Working with the paint part of the project was certain to take some thought and effort. From selecting the color swatches, determining how much paint would be needed, to transferring the paint into hundreds of small cups, it would be the last major effort before the actual painting event would begin.

To determine how much paint would be needed, I painted a sample area on an old canvas that was roughly the same size as the areas on the real canvas. I determined that just about a teaspoon of paint would be enough. Of course, the paint could be applied heavier or thinner by the participant, but the teaspoon amount was a good place to start. From there, it was simply a matter of counting how many spaces there were of each color and doing a little math. After doing so, we ended up with a good idea of how much paint we needed.

Number of colored swatches per color:

– 1 Yellow: 6
– 2 Light Orange: 26
– 3 Orange: 56
– 4 Red Orange: 111
– 5 Blue: 191
– 6 Light Blue: 243
– 7 Dark Blue: 298
– 8 Orange: 110
– 9 Purple: 117
– 10 Red: 446 or 1 Gallon

The paint we purchased was available in three size: a sample jar, a quart and a gallon. One sample jar has 40 teaspoons of paint. One quart has 192 teaspoons of paint. One gallon has 768 teaspoons. From there, we were ready to purchase what we needed.

Somewhere I’d heard the idea of using syringes to transfer paint, so I purchased a 10-pack and started putting paint in the required number of cups for each color. After measuring how much a teaspoon of water filled the small cup, I was able to eyeball the amount as I began transferring the paint from the container to the cup. My wife Deb and I began the process on the Tuesday evening before ArtPrize began. We were able to get about three-quarters of the paint transferred before calling it a night and finishing up the following evening. Deb is my “logistics manager” so took command of how the paint cup organization proceeded.

After two evenings of transferring paint into roughly 800 cups, we were done (and tired of doing it!) but it felt good to be beyond that task. Depending on how the painting process went, we could reuse some of the cups for a second use, or perhaps purchase additional paint for the second weekend of painting if needed.