Things to Do in Las Vegas: Canvas and Cocktails

Last Friday a friend and I went to a Mexican restaurant, drank some wine and learned how to paint.  Three hours later, I left the Mexican restaurant with this:


"Paris at Sunset". Painted by Yours Truly


Before you go and ask me if the city to the right is New York or if the black blogs at the bottom are giant rats (questions my students asked me after seeing the photo I posted on Facebook), the answer is no.  The city is Paris and the black blobs are shadows.

That aside though, it looks pretty cool, huh?  As much as I’d love to take full credit here and delude ya’ll into thinking that I’m either a talented painter or such a fast learner that I picked up the basics of oil painting in the time it took me to eat a burrito, I haven’t lied on here yet and wouldn’t want to start now.

The truth was that my friend and I had enrolled in a step-by-step instructional painting class (the same concept as ‘paint by numbers’) whereby all 20 of us taking the class were taught how to paint the same painting.

Here’s what the original looked like:

The original "Paris at Sunset" and our Teacher, Jenna


For 15 d0llars (we found a deal on Groupon – the regular price was 35) we were given a canvas, five paint brushes, globs of paint and detailed (and I mean DETAILED) instructions on how to recreate the painting.  The teacher’s instructions went something like this:

“Dab a quarter of an inch of black paint 4.7 inches above the middle of the canvas.  Next, using paintbrush number 2, connect the dot to the left corner of the canvas, at a 30 degree angle…”

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t THAT bad but it was enough to the point where I had to repeatedly steal glances at my classmates paintings to make sure I was doing it correctly.  Basically, the better a person was at following directions, the better the painting turned out, regardless of skill or experience level.

Canvas and Paint


While that may sound easy enough, it wasn’t for everyone.  The couple seated next to me grew impatient while waiting for the teacher to move onto the next step, and after a few cocktails, they began to get a little creative with their interpretation of the Paris skyline; painting in sail boats, a flying Jesus and some naked swimmers.

Nevertheless, it was a fun evening out and I think I may try it again (They offer classes all over Las Vegas and the country, for that matter, and provide a wide variety of paintings to choose from).

Moi, Painting.

Don’t I look artistic?


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