An Introduction to Painting & Drawing Adult Education Programs

Adults who want to learn the basics of painting and drawing can enroll in classes at a variety of institutions. These programs can be completed just for fun or to gain skills that will help in their careers.

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Many schools offer adult education courses in painting and drawing. Learn about three schools with courses like these and find out what kind of course topics may be offered.

Schools and Programs

Introductory painting and drawing programs for adult students can be found at community colleges, art schools, museums, and through the continuing education programs of 4-year colleges and universities. Adult art programs are often designed for personal enrichment, and so adult students can enroll with little or no experience in art. These programs typically do not offer college credit. Take a look at some of the schools and programs detailed below.

Schools At a Glance

School of the Art Institute of Chicago

  • This private not-for-profit school is located in Chicago, IL.
  • Both online and on-campus programs are available.

Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design

  • Milwaukee, WI, is home to this private not-for-profit college.
  • On-campus programs are offered.

Rhode Island School of Design

  • This private not-for-profit school is located in Providence, RI.
  • Online, on-campus, and hybrid courses are available.

Program Structure

Adult education programs, including painting and drawing programs, take place during evening or weekend hours to accommodate working professionals. These programs may be more relaxed than typical college courses. Additionally, students may be able to work at their own pace. Schools offer intensive workshops or classes that meet once a week for several weeks. Some schools may offer online or hybrid courses, as well, combining online learning with in-person classes in a studio.

Classes Offered

Adult students can take classes in specific painting or drawing skills, such as pastel painting, or they can take combined courses that include drawing, painting, and other art skills. Sample beginner adult classes offered include long-pose figure drawing, life drawing, drawing in pubs, oil painting, painting with watercolors, and summer landscapes. It is also possible to take classes as part of a professional, self-paced certificate, which usually take around two years to complete.

Costs and Supplies

Adult art classes can be inexpensive compared to regular college courses. Since credit is not awarded, students typically pay per class, which can range from about $195 to $495. (Courses for credit can range slightly higher.) Supplies are not included in tuition, so students must purchase whatever is required for the class, which can include paints, brushes, canvas, pencils, sketchbook, and erasers.

Career Skills

While many adult painting and drawing courses are designed for fun, the skills learned in these programs can translate to career opportunities. Painting and drawing skills are useful for media and advertising careers. Some educational qualifiers of draftsmen and design professionals are acquired through painting and drawing programs.

Credits and Credentials

Although a number of adult and continuing education art programs are aimed at students not pursuing a degree, there are, however, many art programs available offering credits to students interested in obtaining a credential, often times resulting in a certificate or undergraduate degree.

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, and the Rhode Island School of Design are three options adult students can look to for introductory art courses, both for personal and professional development.

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