Explore: Paint Nite

For the past two years or so my Facebook newsfeed has been flooded with pictures of friends in bars triumphantly lifting up painted masterpieces. I asked around and they were all participating in a new bar craze - Paint Nite.

Much like Stump Trivia, Paint Nite has become a Boston bar scene staple. Spots all around the city and the 'burbs are hosting these events where attendees learn to create a specific painting while enjoying drinks and snacks.

I have been wanting to do this for about six months and when the Paint Nite crew offered me the chance to experience it, I jumped.

Wednesday night we arrived at Basho on Boylston Street next to Fenway Park. One entire section of the restaurant was reserved just for this activity. Here is our class:

Each pupil has a canvas, brushes, a water cup and paper towels (for brush drying) at their place.

Before settling into your seat, you walk to the front to get your paint.

Our teacher, Erica, laid out for us exactly how much paint we would need to complete the work.

Here is my paint, ready to go! I felt like I was back in elementary school art class.

At the front of the room, Erica began to demonstrate, step by step, how to create our Boston skyline (finished product pictured at right).

Erica instructed us to paint the top third of our canvas red.

We then began to layer in yellow, thus giving the sunset effect.

It was fun to watch other people in the class make their own interpretations.

Once we reached the two thirds point on our canvas, we stopped painting sky and transitioned to the Charles River water. Here is my sky:

We then used a very dark blue color to paint the river water.

Using white paint, we then added texture to the water.

I was enjoying painting until Erica told us it was time to add our two most iconic buildings in the Boston skyline, the John Hancock Tower and the Prudential Center. Pressure!

She instructed us to add those two buildings first. The rest of the skyline will be filled in around them.

Here is my attempt to flesh out the skyline:

The next step was to fill in the outlines with black paint. This was the first moment I could start to see the final paining coming to life.

We then switched to our smallest brush to straighten out the lines of each building and add detail to the top of the Pru.

The second to last step in finalizing this Boston skyline painting was adding shadows to the water. As soon as I did this, I felt like my painting started to look like Batman's Gotham City. And not in a good way.

Erica told us the finishing touch to any artists' work is to add their name or initials. I opted for a singular "M" to mark my masterpiece.

Once I was done, I started to look around to see how everyone else's was turning out. Here is my friend's version:

Behind me there was a girl who was outrageously talented. She kept adding more and more spectacular details. I had paint envy.

And voila! A look at all the finished canvases from our class.

If you haven't tried Paint Nite yet, I highly recommend it. It's a fun and different way to spend an evening after work and not only do you meet people and experience something new, but you get to take home your activity!

I was very surprised that Paint Nite doesn't give you something to carry your painting home in. They should invest in large, branded plastic bags for people to use to tote them home.

As I mentioned before, Paint Nite has events every night of the week, all over Boston. Check their April and May calendars for upcoming events. If you see something you like, act quickly as they tend to sell out weeks in advance.

Now for the best part!

The great people of Paint Nite are offering Pop.Bop.Shop. readers 15% off their purchase of a ticket to any Paint Nite event, now through June 1, 2013. Use the code "PopBopShopPaint" at check out. 

To be clear, you do not need to attend an event by June 1st, you just need to purchase your ticket by then. You could purchase for an event in say, August, and still receive the discount.

Have you ever done Paint Nite before? What did you create?

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Thanks for the inspiration Molly! I had so much fun during my Paint Nite experience too!

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Molly Galler

Welcome to Pop.Bop.Shop. My name is Molly. I’m a foodie, fashionista, pop culture addict and serious travel junkie. I’m a lifelong Bostonian obsessed with frozen confections, outdoor patios, Mindy Kaling, reality television, awards shows, tropical vacations, snail mail and my birthday.

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