Art Class!

March 14, 2014

Every year for my birthday I usually drag my whole family to some odd new experience. One year we went to the Wild West dinner show (that was fun, my husband ended up on stage!), another was the pirate dinner show. A couple of years I dragged my kids to the dueling piano bar, while another year it was fondue and live jazz music. I think you kind of get the idea. I really enjoy trying new things, but not so much the rest of my family. So I get to push on my birthday! Some things stick (like the jazz bar), and some do not (the dueling pianos). This year I went a little milder and scaled back. Just my husband and youngest daughter went with me, and we went to our local brewery (Claremont Craft Ales) for the art on tap (given by Otterspace Arts).

The idea behind this is that you bring food, or order pizza from the local delivery place, buy good beer, and learn to paint. Otterspace Arts provides the easels, paints, apron and canvas. They take a famous painting and show you how to make your own copy – from beginning to end. When you are done, you get to keep your painting! The class we did covered Van Gogh’s Irises. Now that is a beautiful painting. My painting, not so beautiful. But boy did I have fun. I’ll share a bit here of what we went through!

First, we were told to paint the whole canvas yellow. Sides included. We were also told there are no mistakes, we can do whatever we like. I liked that! Next, she had us mix three different colors, and told us to paint those along the top 2/3s of the painting, keeping it lighter to the right side. Here is mine up to that point.

You can see the full yellow background and my start at the top part. Then we mixed three different browns, and did the bottom third. Again, trying to keep the darker colors to the left (if we wanted to!).

The next picture shows a couple of steps. Each time we mixed specific colors, and they showed us how to do the particulars. For the top flowers in the back, she told us to do bowls of yellow. Then we added the darker orange at the bottom and highlighted with lighter almost white at the top. Then we were shown how to do the flower stalks. Darker in the back, lighter in the front.

The first thing you will notice is that my flowers look like tangerine pieces! I don’t know if it was because I was trying hard to make the “bowls,” or because I was starting on my second beer at the time. Either way, I now call them my floating tangerines! As for my flower stalks, my daughter thinks they look more like seaweed. I think I was pushing a bit too heavy on my brush at the start!

After that, we were told how to outline the stalks. That took a little bit of time, especially for those in the class that did a lot of stalks! Once we did that, we added the background of the flowers. First a purple/blue color. Then added a bit of dark blue for highlights in the middle of each petal. Followed by white and then yellow in the middle. The original painting has one white iris, so we all did as well (well, most of us in the class did!).

From that point we edged the flowers. Oh wait, I can see in my picture that the dark blue and highlights on the flowers were not added yet. Okay, so that was added after I took the picture, then we outlined the flowers! And here is my final painting!

I wish we had taken a picture all together with our own camera, but we didn’t. There are a lot of pictures on the Otterspace Arts facebook page though!

And just for fun, here is a progression of my daughter’s painting (when I could lean over and take pictures).


And a progression of my husband’s painting (for his I had to stand up and go around the edge of the table!).

And just for fun, a selfie of my daughter and myself when we were done!

We had quite a bit of fun and plan to do this again some time. I know we may try a new place in Rancho Cucamonga for my Mom for Mother’s Day, but I think I’ll be coming back to Claremont Craft Ales because it was a good, fun group!



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