Saturday, May 28, 2016

Tips for Teaching Wine and Paint Classes

Here's a Question I received this week:
Q: "We are doing a "Paint 'n Sip" in our church basement as an appreciation event. I am not planning to make this into a business because I already have a day job.

Do you have any tips?"

A: Why yes, yes I do:
  • Have a sample painting prepared and know how to break it down into easy steps. Keep the sample visible throughout the class. I keep mine up on an easel.
  • Practice ahead of time as if you were teaching it. Note how long it takes you to paint and add lots of extra time as your students will move more slowly as a group.
  • Have enough canvas or painting surfaces and paint for each person. Bring extra-always have more of everything than you think you will need.
  • Use paper plates for palettes and plastic cups for water and paper towels are a must.
  • Use paint brushes appropriate for the painting you're doing and have enough for each person.
  • You may need a hair dryer or two set up to dry the painting in between stages. I typically use these in my classes to keep things moving along.
Check out my post here for more detail on what I usually bring to class with me. If you're not teaching for your business, you won't need to get so fancy with supplies, but it gives you the basics like a pitcher to fill up the water cups, a camera, etc... 
Keep the steps simple and continue to focus on the fun-it doesn't have to be perfect, just an opportunity to relax and enjoy.
Let me know if you have any specific questions and good luck! I'd love to see pictures of your classes! 
Please post links to them in the comments. Let us know where can we find you on Instagram or Pinterest? 
(Those are links to my sites, come and join me!)

Monday, May 23, 2016

Evolution of a Sample Painting

Wine and Paint Class Demo-Checkered Daisy

On June 16th, I will be teaming up with The Gift Box to teach a Wine and Paint Class.

Owner Jan Constas and I worked on coming up with a painting that would speak to her customers. 

While I was at the store, we were chatting about how any items with black and white checks are hugely popular, so we decided to include black and white checks in the painting.

Jan also mentioned that she liked daisy's and wondered if we could include them as well.

Here was my first attempt:

It's a little painting on a notebook and although I love it on the notebook, I thought it was a little too Dr. Suessy for the class.

Take 2 was also on a notebook that I lambasted with tar gel when it was done:

This too, is a little cartoony, but you can see I kept with the same colors and themes. This time went messy with the background painting, added some falling petals and made the flowers more daisy-like.

After these two practice mini-paintings, I was ready to move to the canvas for the actual demo-painting that we will use in the class:

And voila! The background stayed messy (I will probably make it even messier when we do it in class) and the flowers became more realistic and abundant. 

This painting will take about 2 hours, start to finish and although it looks tricky, it can be broken down into 4 simple stages:
  1. Background
  2. Vase
  3. Flowers
  4. Checkerboard

The flowers are quick and easy-you can watch my 5-minute tutorial right here to see how it's done.

I will encourage students to practice on paper to get the hang of it first and then move to the canvas. The brush really does all of the work for you, once you get used to the motion.

Ready to start teaching yourself? Sign up below to kickstart your classes

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Where To Buy Art Supplies for Your Classes

I've been asked a lot lately where I buy the supplies for my painting classes. If you've been to wine and paint classes before or are thinking of teaching yourself, you may wonder where all of the lovely items come from.

Well, the suspense is is the list of what I take to every class, where I buy them and how much they cost:

Canvas: I've been buying the flat 16X20 canvas panels through Blick Art Supply because the flatness makes it easier to transport them, especially for classes of 20+ people. I also think they are easy to mount in a frame and add that professional touch to your work. I recently bought 48 of them for $123 (including shipping) for a class of 30. If you're doing smaller classes, it's fine to buy them at Michael's or AC Moore when they go on sale, if you have those near you. I like to buy mine in bulk, so I often just Google what I'm looking for and compare prices online.

Do I always use 16"x20"? No. If I'm hiking up to the Yurt for a Painting Class I go smaller. If I'm squeezing a large group into a small space, I go smaller. If the painting just plain looks better smaller, I go with that. Students do not seem to care much about the size of the painting, but that would be something to evaluate at the end of classes.

Easels: I just stocked up on these for a large class. I bought 30 "Strokes Art Tables" for a total of $218 from Amazon. The price was so low because I signed up for an Amazon credit card and received an $80.00 credit toward the purchase. You can typically find these for around $10 each, but I got mine for about $7.25 each with the credit.

Paint Brushes: Who needs them when you have fingers? Depending on the class, I may use the foam brushes for an intuitive art class, but for the sip and paint classes, I get them from local craft stores.  I like the Royal brand brushes for classes. I've been building up a collection, but depending on the painting, we may need different types of brushes.

Paint: My 2 favorites are Premiere from AC Moore and Liquitex wherever I can find it on sale. You may be able to get good sales on bulk orders online (Blick or Jerry's Artorama) and you can also get economy sizes online. When I plan my paintings, I try to not get too carried away with a lot of colors, because it adds to the cost of running the class.

Aprons: I just ordered 30 lime green aprons from KNG for $130.00. You have the option of adding your logo to the aprons. However, these have a tendency to walk away with people after class (students forget they have them on.) I just lost 5 of them at my most recent class so you may not want to spend a lot on them.(I need to find a good way to collect them as people are leaving-ideas welcome!)

Paper Plates, Cups, Paper Towels and Table Cloths: I typically get these at the dollar store or anywhere they are on sale and I reuse the plastic cups and table cloths until they can be used no more. I did go to a paint class where the teacher used Styrofoam plates with compartments for the paint, which is a great idea, but I don't feel good about putting more Styrofoam into our world, so I stick with paper. I'm looking at more earth friendly ways to furnish my classes.

Other things I take with me: 
  • Pitchers for transporting water and filling cups
  • My real camera
  • My cell phone for keeping track of the time and getting me to the locations
  • More than I think I will need of all supplies for last minute students who may show up
  • Scissors for opening things
  • Plastic Grocery bags to put the wet paintbrushes in after class
  • Any paperwork needed for the site 
  • My Square for accepting credit cards of people who didn't register ahead and change in case they are paying in cash
  • My Easel and my real paint palette (it gives me comfort and strength!) for demonstrations
  • A sample finished painting for guidance (for both me and my students!)
  • Individual print-outs of the painting for students to refer to at their stations (optional and depends on complexity)
  • Any other tools or supplies we may be using for the particular class such as stencils, stamps, markers, collage papers, glue, etc...
  • Email sign-up sheet, if I haven't already collected email during the registration process
  • Satisfaction Surveys-I sometimes ask for feedback on the class, so I can continue to make it better. I find this is best to do during class so you have the greatest chance of getting responses. If you wait until after class and email people, your response rate will be lower.
I transport the smaller items in 2 plastic bins and then bring the random things that don't fit in separately.

Well, I think that's it! I would love to hear if you have found any good deals on supplies or have favorite supplies that you use in classes.

Happy Painting!  Now, off to make some jewelry...