Confession: I’m no Bob Ross! But I have gone to quite a few paint parties with a variety of different instructors and there were some basic tips I’ve learned. Use these tips and you’ll be able to paint on your own or instruct your own paint party.
A paint party can be fun when you attend one with friends. Paint parties can also be expensive. You pay a fee for supplies and instruction and you don’t always get much choice in what you’ll be painting.
I certainly think it is quite fun to have someone else be the instructor and to be the student, but I was finding that my kids’ schedules (plus those of my friends and the instructor) were getting busier and busier and scheduling a paint night can be difficult to arrange. One of my book club friends suggested I become the instructor and we would have a paint night for one of our monthly meetings and read a book related to art in some way.
If you are hosting and instructing your own paint party, I recommend having your guests purchase their own paint brushes (at least 5 brushes in a variety of sizes (or this 10-piece brush set). Then they get the brushes they like and want to keep.
It is more cost effective to purchase canvases, paint and paint trays in bulk and split the cost among your participants.
Start out using your largest brush to paint a thin layer of water on the canvas to moisten it and help it be ready to accept the paint.
The next step is to start painting the background. Only put what paint colors you plan to use for the background in paint trays.
You can pick up paint trays for under $1 each at Wal-Mart, or you buy a pack of paint trays on Amazon for just as cheap. Acrylic paint can be picked up at Wal-Mart as well, or this 6 pack set of paints on Amazon has everything you will need.
You don’t need to have an extensive collection of paint colors. Just remember what you learned in elementary school about how to mix colors to create new colors. You’ll need a basic knowledge of what colors work together to make new colors and what you can do to lighten (use white) and darken colors (use black very sparingly).
You could paint the background a solid color, but if you use a few other colors it can add depth to the painting.
If you are using a stretched canvas, be sure you paint the outer edges or plan to use gaffer tape to finish the edges. Allow to dry before you start painting your images.
When you start painting, roughly sketch out your main images with its dominant color.
When you are happy with your placement and size, fill it in. While the paint is still wet, paint in any other colors you wish to include. They will blend easily if you do it while the paint is wet. If you wait until it dries you will just be painting one color over the other and they will not blend and will look less natural.
Next you can start to paint in other items that you do not want blended or start adding in highlighting/shadowing features. If you want your highlighting/shadowing features to blend, add them while your paint is still wet. Use darker colors to shadow and lighter colors or white to highlight.
If you want it to blend but your paint has already begun to dry, mix a little of your paint colors in to your highlighting/shadowing colors before applying the paint.
Tip: to create perfect circles, press your brush into the canvas and rotate the handle in a circle so the bristles move in a circle but the handle stays straight up and down.
Don’t forget to add in a signature. I often just add my initials in the bottom corner, but this time decided to make my initials as part of the vines.
I hope this helps you to try painting at home and gives you some place to start. Like I said I am no Bob Ross and these are just simple basic techniques to have a little fun painting. You and I will not become fantastic artists following these steps, but for the cost of one paint party admission you can buy canvases, paint trays and paint for a room full of friends and have a grand time at a fraction of the cost. Or maybe you could just make a whole bunch of paintings on your own.
Whatever you do, have fun!
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