Where to Take Painting Lessons in Hoboken + Jersey City

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Maybe you have wanted to try your hand at painting, but have and finally found the time to get it started now. By painting though, you don’t mean the paint-and-sip kind of event, but the kind with dedication and long-term commitment — the actual craft. Luckily, Hoboken and Jersey City have no shortage of art studios offering long-term painting classes for adults and children alike. However, a quick browse through their websites can easily get one tangled up in a myriad of art media and left still slightly confused with where to start. We recently visited a few local art studios to learn about their classes, styles, and specializations. Keep reading for a roundup of where to take painting lessons in Hoboken and Jersey City. 

painting lessons hoboken jersey city

Before You Go, What To Expect 

The classes of all these studios work in a similar format —students of different skill levels, styles, and specializations attend the classes together, each working on their own projects {a painting} and the teacher{s} spends time with each of them to provide guidance and answer questions. Students progress at their own pace, and there is no pressure to conform to a certain style or hit milestones at a preset schedule {so you can dial back trying to be Picasso and just have fun with it}.

Children and teen classes work in similar ways, although toddlers, preteens, and teenagers are usually grouped into separate sessions. 

Where To Take Lessons 

Now to the fun bit — where to take lessons. Whether you’re a natural Claude Monet or are creating something that might be more “abstract” than what you were originally going for, these lessons below can help you fine-tune your painting skills and create your own masterpiece.

Hoboken 

Urban Arts at Monroe {720 Monroe Street}

urban arts monroe

{Photo credit: @urbanartsatmonroe}

The Urban Arts at Monroe is great center for students of all skill levels to learn + paint. Here, the class sizes vary from two to ten, and two teachers, Patty and Justine, are usually available for each class, tailoring their instructions according to individual student’s skill levels and progress. Students develop their techniques at paces they are comfortable with. The learning environment is collaborative but not judgemental, and one can benefit from hearing the feedback given to other students’ work, regardless of their specialization and skill level.

Again, it is not a problem if you have no idea how to paint. Justine and Patty have years of teaching experience and will introduce students to different art forms and help them decide on the subject and media to work on. Students may also start with the very basic techniques such as shapes and shading, and proceed on to a specific media if they’d like.

The studio takes pride in the wide variety of media they offer — oil, charcoal, pastel, watercolor, you name it. Tools and materials are available on-site {with the exception of oil painting, for which students bring their own paint}, so feel free to explore.

Urban Art At Monroe also holds art exhibitions, workshops, and gallery tours throughout the year, at various Hoboken sites. They feature students’ works in their art exhibitions, as well.

Children’s classes last for one hour, adults’ two hours. Classes are purchased in six-session packs for $300. Don’t worry if you miss a week’s class, you won’t lose the class credit.

See More: Free Things to Do in Hoboken + Jersey City This Summer {and Year-Round}

Cre8sArt School {365 1st Street}

At Cre8sArt School, each class holds about five students working on a project basis, with the teacher providing instruction and guidance according to each student’s needs. But even for students at comparable skill levels and working on similar tasks, there is no comparison or competition. 

For beginners, Cre8sart takes a slightly different approach than the other two studios, with a stricter emphasis on basic drawing techniques. Beginner students typically spend three to six months mastering fundamental skills such as measuring, proportion, and perspectives before proceeding to experiment with other media and styles. This helps students lay a solid foundation in painting. 

Artists with more experience can also benefit from the classes. Some students have been with the studio for more than six years and have even held their own art shows, but are still coming to the classes to enhance their skills.

Classes are purchased on a monthly basis, with one session every week, each for about $40. However, unlike other studios, you can’t forget about the lessons for six months and come back to reuse the class credit. The teachers believe that material improvements come with continuous practice and discourage long pauses in the process. 

Field Colony {1001 Bloomfield Street}

field colony

{Photo credit: @fieldcolony}

For those who are interested in learning digital art, Field Colony offers lessons in Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and 3D modeling {SketchUp is used as the primary program in this course}. The courses do not require preliminary knowledge in these softwares, or any previous experience in digital media. The instructors will cover the essential skills to use the programs and create digital imagery. Each session is project or task-based — the students work on an assignment or personal projects that challenge both their creativity and software skills. And the instructors will give personalized instructions based on the needs of each student.

Field Colony also offers lessons on a few “traditional” art forms that are not covered by other local studios, including acrylics, wax painting {a medium that uses heat to “fuse” the colors to create a rich optical effect}, and Suminagashi {an art form derived from an ancient Japanese marbling that uses color inks to create a delicate effect}. 

Other than classes, the studio also provides a co-working space as well as an open studio for art exhibitions. In this way, it serves as a multi-functional local art center that promotes the works by prominent and emerging Hoboken and Jersey City artists.

Jersey City 

Upstairs Art Gallery {896 Bergen Avenue}

This is a no-frills small frame shop and art gallery tucked inside a small storefront at a busy junction near the Journal Square PATH station. The store has been operating since the late 1960s and has witnessed waves of art movements and neighborhood developments throughout the decades. The interior has the cozy, nostalgic vibe of a vintage shop, with European old master style portraits and still-life paintings on exhibit. Painting classes run every Tuesday night from 6:00PM-8:30PM, focusing mainly on oil painting. The class format is the same as the other classes mentioned above. The owner and teacher, Colavito, is a prominent figure in the Hudson Country art community. Each session holds about five students. Beginners are welcomed to drop in. No previous registration is needed. The studio also organizes exhibits and art events showcasing the work of students and other local artists. 

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Jersey City Art School {29 McWilliams Place}

jersey city art school

{Photo credit: Facebook}

This is another long-standing Jersey City art establishment. The school offers classes on a wide variety of media, from traditional art forms such as oil painting and watercolor to more contemporary media such as digital photography, abstract painting, and printmaking. Depending on their skill level and media, students are grouped into different class series that run weekly for four to eight weeks. The curriculums are slightly more structured than other studios. Each session has a well-defined agenda focusing on a central theme or a set of related skills. But of course, students have leeway for self-expression and artistic exploration through various assignments and projects. The classes run on different days of the week and prices range from $50-$60 per session depending on the art form.

The studio also holds one-off workshops, kids’ summer, and afterschool programs, as well as private events. It also rents exhibition and studio spaces. The school plans to roll out a separate branch dedicated to printmaking in September, offering special class series multiple times a week, as well as workshops and open houses. So if you would like to connect with local artists, stay tuned.

Have you tried one of these painting classes? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments! 

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Written by:

Yiwei was born and raised in China. She has lived extensively in Beijing and Hong Kong, before finally settling down in New York. She moved to Hoboken after a few years in Westchester and immediately felt at home here. Two years ago, she left her job at an investment bank to travel the world and explore her interests, and has since then taken on a few freelancing gigs in career coaching, college admission consulting, and writing. When she is not wandering wildly in the streets of Europe, Asia, or Latin America, she can be found sipping an espresso in one of Hoboken's coffee shops or trying out restaurants in Hoboken and Jersey City area.