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Hello and Welcome to Art Courses London

Art Courses London was co-founded by Johanna Kwiat and Stephen Nicholas in 2013 with life drawing and painting workshops first delivered in the amazing space of St Matthew's in Brixton. Later came day workshops which included colourful vegan lunches and yoga classes. As the vision for the school grew, we moved all our courses to our studio in Crystal Palace. Now we mainly focus on oil and acrylic painting classes for all levels. Our strength is in-depth teaching to small groups of students. What sets us apart from other schools is that we keep all our classes small, up to a 5 students.  


We specialise in teaching painting courses for adults including abstraction and colour exploration. We aim to make art accessible to everyone, from beginners who have never picked up a paintbrush to professionals who want to deepen their practice. Now in our 11th year, we continue to help students explore their creativity and experience the joy of making art.

Stephen Nicholas, our tutor, is a Beacon award-winning art teacher and John Moores prize-winning painter, with 30 years’ experience teaching art in educational and professional settings. You can see Stephen’s artwork at


Johanna Kwiat came up with the idea for the school, co-devised the programme, and managed our social media. She has been instrumental in developing our corporate portfolio. Since 2017 we have met amazing clients and run classes for many small and big companies including magazines, IT and creative businesses. You can read more about our offer and our clients on our corporate page. 

Johanna remains a strong influence on the general direction of our school and is still engaged in developing community links, running social media campaigns, and expanding the programme. 

Small Classes, Big Ideas


At Art Courses London, we keep our classes to no more than 5 students per course. This gives each of our students the opportunity to develop at their own pace and succeed in their personal aims and ambitions. Students receive individual tuition tailored to their specific needs from an award-winning professional artist.

We make sure lessons are informative and clear for beginners as well as challenging and stimulating for advanced practitioners. Students learn traditional and modern skills, explore personal interests and learn specialist techniques in painting and drawing. Continuous support and enthusiastic encouragement enable each student to build new skills and reinvigorate previous experience.

Our courses are focused on practical, hands-on learning, creative thinking and prompting new approaches to familiar subjects. And they are fun too! We refer to historical and contemporary art practice to enrich learning and inspire a wide range of artistic approaches. You will pick up a bit of art history too!

Something for Everyone

We offer a range of services including:

  • In-studio evening classes for all levels.

  • Online group sessions.

  • One-to-one art portfolio preparation sessions.

  • Private teens & parents classes. 

  • Bespoke workshops for corporate and private clients.

​In addition to teaching students, we've worked with organisations such as Westminster University, The Gentlewoman magazine, and Squint/Opera design agency, creating bespoke workshops to develop creativity and teamwork. Find out more about our corporate and group workshops.


Student Success


We encourage our students to develop at their own pace and grow in confidence – something we are very proud of. As well as achieving great results on their courses, our students exhibit and sell their work and have gone on to enrol in highly regarded art degree courses, including Central St Martins’ BA.  

We're committed to supporting our students explore further avenues for their work, and our most recent project was the ArtC5 Exhibition at AMP Gallery in Peckham. Five of our students collaborated on this exciting event under the guidance of their tutor, Stephen, who also curated the exhibition. We were incredibly proud to see our students' work on public display and were delighted that a number of pieces were purchased by visitors to the show.

See what our student and corporate clients have said about their time with us, or head over to our online gallery and shop, where our students exhibit and sell their work.

Professional Artist, Outstanding Teacher

Stephen Nicholas is a Beacon award-winning art tutor and John Moores prize-winning painter, with over 25 years' experience of teaching art in adult, further and higher education.


Stephen's classes draw from his vast experience and knowledge of materials and painting techniques. He has a deep understanding of different learning styles and is dedicated to helping students uncover and cultivate their inner artist.


You can see Stephen’s work at

Squint 1.jpg

Our Studio

Art Courses London is based in Crystal Palace, in a beautifully lit artist's studio with stunning panoramic views across London. 

We're just a few minutes’ walk from both Crystal Palace and Gipsy Hill train stations and round the corner from Crystal Palace bus station. Street parking is available outside the studio.

If you would like any further information, please get in touch using the details below or the form on our Contact page.

Art Courses London - Look No Further 

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