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Monday, July 23, 2012

Paint Party!

Have you ever been to one of those places where you're walked though a painting? You bring your own wine and food and the artists guide you through painting a pre-determined piece of art. Like Corks 'n Canvas, our local place.
I love the idea, except for the step by step instruction. That's kind of a cop-out. But I guess it's necessary given the many different levels of ability who may walk through the door. I, however, used a different strategy for this weekend's paint party: you mimic my painting, I occasionally yell at you and paint over your work.
The night before the party I painted a pretty easy painting and took pictures step by step.
1. First, sketch in pencil.
 2. Then I made a painting guide, illustrating positioning and shapes.

 3. I started with the pelican, painting a simple black oval with a gray diamond for a wing. I highlighted the feathers with white, added legs, and painted in the neck and head. I left the beak sketchy.
I know this is a very over-simplified bird, but I wanted everyone to be able to paint it, and wildlife can be daunting. 

 4. The posts are simply strips of gray-brown, going from very dark shadow on the left to almost white on the right. I squiggled a dark, messy shoreline.

 5. The marsh is varying colors of green in short, downward brush strokes. No mixing.

6. I left some areas a very light white-blue, like water peeking through the grasses.

7. You can use the same color for the water in front and in back, but up close you should just use wide side-to-side strokes without mixing the color much. It should be smoother where it is farther away. Notice that the water is slightly darker the further you go. 

8. The sky is the same tint but a lighter shade and is smooth strokes. The marshy area is finished with brown brush and grass created by using an almost dry brush with some brown paint. I used the same technique to paint the reflection of the shoreline.

9. The last detail is the pelican's beak: if the orange-brown paint is too translucent, paint the beak white first, then orange over that. Add a touch of yellow to his head and add shading or outlining as needed to make him stand out.

Everyone added her own style!

Miriam's sea was stormy
Most of us...three of the group had already left when we took this shot
And of course, all that painting was accompanied by good food and wine! We had so much fun I'll definitely be repeating this party!


  1. What a fun and unique party idea! I'd be afraid of what mine would turn out like, lol...but definitely seems like it would be enjoyable! You have some talented friends there (and you are as well)!

  2. That looks like fun! I did Corks n Canvas and was glad for the step by step because I am no artist! It was fun to "draw" something and of course wine always helps!

  3. WHOA! you are a good instructor. i've been to such a thing before and it was fun, though i don't like my painting. like this one though!