When the city outlines are completed, Hall encourages his students to add a dash of "heightened" color to the paintings: purple, yellow, green, bright blue. Then it's time for final details like the arched window in the former Fleet Center and the reflections in the Providence River. One intrepid participant paints a gondolier floating in the foreground.

As the evening winds down, the women in the room — only two of the guests are men — snap photos with smartphones and fawn over each other's work. Their results are remarkably varied; some buildings are square and squat, others are tilted and wobbly. Brightly psychedelic is the color scheme of choice.

You may want to put the paintings face-up in the trunk of your car if they aren't yet dry, Hall advises as guests file out. "Unless — of course — you're from Johnston and there's a body in the way."

"Drink and Dabble" takes place weekly at various restaurants around the state. Learn more atdrinkanddabble.com.

Philip Eil

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