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How to Prepare for Your Online Session

You’re booked in! Wonderful. Our artists can’t wait to meet you, or welcome you back to the Cork & Chroma online studio. We’re so excited to paint with you and connect over creativity. Here’s a little guide with some pre and post-session tips to ensure you get the most out of your Cork & Chroma online experience.
 

Equipment

First up, you’re going to need some artist tools! To make life a little easier, we are selling painting kits for one, two or four people which have everything you need for the session, plus extra canvases and paint for next time! However, if you don’t live near one of our studio pick-up points, here’s a list of things we recommend getting your hands on prior to the session.

1. Something to paint on. In our studios we use 40 x 50cm stretched canvases, which is what your artist will be painting on. However, you can paint on whatever surface you like! You might like to paint on a stretched canvas, a canvas sheet or board, a piece of card, a wall in your house… okay, we’re just kidding about the wall.

2. An easel. This one’s optional, but we find that painting with your canvas on an angle helps you see your painting in a clearer perspective, and is kinder on your posture. If you don’t have an easel at home, you could place a few books under the top of your canvas, or lean your canvas up against a box.

3. A set of paints. In our studios we use water-based acrylic paints, which are very versatile and quick-drying. The page you booked in with has a list of colours you need for your particular painting. We recommend picking up some extra white, as you will likely go through this more quickly than the other colours. Otherwise, you can always follow along with watercolours, gouache, crayons, or whatever else you have at home!

 4. A palette. This is where we’ll be mixing our different colours. You could use a plastic or aluminium palette (the aluminium palettes are a dream to clean!), a tear-off palette or piece of paper, or even a metal cupcake tin.

5. Paint brushes. For most of our sessions we get by using just three brushes: a large flat brush, a medium flat brush, and a small round brush. Any set of brushes you can find with a mix of sizes and flat and round bristles is perfect! We prefer synthetic bristles over natural bristles as they’re more cost effective, and kinder on our furry friends.

Cork & Chroma paintbrushes illustration

6. A jar of water. This is for rinsing our brushes between colours. If you don’t have a jar you could use an old container or mug, it will work just the same!

7. A wash rag. This could be an old washer, cloth, or scrap of towel. We use this for wiping excess paint and water off our bristles, and for wiping up any paint (or wine!) spills.

8. An apron. If you don’t have an apron, we recommend that you wear clothes you don’t mind getting a little bit of paint on, in the unlikely event of a spillage. That outfit, the one you’ve been busting to wear for the first time? Now is not that time.

 

Before the Session

We recommend that you allow yourself a good 20 or so minutes to set up for your session. If you have a spare newspaper at home, you might like to lay some sheets underneath your artist station so you don’t need to worry about spills. This will also speed up your clean-up process. You might also like to have a hairdryer nearby in case you need to give your painting a quick blast during the session to speed up the drying time.

This is how we like to set up our artist station:

Cork & Chroma online session set-up illustration

Tech Know-How

Ensure you have downloaded ‘Zoom’ in advance and that your device is well charged. You can enter the meeting’s ‘Waiting Room’ at any time by entering your user code and password, and our hosts will admit you into the session once it’s time to begin. The host will let you know which colours to get ready on your palette in advance of the first step.

Aside from that, simply settle in, pour yourself a wine or cuppa, and get ready to have a great time!

Cork & Chroma Online Session - at home snacks illustration

After the Session

 The session will run for approximately 2.5 hours in total. So, if you book in for a 6.30pm session, you can expect to be finished around 9pm. Depending on how ‘expressive’ you’ve been with the paint, we recommend allowing approximately ten minutes to clean down your artist station and equipment after the session.

 

Cleaning Tips

Clean your equipment as soon as you’ve finished painting using warm soapy water.Once you’ve washed your brushes, pinch the bristles between your fingers to reshape them and dry them laying flat or with the bristles pointing upwards.

If you have excess paint, you can store it in small airtight containers. If you’re planning to paint again soon, spritz your palette with water and cover it with cling film – this should keep the paints hydrated for a day or two.

If you get paint on your clothes, soak them immediately in warm water, and use a little product i.e. Vanish to remove any stains. Use a damp rag to remove any paint from hard surfaces.

 

Self-expression of any sort can leave even the most experienced painters feeling a little vulnerable, so we encourage you to leave any doubts or disclaimers you might have about your creativity at the door! Drop them there and watch them slowly roll towards the curb as you paint the night (or day) away. Come along with an open, positive mindset, your space all set-up and let us take care of the rest.

Oh, and one last thing, artists! Please don’t worry if you don’t have everything we’ve mentioned above, or if your paint or equipment looks a little different to ours. It’s perfectly okay to use whatever you have at home, and between our creative minds and yours, we’ll make it work just fine. We are inspired by your creative resourcefulness, and love sharing this online experience with you. Thank you for welcoming us into your homes. See you soon!
 
Dali painting at home with Cork & Chroma illustration

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