Reviews From Students

"I looked forward to and loved your workshops and painting with you. 
Before taking your watercolor workshops, I was afraid to paint in watercolor. I had no real idea where or how to begin,  and I certainly did not want to ruin or waste expensive watercolor paper.

Your classes helped me to open my mind and spirit to the beauty and certainly the magic of watercolor painting. You taught me how to relax and let the paint do it's thing. Besides learning the basics of how, what, when and why, I think the greatest gift I got from your classes was the confidence to try and try again. paper is ever wasted...there are no mistakes only experiences 🎨 
Thank you for sharing you gifts and talents."    - Mary Ann B.

“Joan is an amazing art teacher—the best I’ve ever had. Besides being a talented artist, she sees the unique talent for art in each of her students and gently and lovingly gives us the self confidence to bring it forth.”   - Paulette R.

“I really found it helpful getting back to basic drawing and organizing the planned picture before diving in ( i'm impulsive). I also love her soft way of applying paint.  P.S. She is also such a positive person."      - Jean F.

“Joan is such a patient and inspiring instructor. If anyone has the slightest inclination to try out painting with watercolors, this workshop is something everyone must consider. It sounds corny, but it’s changed my life.”   - Ann D.

“Either as a beginner or seasoned artist, painting under Joan’s guidance is always rewarding. She is generous with her skills, which then encourages students to mentor one another. This makes a great learning environment.”  -Nancy L.

“I have benefitted so much by taking one of Joan's workshop's. She is a fantastic artist and a wonderful teacher.     Making sure that her instructions are understood by everyone, she encourages you to do your best work no matter what your background or how much experience you have. 
If you are a serious artist, an art student, or simply an art enthusiast - to be able to get art instructions from Joan DaGradi is something that should not be missed.” -Ulrike M.


Previous events

Fall Watercolor Workshop

Mid City Art Studios, 4436 Toulouse St., New Orleans, LA 70119

During the Fall Watercolor Workshop, we'll work on the basic dynamics of painting a watercolor, along with talking about which materials make for a better painting experience.

Extra emphasis will be on drawing as a basis for watercolor, while seeking to achieve a fluid style.

We'll practice simplifying our subject matter to make a more concise statement, as well as creating abstract designs to work from. Using just a few colors at first, we'll play with handling washes and experimenting with edges.

Beginners are very welcome. I don't teach any shortcuts or use any tricks. I rely on the methods used by the great Masters, along with regular practice.

For more info, see my Facebook Studio page, or my personal page,

Tuition is $300.

Studies in Watercolor

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New Orleans, LA

We will take an in-depth look each week at one aspect of building a watercolor composition. Edges, values, drawing and pulling it all together will be our focus.

The July 2018 workshop is now filled.

This workshop will repeat, beginning on Tuesday, September 11, 2018, from 9 AM to 12 PM for 4 weekly sessions at Mid City Art Studios, 4436 Toulouse St. at N. Murat.

This watercolor workshop is suitable for all levels, beginners to advanced. Each student will receive individualized attention to suit their needs. Tuition is $300.

Spring Plein Air Watercolor Workshop

City Park, New Orleans

The Spring Plein Air Watercolor Workshop is a 5-week workshop that will meet on Thursdays from 9AM-12PM at City Park, in New Orleans. No previous experience is required, but a love of watercolors is a must!

Drawing, composing, and painting en Plein Air will be our major focus. There is no equivalent to the freshness and excitement that can happen, while painting outdoors. Tuition is $300, The class size is limited to 10 students to ensure that everyone gets maximum attention.

Join us as we enjoy the glorious Spring weather, painting in one of New Orleans's most beautiful outdoor environments. This workshop may be repeated in November 2018, and again in April 2019.

Getting Started With Watercolors

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Mid City Artist Studios, 4436 Toulouse St., New Orleans, LA 70124

Getting Started With Watercolors, will begin on Thursday, January 11, for 5 weeks and is limited to 9 students. The class size is kept small to optimize personal attention & critiques. A second Getting Started With Watercolors class may be offered on Tuesdays, 9-12. The fee for the workshop is $300. Please register early, by calling (504) 914-4152 or email

Watercolor Class- beginners to advanced

Mid-City Art Studios, 4436 Toulouse St., New Orleans, LA

Wednesday and Saturday classes in watercolor for beginners to advanced students. Classes begin in January 2017 and will include both studio and plein air work, weather permitting. Please contact the artist for more info. Private lessons or small group classes available.

DaGradi Watercolor Workshops are designed to begin at the beginning with watercolor, to give students the important information in a sequential way that will save them time, money and frustration, as we explore one of the most beautiful of painting mediums.

The first workshop, Getting Started, is one in a series to be offered, each building on previous material. Future workshops will focus in-depth on one aspect of painting in watercolors, such as:  Plein Air Painting on location, Drawing, Composition, and more.