“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” - Benjamin Franklin

According to an Ipsos/Squla survey conducted in 2017, 9 out of 10 student parents would like more student involvement during lessons. Interactive classes are often more beneficial for students who tend to retain information better. This is an educational technique which works best in one-to-one private lessons.

But how should tutors give private painting lessons? We are here to tell you everything you need to know to start your business.

Types of Private Painting Lessons

Before launching your business, it is important to define the type of class you want to teach. Private lessons do not necessarily always mean home classes.

Here are all the ways you can teach private lessons.

Home Tutoring

Home painting classes can take place at the teacher's or student's house. This is a conversation to be had when you first meet your student so that everyone is in agreement.

The advantage of doing painting lessons at the teacher’s house is that normally they will have all the necessary equipment and materials at their disposal to help students learn better (different types of paint, easels, aprons, pallets, etc.).

The student is, therefore, in the perfect environment to develop their creativity and imagination. There will be a space already prepared for painting.

However, if the student has enough space, painting classes can be held at their home.

Webcam Classes

Online lessons are becoming more and more common in the world of private tutoring. Thanks to advances in technology, tutors and students can talk directly via webcam.

Make money by becoming an art teacher.
Why not teach art courses online? Source: Visual Hunt

This method can be used for private lessons if the teacher and the student are too far apart.

The advantage of this type of class is that you will be able to reach students from all walks of life, located anywhere in the world.

On the other hand, it can sometimes prove more difficult to properly show a technique to a student or correct their mistakes.

Group Lessons

Private lessons can also be taken in groups. But, what are the advantages?

Group classes work well for a small group of friends wanting to learn together.

Moreover, choosing private lessons allows you to pick your teacher and a schedule that suits everyone. If everyone in the group can agree on a time and a place there won’t be any issues to overcome.

The advantage of these classes is that the teacher usually gives students a discounted price or special offer depending on the number of students. In addition, students can paint while chatting and hanging out with their mates.

Intensive Courses

Some students aren’t able to take painting classes every week due to their busy schedule. Intensive courses, for example during the summer or mid-term break, are more likely to attract a wider range of pupils.

For example, you can choose to dedicate an entire week to doing charcoal sketches, then spend another week working on canvas using oil-based or acrylic paint.

Find out where else you could give painting lessons...

How to Organise a Painting Class?

When teaching for the first time, it is sometimes difficult to know how to arrange a class and how to achieve a good teacher/student relationship.

We answer the questions that every private tutor has asked themselves, not just art teachers.

Assess Your Student’s Level

The very first thing a teacher should do is figure out their student’s level. In terms of painting lessons, you could ask the pupil for examples of drawings or paintings they’ve already done.

Ask them if they have taken classes before as well.

All of this can be done before the first class via email or on the phone. Knowing if the student is a beginner, an advanced level, or somewhere in between, will make it easier to prepare your first lesson.

Use the internet to teach painting lessons online.
Make sure your student knows the basics of drawing. Source: Visual Hunt

Plan Your Art Classes

It’s easy to find ready-made programmes on the internet. However, these programs are impersonal and won’t necessarily be suited to the level of your student.

It is up to you to put together your lesson plans and it is for this reason that students opt for a private teacher.

Oil painting, watercolour painting, acrylic painting, gouache, your syllabus can be original and diverse.

Start by revisiting the basics of drawing beforehand to make sure your student is confident in their abilities. You could ask them to draw a portrait, a landscape or a living model.

The course must be designed in a way that you can clearly see if the student has acquired certain knowledge and skills they didn’t have before. It must also focus on introducing new techniques or knowledge.

Regularly monitor your students

Whether this is the first class or you are already into your tenth lesson, don’t forget to chat with your student regularly to bear in mind their goals, expectations and concerns.

This is the best way to be sure to stick to your student's needs and ensure he/she is satisfied with their lessons.

Helping Your Student Improve

Students get a private tutor to improve on a certain skill or gain more knowledge in a certain field of study.

Your main role is to get the pupil out of their comfort zone so they can progress and become a proficient painter.

Don’t forget to introduce them to a new concept or show a new technique every now and again. Giving your students regular exercises to complete, whether during class or between classes, will help them see progress quickly.

Paint a friend, draw their neighbourhood, use perspective, exercises that will push your student to excel while having fun too.

Include Theory Lessons

In painting, practice is obviously the most effective way to progress. However, the culture and history behind art is also very important.

Studying well-known works by Courbet, Monet, Rembrandt, etc. allows students to examine their own work and try other painting techniques. Studying the work of famous painters is bound to give your students inspiration.

For example, at the start of every lesson, you could present a different artistic movement (Romanticism, Cubism, Dadaism, Realism, etc.).

You may also wonder how to find more students for your lessons...

Set up your own business taking art classes.
Les Tuilleries by Claude Monet Source: Visual Hunt

Decide On a Rate For Your Painting Class

Putting a price on your painting lessons is never easy. It’s hard to know where to put yourself, not too high that it deters pupils, but not too low that it doesn’t give you enough to live on.

This balance isn’t always easy to find.

But the price of a private class is dictated by a range of factors.

The Teacher's Experience

To set your rate, know that your experience plays a big role. An undergraduate student at an art school cannot offer the same price as a professional painter with 30 years of experience.

These teachers will appeal to different students. An inexperienced student offering competitive rates and a qualified teacher charging higher rates, both have their advantages.

In addition, if this is your first-time teaching, your rate will not be the same as someone who has taught in schools.

The Type of Class

Home tutoring, painting classes, lessons via webcam, intensive courses, the rate also depends on the kind of class you’re offering.

If you have to go to your student's home, you should factor in travel expenses. On the other hand, if you offer lessons online, the price of a class will often be cheaper.

I keep my calendar full of online teaching jobs through Superprof!

Where You Are in the World

Rates for tutors tend to vary from place to place.

So, be aware of the rates offered by other tutors in your area to give you a rough idea of how to stay competitive. A price that is too high in comparison to other teachers will not attract many students.

The Range of Techniques

Indian ink, oil painting, coloured pencils, watercolours, visual arts, ink wash painting, plus a teacher with strings to their bow, means you can charge a higher price.

Being able to teach different drawing techniques (sketches, still life, etc.), the visual arts, as well as painting allows students to gain a number of skills. Learning to draw is also always an element of painting classes for all levels.

At Superprof, the average price of one hour of private painting lessons is £25.

Feel free to take a look at the rates in each city to work out your price based on other teachers.

You may also want to know what certifications you need to teach painting...

Teach painting courses from your own home.
Teaching a range of painting techniques will attract more students. Source: Visual Hunt

How Do I Declare My Painting Classes?

To get off to the best start in private tutoring, you should think about your status.

Indeed, as a private teacher, it is important to declare your income so as not to be accused of tax evasion.

What are my options?

Here are several ways to help you find the right status for you.

Limited Company

Why not think about setting up a limited company, a company in which you are the only shareholder. Although creating your own company is more complicated than declaring yourself self-employed, this option gives you added protection as well as tax advantages.

Teaching staff

You can be employed part-time by a tutoring organisation. In this instance, you do not have to worry about declaring your income yourself, the organisation does it for you. However, this does not exempt you from paying tax.


Setting up as self-employed is by far the easiest to do. However, you must remember to do a tax return and declare your earnings at the end of every tax year.

Now pick up on this complete guide to teaching painting...

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