Art Marketing Monday: Classes vs. Parties

Hi friends! With “Paint and Sip” type of painting parties being all the rage I bet some of you are wondering how you can get a piece of the action. Before you run out and buy easels and supplies for dozens of people watch this video!


Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of classes and parties:


  • Steady stream of income as your student return each week for another lesson
  • Lower materials overhead as students buy and bring their own supplies.
  • Students get more value from a class than a party, since they purchase their own supplies they can practice at home, they will also learn better brush care as they are responsible for their belongings.
  • Greater satisfaction from both the teacher and student standpoint as you see students advance in skill.
  • Since classes involve commitment and investment on a students part it is not right for everyone.
  • You need a steady location to hold your class, which can be in your home, library, church or a studio space you rent.
  • Greater variety of materials, you can teach watercolor, oils or mixed media where a paint and sip typically focuses on acrylics.


  • No experience or materials is required from the student so ANYONE can come and paint. *LOTS of potential customers!
  • Fun and social no commitment activity.
  • You have to provide materials and replace brushes as they become damaged (read: often) and you usually have to use lesser quality supplies or you will not make any money BUT that might discourage some students if the quality of the materials isn’t the best. Where as with a class the student buys the materials and can decide what quality they are willing to pay for.
  • The host of the party usually provides the location, unless you have a studio they can use.
  • You can book as many or as few parties as you like when you have time where in  a class you need to have a consistent time and location.


  • This is the best of both worlds because you can funnel the serious painters from the paint and sip class into a weekly class where they can thrive!

I am always leery of basing a business on a fad for two reasons: a. it is popular now so everyone is offering it AND b. it is unreliable, you can have a thriving business that drops off to nothing once people have more paintings than they can hang or the next trendy thing comes along. You can roll with the punches and adapt (think stamping, then scrap-booking, knitting and jewelry making has all cycled around over the last 15 years as the “hot” trend) but I think many painters would be unhappy changing what they teach for a buck. Hopefully this has giving you a place to start thinking about whether or not sip and paint classes are right for you. One thing I forgot to mention is the energy and encouragement you need to be able to give to a large group of students. Regardless of the kind of day you’ve had your student are ready to have fun and paint and you have to deliver that experience for them.

Speaking of classes I am teaching mixed media workshops at the Heirloom Stamp Show in West Springfield MA on Friday June 3rd and there are a few seats available in each class if you want to grab a spot BUT if you are too far away to take that class you can join the nearly 600 students who have signed up for my mixed media class at Craftsy on sale for 50% off, and if mixed media is not your cup of tea there are lots of workshops available at Craftsy. All craftsy classes are self paced and you get lifetime access to them:) Shameless plug over LOL! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!


2 Responses

  1. Absolutely unrelated (was going to tweet you but figured you’re more likely to see it here). I prefer to mix watercolour on porcelain or enamelled metal, but for various reasons I’m stuck with plastic. The paint beads up and I hate it. Any tips for turning plastic into a better mixing surface? Sanding it would in theory work but the increases porosity and staining would be a problem. Any ideas? Thanks so much


    • Hmmm, I find that after I use a plastic palette a bit the paint stops beading up. You could try washing it with a grease fighter like Dawn dish soap and it will remove and mold release that was use in making the palette


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