Frequently Asked Questions

What is Insight?

Insight is a School of Art, specialising predominantly in painting and drawing education for adults and children. We run weekly classes and workshop days, mostly in our studios, but with some adult classes offered online over Zoom.

Where are your physical classes held?

Insight runs classes at two venues. The majority of classes are held in our large studio in Whetstone, North London, but we also hold two classes for adults on Fridays in our 'home from home' studio in Bricket Wood near St Albans. An address and a map for each venue can be found on our Find us page.

How do I get to Insight in Whetstone?

To access the studio in Whetstone you will need to enter the pedestrian gate marked Cadbury Close on the map below. You will need a code to get through the gate so please get in touch if you haven’t received it before the start of term. Once through the gate, walk along the path to the end and turn left. The entrance is in the corner.

The studio door will be opened five minutes before the start of each lesson. Please avoid arriving any earlier. The door will be locked during children’s classes and life drawing, so if you arrive late to your class or you need to collect your child early, please use the door buzzer.

Unfortunately we don’t have a waiting area for parents. Please bring your child to the classroom at the start of the lesson and return to collect them at the end.

Map of Whetstone including Insight School of Art

The best way to travel to Insight in Whetstone is by bus. Buses 34, 234, 263 and 326 stop outside the school.

34Directions Barnet Church and Arnos Grove
234Directions Barnet Spires and Muswell Hill
263Directions Barnet Hospital and East Finchley
326Directions Barnet Spires and Finchley Central

Insight in Whetstone is a 6 minute walk from Totteridge and Whetstone underground station, which is on the High Barnet branch of the Northern Line (Zone 4) and a 10 minute walk from Oakleigh Park overground station.

There is free roadside parking all day fifty metres north of Insight in Whetstone, in the direction of Barnet, and on most of the roads off of the High Street.

On the east side of the High Street, you can park all day from 10am, which is ideal for students coming to classes in the morning, starting at 10.15am.

On the west side of the high street you can park all day until 4pm.

You can park on any single yellow line on the High Street from 7pm and all day Sunday. Evening classes in Whetstone run from 7.15 - 9.30pm to allow time to park and walk to class.

Barnet Council’s website states the following for Blue Badge permit holders:

Parking concessions:

  • Park for up to 3 hours on a yellow line waiting restriction ( single or double - the restriction is the same, but double lines apply 24-hours a day) - the accompanying clock must be displayed and the correct time of arrival set
  • Park for unlimited periods at Pay-by-Phone parking places, unless signage specifies a maximum stay
  • Park at disabled badge holder parking places, either for an unlimited time or for the time shown on nearby signs

Further information about where you can and can’t park with a blue badge is available online.

Marks and Spencer’s located opposite the school offers two hours free parking for customers. They have cameras at the entrance to record your number plate.

How do I get to Insight in Bricket Wood?

Our Bricket Wood classes are held in St Stephen’s Parish Hall. There is a map on our contact page.

There is a large carpark next to the venue which is free to use.

There is a bus stop two minutes walk from the studio on Lye Lane.

361 Directions St Albans and Bricket Wood
635 Directions Hatfield, Watford and Stevenage

Bricket Wood train station is also two minutes from the studio, on Station Road. Trains run from St Albans Abbey and Watford Junction.

Do I need to bring my own equipment?

For most term time studio classes, adults are required to provide their own equipment, except students who attend our Thursday afternoon beginners class and, for the autumn term 2022 only, Monday 1pm too. Life Drawing students in Whetstone may use our paper and drawing materials, but should bring painting equipment, and some materials will be provided to have a go at techniques after Print Club demonstrations.

Materials are provided for all children’s studio based classes.

We usually provide all materials and equipment for one off workshops. Please check the advertised information.

You will need to provide your own materials for our online classes.

You will find a suggested list of equipment and materials in the next section of this page.

If you attend a class in Whetstone that requires you to supply your own materials then you might like to leave your equipment at the school in between classes. We have dedicated shelving space available for art boxes and a place for canvases to be left. If you would like to leave your art box, please make sure that it is clearly named and there is nothing of high value inside. Please note that any equipment left at Insight is done so at your own risk.

We also have various sizes of watercolour, acrylic and drawing paper available in our Whetstone studio for you to purchase if you would prefer not to carry an art pad to class.

Our studios are turps and white sprit odour free environments. For oil painting classes we recommend using Winsor and Newton Artisan watermixable oils or an odour free paint dilutant like Zest-It. If you’re not painting with a water-soluble paint, we ask that you use your own palette and take it home to clean.

Easels, water pots, palettes and boards are provided in our Whetstone studio.

What equipment and materials should I bring to class?

If you are attending a class that requires you to bring your own equipment and materials, the following list is an example of a suitable starter set. We have listed materials made by Winsor and Newton, but other makes are also available.

You might also like to watch this video Insight Director Paul Regan made for Cass Art in 2020 where he talks about the equipment he recommends beginners bring to their first class.

If you are looking to buy art materials online you might like to visit:

Tube paints:
Watercolours: W&N Cotman
Acrylics: W&N Galeria
Oils: W&N Artisan Watermixable

Cobalt Blue
Lemon Yellow
Cadmium Yellow
Cadmium Red
Ivory Black
Titanium White (Acrylics and oils only)
Chinese White (Watercolour only)

Watercolour: Cotman round numbers 12, 6 and 2
Oils and acrylic: Galeria filbert numbers 12, 8 and flat number 2

Watercolour: Cotman 16"x12" or 20"x16"
Oils and Acrylics: Galeria acrylic 16"x12" or 20"x16"

2B pencil, sharpener and rubber

We will supply some basic equipment so that you can have a go after demonstrations. Other than this you will need to supply your own equipment. If you are new to printmaking, we recommend that you wait until class before purchasing. If you are looking for a starter set for lino printing, we like this, but you will need more tiles.

How do I contact Insight in an emergency?

In the case of emergencies, please call 07963 190197.

What should I wear?

People attending acrylic, oil or children's classes will most likely get paint on their clothes at some point in the term which won’t wash out. We recommend that students wear clothes that they don’t mind getting paint on. Failing this, aprons and smocks which cover the arms are recommended.

Do you provide refreshments?

Tea, coffee and biscuits are provided during classes for adults. Children should bring a small snack and a drink to class. Please avoid bringing any food that contains nuts to any classes as we have students with severe allergies. Please bring lunch if you or your child is attending a full day workshop.

Special needs

We need to know if you, or your child, has special educational needs, disabilities, health requirements or allergies. It’s really important that we are aware so that we can provide the best possible lessons. If you haven’t informed us about something that you feel we should know about, please do so as soon as possible.

How do I enrol?

You can enrol for classes securely from this website using a credit or debit card by clicking the links next to each class.

’Book Now' signifies that anyone may book a place straight away by clicking the link.

Current members are given priority to re-book their full term class before new members. New members may book full term classes from March 1st, July 1st and November 1st. Classes usually become fully booked soon after this date.

Places for workshop days are available on a first come first served basis.

What is your cancellation policy?

Please read our terms and conditions of booking page for information about refunds and more.

Any further questions?

Call: 07963 190197