Monday, November 14, 2011

Bring Out Your Inner Picasso and Paint Your Pet

I have always wished that I could draw or paint or sculpt. Once I even tried my hand at clay. I thought I might become a potter. So I signed up with a friend to take an informal class. It was bad....really, bad. In fact, I left midway through the class and my friend had to finish the one and only pot I managed to "throw".

Then there was the time I thought I'd take a drawing class. Another epic fail...I only made it through one or two sessions before I sold my pens and ink.

But something keeps telling me, that if I want to bad enough, I should be able to create. I live amongst this amazing Labrador inspiration all the time. And I have been the very happy recipient of beautiful paintings and drawings of my canine kids from the amazing Sheila Wedegis to use as examples. So, when another friend (oblivious to my earlier artistic failures), invited me to attend a class to paint your pet, I decided to give it another try. Surely, the love I feel for my Labs will flow through my fingers onto the canvas.

Painting with a Twist is located behind the Trudy's on Burnet Road. The cost is $55 for a 3 hour class and you receive all the supplies - canvas, paints, brushes, etc. and step by step instruction on how to paint your very own pet portrait. Once you sign up for the class, you send a picture of your pet via email to an artist at the studio. The best pics are a full front headshot of your pet. Then an artist from the studio sketches your pet's picture on the canvas that you will then paint. When you arrive at class, you receive your canvas with the sketched pic as well as a color copy of the picture you sent in to use as a reference.

I chose the shot above of my beautiful yellow girl Susie. When I arrived and was handed my canvas at the front door. I couldn't wait to start.

The class is taught by an artist and teacher's assistant. They break the process down into four basic steps

1) painting the background,
2) filling in the sketch,
3) highlighting your sketch
4) adding detail.

During your class time, the artist/instructor also teaches you about combining colors, complementary colors, and helpful tips on how to make your painting look its best. The instructor and teacher's assistant also "float" through the classroom offering individual assistance, encouragement and occasionally fixing little "boo-boos".

Did I mention that the "twist" to this fun art class is that snacks and alcoholic beverages are permitted in class. My friend and I sipped a lovely Bogle Zin and munched on carrots, hummus, cheese and crackers while we let our inner artists express themselves.

Finally, at the end of your three hour session, you leave the studio with your painting, a touching and unique rendition of the love of your life. And, if you are not fully satisfied with your finished painting, an "SOS" class held is once a month at no charge. In this session, the artists will work with you to help you "fix" anything you may not like in your portrait. Although, I survived the entire class and was happy with the outcome of my portrait last night. In the light of day with a clear mind, I believe Susie's portrait and I will be attending an SOS session.

Talk about a fun night out with friends, or a cool Christmas present (either the class or the painting), Painting with a Twist is a definite must for any Lab lover!!!! Need inspiration, check out the Labs Available for Adoption at the HOTLR website!!!