Same Same But Different: Painting Styles

Aug 14, 2021

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There’s this one question we get all the time: Why are they all painting the same thing? 

Fair question. People see us painting together in studio, or see people holding up their paintings on social media and wonder why we’re all painting the same thing. But are we? Well, yes, kind of… and no. When you book your session, you select a painting that you would like to paint along to, and our artist guides you through that painting step by step. So in that respect, we all start at the same point. But what happens from there is totally up to you. Some guests like to follow the steps closely, some use them as a loose guideline, and some toss the rulebook and paint their own thing entirely! By the end of the session no two paintings are the same—so we’re not ever really painting the ‘same’ thing at all.

If you look at the group of painters below, you’ll see that everyone painted Starry Night. Look a little closer, and you’ll notice that each painting tells its own starry story through colour and shape, and how everyone’s individual style shines through. It’s the same scene reimagined in every which way: some are dark, some are light, some are soft, and some are bright!


I spy a lighthouse, a black and white sky, 

a tree with three branches, and a bat flying high. 


Starry Night Group Photo - Cork and Chroma


Everyone has their own signature style

Without even realising it, we started developing our own style as little kids learning to write. Do you remember having any writing quirks, like your ‘T’s were extra long, or you drew circles instead of dotting your ‘I’s, or your letters slanted forwards or backwards? We all learnt to write the same alphabet, yet our handwriting all turned out differently. Our writing might be small and neat, big and loopy, curly, scrawly, or all of the above depending on the day!

It’s the same with brushstrokes. Even if everyone were to paint with the same kind of brushstroke, the strokes will all look unique because of the way we hold the brush and how much pressure we use. We might be careful and tidy with our brushstrokes, or more loose and gestural. There’s no right or wrong way, there’s just your way. And that’s the best part! No one can paint exactly like you can.



Step by step, in any direction

Your Cork & Chroma artist will guide you through your painting, one step at a time. Many of our guests are beginner painters so we break up the painting into small steps, which makes the process more fun and accessible. Rather than loading everyone up with all the steps from the get-go, we spread it out over the course of the session, travelling along at a comfortable group pace.

Sometimes our artists will change something slightly on their painting to deviate from the original, such as introducing a new colour or repositioning an element, to show you ways you could add personal touches. With each step of your painting you make a choice, which then informs your next choice. How closely you follow the steps, and your artist’s choices, is up to you.

Imagine everyone playing their own game of chess, instead of painting a picture. Your artist moves their pawn to E4 and explains the outcome or effect they are trying to achieve. If you want the same outcome on your painting, you also move your pawn to E4. If you want something similar, you could move your pawn to D4, slightly altering the trajectory of your painting game. If you want to go rogue and do something entirely different, be our guest! Pick up that knight and jump to H6, you daredevil.



The road is yours 

The painting you choose offers a collective starting point, and from there the road is yours. For those who may be new to painting and prefer to follow along closely, our artist will give you all the roadsigns and information you need to stay on track. For those who enjoy a detour, you can keep an eye on the road while exploring some alternate routes. And for those who prefer to toss the map and discover their own hidden path and treasures, we can’t wait to see what you find!

We couldn’t paint the same thing if we tried: painting just doesn’t work that way. It all comes down to our signature style, the choices we make at each step, and how closely we want to follow along. It’s not our way or the highway: it’s every which wonderful way our creativity can take us.


Road Disappearing into Distance - Cork and Chroma


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