I can't draw. No really. I love art, and I admire my friends that are artists so much, but the idea of trying to represent the world around me using a pencil or a brush mystifies me. Its seems magical. How is it that those squiggly lines and brush strokes, applied in a particular way, turn into something beautiful or interesting? I trust my camera and I trust my ability with words to help me represent something I am thinking or feeling, but art?
But the latest thing to do with your friends is go to one of these places that have popped up all over and have a painting party. These "paint bars" reassuringly insist that they can show anybody how to create a piece of art, although a little alcohol doesn't hurt either.
The great group of people I have met through Diane's Westies wanted to have a painting party. We would all gather at Muse, in downtown Manchester and try our hands at painting a picture of a Westie.
Of course we weren't going to do this off the top of our heads, or get one of our dogs to model for us. Instead, we were going to take an existing picture of a Westie and try to replicate it.
Here is the painting we started with, and a blank canvas. We painted using acrylic paints, which dry quickly so that you can paint over them. Our instructor introduced us to how to mix the paint, and which brush to use when. Then we got to work.
First we had to paint our canvas red. We had red paint, but we were supposed to add a little black to it so it wouldn't be too fire-enginey. I added a little too much black, and it ended up sort of purple, but I decided I liked it and left it alone.
Next we were instructed to paint two ovals in white, for the Westie's head and body. At this point I was full of misgivings. I was certain this was just not going to work and I was going to end up with a picture of a duck!
But THEN we added, paws, ears and little tufts of hair to our Westie. All of a sudden it looked like one of our dogs, sorta.
The thing that made this even halfway possible for me was our wonderful instructor. He guided us through every step of the process, and he drew along with us. So I could look not only at the finished painting but what he was doing as well. That was very helpful!
We started adding the light grey bits to our dogs. This part was hard. I took my time and added more grey little by little, the instructor giving us pointers on defining the paws, shading the ears, and where to place the eyes and nose. If we made a mistake we could paint over it with white and try again.
This was such a great idea. We all had fun. It was nice hanging out together without 30 Westies running madly around, or doing Agility and trying to get our little dogs to run through some tunnel! We are making plans to hang out again sometime sans doggies, maybe a Girls Night Out. Of course, half our conversations are about our dogs...they are so irresistible; we can't help it!