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Art Courses: All About Adult Education Art Classes

Adult art education offerings are widely available through art schools, community colleges and adult education centers. Programs and courses are offered for many different skill levels.

Essential Information

Adults interested in studying art can take standalone courses for personal enrichment, or they can take courses for credit toward a full certificate or degree program. Standalone adult education art classes cover topics such as sculpture, photography, painting, drawing and art history. Many of these courses require hands-on projects as students learn to use different mediums.

Students pursuing a certificate or degree program may complete many or all of the above courses as part of their studies. Degree programs typically offer students the chance to study art topics at an advanced level. Students in degree programs often choose a specialization such as architecture, fashion or fine art.

The concepts listed below are frequently taught in adult education art courses:

  • Fundamentals of drawing
  • Principles of design
  • Acrylic painting techniques
  • Watercolor painting techniques
  • How to critique artwork

List of Common Courses

Drawing Course

Introductory courses will focus on the elements of drawing, such as composition, line, proportion, perspective and light and shading techniques. Intermediate coursework might teach students how to add color, texture or a sense of movement to their drawings. Students may work with still life compositions or live models.

Painting Course

Painting courses might cover the use of watercolors, acrylics or oils. These courses teach students to paint landscapes, abstracts, still life compositions and portraits. Students may learn paint application techniques, how to mix colors and how to pick materials. Other possible topics include how to utilize drawing skills when painting and how to critique artwork.

Art History Course

Art history courses generally cover a specific time period, teaching students to recognize various artists and styles from that era, such as Greek, Byzantine or Renaissance work. Students may travel to art museums and galleries to view works of influential artists such as Picasso or Matisse. These courses offer analysis of the paintings themselves and of the time period in which they were created.

Photography Course

Photography courses are typically offered for both film and digital cameras, and courses covering computer photography editing programs are also widely available. Students can learn the basic function of cameras and lenses, as well as how to compose shots using various lighting techniques. Advanced coursework may cover architecture, portraits, still life and the development of a personalized body of work.

Sculpture Course

A variety of media will be covered in courses about sculpture. Beginning classes tend to work with clay, and as skills are developed, courses working with wax, metal, wood or non-traditional materials may be available. Students will learn the basic elements of sculpture, such as proportions, form and space, and they will be introduced to casting and mold-making methods.

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