Painting Date Night Ideas

Painting Date Night Ideas

If you’re looking to get a little more creative the next time you go on a date, try a painting date night! Whether you’re a seasoned artist or the last time you picked up a paint brush was in the fifth grade, a painting date can be a fun way to get to know a potential new partner while doing an activity together. Below, find ideas for cute things to paint, painting ideas for couples or groups, painting studio ideas, and more.

Sip and paint date nights

The classic painting date night is, of course, the sip and paint class at a studio. A quick “sip and paint near me” search will reveal that your city probably has multiple locations for studios that offer guided paint nights. If you’ve never done one of these classes, here’s how they’re generally structured. At the beginning of the class, the instructor presents a finished version of the painting everyone will complete by the end of the evening. The instructor then guides attendees through each step of the painting, coming around to each easel to offer suggestions as needed. The studios provide all of the paints, smocks, and any of the other supplies you might need to create a masterpiece. But attendees are encouraged to bring their own wine, beer, or non-alcoholic beverages (hence the “sip” component of the night). The skill levels for these classes are intentionally set low enough that even a painting neophyte can feel like they’ve produced a final piece that looks like the instructor’s. 

If the sip and paint studio nearest you seems a little pricey, consider finding other couples to go with you and your date. Many studios offer discounts to groups of a certain size.

At home painting date nights

Maybe the thought of painting in public fills you with intense social anxiety. Maybe you’ve already tried a sip and paint date night and want to recreate it at home. Or maybe you’re one of those rare artistic talents who doesn’t need a class at all. You can always set up your living room as a makeshift art studio. 

Of course, before you invite anyone into your space or go to a new date’s home, you’ll want to make sure everyone is comfortable with that first. But if they are, painting at home can be a fun setup around which to build a date. It will give you something to talk about and allow you to occupy your mind during any lulls in conversation.

What you’ll need

To prepare for a paint night at home, you’ll need paints, paint brushes, canvases or a sketchbook (a mixed media paper art pad can support different paint types), an apron or clothes you don’t mind getting messy.

Try to borrow these items from friends, family, or neighbors if you can. Most art supply stores sell very basic paint sets for beginners, and you can get simple, inexpensive watercolor sets in the school supply section of major chain stores, making it a perfect cheap date idea. Not sure what exactly to paint yet? Read on for some suggestions for potential subjects!

Paint a still life

Even if you’re not a big art lover, chances are, you’ve seen your fair share of still life paintings. According to one museum, “The term ‘still life’ describes a work of art that shows inanimate objects from the natural or man-made world, such as fruit, flowers, dead game, and/or vessels like baskets or bowls. Looked at another way: still lifes depict things that are ‘still’ and don’t move.”

You can easily create a still life setup at home in about five minutes. Start by putting some fruit in a bowl and setting it on your kitchen table or a counter. Grab the random sweet potato sitting on top of your microwave that you never seem to get around to roasting, and put that near the bowl. Add some variety by including a vase or a mug or a couple of water glasses. 

In traditional art classes, students will sit in different parts of a studio while sketching and painting still lifes, resulting in works from different perspectives. Try the same thing with your date. Talk about what you’re looking at, what the still life reminds you of, or what’s especially challenging or fun about this setup.

Paint your pet

Do you or your date have a cat or a dog (or a guinea pig or a hamster or a lizard or a bird, etc.)? Is this pet absolutely the cutest or most beautiful cat or dog (or guinea pig or hamster or lizard or bird, etc.) who has ever lived? Of course they are, and they deserve to be the subject of their very own painting on this painting date night. 

Afterward, you can find cheap frames online or at most big box stores. Frames can get expensive quickly, so don’t feel like you need to spend a fortune there! Display the portrait of your pet, so that he or she knows just how proud you are to be their human.

Paint each other

Of course, you and your date can always paint each other’s portraits. Don’t worry about getting your date’s features exactly right. Impressionistic, abstract portraits can still capture the spirit of the sitter in an authentic way. You can also make a game of it with your date, by giving yourselves just one minute to sketch each other and then painting from the initial sketch. This will relieve any pressure for the painting to look a certain way and introduce some levity and humor into the process. 

Paint outside

Now that summer is here, consider making your painting date an alfresco experience by painting in a park. Bring snacks and drinks to turn the date into more of a picnic. Inviting some friends along to paint and eat with you can help the date feel like more of a casual summer hangout session, if that’s the vibe you’re going for. Each person can pick a different person or part of the landscape to paint, and discussing how and why you chose a particular subject can make for fun conversation.

Add a trip to a museum

You can also make the actual painting experience the second part of the date. Start by visiting your local art museum and strolling through the exhibits together. Pick a couple of simple pieces you think it would be fun to try to recreate later. While painting together later, use that time to ask more questions about the museum part of the date. Talk about what inspires each of you, which sections of the museum were most exciting, and what resonated with you.