Phil Shemanski & Ashleigh Norman

Phil Shemanski & Ashleigh Norman, co-developers

Renewing the Renaissance™ (RTR)’s Beginner’s School was created to allow an individual anywhere in the world to learn online the basics of drawing, painting, and sculpting—for free, no registration required. The internet is filled with numerous painting and drawing videos that assume an introductory understanding of art that most people don’t have. We have designed each course of the Beginner’s School to teach students starting from the very basics up to the point where they can comfortably use videos and advice to further their own development. The Beginner’s School provides a comfortable venue for seniors to help maintain their cognitive skills through art, for young students to foster their creativity, and for parents to introduce art to their children and grandchildren. For those who want a quick video tour of the website, click here (and use the Closed Captions feature if you want!).

Each course—drawing, painting, and sculpture—consists of a series of lessons that includes subject matter text, artist videos (with edited closed captions), and video commentary to guide the student. The lessons include exercises we’ve tried to keep to about an hour, making it easy to fit conveniently into a busy life. Google Translate allows the student to translate the text, videos, supply recommendation lists, and budgets into the student’s spoken language (see here for information regarding translation limitations).

You can view the lessons for each course by clicking on the course title you’re interested in on the Course Topic Summaries under Home. Going beyond “how-to,” lessons include topics such as the tools required and their cost, and what to consider in choosing a workspace or studio, all supported by brief art history lessons. We have a lesson, Being A Successful Student, that will help you do just that…and our FAQs are organized to give you the answers quickly to your general questions. Check out our lesson Choosing Your First Course for a quick guide on getting started.

The first Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned the 14th to the 16th centuries, beginning in Florence, Italy in the late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe.  As a cultural movement, it encompassed a flowering of literature, science, art, religion, and politics. It is perhaps best known for its artistic developments and the contributions of such multi-talented artists as Leonardo de Vinci and Michelangelo. Artists during the Renaissance learned from older, Master artists in the Master’s studio or Atelier (ah-tell-YAY). Some Ateliers would have many young artists learning from and helping out the Master, and students influenced and helped each other as well.

It’s this sort of artistic community we want to recreate here at RTR’s Beginner’s School and connect artists all over the world. We want students to submit and share their work using our submission form and encourage each other in their artistic journeys by contributing to the student galleries (see an example here). Students can also communicate with each other by posting in the Leave A Comment section of each lesson, like the one below, and also by using Instagram to post images of their work (tag us! @beginnersschool). We appreciate all the positive testimonials we’ve been receiving on our courses–check out what people are saying about us

The Student Resource Center (SRC) is another place for artists to share. As a searchable database, the SRC allows experienced artists to submit their tips and techniques to guide the next beginning student along. The SRC also includes ideas such as how to flourish by getting your creativity unstuck, and nourish yourself to be a healthy student artist.

We believe supporting art is important for the world’s future, and that it’s important to ‘give back’. At Renewing the Renaissance, we strive to work with adult artists with challenges (such as high functioning autism, language and social impediments, and executive functioning disorders) to help their art careers. Take a look at the work of our talented painters and sculptors on our sister website www.RenewingTheRenaissance.com. Consider commissioning a painting (an interesting creative experience!), or acquiring their artwork.

Thanks to all for embracing the Beginner’s School spirit of the Renaissance!

  1. August 11, 2017
    • August 14, 2017
  2. January 1, 2018
    • February 23, 2018

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The Website is not directed at anyone who we know to be under the age of 13, nor do we collect any personal information from anyone who we know to be under the age of 13. If you are under the age of 13, you should not submit any personal information to us, so please do not use the Comment area, Submission form, or Contact Us form.

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