Final Chicago Skyline Van Gogh Style Painting BYOB

BYOB Painting: Chicago Skyline – Van Gogh Style

If you ever get the chance to attend a BYOB (bring your own beverage) painting class, you should go! I highly recommend them. They are a great way to relax, have fun, and get out of any art slump you might be in.

Recently, I attended a couples BYOB painting class. The theme was the Chicago Skyline stylized to mimic Van Gogh’s Starry Night. It was a great subject for a couples project. Normally, in one of these classes you walk away with your own stand-alone painting (example here), but with a couples painting class it is slightly different. As you can guess both people paint their own canvas, which afterwards come together to form a complete image. The fun/challenging part is getting both canvases to match up and appear cohesive.

What We Used:

  • Acrylic Paint
  • Canvas (x2)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Jar of water
  • Paper towels
  • Reference picture
  • Red wine 🙂
  • Tabletop easel (optional)
  • Smock (optional)


I won’t take you through the whole process in detail since that is boring and painting should be a fun organic experience.

Tips: I tend to blend my colors a lot right on the canvas and had to constantly remind myself that I needed choppy short strokes to match Van Gogh’s style. Having the reference image handy helped as a reminder. In order to keep the skyline and swirl flowing correctly from one canvas to the next we kept the canvases touching when adding the white swirl and blocking out the skyline.

At a high level the process looked like this, start with the background first. Once all the blue paint is applied (even to the sides of the canvas) take white paint and start adding where the stars, moon, and swirl should go (it helped us to keep the canvases together at this point). Once that’s all dry, add warm colors (yellow, orange, red) over the top of the white. Add reflections and ripples to the water. Now comes the Chicago Skyline being blocked out in black paint (another good point to have your canvases together). Once dry, add white and yellow highlights for sides of the buildings and windows. Touch up anything you want and add your signature. Finally, place the canvases right next to each other, take a step back, admire your masterpiece and cheers to a job well done!

If you’ve ever taken a BYOB painting class or are thinking about it let me know in the comments below or share your work with me on Instagram – @reminiscentrain

Happy Painting!


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