Last week my boyfriend and I took a watercolor workshop at Dirty Hands, a new arts school in New York’s Chinatown.
I discovered the space by Google search. I’ve been researching the existing creative and craft workshops in Manhattan and specifically in New York City now that I am in the Lower East Side. I am always on the lookout to take other instructors’ workshops and see how they teach and what their classes feel like. I also think it’s important to support others doing similar work and help spread an ethos of creativity.
We arrived a little late, but it worked out because the instructor was still setting up. I felt bad because I hate when people are late to my own workshops, but life happens and sometimes you just get stuck. Dirty Hands has a nice setup, with a retail space in the front and a workshop space set up in the back. There’s a place to set bags and hang coats and then large tables ready for you to create.
At the table, we had a setup for watercolor including water, paints, two paint brushes, eraser, pencil, and watercolor paper.
Gosha, the founder and instructor of the night, gave an overview of the class and passed out some images drawn on tracing paper. We picked out an image and traced over the lines with pencil, then transferred the designs onto our watercolor paper. Then we were taught a few watercolor tips and techniques and started painting on our image.
I’ve never used the tracing method for watercolor, which seems silly because now it’s all I want to do. It worked really well because I could focus on the paint and the water ratios instead of worrying about drawing. I liked Gosha’s designs and it was fun to essentially color them in. It would have been nice to create our own drawings, but for the limited amount of time that we had, pre-prepared drawings was a good method. Once we finished the first image, we got to pick another one and repeat the process.
The class was almost two hours. When we signed up online it said the class was one hour, which seems short for this type of class, so it was nice that we got to stay longer. Some people had other plans and didn’t have time to do a second image.
The class was full and most people seemed to be there with friends. The vibe was very relaxed. We all got really focused while tracing and then loosened up a bit once we started painting.
Overall, I really enjoyed the class and would definitely take another class at Dirty Hands or taught by Gosha.
If you’re in the area, check it out!
55 Chrystie Street
New York, NY, 10002,