I sometimes teach BIG classes of 30+ students eager to paint. That's a lot of canvas and materials to transport, so I've devised ways to save time, money and the amount of stuff to haul.
I am not naturally organized, so this process has evolved from trial and error over the years. Here are some things you may find helpful as you set up your own wine and paint classes:
#1: Bring help for larger classes. Have a friend or older child join you to help with set up, tear down and assist students during class. It typically takes me about an hour to set up for a larger class, including bringing things in from the car, laying the tablecloths down and preparing each station with easels, canvas, paints, brushes, water cups and paper towels.
Having an extra set of hands is needed to keep this to about an hour as well as to assist students during the class with extra paint, getting fresh water and answering questions. You may want to ask your assistant to take photos during and after class too.
#2: Pre-dispense the paints based on the sample. I prefer to pre-dispense paints on paper plates because it saves time and paint but I also love when people get creative. Students who want different choices can come up to the table and add their extra choices to the pre-dispensed options. This is not exactly a money saving option, but I love when people get really into it and want to branch out.
#3: Set up drying stations with regular old hairdryers, to speed the process between layers. Students can take their painting over and dry the layer they just finished. Make sure to put something down to protect the surface of the drying station as well. This keeps the class moving, especially if you need something dry before you can move on to the next stage. I like to paint in layers and my students love this too.
#4: Make it easy to see the finished painting. I print out mini-versions of my painting on my computer before class and place one at each station. In larger classes the students may not be able to see the example you have on display, so this way they have it at their seat to refer to. I got this idea from a class I attended myself and my students seem to really like it too.
Another option is to ask the students to take a photo on their phone to keep at their station. Certainly less work on your part to achieve the same result.
#5: Consolidate Supplies. I transport my loose supplies in 2 plastic bins with lids. Aprons and easels go in one bin. Paints, brushes, cups, paper plates, towels and tablecloths in the other one. The canvas are separate.
I always pack extra supplies, just in case more people show up or something happens to a canvas. Extra paint, paper towels, paper plates and canvas will keep your mind at ease and you won't stress about running out.
Wondering where to buy supplies? Here is a post on where I buy everything.
#6: Make Clean-Up Quick. I take large, gallon-size ziplock plastic bags for quick clean up. The paint brushes go in a zip-lock to clean at home after class. The paint water gets dumped and the plastic cups go into a plastic grocery bag to also be washed at home. I take trash bags to make garbage removal easy. Depending on the condition of the tablecloths when your students are done, I may keep them or toss them.
#7: Collect aprons before students leave. I ask students to take off their aprons and put them on the back of their chairs. It's best to do this before photos. Aprons have a tendency to walk out during the larger classes, because people forget they have them on and get very caught up in the excitement of sharing their work and taking photos at the end of class. It's good to issue the reminder to insure you get them back.
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