Painting Party: A Cozy Winter Evening with Friends
After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is past us, throwing another party might just be the very last thing on your to-do list. However, there’s something about the post-holiday winter season that can be downright depressing. I decided to battle the blues with a cozy, low-key gathering for some of my best girlfriends, and I highly recommend it!
There are lots of businesses popping up that allow you to bring your own food and drink and get creative with painting canvases or pottery. I love that idea, but I’m a homebody, and I have never been that impressed with the paintings I’ve seen come out of those places. I figured I could have my friends over, serve them delicious La Crema wines and we could create a beautiful painting together!
You will need a subject to paint, first and foremost. I love to use watercolors to create beautiful agate slice paintings. My girlfriends aren’t frequent painters and they were nervous about “getting it right,” but the natural and organic shape of these stones means the less perfect, the better.
The other supplies you will need are really affordable. You can throw this little shindig for less money than you would spend at a chain painting party location. Besides some agate slices or photos of agate to reference, you will need:
- A palette for each guest
- A watercolor canvas for each guest
- A variety pack of decent paint brushes (look for ones specifically meant for watercolors)
- A glass for water to rinse your brushes
- Watercolor paints in jewel tones like magenta, plum, emerald green, cobalt, plus a dark brown
- Table salt
- Paper towels
- Plenty of La Crema wine!
Watercolor is one of the most forgiving mediums to work with. I provided each guest with her own watercolor canvas and palette, and instructed them to start by wetting their canvas lightly with the largest brush.
Proceed by adding a small amount of paint to your palette. Using a wet brush, add water to the paint in your palette and create a freeform, rounded shape in or near the center of your canvas. Start with a small amount of paint compared to water so your shape is light at first. If it is too dark, or if you make a “mistake”, add a bit more water and blot with a paper towel. Continue adding concentric rings to the interior of your shape, following the shape of the outer edge. The very center of your agate should always be the lightest part, with darker and lighter alternating rings around it.
To create that mottled, shimmery effect in the center of your agate, add a small sprinkle of table salt to your painting, just in the center of the slice, while it is still wet. The salt will soak up some of the color. It’s really neat. You can either leave it or brush the crystals away once it is dry.
We each painted clusters of three agate slices. You can leave yours as one or add as many as you’d like! Finish each one with a ring of dark brown around the edge. Remember, the less “perfect”, the better! Agate slices are literally slices of stone, so the brown edge is the outside of the stone. It should be inconsistent in thickness, but relatively thin overall.
We had the best time, were able to wear yoga pants and be ourselves, and unwind from the holidays. Plus, each of my friends got to bring home a lovely one-of-a-kind piece of art. It was such a great evening!