As promised here are sort of the nuts and bolds of doing a paint party. I went out and bought some simple table top easels. I got them on sale at Michaels and ended up paying about $10 a piece for them. If you watch for the sales you can do really well at Michaels. I bought 20 over the course of a few weeks. I also get my canvases at Michaels. I use standard 16×20 canvases that they sell in a five pack for around $20. Again sales and coupons and sometimes make this less expensive. I also know A.C. Moore sells a paint party pack of 20 canvases. I find that if the group is too much larger than 20 it’s hard to give people the attention they deserve.
As far as paint goes, I buy the quart jugs of acrylic they sell at Michaels or A.C. Moore for around $10. I use five colors, the primaries, plus black and white. I give each participant three different sized brushes, small medium and large, the large being about an inch wide, but of course this will vary depending on the piece. I use styrofoam plates and I put the paint on the plates in advance. This allows me to have some control on the “portion sizes.” People can really waste paint if you don’t do this. I also put out one water jar for every two people.
In developing my paintings, I work them up in advance. I will usually work out a painting I like and then go back and redo it step by step to figure out how I will paint it. Once I have that worked out I photograph it and add it to my website. I then made up a blank poster format for each of my paintings so when I book one, I can add their information and send a pdf so that they can print and use them to publicize their party.
As far as what to charge. That is on a case by case basis. I know my rough costs to do a painting and I add to that what I need to make all the work make sense. I will usually do a per person charge and I set my rate low enough that the person hosting the event can add a little on to earn some money for a cause, etc. This gives them some incentive to promote the event. I also have a flat rate if they just want to pay for the event outright. Of course this includes a limit to the number of people.
You’ll need a large enough room to house the amount of people signed up. I highly recommend that this be an uncarpeted room as people will occasionally drop brushes, etc. You also want to make sure that the people have some elbow room if possible. You will need tables and chairs and the tables should be covered. it is also wise to tell people to wear older clothes or to distribute aprons. Acrylic paint does not usually come out of clothes very well.
Those are the logistics. Next time we’ll look at the teaching aspect.