What to expect 

In a Create! online art (painting or drawing) class


Watch the demonstration, listen to the instructions, follow along yourself. 



Use the material or technique to get confident following the example.


Once you have the knowledge, carry on experimenting, learning and practising. 

In an online class I give you all the help I can to help you have an excellent experience.


Before the Class: 

- To help with gathering the appropriate materials, please take a look at the glossary of drawing materials below to help you get equipped. 

- You can access the course materials, times, dates and zoom details prior to the class on the website.

- The materials you are using for each session are outlined

- Assemble the materials and equipment you need, prior to the course

- Examples of what we are drawing are available to view on screen or print out so you can follow along easily at home.


During the Class: 

- Draw along at home, as you will have a clear view of Helen's painting board, and Helen will talk you through every step

- There is usually an opportunity during the class to have a 'free draw' using the materials and techniques we have learnt in the demonstration. 


After the class:

- Feel free to continue practising and experimenting using the ideas provided by Helen or others you have found yourselves.


To help with gathering the appropriate materials, please take a look at the glossary of drawing materials below to help you get equipped and the brands that I recommend.


Watch the 5 minute demonstrations of the materials so you can see how they work and what to expect from them. 


HB pencil is the 'goldilocks' of pencils, it's not too soft, not too hard, just in the middle.

You can find the strength of the pencil labelled on the side e.g. 'HB'

Soft pencils are 'B' and the higher the number the softer the pencil. Hard pencils are 'H' and the higher the number. 

My Recommendation: Have an HB Rexel Office Pencil and a 2B Staedler Noris Pencil in your kit. You can invest in a greater range of B pencils if you get on ok. I wouldn't worry about H pencils, just B's (most multipacks have a variety of both, but I tend to find the H's don't get used) 


Pencil Crayon:

There are so many different types of pencil crayon with varying quality. 

I prefer to use a highly pigmented pencil and a good quality pencil can really make a difference. 

I tend to use dry watercolour pencils as they give an excellent pigment. 

My Recommendation: Staedtler Noris Aquarell Watercolour Pencils (use dry)


Watercolour Pencils:

There are so many different types of water colour pencils  with varying quality. 

I prefer to use a highly pigmented watercolour  pencil and a good quality pencil can really make a difference.

You can colour in with the pencil and then wet the page with a brush, or you can use a wet brush to remove colour from the pencil. 

My Recommendation: Staedtler Noris Aquarell Watercolour Pencils and a size 8 or 10 Brush (I like Major Brushes)


Chalk Pastel:

Chalk Pastel are sticks of compressed chalk and colour. They have a grainy chalky feel which can be smudged and layered up. You can 'fix' chalk pastel with fixative or cheap hairspray

My Recommendation: A box of at least 12 colours of pastels, Inscribe is a good affordable brand. Cheap hairspray to fix.


Oil Pastel:

Oil Pastels are sticks which of colour mixed with non-drying oil and wax. They give a painty texture and can be applied thickly in layers. 

My Recommendation: A box of at least 12 colours of oil pastels, Pentel is a good affordable brand. Make sure you have at least one stick of white (to mix colours together) 


Pen and Ink:

The type of pen to use with ink is called a 'nib' pen. It has a removable nib which you can change between different thicknesses of nibs. The pen is then dipped into ink in a pot or a palette and then you can create drawings with it. 

My Recommendation: A bottle of Indian Drawing Ink (black) and an Artway Dip Pen set with 5 Nibs. 


Charcoal comes in different types including 'willow' (small thin twigs), Pencils (Charcoal encased in a pencil), and Compressed (as a block)

You can achieve a finer tip by sharpening the charcoal pencil and you can get different strengths.The willow charcoal and blocks can be used on any side and snapped to suit the size required. 

My Recommendation: A box of Coates Willow Charcoal sticks to get you started. If you prefer not you get your hands dirty, you could try Derwent Charcoal Pencils. 



There are lots of different pens that you can draw with. Decide whether you need a water soluble pen or a waterproof pen i.e. are you going to be painting over the top, then use a waterproof. Are you drawing in black or colour? A great starting point is to have a small selection of coloured biro's plus a fine liner type.  

My Recommendation: Black, red, blue, green biro, Black Edding Fineliner (water-soluble), Black Waterproof Uniball Needle Eye or Edding Profipen



Maggie says

I have been coming to Helen’s art classes for almost two years. I have loved the variety and challenge Helen provides us with at every drawing class on a Wednesday morning. She is a very talented teacher both in the studio and on Zoom."

Dianne says

I have joined Create Art School and it's the best thing I have done,  the atmosphere is happy and people are very friendly. It's lovely getting to make new friends. Helen goes through everything with you if you're not confident she will help you through it step by step. I would highly recommend joining her classes there is so much variety in her work something to suit everyone. Going through this pandemic has been so stressful but since I started Creative Art School, it's lifted my spirits I feel I have a focus in life."

Penny says

I have only discovered art this year with lockdown and am trying out various aspects of it. Joining Helens online classes have really helped me to try out different mediums and given me lots of new ideas. Helen is a great teacher, so welcoming and very patient and I am really enjoying being part of her classes. I can highly recommend them.

Kate L says

Helen is the most wonderful teacher. I’ve gone from being someone who thought any kind of art was unattainable for me, to being someone who takes a sketchbook on holiday and who produces work I’m really proud of. Helen makes it all feel possible and do-able. She’s really relaxed in her teaching but still conveys technique and method, almost without you realising. I can’t recommend her classes highly enough."

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