Membership to Sophie’s Art School

Where do I start?

If you are not sure what course to do first, then we're here to help. After you join the Art School you will be taken through a guide of the school. This will show you what is available. We have Roadmaps laid out for you and suggested starting points. For now, 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 regular group workshops, there are  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. It is run on the Mighty Networks platform. The Art Cafe is only for registered students. 

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.  

What is The Art Cafe?

The Art Cafe is the online forum, or community, for our members. It is private and only accessible and visible to paying students.

How do I cancel my membership?

You can easily cancel at any time, it only takes two clicks! Just go to your account, click subscription and then cancel. That’s all. 

Is it all online?

Yes, the whole art school is online. All lessons and tutorials are video or text lessons. You can take any of the lessons whenever you want, in your own time, from your own home and go through courses at your own pace. Students come from all over the world. 

My English is not great, can I still join?

All material in the art school is in English. The community also is in English. Students come from all over the world and for some English is not their first language. We do our best to help out if possible. Obviously I can answer any questions in Dutch as well as English, but do note that all teaching is in English. 

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. 

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 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. 

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. 

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 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?

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. 

Are the courses suitable for 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. 

I work in acrylics, can I still join?

Many of the students work in acrylics and we welcome all materials in the school. I teach the fundamentals of painting (form, shape, colour, etc) which can be applied to all art materials. Do note, however, that the learning materials are aimed and made with oils or pastel. So if you prefer to work in another medium, you might need to adjust some of the advice. 

What kind of pastels do you teach with?

We work with soft pastels (the chalky, dusty type) in the art school.  There are no lessons for oil pastels, but do note that many courses and lessons are full of fundamental painting tips that apply to all art materials. 

I don’t paint in a realistic style, can I still join?

I teach what I know, which is ‘figurative art’ (that means it is not abstract). So I don’t teach abstract art. But most styles of art benefit from a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of painting and drawing. Those fundamentals are what I teach: form, shape, colour, values. Being able to depict object and figures in a realistic manner will help anyone wanting to work more impressionist or expressionistic. Learning about value, form and colour will be useful for anyone wanting to explore abstract art as well. Many of my students have a different style than me. 

I want to share one of my paintings for feedback

If you're not a member of the art school, then join and post your work in our private community. Your fellow students will be more than happy to see your work and help out. 

Is your question not answered? Ask Sophie!