Paint Nite Date Night // Puffin Style

Arctic Puffin

The paint is dry, the brushes are clean, and the night is complete.

Sunday night was date night.  A few months back I purchased a Paint Nite deal on Groupon ($45 for 2-person session).  When searching the event calendar, I immediately fell in love with the Puffin painting, and thought it would be a fun reminder of our recent anniversary trip to St. John’s!  The event was held at a local bar & restaurant (Rose & Crown Pub), which was ideal for us as it is located just a few blocks from our condo!  We were advised to arrive about 15 minutes early for best seating…but obviously everyone got the same memo, because when we arrived there were only four single seats and one set of two seats together.  We luckily snatched up the last pair, put on our aprons, and waited for our instructions.  (If you have been a long-time reader, you may remember my first and second experience with Painting with a Twist in Louisiana – Mario the Cat and the Lakefront Oak – so I am fairly familiar with the whole concept.)

Ready to Paint!

Ready to Paint!

We started off with a blank canvas and were led by the instructor through various sections.  It is pretty neat to see that each section alone is very simple, typically involving only one or two colors – but once all are sections are complete and combined, you have a full painting!  Each painting is unique because each individual interprets the color, size, and brush strokes in different ways.  Everyone starts off with a blank canvas, three brushes (small, medium, large bristles), and a paper plate with red, yellow, blue, and white paint.  (Black paint was also given to us at the very end.)  The first step was just yellow on the top third of the canvas.  Then we mixed yellow and red for a small strip of orange, blending that below the yellow to make the vibrant sunset.

We then mixed white with a tiny dab of blue for a light blue sea on the bottom two-thirds of the canvas.  Then we mixed in a little bit more blue for some medium blue waves and the initial outline of the icebergs floating on the horizon.  We used just plain ol’ white for better definition on the icebergs and then added a simple circle and oval combo to create as the puffin outline.  As everyone was catching up, we could fortify our icebergs to the height and depth that we wanted with just the white paint.


Basic Steps: Sky, Sea, Iceberg/Puffin Outlines (Mine on left, Hubby’s on right)

Then we dabbled in dark blue to outline the icebergs, create a perception of depth in the ocean, and to define the left part of the puffin’s face.  By using a tad  more white, we lightened the blue back to light and medium in order to contour the puffin body.  Next up was the bright red and yellow, which was used to paint the sunlight reflections hitting the icebergs and water, and also to create the puffin’s beak.

The next to last step was to use black paint to fill in the puffin!  We outlined the head by creating a crescent moon on the right-hand side of the circle, followed by filling in a neck area and then the back.  We added in a triangle eye – with the option to leave a spec of white for a “gleam in the eye!”

The final part, which I now regret and wish I left off, was the ripples created by the puffin.  Most of the people in the room were complaining that their puffin looked like it had radio waves coming off of it…and I have to agree.  I could have left my painting complete after finishing the puffin…but once the yellow arches were drawn, it was too late to go back.  I was grumbling to myself why we even needed the ripples, and the hubby suggested that perhaps the puffin had recently landed in the water and the ripples showed us his movement.  Good answer – I love that man!!!


Details: Sunset Highlights, Icebergs, Puffin (Mine on left, Hubby’s on right)

The top picture below is the “inspiration” painting, and the bottom picture is our “interpretation” paintings.  Pretty good, overall, I think!


Inspiration vs. Interpretations

Pros: Date Night!  A cold beer while painting!!  The feeling of going from a blank canvas to a “real” painting!!!

Cons: Location.  Although originally chosen due to proximity to our house, we felt the Rose & Crown Pub upstairs room was just too small for this type of event with 30 painter stations.  The hubby and I barely had inches between us and the people behind us.  Instructor.  Nice kid…but still a kid.  You could tell he hasn’t had much time “instructing” and didn’t always explain how to do a section, i.e., icebergs.  The hubby and I learned more from looking around at others and talking to the couple behind us.  To be honest, he felt like a last-minute stand in…and if so…props to him for trying!

Overall: Highly recommend everyone  try this type of event at least once!!!  It’s always a great experience.

Have you ever tried Paint Nite?



2 thoughts on “Paint Nite Date Night // Puffin Style

  1. I’ve done Paint Nite twice and I have really enjoyed it. I have zero artistic ability and was still able to produce two paintings that I proudly hang on my living room wall! Great job on your puffin! 😉

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