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 tip 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
Best painting classes in NYC
For $50, you can get schooled on how to paint and take your creation home with you for DIY home decor. The fee covers everything you’ll need—except booze. Yes, you can BYOB to classes, and yes, you probably should.
If you want to host a worthwhile party or office gathering, this is the place to do it. You can book a private session and celebrate in style—whether that style is impressionism or Dadaism is up to you.
This studio is affiliated with Trestle Gallery, an exhibition space that also provides figure drawing sessions, critiques, screenings, performance art events and technique-focused art classes.
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.
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.
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
If you want to get serious about watercolors, then the guys here can help. Michiyo offers weeklong courses at the New York Academy of Art for $425 if you’re ready to really commit to being a starving artist.
This location offers both private and group lessons, so you can get into painting one-on-one or get down with some friends on a double date. From charcoal to oil paint, the artists here are experts in it all.