13 Questions To Ask Yourself When Teaching An Art Workshop

By Nicole Tinkham


Congratulations, you’ve made the decision to take your art to the next level and start teaching art workshops. That is huge! If you’re taking this on, we’ll assume you’ve attended an art workshop in the past or have a general idea of what they’re all about. However, there are many behind the scenes things you must consider that will either make or break your art workshop. Planning ahead is definitely the key and we’ll discuss 13 questions to ask yourself when teaching an art workshop so you’re ready to rock your first session.

1.    What is your goal?
Consider why you’re teaching this art workshop. Is it to get your name out there as an artist? Make a little money on the side? Earn a full time income? Meet new local artist friends? Help and inspire other artists? Be clear on what you want to accomplish with your art workshop so you can gauge whether or not it was a success.

2.    Where will the workshop be held?
Next you’ll need to determine where you’ll host this art workshop. You can do it in your own studio, rent a space, see if you can be featured in local art stores, or create videos and host your workshops online. We have many artists come into Keeton’s to host their art workshops and they get paid a certain percentage of each sign up. This tends to work out well for both the artist and the art store.

3.    How will you promote the workshop?
Promoting is often something we forget about until the very end of the planning stage however, we urge you to consider it in the very beginning. It’s great to have this master plan for the workshop itself but what kind of class would it be without anyone to attend? Consider how you will be inviting people to your workshop. Will you create flyers? Emails? Social media marketing? If you have no idea where to start, there are a ton of resources out there on the web to help you with the process as well as any experienced art instructors. Here at Keeton’s, we promote art workshops on our website, flyers in our store, emails and on our Facebook page.

4.    How will students see what you’re doing?
This is something that’s commonly forgotten when planning an art workshop. It is so important for the students to see what you’re doing so you must consider the amount of space around your work area. Is there enough room for artists to gather around and clearly view the technique you’re showing? Or will you be bringing in a mirror for artists to view from their own work area while they follow along? Something new we just added to our art room is a camera which projects a close up view of the instructor at work on large screens. This has been a total game changer for our workshops and the art students seem to really love it.

5.    How will you teach?
In the beginning, you won’t yet have a teaching style but it is something to consider. Will you walk around the room, helping students one on one? Will you have students follow along with you through the whole thing? Will you do a lot of talking and explaining? Or will it be more actual painting? With time, you’ll figure out what works best for you.

6.    Who is this workshop for?
You’ll also have to think about who would benefit from your art workshop. We like to think of a very specific avatar whenever we talk to our audience. Who will your art workshop be geared to? What skill level will they be at? How old are they? What art subjects are they interested in? This will help you promote and craft your art workshop to meet your ideal client’s needs.

7.    What supplies do they need?
Most art workshops will come with a supply list so this is something you definitely need to think about when planning out your workshop. Do a run through of your painting ahead of time (you should be doing this anyway for practice) and keep a list of all the supplies you use as you go. Be specific on paint colors and tools too!

8.    How much will it cost?
We really can’t tell you what you should price your art workshops at. It all depends on how long the workshop is, how experienced the artists are, what’s involved in the workshop and how well known you are as an artist (are your workshops always booked?).

9.    How long will it be?
Coming up with a length of time for your art workshop can be tricky. You don’t want to rush things and confuse the artists but you also don’t want it to be long and drawn out either. If it’s a longer workshop, we suggest including a lunch (either provided or bring your own) to break up the day. Some art workshops may be a two or three day ordeal. To figure out the perfect length for your workshop, do a practice run preferably with a friend who has never done this project. Allow them to ask questions as you go and give their feedback so you know approximately how long your workshop will take.

10.    What specifically will they learn?
Before taking an art workshop, artists like to know specific skills and techniques they’ll be learning and exactly what they’ll be creating. Be sure to let the student know what they can expect when promoting your workshop.

11.    Do they need to bring in a reference photo?
Think about what your art students will be working from. Will you provide a reference photo? Will they need to bring one in of their own? Or will they be tracing a pre-printed outline onto their art paper? This is a question that we get asked all the time by artists taking an art workshop so take it into consideration when doing your planning.

12.    How far will you get?
Also have in mind a goal for your art workshop so you can stay on task. Will students be completing a few small paintings? A large one? Or will they be taking it home to finish it up with the skills they have learned? Of course every artist works at a different pace but it helps to have an idea before starting your art workshop.

13.    How often will you teach workshops?
Let’s say you asked yourself these 13 questions before teaching an art workshop and it ended up being a huge hit and you had so much fun doing it. Now it’s time to start planning your next one! It’s a great idea to plan to do them regularly because if students loved it, they’ll want to sign up right away for the next one. Determine how often you’d like to host art workshops and schedule in future workshops to teach.

We understand that these are a lot of things to keep in mind before starting an art workshop. Be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to figure out all the planning and don’t be too hard on yourself if it doesn’t run perfectly. After each and every art workshop you should evaluate what went well and what you can improve on for next time. Even experienced art instructors do this! You will always be learning and improving but these 13 questions to ask yourself when teaching an art workshop will put you on the path to success.

