Art Date


If you’re looking for a nice evening at home but are bored with the usual routine, why not try an Art Date? You can go all out and buy all the supplies you need to become the next Picasso, or keep it simple and free by using what you already have around the house.



I’ve been looking forward to this Art Date for quite a while. Sometimes Susan’s art supplies call my name when I pass by her office. I have successfully resisted the urge to make an absolute mess on the canvas, but I was more than happy to finally try my hand at this painting business.

SketchBefore we got out the paint brushes we discussed whether to paint a picture together, or to do two separate paintings. I could not see any possible way that painting on the same canvas together would end well, so we opted to do two small paintings. There’s only room for one in this guy’s creative vision! I kid, I kid.

Since this was my first time painting with proper supplies on a proper canvas, I wanted to do something relatively simple so I wouldn’t get frustrated. I found this image of a Goomba from Super Mario Bros. on my iPhone and used that as a starting point. I’m sure this is considered cheating, but before any paint hit the canvas I drew the outline of the Goomba in pencil. I think that really helped me end up with a decent looking painting. If you’re not that great at painting something right the first time without making mistakes, you might want to try this method.

Once the image was drawn onto the canvas I began painting. I think Susan got a kick out of my lack of technique. I was pretty much just bashing the canvas with a brush full of paint and hoping for the best. After getting a few pointers from my loving wife, my painting started to take shape. I was especially impressed with myself when it came to the mouth of the Goomba. I have to admit it happened by accident, but the way the different shades of brown came together made the mouth look quite realistic, without me just drawing a black line for the mouth.

Painting of Goomba

The problem with using real painting supplies is that it takes forever for the paint to dry, so we weren’t able to finish our paintings in one sitting. I’m really looking forward to our next Art Date when we have the chance to finish our works of art. The pictures you see are just the first stage, so we’ll be sure to post pictures of the final products.

Our Art Date was great fun, and I can’t wait to do it again. Even after buying a few supplies, it was cheaper than most evenings out of the house. I think Susan enjoyed teaching me about painting, and I enjoyed trying something new.

Be sure to properly dispose of any hazardous materials, including old rags that you might have used while painting. You wouldn’t want your house going up in flames for the sake of a fantastic painting of a video game character.


Work In Progress

A couple of years ago my cute husband bought me everything I needed to try my hand at oil painting after a qualified friend offered to give me lessons. After dishing out more than a Sir Robert Borden (that’s the Canadian equivalent of a Benjamin Franklin, thank you) on arts supplies, plus a really nice easel, I painted for a summer and then it went by the wayside. I do enjoy painting, but I rarely can commit the time it takes for a proper painting session.

Recently we had the time to sit down and unleash our inner Picassos and ended up having a really nice evening. I was a bit concerned that Brad might get frustrated and tear a knife through his canvas, but he ended up painting a really impressive Goomba from Super Mario. I opted for a silhouette painting of Himmery, our mad feline.

Painting of HimmeryTo enjoy your own evening of fine art, you’ll need clothes you don’t mind getting paint on, newspapers to spread out, canvases, brushes, something to mix your paint on, such as a plastic cover or old meat tray, and of course, paint. If you decide to paint with oil paints, you will also need a painting medium and a little dish to put that in. We used linseed oil mixed with Taltine (an odorless paint thinner). Be warned that oil paint takes longer to dry, a good week in most cases.

If you’re not up for dishing out a ton of money, you could simply try sketching portraits of one another with charcoal or pencil on sketchbook paper and then frame them with an inexpensive dollar store frame.

If your significant other is art hesitant or not overly creative, it is imperative that you brainstorm idea together instead of just winging it. Brad did a quick search beforehand and I attribute his success to that wholeheartedly. Since we painted with oil paints we couldn’t complete our masterpieces in one session but as soon as they’re perfected we’ll be sure to post them in all their glory.

For the locals: If you want to check out an art gallery but don’t know where to start, here are a few links to help you on your way:

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