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Painting Schools: Painting Course and Painting School Courses

Attending painting school allows students a chance to explore different drawing, painting and sculpture styles and learn about art history from a unique perspective. Painting schools prepare students for a career as a working artist, or to develop the student's creative skills and talents. The majority of painting courses require in-studio instruction and experience, giving students a chance to build their portfolios and use different types of mediums to express their creative interests. Painting, drawing and sculptures schools offer specialized training in a highly creative learning environment.

What to Expect at Painting School

Students who wish to develop their creativity and artistic abilities can choose to complete a variety of painting courses that cover unique techniques and a variety of disciplines. Some paintings schools are structured with a group teaching model where students attend morning or afternoon sessions in specific course programs, then spend the remainder of the day working in the studio to demonstrate their skills and knowledge learned.

Painting schools may offer a full-time degree program, certificate programs or continuing education courses for students who simply want to supplement their art or graphic design degree with specialized courses in painting, drawing or sculpture.

In addition to completing painting courses, students who attend painting schools have the opportunity to attend art galleries, work with other artists and art professionals in the industry, go on research expeditions and excursions to complete various projects, and work with museum curators or researchers in their local area.

Admission and Educational Requirements for Attending Painting School

Students interested in attending painting school will need to have a high school diploma or GED, and a strong interest in pursuing a career in the visual or fine arts field. High school courses in painting, design and creative arts are highly recommended, and participating in art clubs and other art-related activities can help students develop their skills and creative abilities before entering a formal training program.

Some students who attend painting school may have already completed prerequisites through a fine arts degree program, and have decided to specialize in the field of painting. However, this is not always required by most painting schools, so students can enroll at any time after completing their high school education.

Painting Course Programs

Painting courses and related classes are typically conducted in a studio setting, allowing students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with different types of paint, canvases and materials. Painting schools typically offer classes and educational opportunities in:

  • Introduction to Oil Painting
  • Introduction to Watercolor Painting
  • Introduction to Pastels
  • Painting with Acrylics
  • Charcoal and Graphite Techniques
  • Basic Drawing and Sketching
  • Creating Mood and Emotion in Painting
  • Color Phases
  • History of Painting and Art
  • Rendering Realistic Art
  • Basic Composition
  • Painting Tools

Some painting schools offer in-residence programs for those who wish to take advanced studies in fine arts or related fields. In-residence training is a comprehensive educational track where students may work full-time in a painting studio, work under the supervision of a professional artist or painter, and have the chance to network and collaborate with painting professionals in the area.

Career Options after Painting School

Students who complete formal training at a painting school can explore a number of careers and job opportunities in the area of printmaking, graphic design, multimedia artistry and restorative painting. Other career options after completing painting courses include:

  • Digital Printmaking
  • Animation
  • Museum Restoration
  • Sculptor and 3D Modeling
  • Sketch Artistry

Graduates of painting school who diversify their education with courses in visual arts and creative design may be able to enter the fields of advertising, multimedia and other businesses with ease. Some painters decide to open their own gallery or studio, and may earn an income from sales of their art or by teaching painting classes.

Painting Schools Online – Training and Education Requirements

Many students who attend painting school choose to pursue a Master's degree program or continuing education courses, and may do so online. Online painting courses are designed with web-based learning platforms where students can download lectures, collaborate with students and professors over the web, and submit assignments via e-mail or web-based platforms. However, most formal painting school programs available online include an in-residence component. Residency requirements vary by school and course program, but these allow students to demonstrate their skills and knowledge, obtain instructor feedback on various projects and build their portfolio.

Employment Prospects for Graduates of Painting School

After completing all painting school courses and educational requirements, and obtaining relevant work experience, graduates of painting schools can obtain employment as a salaried painter or decide to work independently on a freelance basis. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook projects that the employment of artists is expected to grow faster than average through 2016 as more employers and individuals look for creative and talented artists to complete various projects.

The median annual earnings for salaried painters and other fine artists were $41,970 in 2006; this salary average can vary significantly based on the individual's talent, experience and type of formal training received.

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