Discover the Best Acrylic Painting Classes in NYC
Acrylic painting is the process of painting with acrylic paints, which are a combination of pigment and acrylic polymer emulsion. Basic acrylic painting requires very few materials. You will of course need acrylic painting, paint brushes, and a surface to paint on, like canvas or paper. Water can be used as a solvent when painting with acrylics. The more water you use the thinner the acrylic paint will become.
The use of acrylic paint as a medium is fairly new. These paints were developed in the 1930s following the invention of acrylic resin by a German chemical company. Acrylic paint became popular among house paints because it was less toxic than other paints being used, it was easier to clean, and it was cheaper than other paints.
Acrylic paint became popular among artists in the 1960s after it was realized that these paints held color exceptionally well. Acrylics are diverse; they can mimic watercolor paints when diluted with water and oil paints when thickened with other mediums. Because they are low-cost and easy to use, acrylic paints are recommended for beginners. However, these paints have also been used by some of the most famous artists in history, like Andy Warhol, David Hockney, and Roy Lichtenstein.
Why You Should Learn Acrylic Painting in NYC
The versatility and accessibility of acrylic painting have made it an ideal painting process for beginners and those who haven’t painted in a while. Acrylic paint is typically less expensive than oil paints and watercolors. It can also be used on a variety of surfaces, like paper and cardboard. Once you understand the basics of acrylic painting, you can use it to enhance your other crafts projects. For example, acrylic paint can be used on fabric if you sew, and on clay if you have experience with pottery.
Acrylic painting can improve your creative thinking and mental health. When you’re planning out your painting, you’re improving and working on your problem-solving skills. If you make a mistake or don’t know how to continue a piece, you’ll have to work on coming up with a solution. Additionally, painting has been found to reduce anxiety and stress when done as a therapeutic hobby. As you work on a project and are focusing your attention on one place, you’re exploring the bounds of your creativity and honing your attention to detail.
There are also physical benefits to acrylic painting. The precise movements needed when painting strengthens the muscles in your wrists and hands. This also helps improve your fine motor skills.
Acrylic painting can certainly be done alone, but it’s also a great chance to socialize. Many studios host acrylic painting workshops where groups can meet up and work on creating the same painting with their own unique style. These gatherings can also be utilized to improve teamwork and communication among work teams.
In-Person Acrylic Painting Classes & Schools in NYC
In-person acrylic painting classes are offered at studios and schools across New York City and surrounding areas. These classes are led by expert instructors who will provide you with step-by-step instructions and feedback. They may also offer detailed instructions. Taking an in-person class in NYC can be a great way to meet others interested in acrylic painting whom you can share tips and tricks with.
The Painting Lounge hosts Paint and Sip classes across the city, including sessions at Harlem, Williamsburg, Chelsea and Midtown. In these BYOB classes, adults aged 21 and up will relax as they’re guided by an instructor through replicating the night’s featured painting. This is meant to be a stress-free class for beginners, so no prior drawing or painting experience is required. Your instructor will periodically walk around the room to answer any questions you have and make sure you’re on track.
If you’re looking for a fun afternoon outdoor class, consider checking out Stelnik Art’s Picnic’N Paint in Central Park class. Bring a picnic basket to enjoy outside while you socialize and learn the art of acrylic painting, including mixing colors and blending. This class is open to painters of all skill levels and all ages.
Intro to Studio Art, a class offered by One River School in Queens, might interest you if you’re new to art and would like to be introduced to multiple mediums. This is a small group, engaging class that looks to promote your personal growth and creative development. You’ll learn essential drawing and painting skills using various mediums like acrylic and graphite.
Creatively Wild Art Studio Dumbo in Brooklyn offers a beginner-level abstract acrylic class. In Abstract Art Journey: Paint How U Feel, you’re encouraged to paint what you feel, ignoring accurate or realistic representation. A number of principles will be examined in this class, including color, shape, space, and atmosphere. Acrylic paint and brushes are provided but canvases are not.
Virtual Acrylic Painting Classes & Schools
Taking an in-person acrylic painting class lets you socialize with others while witnessing demonstrations and receiving instructor feedback. However, in-person classes are not available or accessible to everyone. If there are no in-person classes near you or the ones offered don’t fit your schedule, consider taking a virtual acrylic painting class. These classes cover a range of principles and techniques and are taught by a live instructor. The online delivery platform means that you’re free to take them anywhere with a stable internet connection that also allows you the space to paint.
In-person classes will provide you with most if not all necessary materials, but virtual classes will require you to supply your own materials and tools. You can check your class registration page to see if the instructor has provided a supply list. These materials and tools are typically available at art and hobby stores. There are online acrylic painting classes available on CourseHorse.
The Evanston Art Center offers a virtual class focused on using acrylic and watercolor paints. In the class, Paint Your Travels, you’re encouraged to use your own travel photos as inspiration while studying composition, color, and line. First, your instructor will guide you through drawing before working you up to painting. If you’d like to attend the class purely to watch, you are welcome to do so. If you plan on participating, a recommended supply list is provided by the instructor.
If you’d like to learn about acrylic as a material and not just as paint, you can sign up for the Chicago Botanic Garden’s class, A Starry Night in Mosaics. This mosaic-making class uses Vincent van Gogh’s A Starry Night as a template. Broken and cut art glass will be glued over an acrylic panel to form a mosaic night sky.
Online classes that teach the fundamental principles of acrylic painting are periodically listed on CourseHorse as well as more specialized classes that focus on specific subjects or styles. One previously taught beginner class is Acrylic Painting for Absolute Beginners, hosted by the 92nd Street Y. This class, along with other beginner-level classes, focuses on the basics of color theory and the creation of depth in your painting.
Check CourseHorse regularly to see what new and returning acrylic painting classes have been scheduled for an online session.
Private Group Acrylic Painting Classes in NYC
Is your organization or business looking to book an acrylic painting class for a group? CourseHorse offers several private online acrylic painting classes that are recommended as team-building activities.
In their virtual Acrylic Painting workshop, up to 500 participants will paint the same featured image on their canvas. The image may be chosen from a catalog of images provided by CourseHorse or may be an image or artwork of your choosing. This private interactive workshop is great for beginner-level participants who’re looking to walk away with new skills and a new piece of art.
CourseHorse also offers a less traditional class on acrylic painting. In their virtual Acrylic Pour Art workshop, participants will learn how to pour acrylic paint onto their canvas to create their own work of art. This use of paint will test their dexterity as they work to manipulate the canvas and paint to create a piece they’ll love.
If neither of these workshops fits your group’s interests or needs, reach out to CourseHorse through the contact form on their website. They can help you figure out what class your group would benefit the most from. CourseHorse can also accommodate large group sizes. If you’re unsure of your headcount when signing up for a class, feel free to provide the minimum group size and update the number ahead of the class.
All materials needed for your class will be shipped out to you and your fellow participants ahead of the class. This includes acrylic paints and canvas. If your group has participants over the age of 21, they may request to be sent a bottle of wine in addition to their materials, for a fee of $30.
CourseHorse has no booking fees and will even let you cancel a class up to two weeks before its scheduled date. Zoom is the recommended online video platform when taking their classes, but they can also be taught over Microsoft Teams, Google Meets, and WebEx.