It doesn't matter whether you're a beginner or a pro, creative activities like life drawing and pottery are fun ways to express yourself and pick up new skills. London is certainly an artistic city and all over the capital you'll find places where you can try creative activities, whether you're interested in pottery classes, life drawing at the pub, or paint and sip parties. Discover the wide range of arty things to do with this guide to creative activities in London.
Guide to creative activities in London
In this guide
- Candid Arts Trust – Leading centre for life drawing
- London Art Classes – Get creative in Deptford
- Crown Works Pottery – Try out pottery
- Sunny Art Centre – Art exhibitions and education
- The Owl & Hitchhiker – Quirky and creative pub
- Print Club – Hub for screenprinting
- Art Social Club – Relaxed and sociable
- Skandihus – Cosy space for pottery
- The Beehive – Drop-in life drawing
- Slaughterhaus Print Studio – Community print studio
- Clay Time – Friendly pottery studio
- The Post Bar – Relaxed life drawing sessions
- Islington Arts Factory – Bustling arts centre in Holloway
- East London Printmakers – Artist-run print studio
- Turning Earth – Ceramics for all
- The Exhibit – Life drawing at a party venue
- London Paint Party – Raucous painting parties
- Prince of Peckham – Pub with loads of events and activities
- The National Gallery – See art and make your own
- The London Art Bar – Fun with painting
- Hackney City Farm – Get creative on the farm
- Toulouse Lautrec – Quirky life drawing
- Lavender Print School – West London art sessions
- Graffik Gallery – Street art specialists
- London Jewellery Workshop – Make jewellery in Shoreditch
- Stepney City Farm – Tranquil creative activities
- Social Pottery – Pottery made fun
- Blackhorse Workshop – Work with wood or metal
- Vaulty Towers – Theatrical life drawing venue
- Art Academy London – Diverse art courses
- Hope & Anchor – Lively pub with life drawing classes
- London Sculpture Workshop – Explore woodwork and metalwork
- The Royal Drawing School – Educational art courses
- The Prince N16 – Rustic pub in Stoke Newington
- Alternative London – Discover street art in East London
- MasterPeace – Art and mindfulness
- The Ringsmiths – Guidance from award-winning jewellers
- Pophams Home – Creative sessions in Hackney
- Treowe – Creativity in Blackheath
Leading centre for life drawing
In a convenient location around the corner from Angel station, Candid Arts is an arts centre and charity that offers daytime and evening life drawing sessions. All abilities are welcome and sessions are led by experienced professional artists. On-site there's also a cosy café, artists' studios, and a gallery space showing work by local artists.
Get creative in Deptford
Located between Deptford and New Cross, London Art Classes let you explore art in a real artist's studio. There are informal sessions with professional guidance and you can try out painting or life drawing here. All classes are friendly and welcoming, suitable for all levels of experience. This place also does portfolio prep sessions for art students.
Try out pottery
You can explore a variety of pottery classes at Crown Works Pottery. This place is run by a professional ceramicist and you'll get expert guidance during every session. Options include using a pottery wheel, building pots by hand, and understanding more about glazing. Group sizes are small and intimate.
Art exhibitions and education
At Sunny Art Centre you can see art exhibitions, attend a lecture, or participate in classes to hone your creative skills. There are drop-in sessions and short courses in drawing and painting, plus activities for children and portfolio prep for students. The centre also has its own art prize open to artists all over the world.
Quirky and creative pub
Buzzy Holloway pub The Owl & Hitchhiker is packed with quirky style and serves a wide range of food and drinks. A range of different events take here from the regular such as pub quizzes to fun creative activities. There are weekly life drawing sessions and regular pottery classes that are suitable for all levels of experience.
Hub for screenprinting
Check out Print Club in Hackney if you're interested in screenprinting. You can become a member of this workshop and use the studio facilities for your own projects. If you're just starting out with printmaking, participate in a workshop to develop your knowledge and skills. There are sessions here for beginners as well as more advanced techniques.
Cosy space for pottery
Get to grips with clay at Skandihus, a modern pottery studio with a strong Scandinavian influence. These cosy spaces offer in-demand pottery classes for adults, including private sessions. Join a beginners' session or a taster class if it's all new to you, or try one of the drop-in sessions if you're more experienced.
