour to a surface using different medium, the most common being oils, acrylics and watercolours. That's the easy part. Deciding what you want to paint and in what style you want to paint it is a bit more complicated. 

Painting genres

Painting is divided into five main categories or genres.

  1. History: A painting that depicts a moment in a narrative story.
  2. Portrait: A painting that depicts a human subject.
  3. Genre: A painting of scenes or events from everyday life, such as street scenes, domestic settings and parties.
  4. Landscape: A painting that depicts a landscape, which is a natural setting, such as mountains, rivers and forests.
  5. Still life: A painting that depicts inanimate objects, which can be either natural, such as food or flowers, or man-made, such as a vase or books.

Painting styles

Painting styles have evolved over time and have culminated in a wide variety of styles to choose from for modern day painters. The article, "Art Styles Explained: From Realism to Abstract", is a great place to learn about these different styles. 

Taking a painting class

To find a painting class near you, try entering the search term "painting class" and your location into Google. You can also check out the Hotcourses website, which has a wide range of classes to choose from. 

Learning to paint online

If online learning is for you, there are lots of different resources. Here are a few we've heard good things about:

About.com Painting

If you'd like to learn to paint virtually, we've found a few great apps:

Sculpting

Sculpture is both tactile and three-dimensional. Many artists prefer sculpture to two-dimensional painting or drawing because it occupies space in a more physical way and changes based on the perspective and position of the person looking at it.

Sculpture techniques

There are four basic sculpture techniques that fall into two categories;

  • Subtractive sculpture, where material is removed or carved out; and 
  • Additive sculpture, where material is added.

The four basic techniques are;    

  1. Carving: the cutting or chipping away of a shape from a mass of stone, wood or other hard material. 
  2. Casting: the melting down of a material, usually a metal, that is then poured into a mould. 
  3. Modelling: the shaping of a soft or malleable material, such as clay, to create a form. 
  4. Assembling: the gathering and joining of different materials to create an assembled sculpture. 

Most people begin to learn how to sculpt by modelling in clay, as this is the most accessible and least expensive form of sculpture.

Taking a sculpting class

To find a sculpting class near you, try entering the search term "sculpting class" and your location into Google. You can also check out the Hotcourses website, where you will find a variety of classes at all levels. 

Learning to sculpt online

If you prefer the idea of learning online, here are a couple of resources we've heard good things about:

Photography

With good quality cameras now included as standard on modern mobile phones, anyone and everyone seems to be taking pictures. This doesn't mean that everyone knows how to be a good photographer. There is an art to photography, and learning this art can be a great enhancement to your life's experiences.

If you're wondering why you should learn photography, here are a few great reasons: 

  • To capture a special moment in time;
  • To enjoy being creative;
  • To remember what people looked like at different points in their lives;
  • To enjoy the beauty of the places you've been and the world around you;
  • To document events, experiences, adventures and travels;
  • To tell a story;
  • To share your experiences with others; and
  • To communicate across language and cultural barriers. 

Taking a photography class

To find a photography class near you, try entering the search term "photography class" and your location into Google. You can also check out the Hotcourses website, which has plenty of classes on offer. 

Learning photography online

If you're interested in learning online, we've got a few resources for you that we've heard good things about:

If mobile technology is your thing, then we've also found a few apps to help you learn photography:

Filmmaking

The art of filmmaking is wide and varied—from animated shorts to big blockbuster movies—offering lots of choice for anyone interested in making films. The UK film industry has a rich history. Although Hollywood remains the hub of the industry worldwide, the UK boasts incredible talent both in front of and behind the camera. As such, the opportunities to learn filmmaking in the UK abound. 

Filmmaking courses

Courses in filmmaking can range from one day workshops to full degree courses. Their subject matter can be as broad as Media Production or as specific as Short Stop Motion Animation. 

The UK Film Courses section of the Shooting People website is a comprehensive and regularly updated directory of film courses around the UK. 

Creative Skillset, the skills development agency for the creative industries in the UK, has a searchable Creative Courses Directory, where you can find filmmaking courses throughout the UK.

You can also consult your local screen agency to find out about courses near you. The National and regional film agencies section of the British Film Industry (BFI) website provides links to all UK screen agencies.

Learning filmmaking online

If you're interested in learning online rather than attending a course in person, we've found some free courses for you to explore: 

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