I used to love painting as a kid so it’s no surprise that I love painting as an adult. The problem is I have never taken any art classes so I severely lack technical expertise. That’s why I enjoy attending paint evenings where everyone follows the instructor to create the same painting. I recently attended an Adult Workshop at Paintlounge at its Toronto East location at 1173 Queen Street East. [Disclosure: The workshop was provided to me on a complimentary basis in order to write this review.]
I arrived for my class at 3:30 p.m. on a Monday and was greeted by Alyssa, our instructor. I was pleased to find out that it would be a small group of four people participating in the class. That meant we would each have more one-to-one attention from the instructor. I have taken paint classes held at bars where there are over 30 people participating; those classes are good for a more experienced painter, but if you need a lot of feedback on your painting like I do, those paint classes are not ideal. Our Paintlounge class was also a half an hour longer than the paint class I took at the bar, which meant we would not be painting at breakneck speed.
Unlike the paint classes held in bars, Paintlounge is a dedicated art studio with easels and stools well-spaced so that you are not bumping elbows with your fellow painters. There is also a coffee bar where you can enjoy complimentary premium roasted coffee and organic tea blends. And you don’t have to bring a paint smock because they have these on hand.
We started right on time. We were going to be painting “Hello Autumn,” rated a “moderate” painting on the difficulty scale. Alyssa explained that we would be approaching the painting in layers, beginning with the background layer. She also organized the painting into numbered sections so that we would understand which section we would be painting next.
We then went over to collect our palettes, paint and brushes.
At each stage, Alyssa described the steps we were going to take and then demonstrated the technique on her own canvas as she was painting right along with us. Alyssa would then walk around to have a look at how we were each doing and would provide us with individual feedback e.g. “You’re going to need to mix more of that colour” or “You could add a few more leaves here,” which I found very helpful. She was careful to wait for everyone to complete the step before moving on. Between some of the layers, we were advised to take our painting to the drying station where we used a hand-held blow dryer to dry our paintings.
We all finished our paintings shortly after 6 p.m. although we were told we could stay for another half an hour if we needed more time.
I really enjoyed my experience painting with Alyssa at Paintlounge. The smaller classes and longer time to complete the painting worked well for me. I didn’t feel rushed or stressed out trying to finish my painting. I was quite pleased with my finished painting – since it’s an autumn scene, it’s perfectly seasonal – and yes, I hung it up on the wall at home.
Keep Paintlounge in mind for your girls night out, birthday party, or bachelorette party as they can tailor a private group class for you with either a freestyle event where everyone paints their own painting or a guided workshop like I experienced.
Paintlounge, 1173 Queen Street East, 647-362-6648