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
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 !!
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.
Our regular online painting workshops are a vital part of Sophie's Art School. Together with your fellow students we follow the School's 5-step method in a 5 day painting class. Daily video lessons, personal daily support, and an active class to get that group vibe going. Together we support each other, get through the ‘ugly stage’ together, and come up with new skills in your very own 5-day painting retreat. More info about workshops on the workshops page:
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.
- 1Step 1. Underpainting
Placement, composition and value underpainting make up our very first steps into creating a painting.
- 2Step 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.
- 3Step 3. Refine Form
Once you are happy with composition, value and colour, you can move on to refine the shapes and create form.
- 4Step 4. Details
Decide where more detail is required and work on refining your painting.
- 5Step 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.
Guest Artists in the Resource Library
We have an ever growing resource library with short tutorials, articles, interviews and guest content. Recent guest artists who wrote articles for us included:
Ilaria Rosselli Del Turco
See for Yourself
Local Arts Club
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! ;)
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.
“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.
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.
Sophie’s Art School
Enrol for a monthly fee
25 per month
Check the Frequently Asked Questions below or simply Ask Sophie!
How do workshops work?
A workshop is a course that starts and ends on fixed dates and is semi-live. Workshops usually last 5 days. Every morning I will publish a video lesson after which you can get on with your painting project. Every day everyone posts their progress in the private community studio for feedback and support. We'll work on various topics, broken down into 5 days, 5 video lessons. The class dynamic is strong in the community where everyone goes through the same stages. The community will stay open for one week after the workshop ends, after which it will close and be removed. The video lesson remain accessible in the Workshop Library. For more info and a list of upcoming workshops, check out the workshop page.
Why would I want to become a member of Sophie’s Art School?
Well, it’s your call of course. But as a member you get your own art family: In The Art Cafe community you can ask questions and get in-depth feedback on your work. You can write in your Art Journal while Sophie and your fellow members encourage and support you in your journey. You will have access to all courses and workshops, the resource library (The Paint Box) and be part of a great community.
It does not matter whether you want to grow into a professional artist, or are happy to paint as a hobby, or whether you are a professional artist already; whether you are a student, retired, or busy working. Everyone is welcome and we will support you wherever your journey takes you. We all want to improve our art, yet never forget the enjoyment we get from it.
Can I just purchase a single course?
Courses cannot be purchased individually. I can offer you a much better deal than purchasing a single expensive course: Join the art school as a member and for a relatively small amount you will get access to ALL courses, workshops, articles, the community and more. Even if you just stay for a month, it will be worth it! Take the course you want to do and see where that will take you.
What payment methods do you accept?
You can pay via credit card or Paypal. If you choose for Paypal you will need to set up a Paypal account, if you don’t have one yet. You will sign up for a monthly recurring subscription. The fee will be automatically deducted from your card or Paypal account once a month. Your bank will automatically convert the fee into your own currency.
Do you teach old-master techniques in oils?
Yes and no. I teach a tried and tested method of painting that is broken down into 5 steps: underpainting, block in, refinement shape and form, detail and finish. This method is often used in classical methods of painting. I do not teach courses on glazing. I welcome anyone who wants to use mediums and solvents, although I don't use them myself.
What about materials?
I do not prescribe a specific set of materials in my courses. I believe that you should use what suits you best. There is no point in literally copying someone else's favourite colours and brushes. Most courses and workshops will have some notes on the materials required though. If you have any questions about the materials needed for a course, or you are just not sure what to get, just let me know and I’ll give you some suggestions.
Do I need to sign up for a minimum amount of months?
When you sign up you subscribe to the Art School as a member. For as long as you are a subscribing member you have access to all the learning materials in the school and the private community. You can unsubscribe at any time. Cancelling your subscription is easy; you can simply cancel with just a couple of clicks in your account. You will then lose access to the school when the payment period is up. You can stay for just a single month or, and I hope you will, you can stay for a long time to come. I aim to make the art school better all the time and I would love for you to join me on this journey.
Sophie’s Art School
Enrol for a monthly fee and get immediate access to all courses, workshops, tutorials and the private community
25 per month