Drop-in life drawing
Tottenham's The Beehive is a traditional pub at the heart of the community. As well as live sport, pub grub, and a big range of beer, the venue runs affordable weekly life drawing classes. There's no need to book ahead and materials are provided. Everyone is welcome to drop in and get drawing with a drink in hand.
Community print studio
Vibrant Slaughterhaus Print Studio has a strong sense of community. There's an exhibition space, printmaking facilities, and a regular programme of classes. Members can use the studio for their own creative projects but if you're new to printmaking you can join sessions focusing on a variety of techniques from etching to monotypes.
Friendly pottery studio
Adults and children can discover ceramics at Clay Time. This friendly local pottery studio runs a range of creative sessions with the support of experienced staff. You can make your own clay masterpiece or paint a pre-made piece with a your own unique design. Kids' parties and corporate groups are welcome here too.
Relaxed life drawing sessions
Quirky venue The Post Bar in Tottenham is best-known for eclectic live music, Argentine grilling, and great nights out. There's also a weekly life drawing session here with guidance from a professional artist if needed. Enjoy music and drinks from the bar whilst you practice drawing a live model in a relaxed setting.
Bustling arts centre in Holloway
Based in a converted church, Islington Arts Factory is a buzzy community space. Here you'll find exhibition spaces, art, dance, and music studios, and a variety of activities including creative sessions. There are options for adults and children. You can try out pottery here or practice drawing at untutored life drawing sessions.
Artist-run print studio
Non-profit print studio East London Printmakers is close to Mile End Park. This fully-equipped workshop has weekly open-access sessions for printmakers to work on their own projects. Courses for all levels of experience are also available, focusing on a variety of printmaking methods. There's also a residency programme here.
Ceramics for all
Regardless of your level of experience, you can explore ceramics with Turning Earth. With a number of locations in London, this place operates open-access facilities for ceramicists, plus events like maker's markets and courses where you can develop your skills in hand-building or wheel throwing, including introductory sessions for total beginners.
Life drawing at a party venue
Multi-purpose party spot The Exhibit is a Balham destination for food, drinks, and fun. It's vibrant, colourful, and contemporary. The venue hosts a broad range of events including regular life drawing sessions with an informal atmosphere, music, and drinks. There's also a unique brunch combining a life drawing class with a meal afterwards.
Raucous painting parties
Paint with some extra fun thrown in at London Paint Party. This lively East London venue does paint and sip sessions that are great for hen nights, birthdays, or just a night out with a difference. You'll paint a pre-sketched canvas whilst enjoying drinks and music. Everything is provided and you can take your creation home with you.
Pub with loads of events and activities
Buzzy pub Prince of Peckham is a hive of activity. The bar area is modern and colourful. Lots of diverse events take place from parties and garage sessions to wine tasting events. There are also life drawing classes here and chilled out sip and paint sessions where you can flex your artistic muscles in a relaxed setting.
See art and make your own
The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square isn't just a place to look at inspiring art – you can make your own as well. You can admire art throughout the ages here and take part in a range of creative sessions with different themes to help you explore your own creativity. There are also informative talks with drawing sessions available.
Fun with painting
Art is sociable at The London Art Bar. This place serves coffee by day and wine and cocktails later on. Events include exhibitions, live music, and a variety of guided painting sessions. Try out different techniques at these themed sessions whilst you enjoy a glass of prosecco. Corporate events are welcome too.
Get creative on the farm
Hackney City Farm is a working farm in East London that's free to visit. You can see the animals and explore the farmyard, or take part in classes and activities here. The site hosts a variety of creative activities including pottery classes, woodworking sessions, and painting classes. There are sessions for children and adults.
Quirky life drawing
Although it's well-known for music, that's not the only kind of artistry you'll find at Toulouse Lautrec. This stylish French restaurant has its own piano bar and jazz club but it also hosts a variety of themed life drawing sessions, including neon life drawing. These sessions are fun, quirky, and informal ways to get creative.
West London art sessions
All ages and levels of ability can explore printmaking and watercolour painting at Lavender Print School. This creative space is modern and offers a range of different workshops. There are some sessions where you're welcome to bring your own alcoholic drinks. You'll gain confidence and skills whilst having fun creatively here.
