In January of 2014 I went to a Westie painting party at Muse Paintbar in Manchester, NH. At this first party we all copied the same Westie picture. My Westie came out okay, and looks a little bit like Harper. I had fun, and learned a little bit about painting.
But this paint party was different, and more challenging. This party was entitled “Paint Your Pet” and that’s exactly what we were supposed to do, paint OUR pet, from a picture! Now this is a lot harder than just copying a painting that someone else created. I had no idea how I was going to do this; I don’t know how to paint, I don’t even know how to BEGIN to paint! But I wasn’t about to be left out, so I signed up.
First I had to find a good picture of one of my sweet dogs for the object of my artistic endeavors. Harper is rather camera-averse, and I already had a painting that sort of looked like her, so she was out. Cosmo is just a very photogenic, handsome guy so I decided to do him this time. Sorry Heather, you’re adorable, you’re turn is next!
I found a cute picture of Cosmo, tweaked it a little bit on Photoshop and I was ready to go.
On April 10th I showed up at Muse a little early, ready to get this activity started. I didn’t know what to expect, and at first I was VERY dismayed! The instructors introduced themselves, gave us some basic directions, and set us loose. I looked at my blank canvas, my picture of Cosmo, my paints and brushes, and practically burst into tears! I had no idea where to start or what to do. Panic-stricken, I looked imploringly at one of the instructors and she came to my rescue.
She showed me where to start, what brushes to use for what effect, how to mix up the colors I needed. I took a deep breath and began my painting.
Cosmo has very curly fur and this made for lots of interesting details. He’s also almost always a little dirty, so his fur isn’t pure white, and that was fun to paint too! As his eyes, ears and fuzzy feet slowly came into focus on my canvas, I grew more and more confident. I really got into it after a while! My fear and trepidation were forgotten.
The best thing about this party was that since everyone was painting a different dog from a different picture all of our painting were so different! They all came out great; the personalities of our wonderful Westies (and one Husky) shined through.
I’m sure by the time we do this again (which I hope we do, I need to paint Heather!) I will have forgotten what I’ve learned and will feel a little apprehensive again at the start. But at least I’ll know that with a little help I can paint a picture that won’t be totally embarrassing, and have fun too!