Top 10 local arts classes to try out

Merton Arts Festival is taking place this September, inspiring creativity in all aspects of our lives. From painting and drawing through to photography and handcrafting, to graphic design and wood crafting, there’s a huge range of classes and workshops in south west London and Surrey to pick from

By Nicole Pihan


LARA London

LARA (The London Atelier of Representational Art) was founded in 2008. Ever since, it has been sharing its knowledge of drawing, painting and sculpting with its esteemed atelier method. As per its philosophy, ‘By employing traditional, time-tested methods’, LARA seeks not to return to the past, but rather to build upon it. LARA helps and encourages the sales of pieces created by their students too.

Mon/Wed/Thru 18:30-20:30
Drop-in sessions starting at £10 throughout the week
LARA London, Clapham Road
More info


London Art Classes

Regardless of whether you are a total beginner or a passionate artist, these laidback classes are perfect for all levels. Included in a fun-filled day of art is a delicious lunch and there is no commitment with a pay as you go payment plan. For those on the look-out for a bargain, you can book four classes and get the fifth for free.

Saturday – 11am to 4pm
£60 (including lunch)
London Art Classes, 165 Childers Street
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Chelsea College of Arts

From eye-catching ads at tube stations to birthday cards, most of the art we consume in our daily lives is modern and produced by graphic design. With the right approach and engagement, this course from Chelsea College of Arts can familiarise you with digital equipment, helping all the graphic designs jump off your screen and come to life.

10:00 – 16:30 (various dates available)
Five-day Graphic Design course £665
Chelsea College of Arts, 16 John Islip Street
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Surrey Art School

Surrey Art School’s motto is ‘mindfulness and art together’, and stick to it by offering a range of great workshops during which you will be able to weave and knit, detaching yourself from the chaos of the outside world. Their calming environment will help you breathe, meditate and sit quietly while your hands will do all the talking.

Check the school website for times and prices
Surrey Art School, Dean House Farm
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Cass Art

This popular art shop has much more to offer than just an opportunity to get art equipment, and has a range of workshops to develop creativity. The Kingston branch also offers the chance to learn how to paint/glaze your own ceramic tiles. From matching the colours to mixing the patterns, you will be able to release your inner creativity and bring your imagination to life. The finished tiles are available to take home within a few days.

October 30th and 31st, 11:00am to 2:00pm
£38 + extra for the postage if required (all materials provided)
103 Clarence Street, Kingston
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Clover Lee – Pottery

Clover Lee covers the art of ceramic creations and offers short workshops and long courses. She also teaches Japanese pottery style. There is the opportunity of participating in two hour teaser workshops to find out if working in clay is your cup of tea.

Saturday 10:30 – 16:00 (with 30 minutes lunch break in between)
£110, Studio 3, ACAVA Studios, SW19
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DSLR Photography Courses

Nowadays, we can all take great pictures with our phones with ease, but have you ever wondered how it would be to be able to use that professional camera that’s gathering dust in the corner, and produce shots which often look as if they are taken straight from a magazine? Photography courses are an excellent way of learning how to use specialist equipment and understand how to capture the world the way our eyes see them.

Starts from £85
Wimbledon Art Studios, Studio 131
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Sutton College

Sutton College offers a range of different art courses, including evening and weekend time slots to fit our hobbies around a busy professional life. One of its more unusual courses is Contemporary Jewellery-making, with 16 sessions providing you with a full induction into the jewellery-making world. You will be able to create basic designs of bracelet, necklaces and rings, and progress along the way.

From £290, Sutton College, St Nicholas Way
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Bee Creative

A local art studio for children and adults based in Merton Abbey Mills. There are a range of craft and arts on offer, from easy and kid-friendly classes to dedicated art education classes for adults.

See website for details, Merton Abbey Mills
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Sew Pretty

With more and more people looking to the past for fashion inspiration, these textiles classes help you reclaim the vintage look and work on your own clothes, highlighting your own personality by wearing it on your sleeve. Moreover, with a range of sewing classes, you will be able to not only learn how to make clothes but how to create special pieces to decorate your home.

From £155 for 12 hour course
377 Wimbledon Park Road
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