Review: Paint Nite


Paint Nite is basically a big arty party, with regular evening events held in Johannesburg, Pretoria and now Cape Town.  No artistic ability is required.  The idea is to have fun and perhaps a few drinks while you bring out your inner Monet and/or your inner child (a selection of brushes is provided, but finger painting is entirely acceptable).

At all events canvases, paints, brushes and aprons and are all set out ready for your arrival. Our project for the evening: a colourful “Twilight Birds” painting.  We were encouraged to leave our inhibitions at the door and were required to make a ‘binding’ Paint Nite Oath along the lines of “I will not say my painting sucks.  I will have fun.  I CAN paint.  I AM an artist.”  It sounds cheesy, but it’s all part of the entertainment.

We were shown how to mix paint colours, blend them on the canvas, advised on brush type and stroke.  But also encouraged to experiment, to add our own ideas, play with the colours and style.

The end result was a dusting of masterpieces from some of the more talented participants, an off memo and totally awesome Minion painting and in my case lots of wonky birds and some dubious colour blending.  As far as I can tell though, everybody genuinely had a brilliant time.

If you are looking for a tranquil art class with a focus on technique and perfection or a more rigid paint-by-numbers event, this is perhaps not for you.  But if you want to get your paint on in a fun, slightly frenetic environment and go home at the end of the night with your own work of art and a fuzzy glow, do head along to a Paint Nite.  After all, Paint Nite’s tag line is ‘Drink Creatively’.

There’s music, it might be loud and there might be a tiny bit of dancing. The event was certainly very well organised and run and it’s a great alternative night out.

Book your tickets in advance as they sell out quite quickly and there are definitely regular customers on the Paint Nite scene, so you’ll be competing with them for a spot.  Seating is reserved on a first come, first served basis, so arrive early if you want to sit near the front. Don’t wear anything too precious and for maximum enjoyment go with friends. Perhaps most importantly, make absolutely sure not to mistakenly drink your paint water, or rinse your dirty brush in your cocktail glass. It’s easily done (ahem).

The only quandary you’ll be left with at the end of the night is where, oh where to hang your masterpiece when you get home?

Nicola Beach

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