Art & Art History

Sophie Ploeg is an artist, art tutor and art historian

Inspired By The Past

I am an art historian, artist and art tutor. I love how history can put things in perspective and in my paintings and research I aim to celebrate the great human story we are all part of.  

I have studied art & architectural history in Amsterdam and followed up with a Ph.D in English Baroque architecture. I left academia to become a full time parent and ended up also developing a career as a visual artist. I have exhibited my paintings at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, the Pastel Society and the BP Portrait Award and many other places.  I now teach painting courses online via my own online art school. Art history is never far away though and recently I have taken up a postgraduate degree in Ancient History at the University of Edinburgh. 

I have written on my blog for many years and now reach a large and varied audience all over the world. Articles have been published regularly in Artists & Illustrator Magazine (UK) and various other publications.  My writing is for painters, professional artists and art history lovers. 

I am currently focussing on studying Ancient History (Roman art) and putting together an article on the role of lace in early 17th century portraiture, as well as supporting my art students. 

Oil Painting without Solvents
Inspiration for The Shawl
Cretacolor Pastels
17th Century Dress: A Speaking Fashion
How to Paint a Background
Do You Sell Your Work?


The Blog

My Blog is for art history lovers, those interested in lace history, and of course, artists. See a random selection here or go straight to the blog of your choice: 



My art varies from floral still life to dramatic drapery pieces, portrait commissions and pastel sketches.  I work in oils and soft pastel.  Much of my paintings feature fabrics, and, especially, lace. I have always had a love of portrait painting.



I love art historic research. Much of my art work involves art history and I am currently spending most  of my time working on an MA in ancient history, with a focus on Roman art. I am also working on an article on the role of lace in late Tudor and early Stuart portraiture, a project I started way back for the National Portrait Gallery’s BP Travel Award. 


Sophie’s Art School

Sophie’s Art School is my very own online painting school. In my art school I offer online courses, tutorials, articles and much more for those wishing to improve their art. There is also a private online community for students, regular workshops and much more. Find out more by clicking the button below:


What they say

Ben Luke

London Evening Standard 2013

There are some real successes, mostly on an intimate scale: Sophie Ploeg’s Self-Portrait with Lace Collar sensitively describes the delicacy of human skin as her luminous face emerges from a dark interior [...] 
(Review BP Portrait Award, National Portrait Gallery, 2013)

A happy student

Sophie’s Art School

This is the most unique online art course I have taken. The setup is unique and the contents takes a pastel newbie from pastel and paper types through mark making and beyond. Also Sophie is there every step of the way and I think that she is the most valuable resource in the course.

A Client

Sophie’s Art

I am gazing at her face as I type and I am quite overwhelmed by the picture. The detail and colouring is breathtaking. Thank you.

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