Get The Right Tools To Find Your Own Artistic Voice

Online courses, tutorials and a private online community to help you become a more confident painter

No more endless dabbling without results

You keep on making the same mistakes, painting the same things and getting really frustrated with the same results? You know something is not quite right with your painting, but you are not sure what it is? You would really like to get your art to the next level but never went to art school and think there’s little hope?


Despite various courses, books and endless practice you might still feel stuck in the same old problems and your painting does not really evolve further. You are not keen on joining a proper atelier program or art college, but you’ve had enough of the friendly painting clubs where no real teaching happens? 

Ateliers, academies and colleges are too much. Clubs and societies too little. Stuck on repeat, and painting the same thing, making the same mistakes?

Learn a clear strategy to tackle your next painting challenge

Find joy in the painting process, knowing you're on the right path

Sophie’s Art School offers painting courses, workshops and support completely online. At Sophie’s Art School you get access to all courses, articles and tutorials available. Take your pick from a library of courses, regular workshops, an ever growing library of tutorials, interviews and more. Start learning the core principles of painting in a fun and practical way. Make yourself at home in the Art School community (The Art Cafe)  and make new friends, ask questions or just ‘hang out’. Apply the 5-step method taught throughout the school and know you can paint anything you want!

Enjoy down-to-earth support, a flexible but serious approach to painting and be part of our warm and supportive family of artists! Everything is online, so you can move your painting skills forward from the comfort of your own home and work at your own pace. 

Here’s What You’ll Get When You Enrol

As a registered student you will get immediate access to the whole curriculum. You will be able to study from your own home, at your own pace.  All study material is available in video or text format. You can start courses whenever you want, and take as long as you like. Workshops are done at certain times as a group, but you can also take them in your own time via the Workshop Library. You will get access to a friendly and supportive private  community where you an ask for feedback, post your questions and so much more. 


Online video courses teaching the fundamentals of painting and drawing. Take a course in your own time and at your own pace (see the course library here). The focus is on oils and pastel but topics vary. 

Inspirational Articles, Interviews and Tutorials

An ever-growing resource library filled with useful, inspirational, educational and practical articles, tips, interviews and lists. 

Active, Supportive Community

The Art Cafe is our very own virtual art community 'tables' for all sorts of art. This is the best place to ask your questions, post your work and assignments, get feedback or make new friends. You will also find Sophie here on most days. More info here.


Regular 5-day workshops where we all tackle a painting as a group. Daily video lessons, daily support and a fantastic group who all go through the same stages (including the ‘ugly stage’!) with you. An efficient and fun way of learning lots in just 5 days. 

Here’s what students are saying about Sophie’s Art School


“Very encouraging"

Loved this workshop! I liked that it was short and very focused and I could see results quickly. Your daily videos were just the right length to give good guidance and not overly long. Your comments on our posts during the week were helpful and very encouraging. They offered specific suggestions for improvement which I appreciated.


“Sophie is there every step of the way"

This is the most unique online art course I have taken. The setup is unique and the contents takes a pastel newbie from pastel and paper types through mark making and beyond. Also Sophie is there every step of the way and I think that she is the most valuable resource in the course.


“I feel so much much more confident"

Just wanted to let you know that after 5 months I've finished my course in The Pastel Place and what a fantastic time I've had! I feel so much more confident to take on new projects now. All thanks to Sophie for being a great teacher and encouraging me each step of the way. Definitely sign up for this course but make sure you take up all its challenges !!




Portrait in Oils


The Pastel Place


Painting Drapery


Colour Mixing in Pastel


Classical Portrait Drawing


Pastel for Beginners


The Art Cafe

Our Very Own Online Art Community

A safe and friendly place to share your art, ask for feedback, get ideas, admire art, hang out and make new friends. The Art Cafe is our very own community.

No Art School is complete without its Cafe! Connect with fellow artists from all over the world and make new friends.


Learn at Your Own Pace

You can take courses as slow or fast as you like. Binge watch or follow the  course over the space of days or months. Totally up to you. 


Paint in Your Own Space

No need to haul your art materials to another place, be early to secure an easel or having to smell your fellow student's medium. Paint in the comfort of your own home or studio.


Re-Watch as Often As You Like

Watch the course lessons as often as you like, pause, rewind or fast forward as you please. 


