Phil Shemanski & Ashleigh Norman

Phil Shemanski & Ashleigh Norman

Renewing the Renaissance™ (RTR)’s Beginner’s School was created to allow an individual anywhere in the world to learn the basics of drawing, painting and sculpting online—for free. 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, and for young students to foster their creativity.

Each course—drawing, painting, and sculpture—consists of a series of lessons including exercises, each less than an hour, and written in a style that makes it easy to fit conveniently into a busy life. 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.

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, utilizing technology to be able to connect artists all over the world. We want students to submit and share their work and encourage each other in their artistic journeys by posting in the Leave A Comment section of each lesson, like the one below. The Student Resource Center (SRC) is another way that we do this. As a searchable database, the SRC allows 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 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 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!