Are you looking for a painting & drawing course? Many people want to learn to paint & draw in their free time. But even experienced artists are always looking for new inspiration and opportunities for further development. No matter where you are in your career: If you are looking for a course that is right for you, the following criteria can help you make your decision. Do you just want to have a nice evening? There are countless hobby groups that are privately organized by artists, in civic centers or by institutions such as the VHS. This is where you go, meet nice people who may have been in the same group for years, and at the same time you can be creative. It is best to look for something in your neighborhood, e.g. via social network groups on Facebook or Nebenan.de, or at least something that is easily accessible for you. However, if you really want to get ahead technically, this is not the best solution. What time (s) do you have available? It makes a difference whether you want to go somewhere once a week or book a compact course over 3-5 days . The former is of course only possible at your place of residence and thus limits the choice. Apart from your possibilities, in the first case you can always try out what you have learned at home. You may also have questions that you can ask next time. In addition, there are also courses that are full-time over several weeks or even monthsgo. These are often offered by private academies or painting schools and cost a lot of time and money. Or there are holiday courses that offer a whole ambience around it, maybe with painting sessions on the beach. A compact course is very intensive and the more effective the longer it is. You can achieve a lot in a short time. But then you should plan time at home afterwards to deepen what you have learned, otherwise it will be gone quickly. If you book a compact course, you are not tied to your home town and can learn something from your favorite artist in Madrid, for example. What exactly do you want to learn? First, focus on the technique. You should be honest with yourself and first take stock of what you can already do . If you cannot judge this yourself, then you are probably still a beginner. If you want to learn a whole new technique, find a course that offers EXACTLY that technique. If you want to paint a specific subject, look for a course that offers EXACTLY this. And when you finally think you’ve found a course, find out about the exact course content . It is very important that you formulate a course goal for yourselfand you can find this in the course description. Maybe you can find out everything you need to know on a website. Otherwise, write an email or maybe even call. You can also interview others who have already taken this course. Except for hobby groups, I cannot recommend courses that tend to offer a hodgepodge of different techniques and subjects. What level should the course be? Be realistic: if you’ve never had a brush in your hand, it will be a while before you can paint a great portrait in oils. Think in years and not in weeks or months! Do not expect too much! If you approach the matter in a relaxed manner, you can also book a course that may be a little beyond your possibilities. For some, meeting a favorite professional artist and being shown advanced techniques can be a big motivational boost. Others may feel frustrated when they realize they have put too much pressure on themselves and may feel that they will never learn to do so. In general, everything that encourages you is good! But you know: You don’t make a filigree work out of a block of wood.You may also take the same course two or three times. In the long run you will definitely benefit from it – if you have the necessary patience. In addition to the choice of technique, consider other important factors. For most people, art is an affair of the heart. The best thing to do is to find an artist whose pictures you really like! You are unlikely to be open to the content of the course if you don’t like the art of your instructor or even the people themselves! Do you speak the language of the course? When booking a course in Madrid, find out which language the course is held in. If you don’t understand the language, the course won’t do too much either. Now first list all the pros and cons of the envisaged course. Then decide if what you are buying is worth your money. There is no point in saving in the wrong place . The bottom line is that a three year continuous course in your hometown can be more expensive and less effective than flying to Madrid for a few days twice in those three years. Alternatively, you can also consider taking a private course, which is of course more expensive . The bottom line can also be a balanced cost-benefit factor here. If the chemistry is right, this can be a very special and profitable experience on many levels. But group courses also have their advantages, as you get to know not only the artist, but also other interesting people who have the same passion as you. In the case of a course in Madrid, the international participants can even meet all over the world! Summarized recommendation: The best thing to do is to make a list of all the criteria that are important to you . Since you can’t always (but hopefully often enough) have everything, arrange the list according to your personal priorities or possibilities . So you have a good decision-making aid for yourself at hand. And don’t be afraid to ask all the important questions in advance. In the end, both sides want to be satisfied. Do you feel like it already? If you are interested, you can read my report from a course at Eloy Morales in Madrid > HERE in this blog post. I paid a lot of money for this and other courses (including travel and hotel), but I benefited incredibly from it and it was absolutely worth it. I have been to Eloy twice, before that once to Dirk Dzimirski (Germany) and once to Eric Pouillet (France). You see, I have a preference for compact courses!