At St Ives School of Painting, we provide quality art course tuition suitable for all levels from complete beginners to those with more experience. Learn from our team of 30 contemporary artists teaching small groups, in our studio overlooking Porthmeor beach in St Ives, where we have been since 1938.

Take a bit of St Ives magic into your home or studio with our online courses. Browse our library for courses to watch now or look out for new courses added every month. From landscape to life, oils to watercolour we’ll help you find the approach that’s right for you.

Find your perfect course. Put in your dates or search by medium.


Browse our range of courses and short art classes

A group of students painting during an art course

Studio Courses

Small group classes, designed to enable anyone, at any level, receive the individual attention they need to develop their skills.

A lady painting in an online art course

Online Courses

The same inspirational, high quality tuition as our studio courses, without the need leave your home.

A lady drawing at a life drawing class

Life Drawing

Join our twice weekly tutored classes drawing the nude, every Thursday and Saturday. Everyone’s welcome.

Summer Art Classes

Just looking to dip a toe? Browse our selection of short Summer art classes, running throughout July and August. Choose from half day or one day classes, taught by professional artists in our studios overlooking the ocean.

September Festival

Taking place during the famous St Ives September Festival, try a wide range of 3 hour art classes at our studios. Learn new skills with our team of artists.

Porthmeor Programme

Find your creative voice with our year long developmental course. With 1-1 mentoring and a curated practical programme, you can choose between online or studio versions.

Visit a location like no other

St Ives, one of the most stunning locations in the world, has long been attracting artists. 

Our Studios

For more than 85 years St Ives School of Painting has been running art classes in Cornwall, from our stunning studios overlooking the ocean. Step into history and tread the boards where Ben Nicholson walked.

What our students say

I loved learning new colour mixes; different mark making; wildly different landscapes. I have been to many course there and this was one of the best.


These online sessions are consistently fabulous, and this one did not disappoint. Gave me an insight into Paula Rego’s work as well as Gary’s thoughtful and insightful commentary as he paints and draws his wonderful images.


I’ve wanted to paint abstracts for some time now but needed some guidance on how to start. This course has got me up and running. I’m looking forward to spending more time using the techniques Natalie demonstrated.


Transformative in terms of artistic process.


It was beyond my expectations. The inspiring surroundings, fabulous teacher and wonderful cohort.


The space and facilities in the school were excellent, great equipment and light with individual stations. The tutor’s knowledge of colour mixing and creating a varied palette was excellent.


The resources and the space to work in were excellent. The tutoring was wonderfully inspiring and supportive. I felt encouraged and supported all through and learnt new things.


I liked everything about the course, it was what it said in the course description. Thank you, I enjoyed spending time in such a lovely warm encouraging environment.


Join our Art Community


Join our newsletter to receive weekly emails about upcoming courses and the latest news and events!


Join as a member for an annual fee of £40 and receive half price life drawing every Thursday and Saturday.


We have been a registered charity since 2000. Every gift, however large or small, will make a difference to us.


Do you have to be experienced to come to the School?

The School is a very friendly and welcoming place for all ages and experience. Our drop-in life classes and August half-day workshops are ideal for those wanting to have a go for the first time. Most of our longer courses are also fine for novices.

If any of the courses do need a bit of experience we flag this up in the brochure and on the website.

How can I get help in choosing a course?

Our friendly expert staff are always happy to discuss your needs and our courses in more detail to help you with your decision. Please call us on 01736 797180

How can I reserve a place?

We will hold a provisional reservation for 24 hours if you give us a call whilst you find accommodation. Otherwise please book online or by telephone 01736 797180.

You can reserve a place with a £100 deposit; balance is due 12 weeks before course start date.

How do I get there?

Public Transport: If you are coming from further afield the main train line runs into St Erth which is a 15 min taxi ride away or you can take the St Ives Bay Line which runs approx. every 30 minutes. The School is a 10 minute walk from St Ives station.

Driving: M5 will take you to Exeter where we recommend that you take the A30 across Bodmin Moor and into Cornwall. After passing Hayle, leave the A30 at St Erth roundabout for St Ives. Turn right at the second roundabout. This road will take you through Lelant and Carbis Bay into St Ives.

Where can I stay?

St Ives has a huge selection of hotels, guest houses and self catering accommodation to choose from. Please browse the art holidays St Ives section on our website and give us a call if you would like any help.

Where do I park?

The nearest long stay public car parks are the Island and Barnoon Long Stay Car Park, both a 5 minute walk away. In the peak summer months it may be easier to park at Trenwith Car Park by the leisure centre and walk down into town. If you don’t fancy the walk up the hill at the end of the day there is a shuttle bus which runs from outside the cinema.