Looking at works from the Tate Collection, you’ll discover the methods artists use to create their work and then try them out for yourself.

The course includes plenty of easy-to-follow practical advice for working with drawing, watercolour, collage and oil painting, and you can learn at your own pace. An exciting feature of the course is the online forum, where you can post your work and get other people’s feedback.

Joseph Mallord William Turner, 'Venice: Looking across the Lagoon at Sunset' 1840

Joseph Mallord William Turner
Venice: Looking across the Lagoon at Sunset 1840
Watercolour on paper
support: 244 x 304 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856

The Artists’ Techniques and Methods course will introduce you to a number of key works in Tate’s collection and examine the techniques the artists’ used to create their work. You will look at a range of techniques from drawing, watercolour, collage, and oil painting. The course is divided into six units:

Each unit examines different artists in Tate’s collection and looks at how they created their work. The units contain video clips and step-by-step guides to using the techniques to create your own art works at home.

The units are accompanied by downloadable worksheets that you can print out and follow in your own time. You are encouraged to upload images of your work and share them with other students on the course via an online image gallery. You can also pose questions to other course students on the online discussion forum.

The course is designed to be fun and engaging but is not tutored or accredited, and does not count towards any official qualification. However, when you have completed all the units on the course, you will be issued with a Tate certificate that you can download and print out.

There is no time limit for the course and you can spend as much or as little time on each unit as you like. Once you have purchased the course and received your login details, you will have unlimited access to the course website and content. After you have completed the units and received your certificate, you will still be able to upload images of your own work and contribute to the discussion forum.

Free sample

Artists' Techniques and Methods online course screenshot

Screenshot of Artists’ Techniques and Methods online course

View sample pages from the course.

Technical requirements

The online courses will work with most operating systems and browsers including Internet Explorer 5 and above and Mozilla Firefox 1 and above on either a PC or Mac.

In order to view the course units and video clips, you will need to have version 8 or higher of the Flash player installed. Download the Flash player for free.

If you want to check whether you have the right technical set-up to access the course units then please look at the free content sample. If you can access this, then you shouldn’t have any problems accessing the course.


Login to the course

If you have any questions regarding the online course, please email onlinecourses@tate.org.uk.