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Learn to draw and paint in a relaxed and fun environment in a beginners course. Or build on your existing skills in an intermediate course. All the courses offered focus on developing your technical skills as well as your own personal style. Find new inspiration and ideas to progress your art.

Classes are taught by qualified teacher and practising artist, Kristel Smits. She has taught at the University of NSW Art & Design, National Art School and Sydney Community College.

Kristel is also an experienced painting restorer, giving her extensive knowledge of artist’s processes, materials and techniques. She simplifies her teaching using a step-by-step approach that is easy to follow. Class sizes are limited to 6 students, meaning lots of individual guidance and the opportunity to learn at your own pace.


Contact Kristel to find out more about any of the courses offered.


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  • .DRAWING FROM NATURE FOR BEGINNERS:  at Blackheath Art Society

2 weeks, 5.5 hours/week (11 hours total):  $160/ $110 BAS members

Saturdays, 10am – 4pm, 15 & 22 July

This drawing workshop is designed for beginner and intermediate drawing students who are interested in depicting nature in several different ways. Through a combination of exercises, you will learn some important basic drawing skills to improve your observation and representation. Looking at the work of traditional and contemporary drawing artists for inspiration, we will also undertake exercises in interpretation and editing in order to capture the essence of your subject. Some students may wish to explore aspects of abstraction to create a 3-dimensional view of their subject and to capture more than simply what they see. You will be offered individual guidance to help you learn the skills you need to achieve your vision of the natural world. Exercises can be adjusted to suit your personal skills level. You have the option to explore a small variety of drawing materials to suit your subject and project aims, or to concentrate on mastering the classic drawing medium of pencil.


  • PROGRESSING YOUR PAINTING SKILLS -2:  at home studio in Katoomba

7 weeks, 3 hours/week (21 hours total):  $275/ $250 concessions

Thursdays, 10am – 1pm, 22 June – 10 August (with a 1-week break on 20 July)

This course is designed for people with some basic painting skills who have already followed art classes with me or with another teacher. If you are keen to progress your skills in one or several directions, then this course is perfect for you. It gives you the flexibility to work individually with me to develop one area of your painting practice of your choosing, or to follow a series of projects set by me. The set projects will address the 3 topics of: choosing your brushes for different brush effects, building up a painting in 3 layers from thin to thick, and working and editing from sketches and photos to make a finished painting. The small class size will ensure that you gain what you most want to learn from this course, in a motivating and supportive environment.


Contact Kristel to find out more or to book for any of the above courses.


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Kristel Smits is a wonderful art teacher – her gentle and respectful approach has allowed me to find my own way into painting, after decades of procrastinating. And she has a great gift for transmitting technical advice that supports my own process while at the same time helping me learn what works, and what can be imagined. I have been enriched by her generosity of spirit, and her skill as an artist and a teacher.”    - Joyce


It’s rare to meet a teacher who is so respectful of the student’s process, while still gently fostering precise skills acquisition. Kristel is a born teacher. (Teaching is my profession, so I have some experience in that.) I have learned more from Kristel in just a few courses than I learned from my year at East Sydney Tech, way back!”   - Christopher J. Ash


I loved your teaching- we have very different styles but I never felt pressured into copying your style or doing things your way. Instead, you helped me to integrate your approach with my natural style so that my repertoire of creative expression was expanded. You supported me through my frustration so that I was also able to learn from your patience . . . The course opened my eyes as well as my imagination. I’m very proud of the work I did in the course and I am beginning to feel as if I could become an artist!    - Sue


Kristel has helped me understand and find ways to move beyond just painting and drawing to finding a way of expressing something of my inner delight in what I see around me. Her course in Drawing from Nature took us beyond our usual patterns or representation to finding ways that originated more from inside ourselves but still connected to the outside experience. I particularly appreciated her encouragement to find the way that was authentic to me . . . I feel I found a new horizon to work towards and develop, and greatly appreciate that.”    - Liz Robertson


After attending her classes I have experienced a totally different way of trying to draw. Kristel brings a real passion to all aspects of art. She has with patience and skill taught me to be a lot more mindful and persistent with my drawing. Kristel has taught me to really ‘look’ . . . which has resulted in a lot more nuanced and interesting drawings. I have really enjoyed the atmosphere of the classes, with a very informative and lively slide show and chance to chat about art.”    - Alex Hinings