Painting the Poochie

Have you heard of Painting With a Twist?  Is that a thing outside of Michigan?  If you haven’t heard of it, it is basically an art studio where you can go and learn how to paint a painting.  The best part is it’s for anyone with any (or no) level of skill.

In their traditional class, everyone in the class paints the same picture.  The instructor tells you paint stroke by paint stroke what to do.  I have had friends that have done it and their paintings have all come out great!

I had been meaning to give it a try when a friend of mind asked if I wanted to do their pet painting class. I immediately said yes, which won’t surprise you if you have any clue how crazy I am about my dog.  Paint my puppy’s portrait so I can hang my punkin on the wall?  Yes, please!

The only problem is, once I agreed and we signed up, I started to get a little nervous.  I had never actually painted a painting before and I hadn’t taken one of their regular classes…how in the world was I going to pull off an elaborate painting of my dog?

For the pet painting class, you send in a picture of your pet ahead of time, they sketch it out on canvas for you and then it’s up to you to paint it.  They give the entire class basic instruction and come around to help individually, but because everyone is painting a different picture, it is more of a challenge than their normal classes.

Nerves aside, I was really looking forward to some art therapy that night as I was a bit out of sorts from a not so happy day.  But my mood instantly improved when I walked in and saw my prepped canvas.  Their sketch from my picture looked so good!


Kodi sketch

Aw, there’s my baby!


The instructor told us the first step was to do the background color.  I started blending something kind of teal-ish and off I went, surprisingly easily.  I realized later that this part of the painting process falsely led me to believe that this whole portrait painting business wasn’t going to be so hard after all…


kodi sketch background


The next step was to do the ‘medium’ colors.  They explained some brush stroke techniques, which I promptly forgot and I started smooshing medium colors onto the canvas.  I was really worried about losing the lines, but ‘fear not,’ my instructor said, so on I painted.


Kodi medium colors


The next two steps were the dark colors and the finishing touches like the nose and eyes. There are no pictures from this stage…because holy heck!  It was hard!!  I could not focus on picture-taking when Kodi’s nose looked like a big blob of brownie batter and I was afraid to even start the eyes.  Thank goodness one of the instructors came by and saw my pleading face.  He swooped in, helped me paint the nose (read: he painted the nose) and gave me some tips for the eyes.


painting class2

Teach teachin’


I posted some pics on my Facebook page and I think a few people thought I was using false modesty when I said I really struggled.  I swear, I’m pleased with how the painting turned out, but I also know how much I struggled.  Happily, though, with the help of the instructors, I was able to come away with something I’m not ashamed to hang on my wall.


finished painting at class

There he is, sassy glint in his eye and all 🙂


Now whether Kodi is ashamed for this to hang on my wall, is anyone’s guess.  Or not…I’m thinking it’s not hard to guess…


kodi with his painting

That look on his face does NOT say ‘way to go mom.’



36 thoughts on “Painting the Poochie

  1. Though I don’t live everywhere, I feel confident in saying that Painting With a Twist is highly localized to where you live. I know the pitfalls of thinking one’s own experience is universal, but I’ve never even heard of the concept. Seems cool, though. You now have a painting you can be proud to frame and hang (do people frame canvases or do you need to cut it off the wooden thing?). Good job.


    • Yeah, I figured it might not be all over the place. In which case, you should start a business of it in your area! It’s wildly successful, that’s for sure. Well, I guess you would need to know how to paint, but if you can do that part, you’re good!

      With a canvas like that, you can just hang it straight on your wall. I imagine I could have it framed, but seems like way to much bother and would take too long. I like instant gratification, ha ha.


    • Thanks! Well, I HAVE painted walls in a house, although I remember my dad saying perhaps I shouldn’t consider that as a career, since it looked like I had spackled my walls once I was finished…and I most certainly had not intended that. Perhaps used a wee bit too much paint, ha ha.


  2. He’s a spoiled brat. He’s probably just jealous that you got to go to a painting class and he was left alone. Or he thinks you’re confused because you belong to him, not the other way around. Either way, I love the painting.


  3. That looks like fun! We have a painting studio here that I’ve been wanting to try. They do classes like the one you described where everyone paints the same thing.

    I think your painting turned out fabulous. Kodi just doesn’t know good art. 🙂


  4. Hmm, Kodi doesn’t seem to recognise himself. Your poor pooch must be thinking that mommy has found another doggie-boy and he’ll have to share her love with him. Your next project should be a painting of you and Kodi snuggling together. He won’t recognise either of you and will see another mommy with her doggie-boy. Much less threatening!


  5. I never heard of that, but it is a really cool idea. The fact that it is personal and not a random pooch makes it even better!! It looks like a professional did it. Bravo!!!

    P.s. I noticed u changed your pic. It confirmed my love and jealousy of your curly hair!! Haha


    • Yeah, it is definitely cool that it’s actually my own dog. It makes me happy whenever I see it on my wall 🙂

      I did change my pic…I was like, screw all my friends that say I should have straight hair…I like the curly! ha ha 🙂


  6. I think you did one helluva a job for your first attempt, even if someone was holding your hand the entire time. I don’t think anyone, including pets appreciate their portraits. I had a friend, an incredible artist, do portraits of my children and they turned out amazingly well. Seriously, shock and awe. But they laugh at themselves.


    • Oh, you are right! Maybe it isn’t that Kodi is judging my painting skill, but more that he feels insecure about how he looks! Eh, who am I kidding…that dog thinks he’s a stud! ha ha 🙂


  7. I’ve never heard of Painting With a Twist. I’m much too insecure to do such a thing, anyway. A bar in Jacksonville lets people come in to paint while they drink. I bet they get some interesting results.



    • Come on, you are not! If we lived near each other, I would drag you to one with me 🙂

      The funny thing is, at Painting with a Twist, you can bring alcohol if you want. But I was like, how in the heck can I drink and paint at the same time?? I mean, I’m sure I would have been more relaxed and thought my painting looked amazing…until the next morning when I would see I painted a blob of indeterminate origin 🙂


  8. I thought you did a fabulous job, especially for your first time. The look on Kodi’s face is priceless! We have similar classes here from the pictures I’ve seen on FB. Sone of them even serve wine, which opens the door for a whole knew kind of painting experience I’m sure, lol.


    • Well, you can actually bring your own wine to this place, but I couldn’t help but shudder at what a disaster that would be for me, ha ha! I mean all I could concentrate on was my painting, not drinking and snacking!


  9. Yeah, that looks fantastic. I wish I could paint even half that well, hand held or not. This is why we stick with crappy comics… painting and actual shading is way beyond our comprehension. 🙂


    • The technique is still far beyond me! I mean, when I first did the nose, it looked terrible! And the fur did not look like any fur that I’ve ever seen before 🙂 The instructors saved my painting for sure!


  10. Nope, never heard of Painting With a Twist. Never taught a pet painting class either. I am, hwever, familiar with Painting With a Drink. Does that count as well? No? The only stroke technique I’ll never forget is the kind that gets you into the hospital (knock on wood… a brush will do).

    Way to go, Mom! (Your furry friend may be a critic.)


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