My Paint Nite Experience

I recently went to a Paint Nite in town with a bunch of ladies from our church. If you haven’t been to one or haven’t heard of it, Paint Nite is a social painting event where the rest of the class paint the same thing.  Experience in painting is not required as there’s a painting instructor that guides you step-by-step through the featured painting in about 2 hours.

The cost per ticket was $45 and they provided all the painting supplies. I don’t think all Paint Nites are fundraising events, but the one we went to was giving $15 of every ticket purchased to CIBC Run for the Cure. They even provided some light snacks, and a cash bar for those who were interested in drinking while they paint. 

I haven’t been to one before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. A friend of mine and I went out for supper first before we came. Upon entering the Legion where it was being held, we could hear chattering from upstairs. It sounded like a good number of people came out to support the fundraising event. Sixty six attendees in total.

When we got into the room, we saw tables side by side dressed in green vinyl table cloth in 3 rows. On top of each tables where easels with 16 x 20 canvases back to back from each other. Underneath each easels where paper plates that have 4 big blobs of acrylic paints – white, blue, yellow, and red. On the right hand side of each easels were 3 paintbrushes of varying sizes, a yogurt container with water that I almost drank (LOL), and 2 sheets of paper towel. And then on each chair was an acrylic stained green apron for us to use.

Our featured painting was a boat sitting on the beach at sunset.

I am not sure who is the original artist of the said painting. When I was googling it, I’ve seen it featured on other Paint Nite events with different instructors so I knew the painting was not an original work of our painting instructor that evening. Also, her rendition was a bit darker in hue than the original.

Before we began painting, we were asked to place our hands on the canvases and repeated a funny oath after our instructor, which basically says to have fun, to not forget to breathe, and to not stress out and throw our canvases across the room if they were not turning out quite right. (I think I did all those 3 in my head!). She walked us through what brushes and paints to mix and use, how to make a perfectly round sun and it’s refection on the water, how to draw clouds, and how to draw “the boat”. She gave some pointers on how to add some waves too.

I have not done an acrylic painting on canvas before so I followed her instructions as much as I could. Even though she said in the beginning of the class that we can draw whatever we want, even rainbows and ponies, I don’t think anybody diverted from the original painting. I think we all pretty much followed it to our own abilities.

However, after completing my canvas I find it lacking in depth, it’s very one dimensional. I wasn’t pleased with my work. But maybe that’s just the artist and the perfectionist in me that’s being hard on myself. I know if I’m going to hang this painting on our wall, I’d like it to appear more realistic. So I skipped signing my painting because I know I am going to tweak it when I get home.

A few days after that event, I finally mastered the courage to put my plans to work.

And I’m so glad I did!

Because this one dimensional acrylic painting…


Now looks like this…


(This transformation was done using Dollar store acrylic paints!!! Why? Because that’s what I have available and I was too cheap to buy good ones. Question is will the colours last? Who knows! I guess only time will tell! Perhaps sealing it will help the paints from not fading? It will also help me to stop retouching it. If left unsealed, I might just be tempted to keep tweaking it!).

Anyway, here’s some of the pictures I took using my cellphone camera to capture this daunting, but very satisfying process.

For a more detailed process of this canvas acrylic painting transformation, click HERE.


Comments (4)

  • Ching

    June 6, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Awesome Zhi!!??

    1. Zhi

      June 9, 2017 at 2:27 am

      Thanks Ching! That meant a lot coming from an experienced acrylic canvas painter like you! 🙂

  • Heather M

    June 7, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Looks great Zhi! I actually went out and bought some paints to try doing to the same!! I’m just trying to decide what image to paint over it with.
    Keep having fun!!

    1. Zhi

      June 9, 2017 at 2:26 am

      Thanks Heather! So have you thought of what to paint over your canvas? Or are you just modifying your original work? I hope you’ll enjoy the process as much as I did. Also, I found a sealer at Walmart (Krylon Kamar Varnish) that is specifically for sealing oil/acrylic/watercolour paintings – 312 g for $7! Hopefully it’ll make our creations last a lil bit longer! Who knows it might worth millions someday. Hahaha.

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