Proving Des Moines is NOT boring

Pinot’s Palette: You Come, You Drink, You Paint, You Have Fun

Last Friday, a girlfriend and I went to a soft open for Pinot’s Palette.  Pinot’s Palette is a new upscale painting and wine destination where you come, you drink, you paint, you have fun.  And we did.  What I loved most about this experience is that no experience is required.  I’ve taken art history classes but can’t draw to save my life.  At most I can give you a stick figure, and even then, they all look the same.

Pinot's Sign

Sign up for the class was so easy! They have a monthly calendar that shows what classes are painting which works on any given day so you can make an informed choice.  Their Painting Library is very extensive and breaks the paintings down into categories based on how long it will take to paint and seasonal works.  They have two hour paintings, three hour paintings, kid’s paintings, and holiday paintings.

Everything was already set up when we arrived.  Easels were erect and our names were written in chalk on the table top in front of the easel.  The paint was already portioned out and covered under the easel alongside the three brushes we used and the glass of water for brush rinsing.  They have a long counter for snack set up and ice buckets for wine or beer or sodas (for the kids if you bring them).  They provided corkscrews, wine glasses, plates, and utensils along with all of the paint supplies (paint, brushes, canvas, easel, aprons, etc.).  It is BYOB so you provide the snacks and beverages.  We had some time to mingle and snack before painting.

I was nervous about the painting.  I don’t paint.  I didn’t have art classes in elementary school and by the time I reached high school, I figured it was too late to learn how to draw.  I see drawing and painting as something you can or can’t do.  It’s innate.  I’m much better using a pencil to write than to sketch.  I had nothing to be worried about.  One instructor stood to the side of the class so we could see her step by step instructions as she painted along with us.  That was immensely helpful.  Everyone’s painting was going to look different anyway so it didn’t matter that your brush strokes didn’t match hers or if you went heavier with your paint.  It was all how you wanted to put the paint on the canvas.  And the more wine I drank, the less I really cared that they didn’t look exactly the same.  I felt like Bob Ross painting a happy little wine glass.

Pinot's Wine Glass (1)Each painting has a color palette.  We were encouraged to go change out the colors for some that would match our home décor if we wanted.  There was a paint cart in the back in case you just loved the yellow and needed more of it because you’d used all of yours up.  In addition to the instructor painting with us, there were other instructors who walked around giving advice and answering questions.  Everybody there was extremely helpful, which made for a very relaxed atmosphere and was all the more fun.  There were also two breaks during the class to let the paint on the canvas dry.  It was also a wonderful time to get up and stretch your way over to get more wine.

I’m already planning a return trip for a friend’s birthday.  They host private parties, based on date availability, and have a private party room in the back.  You can do either a two hour or three hour painting, and all the same rules apply as if you were going to a regular class: BYOB with utensils and paint supplies provided.   I was also told that color palettes could be altered to fit a theme. You can also submit a picture and (with enough time) they could possibly sketch something out for you to paint. If you wanted a painting of your pet or a special picture you have and want on canvas.  They also have special rates for kid’s parties if your little aspiring artist wants a birthday party there.

Pinot’s Palette is located at 900 42nd St., Des Moines and you can email them for more information at  You can also like them on Facebook.