Byron Bay- Creative Paint and Sip- 7 June 2024

Last Friday our Students relaxed and unwound at one of our favourite activities- Paint and Sip!

Paint and Sip – What is it?

Paint and Sip is a popular social activity that combines painting with the enjoyment of alcoholic beverages, typically wine. It’s a relaxed and creative event where participants can unwind, socialize, and express their artistic talents, even if they have little to no prior experience with painting.

This was Lexis Byron Bay’s fourth Paint and Sip activity. For the first one we used one of Vincent Van Gogh’s famous Sunflowers paintings for inspiration, and the second we painted Raoul Dufy’s ‘Bay of angels’.  See below or click here to read more.

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Paint and Sip – The Inspiration

‘Cat with Red Fish’ – Henri Matisse

Henri  Matisse was a French artist, known for both his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter.

Matisse is commonly regarded, along with Picasso and Marcel Duchamp, as one of the three artists who helped to define the revolutionary developments in the plastic arts in the opening decades of the 20th century, responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture.

Read more Henri Matisse here.


For Matisse, the goldfish came to symbolize this tranquil state of mind and, at the same time, became evocative of a paradise lost, a subject – unlike goldfish – frequently represented in art.

The original ‘Goldfish’ painting actually didn’t have the cat reaching in for the fish, this was later added in by cartoonist and illustrator, Mitra Farmand, who regularly adds cheeky cats into famous works.

Paint and Sip – The Process

We created our own versions of ‘Goldfish’ in four stages. Whilst enjoying some Merlot!

Stage 1 – We stretched the watercolour paper onto board, and then sketched the outline in water colour paints.

Stretching the paper means wetting the paper and allowing it to dry before you paint on it. Therefore the paper does not become bumpy and shriveled when you use water colours on it!

Paint And Sip!

Stage 2 – We blocked in the background colours with the watercolour paints. The less water used, the more depth of colour.

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Stage 3 – We added further detail to our cat using thick splodges of black gouache paint. Some opted to maintain their pastel colour scheme and use black watercolour. Now the paintings were really beginning to take shape.

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Stage 4 – Finally, we used acrylic paint pens to add definition to the plants, background and give character to the cat.

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And here are the fabulous finished results!

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It was amazing to see how differently everyone interpreted their painting. We can’t wait for our next Paint and Sip!

Not studying with us yet, but would like to?


Lexis Byron Bay delivers academic excellence in arguably Australia’s most desirable study location where you can combine your studies with the great outdoors. Studying at Lexis is more than an experience, it’s a lifestyle! Lexis Byron Bay offers an unrivalled afterschool activity calendar that includes surf lessons, cooking classes, artistic activities, afternoon escapes to surrounding hotspots and full-day weekend adventures. If you want more information on the courses that we offer, click here.


Learn English in Byron Bay. Lexis English students study General EnglishIELTSFCECAE, and English plus Surfing in a friendly and professional school right in the heart of Byron Bay and only 15 minutes from the beach. 

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