This will depend what you are looking for and what you would like to learn. Here are a few key points to keep in mind:
Do your research
I am mainly talking about short courses here for those that want to draw and paint. There are usually a range of courses and workshops in most towns and cities and the first step would be to see what is on offer. Most libraries keep details on local adult education courses, you may also be able to find private classes.
What would suit you?
You need to ask if you would like to concentrate on just drawing or painting. Do you just want to learn pastels, acrylics, watercolours or oils? If you know then I would choose something specialised to fit your needs. How much time can you commit? Don’t sign up for a year course if you aren’t sure you can get there on time or complete the course as this will lead to a lot of stress.
Keeping your options open
If you really don’t know what you want, perhaps a short workshop in a topic would be best just to try it out first. Some short courses exist that can give you a grounding in all the media for painting or some basic drawing skills.
Find out about the course content or syllabus
Sometimes I have learners who join my beginners drawing and painting course and don’t realise that they will be exploring the media. They just want to do pastels, when the rest of the class are trying everything. Most courses are flexible but some will have a syllabus or course content to deliver so do read the course information. If you still aren’t sure get in contact with the Tutor and ask them what you will be doing.
Accredited or non-accredited?
Do you want to gain a qualification at the end of the course? If so then you will need an accredited course like a City & Guilds, NCFE or a BTEC. Bear in mind that there could be less flexibility with the content with some accredited courses and you will most probably have homework and some coursework to complete to pass the course. Accredited courses require a bit more commitment in time so you will need to be prepared for that.
Structured or creative?
Some learners want to be told what to draw and how to do it, if this is you or if you are a complete beginner then you probably need a structured course. These types of courses give you drawing or painting exercises as a class. If you really want to do your own thing then a more creative course would be suitable where the tasks for more project based.