Don’t we all wish we had the talent of Picasso or Da Vinci? I don’t know about you, but I even feel challenged by paint-by-number kits! I’m quite a whiz with splatter paint creations, but beyond that – I’m a disgrace… seriously! There’s a new business model that has completely taken off nationwide… it’s social painting, and it can make an artist out of any of us. Paint Nite Orlando is a brilliant example of how the perfect setting, skilled instruction and a little inspiration can evoke a masterpiece from even the most incompetent hands in just about two hours.
Paint Nite Orlando has a brilliant twist to its presentation – no dedicated brick and mortar location. They set up in group sections of various locations – usually bars and restaurants. They refer to this as “nomadic” social painting. The session I attended was hosted by Buca di Beppo at Florida Mall. As much as I like the potential for diversity, the quality of lighting and sound are a bit at risk in this scenario. The lighting was reasonable at Buca di Beppo, but it could have been better for this type of activity. I did find sound to be a bit of a concern during instruction.
I’ve done this before, so I wasn’t quite so riddled with nerves this time around. However, I was coming for my Paint Nite experience directly from a long, unpleasant day. Thankfully, some relaxing libations are all part of the event. Priced separately, you can order whatever you wish from the hosting location. (I have to add – you cannot beat the sangria at Buca di Beppo!) This is a big help toward unwinding and letting your creative juices flow. Just make sure you don’t store your beverage right beside your brush-soaking cup!
Our host artist was Gia. Not only is she very talented, but she is quite funny too. She was very encouraging, and extremely helpful. At the front of the room, your host artist will have an example of the finished project beside their own working canvas. The idea is that you mimic the artist in a step-by-step process. The artist guides you in the selection of brushes, stroke techniques, and the logical order to add your details. The artist wears a headset microphone, allowing them to travel the room to assist guests along the way.
One important thing to keep in mind… your masterpiece is a work in progress. It’s not going to look “right” from step one. Gia gave us a few breaks during our session, allowing previous steps some drying time, while we took a moment to reassure ourselves.
I love the fact that all amateur artists are so supportive of each other’s efforts. Around the room, you can always hear strangers praising their neighbors for their emerging artworks. It’s a very social activity, and you actually begin to feel like a capable artist.
Paint Nite began in Boston in 2012. Today, they’re in 1,400 cities worldwide, hosting 4,400 events each month. Paint Nite offers canvas sessions, as well as wine glass painting. Average general admission is $45 including all of your painting supplies (more for special events). Tickets can be purchased online, where class calendars are sorted by painting, location, date, and artist.