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Painting with the Classics is a three-hour, single-session painting course taught by local artists Alison Shepard and Evan Hildebrandt. No prior experience is necessary as Alison and Evan provide one-on-one instruction to attendees. And they’ll even supply you (along with the art materials) plenty of food & drink for snacks. The class is held monthly at Switch Lighting & Design from 1-4 p.m. ADDRESS: 312 W. 4th Street (45202) / Image: Phil Armstrong, Cincinnati Refined // Published: 4.22.18

This Single-Session Course Will Unlock Your Inner Artist In Less Than 3 Hours

Painting is scary to a lot of folks who aren't confident in their ability to do it. Between mixing pigments to make the right color to figuring out how to apply to said colors to a medium, the whole thing can be a daunting experience. And perhaps its most daunting aspect is going through the steps without guaranteeing you'll be able to produce what you want.

But what if there was a way to guarantee you'll paint something worthy of hanging on the wall? What if you knew the effort you put into painting would renew — or, even, unlock — confidence in your ability to create art? Would that replace your fears with relaxation?

If yes, turn your attention to Painting with the Classics, a single-session painting course taught by two local artists whose passion for art and teaching will open your eyes to your own untapped abilities.

Before you recoil at the word "course," read on. This isn't a math class.


Alison Shepard and Evan Hildebrandt are a married couple with decades of artistic experience. Together, they'll briefly outline a classic artist, provide what you need to create a piece inspired by that artist, and walk you through the process to ensure you leave with a work of art you love. And they'll do all of it in the beautiful showroom of Switch Lighting & Design on 4th Street.

You don't need even a millisecond of prior experience with painting to create something wonderful, either.

The class is intimate and relaxing, focusing on a smaller number of people than other single-session classes around town. A three-hour block of time for the class allows for a steadier pace, too. Alison and Evan have time to personally show you how to move the brush, where to apply color, and give techniques for getting the result you want. That extra time allows for a better quality piece by the end; you won't walk away with a 16"x20" canvas of a hastily-painted cartoon silhouette of a dolphin that'll go straight into the closet once you get it home.

And don't worry about bringing supplies. The brushes and paints you'll need are provided. All you bring is a desire to create. A sketch of the subject on the canvas or board you'll be painting on, as well as all color mixing, is completed by Alison and Evan beforehand. The class avoids prep work and instead grants you more time to actually paint.

To sweeten the experience, drinks and food are available to those who attend.


My girlfriend, who has never truly painted in her life, enjoyed a mimosa and some fruit as she painted a Van Gogh-inspired piece in less than three hours because of this class. Due to her experience with Painting with the Classics, she's since been inspired to paint outside of her single session.

As an amateur painter in my spare time, I learned more about technique from Alison and Evan in the couple hours I was there photographing the course than I did in several hours-long sessions of a painting class I took at the Art Academy last year.

There is a painter inside all of us. Painting with the Classics proved that notion to someone with no background in art. Who's to say you're not capable of the same thing?

Gather some friends, skip lunch, and discover your inner artist in Switch under Alison and Evan's guidance. You won't be disappointed.

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Classes and tickets can be found on Painting With the Classic's Facebook page.