At a group lunch a couple of weeks ago, my co-worker, Erica, mentioned something she discovered that was really fun, and she said she would love for all of us to attend as a group sometime. It's a franchised business called Painting With A Twist, that has a nearby location. You attend for a class...not a series of classes, but a single two- or three-hour class...bring a friend (or not), bring snacks (or wine) and you leave with a finished painting.
I was game. I went right back to work and checked it out online. They have a calendar listing (and showing images of) all the paintings that they will be presenting classes for that month. All you do is sign up for the one you would like to paint, and show up. They provide canvas, paints, brushes, and instruction. Everybody works on the same subject.
Erica and I both took the class for 'Renata's Green Door' (I know, the door is BLUE not green). It was my second class (3-hour class / $45), and it was not as loose...and was a little more stressful. It's more complex, and you really had to stay on task to keep up. It was not turning out like I wanted, so I went a little nuts with the blue flowery bushes! I have plans to rework it on my own at some point.
Anyway, Google it...Painting With A Twist. They have locations in sixteen states. If you find one near you, grab a friend and go. They also do parties, date nights, and family days. You have to be willing to give up a little individuality for a couple of hours, but it's a great way to get the feel for acrylics on canvas and pick up a technique or two.