Enjoy Community Support

Post your course assignments to the private course forum and get personal feedback and suggestions from your tutor and fellow students.


A 5-Step Method

Throughout Sophie's Art School we work on a 5-step painting method that will help you paint whatever you want to paint. These fundamental steps form the structure of your painting and provide you with the freedom to put your own creative stamp on your work. Join us in the Art School to practice and perfect this method.

  1. 1
    Step 1. Underpainting

    Placement, composition and value underpainting make up our very first steps into creating a painting.
  2. 2
    Step 2. Block-in

    A colour block-in will help you figure out colour relations and provide you with an idea of where your painting is going.
  3. 3
    Step 3. Refine Form

    Once you are happy with composition, value and colour, you can move on to refine the shapes and create form. 
  4. 4
    Step 4. Details

    Decide where more detail is required and work on refining your painting.
  5. 5
    Step 5. Finish

    Step back and figure out what your painting needs to 'work'. Adjust edges, detail, value, chroma and more, until the final signature stroke.

See for Yourself

Local Arts Club

College Course

Sophie's Art School

Personal support and feedback

Make new friends

A variety of topics to work on

Support for more advanced students

Working towards a solid foundation in painting principles

Regular 5 day intensive workshops

Comprehensive pastel painting course

Make new friends from all over the world

Regular access to your tutor

Take a painting lesson whenever you want

Learn from your own home or anywhere you like

Work as fast or slow as you like

Re-watch any lesson

You get Sophie to help you out and hang out with! ;)

About Sophie

Sophie Ploeg is an experienced art tutor and a professional artist. Her paintings have featured regularly at prestigious exhibitions such as the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, the RWA, and the Pastel Society. She has won the BP Travel Award at the BP Portrait Award Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Her work has been exhibited, published and collected in the UK, Europe  and the US.

Sophie is self-taught and shares her practical approach to painting and drawing through courses and workshops. Sophie’s painting techniques stem from trial and error, picking and choosing; over the years she developed her own techniques, often fed through selected bits and pieces from existing methods and approaches. She does not follow any particular school of thought but prefers to use painting techniques that are fun and ‘work’. 

Sophie’s paintings are realistic and full of atmosphere. They seem to echo traditional methods and style, but are painted in a modern and practical manner. Her work celebrates the beauty of every person and the heritage we all share.

Student Stories


“Absolutely Loved it"

Absolutely loved it. I enjoy working with others and this felt like we were doing it together as a group as much as one can "virtually." But most of all I enjoy learning from someone who obviously has a great deal of knowledge and is a gentle, kind soul.


“Loved feeling part of the group"

 I could not have been happier with this workshop - Enjoyed the format with all these talented painters. This was such a great workshop. Loved feeling part of the group and also to have such wonderful tutoring for such an amazing price. I haven’t yet finished but have a bit more confidence to go forward. 


“I’m getting superb teaching"

I really feel I am learning and improving all the time. I used to worry about never having been to art school but now it doesn't seem so important. I feel that I'm getting superb teaching and also getting support from others who are also keen to improve.

Amazing Value

Courses are not available to purchase individually. Instead, you can enrol in the school and have access to the whole curriculum for an incredibly affordably monthly price. You can enrol for as long or as little as you like (cancelling takes just a couple of clicks): you are not tied in to a minimum period of time.  While you are a student of the school you can take a course, enjoy support from Sophie and your fellow students, take a workshop or dive into the resource library. New material is added regularly so there’s always something new to explore. 

Sophies Art School

Enrol for a monthly fee 


25  per month

  • No minimum enrolment period
  • Immediate start
  • Access to the whole  curriculum
  • Access to the private community
  • Regular workshops
  • Access to the workshop library
  • Access to all courses
  • Access to regular support from Sophie
  • Regular guest content
  • Learn the 5-step painting method
  • Improve your art


Check the Frequently Asked Questions below or simply Ask Sophie!



How do workshops work?

Why would I want to become a member of Sophie’s Art School?


Can I just purchase a single course?


What payment methods do you accept?


Do you teach old-master techniques in oils?


What about materials?


Do I need to sign up for a minimum amount of months? 

Sophies Art School

Enrol for a monthly fee and get immediate access to all courses, workshops, tutorials and the private community


25  per month

Loved feeling part of the group and also to have such wonderful tutoring for such an amazing price.

Sophie Ploeg