Paint Nite at Midtown Gastro Pub in Toronto

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My painting on the right and my two neighbours' paintings at Paint Nite at Midtown Gastro Hub.
My painting on the right and my two neighbours' paintings at Paint Nite at Midtown Gastro Hub.

By Lori Bosworth

It’s a brand new year and many people’s new year’s resolutions include activities that will get them out of their comfort zone. With that goal in mind, I have always wanted to try Paint Nite, the instructor-led group painting sessions where everyone paints the same picture. [Disclosure: I received a complimentary Paint Nite session in order to review it for Torontonicity.] Congrats to Barb W. who won our giveaway of a complimentary Paint Nite session.

I chose a Paint Nite session at Midtown Gastro Pub at Yonge and St. Clair, taught by Erik Irwin, on Saturday, January 20, 2018 at 4 p.m. The painting we were all going to paint was called “Misty Forest Lake.” I love being near or in water so this was the perfect painting for me to paint.

Instructor's painting 'Misty Forest Lake' at Paint Nite at Midtown Gastro Hub.
Instructor’s painting ‘Misty Forest Lake’ at Paint Nite at Midtown Gastro Hub.

I got to the session about 20 minutes early because I wanted to make sure I got a seat near the front where I could see the painting well. I ordered a drink while I waited, but noticed there was not a lot of room at your painting station to place extra items such as drinks. There is enough room only for your canvas, paint palette, paint brushes and cup of turpentine. I ended up placing my drink behind my canvas and forgot about it for the rest of the session!

Paint stations set up for Paint Nite at Midtown Gastro Hub in Toronto.
Paint stations set up for Paint Nite at Midtown Gastro Hub in Toronto.

Two women sat beside me, Elizabeth and Bronwen, and we chatted a bit before the class began.

Shortly after 4 p.m., Erik began the session by having us pledge the Paint Nite oath, which was quite funny. Something about relaxing and having fun and not being critical of our work. This was going to be a challenge for my Type A personality!

Erik got us to work by beginning with the sky and I think I was three minutes in before I accidentally painted a black paint stroke on the canvas where we were supposed to be creating a pale blue sky. There was no fixing that error so Erik graciously provided me with a new canvas and I quickly got to work, catching up with others. Can you say, “Embarrassing?!”

We worked our way down along the canvas, mixing different colours to create different hued skies, fog, trees and the lake. Erik demonstrated each step and gave us time to copy what he had just done, mind you, none of what we did was in fact a “copy” of what he did since each person’s painting was unique in composition, brush strokes and colour. We were given a 10 minute break to order more drinks and/or make a washroom visit.

I made another blunder as we got to the bottom of the canvas. I was holding one brush in my left hand while I painted with the other brush and the left-hand-brush accidentally touched the canvas. Fortunately this time, it was a blue stroke of paint that I was easily able to cover with the paint we were using for the lake.

My painting on the right and my two neighbours' paintings at Paint Nite at Midtown Gastro Hub.
My painting on the right and my two neighbours’ paintings at Paint Nite at Midtown Gastro Hub.

We finished painting around 6:20 p.m. and cleaned up our paint stations. The paint dries really quickly so we were able to take our paintings home almost immediately. Have a look at my and my neighbours’ paintings. They are all different!

Me with my masterpiece from Paint Nite
Me with my masterpiece from Paint Nite

I would definitely attend Paint Nite again. Our amenable instructor, Erik Irwin, was great, making us all feel relaxed. We were given a 30% off coupon to use against the cost of a future class. There are just a few things I need to remember for next time:

  • Mix enough paint for each hue so that you don’t have to go back and mix more;
  • Stop painting and pay attention to each of the instructor’s steps;
  • Hold only one brush in your hand at a time lol;
  • Study the painting beforehand so that you have a good idea of the composition.

Our giveaway is closed. Congrats to Barb W. who won one ticket to a Paint Nite event anywhere in Canada.

This contest appears on Contest Canada

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