Street art specialists
West London's Graffik Gallery specialises in urban and street art. As well as exhibiting work by huge street art names, the gallery runs street art workshops so you can learn more. Join a group session for all ages and abilities, a private workshop, or a family experience that gets everyone involved. Corporate events are welcome too.
Make jewellery in Shoreditch
Craft your own unique jewellery with London Jewellery Workshop. Based in Shoreditch, at this cosy and well-equipped space you can take a variety of classes, including making your own wedding rings. Private tuition is available and group class sizes are small so you can the right amount of support. You can also buy workshop gift vouchers.
Tranquil creative activities
Visit Stepney City Farm to see the animals, drop into the café or famers market, or join in an event. There are sessions for yoga and beekeeping as well as a range of creative activities. Try out pottery, woodwork, or painting classes in this peaceful and inspiring farmyard setting.
Work with wood or metal
At Blackhorse Workshop you can try creative activities suited to all levels of experience. This public access wood and metal workshop has bookable workbenches for focusing on your own projects or you can learn new skills on a creative course. Try jewellery-making, woodturning, or making items like a plywood planter. There are also courses for kids with additional needs.
Theatrical life drawing venue
Theatrical drinking spot Vaulty Towers is full of quirks and is a fun place to try out life drawing. Every weekend there are daytime life drawing sessions for all levels of experience, with materials provided. You can also enjoy delicious food and drinks here – think cocktails and vegan street food.
Diverse art courses
If you're serious about developing your artistic skills, check out a course from Art Academy London. This modern and innovative place offers academic courses, including undergraduate degrees, but there are also a huge range of short courses to choose from. There are sessions for all levels of experience covering areas like digital art, abstract painting, and illustration.
Lively pub with life drawing classes
In Brixton you can try life drawing at lively pub Hope & Anchor. It's a colourful spot with a beer garden that attracts a youthful crowd. Life drawing for all levels takes place every week and you can bring materials or have them provided. Enjoy some drinks whilst you draw and feel free to stay and socialise afterwards.
Explore woodwork and metalwork
London Sculpture Workshop at Thames-Side Studios is a well-equipped facility for woodwork and metalwork. Open-access space is available for creatives plus there are a range of courses suited for beginners through to sessions for professional artists. The options include sculpting with sheet metal and mould-making.
Educational art courses
The Royal Drawing School was founded by King Charles. It offers foundational and postgraduate courses in drawing but there are a wide variety of public courses that anyone can join. You can try courses like life painting, illustration, and experimental drawing. There are also plenty of options for young people who love art.
Rustic pub in Stoke Newington
Stoke Newington pub The Prince has a cosy rustic feel thanks to its traditional interior. There's a huge choice of local craft beers and real ales, plus food is served and you can take part in events. The pub runs popular monthly life drawing classes where you can practice your skills drawing an experienced model.
Discover street art in East London
Alternative London runs walking and bike tours of East London's world-famous street art. Tours are led by artists and street art experts. You can also join a street art workshop where you'll go on a tour, learn about stencilling techniques, create your own unique design, and then add your art to Alternative London's walls.
Art and mindfulness
Artist-run studio MasterPeace lets you focus on making art mindfully. This supportive studio offers classes and events both for adults and children, with some adult sessions including a drink thrown in. You can try out different artistic activities including candle-making, painting, and making your own inks here.
Guidance from award-winning jewellers
Learn to make jewellery with guidance from experts at The Ringsmiths. This centrally-located venue offers fun and accessible sessions in an intimate and well-equipped workshop. Try making a bangle, ring, or necklace, or you can make more than one piece of jewellery. Sessions for making your own wedding rings are also available.
Creative sessions in Hackney
From the team behind the bakeries, Pophams Home is a homewares store selling artisan ceramics, linens, and home accessories. The store also runs a number of intimate creative workshops, including some sessions aimed at children. Activities you can try out here include block printing, watercolours, and making your own ceramics. Sessions are led by professional makers.
Creativity in Blackheath
Blackheath-based interiors shop and showroom Treowe is a great place to shop for unique homewares but you can also visit to join a variety of creative workshops. If you want to spruce up your home and learn some new skills, this is a great place. Workshops range from upholstering furniture to hand embroidery