I'm a beginner in art, but decided to try it out during my solo trip in Chiang Mai.
I turned up at the art studio on a late Sunday morning, but Noina was busy coaching other students, thus she suggested I should return in the afternoon. I thought she's very professional in that she doesn't take in people for the sake of earning, but she wants to give individual attention to her students. (A tip here is to email or call to check her availability first, which I didn't.)
So I bummed around and returned after lunch, and found myself to be the sole student that afternoon. She asked if I've any preferred paint medium, I told her I'm a beginner and left the decision to be made by her, since she would know better what suits me best. She suggested using pencil since it's easier for a beginner to make changes this way.
She first taught me shading by using some objects in her studio. Then she got me to pick a photo and I chose the Bayon, which still occupies a special place in my heart since it's an icon of my favourite country of Cambodia. She would give advice and provide guidance along the way, without making you overly dependent on her. The balance of giving guidance and leaving room for you to learn through your own judgement is something I very much appreciate about Noina. I certainly wouldn't want a teacher who does everything for you, nor one who doesn't give a damn about your progress. Noina is clearly a professional and friendly teacher.
At the end of the session, I was pleased with the Bayon I produced. Noina said it's a good attempt for a first-timer, but I credit it to my good teacher too.
I was in Chiang Mai for four days, of which three were packed with extreme sports like vertical caving and mountain biking, and I must say that the quiet afternoon exploring art was something really unique and it had brought about a sense of peace and calmness in me. I'll return to Noina's studio if I visit Chiang Mai again, and I'd recommend anyone who's in Chiang Mai to take drawing lessons with Noina. Whether you're looking at brushing up your existing skills, unleashing the hidden artist in you or simply looking for unique activities to fill your Chiang Mai adventures, this is something I'd think anyone can do and would enjoy.
PS: Noina's paintings are for sale too. While I don't have space to hang paintings at home, I'd recommend those who might be interested in purchasing paintings to visit the studio of this talented artist.