The 6 Steps To Prepare For An Art Workshop

By Nicole Tinkham


If you just signed up for your first art workshop or it’s been a while and you’re not sure what to expect, this blog is for you! We know how scary it can be trying something new in a classroom with people you don’t know. You’re there to learn but you also don’t want to be clueless either. We feel ya! That’s why we came up with these 6 steps to prepare for an art workshop to ease your mind before you begin.

1.    Signing up

Choose a type of workshop – What do you want to learn? Where would you like to expand your skills? What interests you? It’s so important to choose a workshop that will help you grow as an artist. It’s common to choose one that aligns with what you are already good at and enjoy but the key here is to challenge yourself! Choose a workshop in an area you don’t feel comfortable in and really push yourself.

Choose a location – Finding an art workshop close to home can ease your mind as far as traveling goes. Make sure you have plenty of time to get there especially if it’s a further drive. It’s also helpful if the workshop takes place in an art supply store. That way if you forget anything, you can pick it up right there in the store. We see artists do it all the time!

Choose an instructor (and familiarize yourself with them) – Maybe you have an art instructor in mind that you really admire and maybe you have no clue which instructor you’d like to learn from. Either way is fine. If you do have someone in mind, take their workshop even if that means waiting a little longer for it. It’s always worth it with an instructor you really love. And if you don’t have anyone in mind, do a little research on a few and see who you’d learn best from.

Pick a date – If you are about to take your very first ever art workshop, we don’t recommend signing up for it the day before. First of all, workshops fill up quickly! Also, you need to allow yourself enough time to get your supplies ready.

2.    Getting your supplies ready

Start early – Don’t stress yourself out by getting supplies together last minute. Plan ahead so you can get everything you need and hopefully find some great deals on supplies (Keeton’s has a huge Super Saturday sale every month!).

Get your supplies list – When you register for your workshop, you should also receive a supplies list. Hold on to that so you know exactly what you need.

See what you have – You don’t need to run out and buy all new supplies (but if you do, please make Keeton’s your first stop 😉 ). Go through your art room first. We know you have a ton of supplies hidden there.

Ask for help – If your supply list looks like a foreign language to you, bring it into Keeton’s and just ask us to look over it with you. We’ll show you exactly what you need.

3.    Transportation

Supply storage – So once you have all your supplies, it’s time to figure out how to get them there. Make sure you have storage bins, a rolling travel bag or cart, and anything else to safely transport your supplies to the workshop.

Brush storage – Be careful with those brushes!! Please do not just throw them in with everything else. Keep them happy in a special brush carrier (we have those at Keeton’s).

Finished project – Also consider how you’ll get your finished project home. How big is it? Will it be dry or still wet? This is so important to think about because you don’t want to mess anything up on the way home.

4.    Other things to bring

Food – A great question to ask before your art workshop is if food will be included. Some of the workshops we do here include a lunch which is typically subs. Make sure you know the time frame of the workshop, if there will be any breaks, and whether or not food will be provided.

Water – It never hurts to bring a bottle of water with you.

Extra money – Just in case you are missing a few supplies, bring some extra cash so you can pick it up in the store without missing an important lesson.

Notebook and pen – Trust us when we say you WILL want to take some notes!

5.    How to act

Get there early – First of all, you’ll want to grab a spot that you feel most comfortable. Also, strolling in late can disrupt the workshop. Strive to get there 15 minutes early.

Turn off your phone – This is not only a distraction to you but to everyone else in the workshop including the instructor.

Zip your mouth – We know you probably have a ton of questions but please don’t talk over the instructor. The other students also paid money to hear what he or she has to say!

Take notes – You’ll want this valuable information to take to your artwork later on so make sure to jot down all the details and instructions. You won’t be sorry for doing it.

6.    After the workshop

Relax – When you get home from your art workshop just chill out or the rest of the day. You have learned so much and probably have a million ideas flowing. That’s great! Write those down and then give your brain a rest. You want to start fresh the next day and not overwork yourself.

Sign up for the next workshop (but not right away) – You probably want to get registered for the very next workshop you can since you had so much fun, right? But you don’t want to overload yourself. Give yourself time to practice what you’ve learned and then choose a workshop in the future on a new skill.

Finish or make changes to your piece – You can always go back into your piece created in the art workshop and play around with it. Make it your own!

Keep in touch with other artists – Did you make some new artist friends in the workshop? Keep in contact with them! Meet up for lunch, plan artsy parties, exchange ideas and go on art supply shopping sprees together.

As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into planning to attend an art workshop. You don’t have to take all of these steps though. You can just wing it and go from there! But if you’re serious about taking your art to the next level, put some serious thought into the art workshops you take. Look at them as if you’re in a college class getting your degree. Of course it will be much more fun than that but really get focused and give it your all!

We want to know- Have you taken an art workshop? What was your experience like?