After a successful first evening, we had the process down with regard to handing out paint and getting a photo of each face. We’d gotten in the habit of washing the day’s used brushes in the evening but had enough initially to last for a full day (bin of new, clean brushes shown below). We used a bucket with water to hold the used brushes and it quickly became a reddish-colored soup after a couple painting sessions. We’d wash the brushes that evening in our kitchen sink while not worrying terribly about their condition (see below). These cheap foam brushes weren’t expected to hold up well anyway, although I would sometimes use a scissors to trim off a fuzzy or rough edge on the brushes to create a better edge for painting. We’d then lay them out on our kitchen counter to dry overnight.


Things started a bit slower on Friday, after the big rush of people during the kickoff the previous evening. We developed a practice of not bugging people to participate. There were the obvious people who were looking for ArtPrize entries, and others who were not. It was pretty easy to identify the two types, though some people would show a bit of interest and require a bit of prodding to step forward and choose a color.


I was guilty a few times of getting distracted in conversation when I should have been taking photos of people, so odds are I missed capturing the faces of a few painters. I tried to point out the need for people to vote for us, but didn’t want to nag too much. A few people were proactive with the voting but most just enjoyed painting. While I thought a minimum age restriction would be wise initially, I removed it and just made sure parents were asked to assist their young children.

The pace picked up as that Friday went on. It was great to see people getting excited by painting (or maybe just getting a free sticker!). Some groups were likely work associates out for lunch, but the painting made a nice background for group photos.

One of the first surprises we encountered was trying to control the number of people painting at the same time. The canvas was large enough to allow 4-6 people space to paint, but there were times we had to slow people down a bit and allow people to finish. Fortunately no disasters occurred where paint got spilled on a follow painter.

We also were surprised to see that several people didn’t get the message to paint only one space! I watch as some quickly started a second or third space and had to be reminded to only do one. Early on it wasn’t much of an issue, but as the spots began to fill, we had to communicate things more clearly. Everyone was very respectable with the paint, brushes and cups. It was interesting to see some people take their time and be very careful, while others did it quickly and with little effort.

By the end of day two, the canvas was still quite abstract in appearance, which better drew the curiosity of people passing. We’d made it through our first full day, with the craziness of Saturday and Sunday to follow!