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Photograph: Courtesy The Paint Place

The 10 best painting classes in NYC

At painting classes in NYC, learn how to be an artist worthy of NYC’s best galleries – or just sip wine while you work

Written by
John Marshall
Danielle Goldstein
Alex Floyd-Douglass

For anyone wanting to unleash their inner Picasso, New York City offers any number of painting classes where you can master some of the same techniques used by art history’s most famous artists or just kick back, chill out, and sip your favorite chardonnay as you swirl your brush around the canvas. We can’t guarantee that your work will find its way into the collection of one of NYC’s art museums, but we can say that you’re probably going to have a good time and maybe even learn something.

If nothing else, discovering the ins and outs of the medium may give you a finer appreciation for the masterpieces you’ll see on your next trip to The Metropolitan Museum, MoMA, or the Guggenheim. And lest you’re wondering where to find the class best suited to your particular talents or aspirations, well, wonder no more: Just check out our guide to the best painting classes in NYC.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best classes in NYC

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Best NYC painting classes

Photograph: Courtesy Resobox

3. Resobox

This Long Island school serves up lots of great classes, but the painting classes are particularly worth a look. It’s a school that celebrates Japanese art and culture, and its painting classes follow suit. The Japanese ink painting class is incredibly popular–and with good reason–but we also really like the Manga drawing and animation class. You’ll learn how to mimic famous Japanese characters, as well as create your very own manga masterpieces. 

If you're looking for a no-bullshit painting class to take, Lower East Side art studio Dirty Hands offers the real deal: Pro artists teach the workshops, the materials are high-quality, and cool, contemporary techniques are emphasized. As its site states: “All levels are welcome, and the only thing you’re not going to do is paint a fucking sunset.” Be sure to try the Tape Shit course, in which you’ll learn to make perfect straight lines using tape and matte medium gel, just like bona fide art-school students. Then, you can proudly hang your final product on the wall.

  • Things to do
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  • Upper West Side
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This art workshop/studio with locations on the Upper West Side and in Astoria, Queens offers “art that rock the soul,” and certainly provides a wide variety of avenues for both adults and kids to test that proposition. Want to learn how to paint a portrait of your beloved pet? There’s a class for that. Create a masterpiece from a selfie? Ditto. There are also course in creating abstract art with poured paint, painting wood signs as mementos and sipping wine while working at the easel. Kids can be signed up for after school sessions or painting parties. Dirty Hands is also available for corporates events, including mural team building.

The Paint Place in Astoria, Queens is located at 31-21 31st St, between Broadway and 31st Ave

The Creatively Wild Art Studio

6. The Creatively Wild Art Studio

The focus at the well-respected Dumbo art school is on beginner classes, with quite the range on offer. We’re talking cartooning for kids, oil painting, digital art classes, abstract painting, wearable art... basically if you can think it, they’ll probably offer a class. But it’s not just for beginners; intermediates and beyond are well-catered for. Think of this school as your one-stop-paint-class-shop for learning the art in NYC.

  • Things to do
  • Classes and workshops
  • Chelsea

This space offers many classes, including Brushless Watercolor so you can familiarize yourself with that medium without the constrictions of hand-to-brush dexterity. Remember how liberating finger painting was? That kid-style fun is exactly what you’ll rediscover here.

Want to take a different art class?

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