FAQ

Membership to Sophie’s Art School

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 Members Corner 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 (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. 

Where do I start?

If you are not sure what course to do first, then visit the Where to Start page for some suggestions. You can also browse the courses and workshops available to see what takes your fancy. 

What is Included in the Price?

For a monthly fee of £25 you will have access to everything inside Sophie’s Art School.  There are courses you can take in your own time, and at your own pace. There are monthly group workshops, there are regular articles, tutorials, interviews etc, and there is a private forum for support and feedback. You will join a warm community of fellow artists who are welcoming, supportive and kind. Of course you cancel your subscription at any time. 

What payment methods do you accept?

You can pay via credit card or Paypal. 

How much does it cost in my currency?

Exchange rates vary, but you can calculate how much membership will cost in your own currency here. Paypal or your bank will automatically convert the fee into your own currency. 

I don’t understand the difference between the Art School website and The Art Cafe

The Art School is the website where all courses are based, workshops are published, registration and account info is held, etc. 

The Art Cafe is our community or forum. This is on a separate website. You will need a separate account for this. 

How do I make sure I don’t miss a Workshop?

Join our Facebook Group or follow me on social media, and you will also be kept up to date. A provisional workshop schedule is posted on the workshops page of the Art School website. 

I just want to do one workshop, is that possible?

Yes, of course! You can simply join for a month and cancel before the month is up.  There are workshops every month so do come along! 

What is The Art Cafe?

The Art Cafe is the online forum for our members. The Art Cafe used to be free but is now fully integrated into the art school. 

I want to share one of my paintings for feedback

Head over to our Facebook Group and post your work there and ask for feedback from fellow artists.  If you are after an in-depth critique of your work by Sophie, then please join the Art School.

How do I post in the Cafe?

You will need to create an account in order to be able to post and reply. After joining, please write a little bio in your profile and introduce yourself to the community. We are a friendly bunch and love to meet new arty folk! Please read the Welcome post, the How Do I....? post to find a range of super quick videos explaining how to post, edit, post images, reply, etc. Please also make yourself familiar with the Rules. Have fun!

Courses and Workshops

Do you offer courses on painting landscapes / seascapes / multi-media / etc ?

You can find the current courses available on the course page. Workshops have a wider range of topics, so please have a look there too. I generally offer courses on topics that I paint myself: oils, pastel, portraiture, still life etc. If you would love for me to create a course or workshop on a particular subject, just let me know! 

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.

How do I make sure I don’t miss a workshop?

Join the Facebook Group and you will also be kept up to date on any upcoming courses and workshops. A provisional workshop schedule is posted on the workshop page on the art school website.

How do workshops work?

A workshop is a course that starts and ends on fixed dates and is semi-live. In a workshop we work together in a group, on a specific theme. For example we might be working on a portrait in oils. Together we go through the steps and stages, sharing out work along the way.

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 Archive. 

For more info and a list of upcoming workshops, check out the workshop page.

How do courses work?

The courses in Sophie’s Art School are all online video courses you can take in your own time, at your own pace and from your own home. The modules and lessons will consist of video and text and most lessons will have a (painting) assignment for you to do. You can post your assignments in the private forum (the private areas in The Art Cafe) where Sophie and your fellow course students will help you with encouragement and feedback. 

Video lesson cannot be downloaded. You can watch and re-watch the lessons as often as you like. You can take a course as many times as you need. 

As a member of Sophie’s Art School you can choose any course, workshop or tutorial, in any order you like. 

What can I learn?

Sophie teaches courses and workshops in pastel and oil painting. The focus lies on still life and portraiture but we regularly take virtual outings in our monthly workshops where we have tackled landscape, floral art, pet portraits and so much more. Sophie aims to teach the fundamentals of painting and drawing; techniques that you can use in painting any subject matter. We focus on a 5-step method: underpainting, block-in, form, details and finish, in everything we paint. 

Are the courses suitable for beginners / advanced painters?

Most of the courses are suitable for beginners as well as the more advanced artist. Every painter can take the courses at their own level and Sophie will adjust her feedback to your level. Some courses are aimed at beginners.  Workshops are for all levels. 

For Members

Where can I find the current workshop?

A link to the current workshop is always right at the top of your Dashboard. You can also go to the Workshops page and find it at the top there. Just  click ‘enter’ or ‘join’ and you’re on the workshop page. You will find the daily lessons in the right sidebar. If you arrive on Monday, you will only see the Monday lesson there.  Do unlock the Workshop forum Studio via the key button so you will be able to post your work, get notifications, etc. 

How do I access a course community (Studio)?

All course communities live within The Art Cafe, in separate sections called Studios. You will find the direct link (key button) under each lesson inside a course. The lessons usually invite you to post your assignments or questions and give you a link to the community Studio. 

Help! I cannot access my course

If you are a member or have purchased a course and you cannot get access to it, please try the following steps: Double check you are logged in. Clear your cache. Allow cookies so the system can remember you. Refresh the page (perhaps a few times). If you still cannot access your content, do contact Sophie. 

I cannot login!

Double check your password and username. Make sure you are not accidentally using your login detail for The Art Cafe. You can click ‘forgot my password’ to reset your password. If all fails, just contact Sophie who can reset your password for the Art School for you, after which you can change it to anything you want. Do note that you need a separate account for The Art Cafe, which is on a separate web site. 

How do I cancel my membership?

I am sorry to see you leave, but cancelling is really easy. Just go to 'My Account' (top right) and then click 'Account' and ‘Subscriptions’. Click Cancel, and you’re all done. 

How do I post my course assignment in the forum?

Underneath every lesson, you will find the direct link (key button), which will take you straight to the community Studio. Click the key button and you'll be in the right place to post your work!

How do I get feedback on my work?

Course and workshop assignments should be posted inside the private course/workshop forums where Sophie and your  fellow students will provide encouragement and feedback. 

For work that is not part of a course or workshops, please just post in the Cafe and explain a little bit about your piece; materials, size, vision, problems, etc. 

Is your question not answered? Ask Sophie!