(credit: Thinkstock)

One of the most culturally diverse cities in the country, San Francisco is no stranger to the fine arts. Those looking to expand their knowledge from art appreciation to art creation will find numerous opportunities to learn the art of painting. Quality instruction abounds, be it in acrylics, oils or watercolors, and is available to everyone from the first time painter to the seasoned pro. Here are 5 of the best painting lessons for adults in San Francisco.

Beyond Canvas
1021A Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 286-5503

Only three years old, Beyond Canvas was founded by artist Candace Hopkins and offers a variety of fun and exciting painting classes for adults. Options include trendy paint and wine classes, plein air classes conducted in a variety of outdoor environments and abstract painting classes. All classes are conducted with plenty of positive encouragement to foster a love of art creation and enjoyment. Sessions are for adults 21 and over, and participants are welcome to bring outside food and drinks. Beyond Canvas is also available for private and corporate events.

Sadie Valeri Atelier
1045 17th St.
San Francisco, CA 94107

Located on 17th Street, the Sadie Valeri Atelier is an art school offering instruction in painting and drawing. Instruction emphasis is on realistic and traditional styles and classes are held in a naturally-lit 3,500 square foot studio. Instruction options vary from beginning oil, direct and indirect still life painting, to portrait painting and full-time instruction for the more dedicated student. There are frequent guest artists workshops covering a variety of topics such as mixing natural pigments and alla prima painting.

Yi Yan Art Academy
2192 Folsom St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 967-3729

Originally hailing from Illinois, Yi Yan grew up in a family full of artists and honed her talents and education to open the Folsom Street Yi Yan Art Academy. Classes are conducted under the philosophy of art as self-expression and therefore accessible to anyone. Class attendees will learn to expand their observation skills and ability to translate their views onto the painted canvas. Instruction is available for both oil and watercolor, and in private or small group settings. For artists over 21, the Yi Yan Art Academy also holds several bring-your-own-wine events each week.

Jean Henry School Of Art
2640 Ocean Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94132
(415) 664-2344

Located off Ocean Avenue, the Jean Henry School of Art is a private fine arts school. The school holds several oil painting classes each week, where students frequently work independently and critique each other’s works. Classes are open to students of all experience levels, but generally those with a bit of painting background will excel faster. While the school specializes in oil instruction, classes are also available in watercolor and acrylic.

Root Division
1131 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA  94103
(415) 863-7668

Root Division is a non-profit visual arts center located off Mission in San Francisco. The organization’s mission is to provide an engaging and empowering experiences through visual arts. In addition to professional development and kids art classes, Root Division holds regular painting classes geared specifically for adults. Upcoming painting classes are primarily in acrylics, and are conducted in six week sessions. Prior sessions have included oils and water based media painting.

Joanna Metheny is a freelance writer covering all things South Bay. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.