The 6 Best Painting Classes in Grand Rapids

When did drop-in art studios become a thing, anyway?

They’re kind of like escape rooms. I don’t remember them existing at all, and then at some point in the 2010s, my Instagram feed – this was in the dark days before reels or stories – was flooded with budding artists, glowing over their work with a glass of wine in their hand.

Artists all over America seemed to have the same idea. Why don’t I open an art studio but give the power to the people? Why don’t I teach people to paint something inspired that they can display in their homes?

Gotta love the entrepreneurial hustle.

If you’re like many people, you haven’t touched an easel or tube of acrylic paint since your High School art class. Fear not! You’ve got art inside of you, kid, and the pros at these fine Grand Rapids studios will walk you through the process of creating something great, step-by-step.

Put on your smock (what a fun word to say). Grab your synthetic brushes. Let’s get painting.

Map of the Best Painting Classes in Grand Rapids, MI

The best painting classes in downtown Grand Rapids: Brush Studio

Brush Studio is in the heart of downtown, so walk to your favorite downtown food/drink hotspot before or after your class for a legendary night on the town.

Brush’s tagline boasts that they “put the art in party” (get it?), so you know you’re destined for a good time when you audit one of their classes. They’ve even got a bar that serves wine, beer, cider, and other non-alcoholic refreshments – this isn’t one of those studios where you bring your own bottle of wine with you.

Trendy music pumps from the studio speakers. Paint your day away and have fun doing it at Brush. You can rent the whole space if you’ve got a group event, or you can drop in for one of their multitude of classes.

  • Address: 15 Ionia NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • Website: Brush Studio

The best sip and paint: Wine & Canvas

Do you have a beloved family pet you want to immortalize as a piece of fine art? Head down to Wine & Canvas for a “paint your pet” night. Get the shading around Fido’s ears just right (don’t forget to crosshatch his tail), and have a blast doing it. Don’t worry – professional instructors are on hand, so rest easy knowing Fido will look just as adorable as he does in real life.

Wine & Canvas is another spot that sells wine, beer, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages. Sangria and splatter, bourbon and brush, daiquiris and decoupage. The choice of drink and art pairing is yours.

If you’ve got kids, they’ll love Wine & Canvas’ cookies and canvas classes. Your child will be so engrossed in their artwork you can snatch their cookie and eat the whole thing while they’re not looking (not recommended).

  • Address: 2675 E Paris Avenue SE, Suite E, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
  • Website: Wine & Canvas

The most kid-friendly art classes: I’m An Artist Community Studio

I'm An Artist Community Studio

If you’re an adult, I’m An Artist welcomes you, and they’ve got super cool classes that will teach you how to create floral watercolors, still life drawings, and compositions.

But the kid programming at I’m An Artist is next level. The classes are available as a one-time drop-in or as a multi-week series. Watch your child flourish when they learn to draw their own comic or take a 101 course in acrylics or watercolors.

My kids attended a birthday party at I’m An Artist, and they cherish their creations – the paintings are proudly displayed in their bedrooms.

If you homeschool your child or children (you deserve a trophy, btw), I’m An Artist offers classes during normal school times. Enroll your kid in one (you deserve a break), and walk over to Gaslight Kitchen for lunch – they serve up some of the best Chinese food in town. Stroll through charming Gaslight Village and make it a picnic at Reed’s lake.

  • Address: 2166 Wealthy St SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506
  • Website: I’m An Artist

The best painting classes on the NW side: The Art of Life

While the Art of Life has a studio on Leonard St. where you can book a party or take a drop-in class, they’re also mobile. The Art of Life will bring the painting party to you, whether that’s your home, workplace, church, or whatever.

The Art Of Life offers a smattering of classes for you to take. Pick a class that suits your medium, from acrylic to watercolor.

Bonus! The Art of Life will also design a custom piece of artwork. Tell them what you’d like, and you and your besties can craft a reproduction.

  • Address: 1134 Leonard St, NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
  • Website: The Art Of Life

The best choice for open studio time: Hearts For The Arts

Hearts For The Arts has an array of art and craft options. They offer board painting, ornament making, and other activities.

And they’ve got great painting classes, too.

How fun does the 80’s abstract night sound? Use bold pops of color to create a statement piece for your home.

Hearts For The Arts also offers more open studio time than most places on this list. If you want to paddle your own canoe and make art that’s unique to you, Hearts For The Arts is your studio.

The best kids-only art studio: Lionardo Art Studio

Lionardo offers a wide variety of art classes that are exclusively aimed at little humans. And their classes are cool – like, “Intro to Animation” cool.

If your kid is aged 3-17, there’s almost certainly something at Lionardo that will appeal to them. Get your young ones, aged 3-5, exposed to art at a young age with Lionardo’s “little explorer” class.

Other options include adventures in drawing, hooked on art, and art fundamentals.

Enroll your child in a weeklong summer (or winter) art camp with amazing themes like “lost in space” and “dragons and unicorns.” Sneak off to Wenger’s and bowl a few games, or grab lunch at 2 Scott’s barbeque for some of the most delicious smoked treats in Grand Rapids. Go ahead, live a little – the fantastic staff at Lionardo Art will take great care of your budding Diego Rivera or Frida Kahlo.