My first experience of teaching was at the age of 22, running life drawing classes to students at Colchester Art College – it was a formidable initiation but very exciting. Following this, I have taught and lectured in all sorts of schools, colleges and art societies, including 2 years at Lewisham College, where I ran the Visual Studies Course.

For ten years now, I have developed a successful private teaching business from my studio in Hampshire and also hold frequent plein air workshops during the summer in beautiful locations. I take on students at all stages – places are consistently in demand and students have come to me from all over the south of England. I have always played an active role in my local artistic community and am currently teaching oil, life and portraiture classes for the Alresford Art Society. I have also enjoyed giving live demonstrations for the inaugural Alresford Arts Festival and exhibiting with them at the Grange Festival, as well as at occasional Hampshire Open Studios.

Upcoming Workshops:
No current dates in place due to
Corona virus – please watch this
space for updates


Gill G

‘ I have been a pupil of Karen Popham for three years now. My painting has improved, but more than that I would like to thank her for her friendship, patience(!), expertise, oh so useful critique and generosity of spirit when imparting her wide knowledge of painting to us. Our class is a haven of creativity.’

Alan H.

‘I have been to oil painting classes with Karen Popham for the last nine years. She is a very professional and inspiring teacher. She teaches every aspect of oil painting in a very rigorous manner but always with humour and lightness of touch. She has an uncanny ability to explain how any painting might be improved but at the same time she picks out the good points in the same painting. Thus one is always encouraged and looking forward to the next class.’

Penny C.

‘Karen is a rare jewel of a teacher. She combines that rare mix of honest critique and warm empathy that nurtures skill and brings her students to a true love of oil painting in all its luscious loveliness.’