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Paint Your Pet

22 February 2013 3,800 views 3 Comments

Most of the people I work with are really into our dogs — since most of us don’t have kids yet, our dogs are our children. When Courtney came across a “paint your pet” class benefiting Austin Pets Alive earlier this year, we jumped at the chance to try it out.

Unfortunately, all of the classes that were offered to benefit APA either didn’t work for our group, or were already sold out. However, we came across a class at Painting with a Twist on Burnet and 183, and decided to check it out. The cost for the class was $55, and we each emailed them a picture of our dog by the week before.

When I arrived, my hand-traced canvas and a color copy of the photo of Lucy that I had sent in were waiting for me.

Getting started

We had 14 people in our group and Painting with a Twist encourages students to bring in their own beer or wine and snacks. We had set up a Google Doc to divide up who was bringing what and it worked out very well. Kim was by far the most creative of our bunch, creating a “palette” of snacks out of wax paper, food coloring, and a muffin pan.

Theme snacks

The vibe of the studio is very relaxed — it’s clearly perfect for parties (they’ll do private classes for groups of a minimum of 12 or 17, depending on the day), and they provide cups, plates, napkins, etc., everything you would need except the actual food and drink (other than maybe utensils — I didn’t see those around).


The studio had a table set up for us to put out our drinks and snacks, since they knew we were coming with a large group.


The teacher was wonderful, and broke down the steps to making our paintings work in very easy-to-understand ways. There were two other instructors — each assigned to about half the class — to walk around and provide guidance or sit in and take over for a few strokes if our confidence started to flag.


The first step was the background and I took inspiration from one of the dog paintings on the wall to do this blended background with three colors.

Phase 1

The second phase was to mix and paint blocks of color to highlight the shading in our pictures. We weren’t given black paint and I wasn’t very good at mixing blue and red together to make black, so my portrait of Lucy ended up looking blue, but somehow it worked.

Phase 2

And here’s our finished product! Missing from this photo are Diandra and Andy, who painted their two weiner dogs — each dressed up in little doggie tuxedos.

The group minus Diandra and Andy

Here is Miss Lucy standing in front of the finished work. The photo that I used to make this portrait was taken when Lucy was about three, and now she is almost nine. Other than the gray/white fur, and the fact that her pink tongue isn’t sticking out, I think it’s a pretty good likeness. Yes, she always looks that sad.

Lucy with her portrait 2

I had a great time during my three and a half hours at Painting with a Twist tonight. It’s such a fun and creative group activity, and I would for sure do it again.

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  • Linda Bart

    This is so great. What a fun way to spend an evening. I love your picture of my grand dog. It is terrific!

  • Linda Bart

    This is so great. What a fun way to spend an evening. I love your picture of my grand dog. It is terrific!

  • Mom

    This is so great. What a fun way to spend an evening. I love your picture of my grand dog. It is terrific!