Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Friend Date Night: The Paint Bar

Autumn on the Charles, painting from The Paint Bar Boston
This past Friday night I met up with my friends Steph and Kara at The Paint Bar on Newbury St in Boston for an evening of getting our Bob Ross on. Whoop!

The Paint Bar is one of the best business ideas, ever. It's a painting class that all skill levels can enjoy, with an instructor teaching the whole class how to paint a particular picture, step-by-step. There's also a bar with plenty of wine and snacks, so you can drink and nibble while you paint and socialize with your friends. Choose a class and reserve your seat online (they usually sell out), and list your friends' names at checkout to make sure you're all seated together. Sounds fun right?? So much better than doing the same ol' thang with your friends on a Friday night. Unless that "same ol' thang" for you is getting free passes to Discovery Zone with all-you-can-eat pizza and ice cream or something. In which case... keep doing you, ma. You sound like you have a good life.

Anyway, after arriving at The Paint Bar on Friday and tying on our aprons, we headed to the back of the shop to fill our palettes with the designated amount of each paint color. There's a little sign that tells you exactly how many pumps of each color you need for the painting you'll be doing that evening - i.e. 2 pumps black, 6 pumps white, 1 pump brown, etc.

Paint containers at the Paint Bar, Newbury St Boston

The painting we were going to be recreating that night was called Autumn on the Charles, which was a lovely riverside scene of an autumnal tree with the Boston skyline in the background. Once everyone had arrived and prepped their paint, we got started.

Blank canvases ready for painting

A friendly instructor stood at the front of the room demonstrating and explaining each step of the painting, while another employee manned the bar. Between each step, they turned up the music in the room, so there was a fun and laid back atmosphere the whole time. Definitely not a formal painting class with a snobbish instructor. Kara, Steph and I got our gab on while we painted, sipped, and snacked. I've been on muscle relaxers for the past couple of weeks, so no alcohol for me. But don't worry - I ate enough snacks and drank enough Coca Cola to make up for it. Shout out to the Rice Krispies Treat that I enjoyed that night. Yum.

Here's a sort of step-by-steppish picture guide of the painting in progress:

Friends painting!

We used a cool cross-hatching technique to make the sky:

Cross hatch sky painting

Sky and river painted

The Paint Bar, Newbury St, Boston

Boston skyline painted

The John Hancock tower and the Prudential Center are the two big "skyline" giants in Boston:

Boston skyline painting, John Hancock Tower, Prudential Center

Painting the tree was pretty scary after all the work we'd done on that skyline and sky:

Tree painting, Charles River, Boston skyline

Autumnal tree scene next to the Charles River, Boston, painting

Autumnal tree, Boston skyline painting

Finally - all finished! Buildings outlined in black and Citgo sign added in:

Autumnal tree, Boston skyline next to the Charles, painting

The cool thing about this class is that everyone is painting the same thing, but no two paintings end up looking alike. Despite being given detailed instructions on how to do everything, the painter inevitably brings his or her own style to it. From left to right, here are Kara's, mine, and Steph's paintings:

The Paint Bar, finished paintings

Kara's painting
.  kara's  .

My painting
.  mine  .

Steph's painting
.  steph's  .

There was kind of a yellow-lighted hue to the room at The Paint Bar, so I took this picture in the whiter lighting of my bedroom...
My painting, better lighting

Autumn on the Charles, Boston Skyline painting

The moral of the story is - go paint with your friends. You'll have fun and you'll get some artwork out of it. I plan on giving my painting to my sister Mallory, since it doesn't really "go" with anything in my room.

In other news entirely, today is my 2-year blogiversary :) I believe that's the cotton anniversary, so looks like mama's gettin' a new pair of jeans! Old Navy, here I come.

Is there a Paint Bar equivalent in your town? Would you do something like this with your buddies?

{Linking with Wonderfully Creative Wednesdays and Craft Frenzy Friday}


  1. Oh, my gosh your painting came out so beautifully! I love those types of places and used to go pretty regularly! I need to do another one soon! Definitely a fun night!

  2. Beautiful!!! I totally want to do this but haven't found any friends to go with...haha

    Happy Blogoversary!!! :)

  3. so fun and cutes!!!

    (happy blogoversary dude!!)

    A Beautiful Zen

  4. I did this with friends in DC and it was one of the best experiences I've had. I didn't realize I actually had any painting talent until then!

    1. I love that they teach you some cool techniques at these places too!

  5. Your painting is AMAZING!! Ah, I've always wanted to do this. I will have to see if they have anything like this where I am.

    1. They are becoming more and more popular lately - I would be surprised if you didn't have a local version of this!


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