Artstagram: Just in time for beer o'clock, this Chicago artist paints with pints

#InternationalBeerDay is trending on Twitter, but there's someone on Instagram with real reason to celebrate. Meet Kyle Bice, the artist behind @beerportraits. Like the handle suggests, the Chicago illustrator paints portraits with beer -- porters and stouts preferred.

Because it's #InternationalBeerDay, meet an artist who's brewing something special on Instagram.

Name: Kyle Bice
Handle: @beerportraits

#InternationalBeerDay is trending on Twitter, but there's someone on Instagram with real reason to celebrate.
Kyle Bice is the Chicago illustrator behind @beerportraits — whose M.O. is all in his handle. 

Bice paints with beer. Porters and stouts are his preferred mediums, and he layers the liquids as though they were watercolours, creating muted portraits of those who make and serve the stuff itself — bar owners, brewery owners, anyone within the sphere of craft beer.

These are people who would much rather drink beer, not draw with it. Bice would probably agree. As he tells it, the project began as an act of desperation.

The illustrator regularly drops in on a neighbourhood "drink and draw" event. He and a bunch of local artists get together at the bar to sketch over cold ones. But as he told Draft magazine: "I forgot my paints one day." 

He didn't have paint, but he did have a pint. 

"I was like you know, 'I'll try to paint with this,' and that's how it started."

A few of his posts:

In case you're feeling creative this International Beer Day, Bice explained his technique to Draft. (Take notes on the closet bar napkin.) "It's very similar to watercolour painting; you're essentially staining the paper with pigment. It usually takes several layers to get it dark enough so it looks like something," he says. "It's oddly challenging because unlike watercolor or acrylic, if you put too much on the paper, it'll start coming back off. Sometimes you just have to stop because the paper won't take any more beer."

More of his paintings, and interviews with the subjects, can be found at

Social media can be so much more than selfies and viral videos — it's increasingly becoming a scratch pad for emerging artists and other creative minds to show off their latest work. Artstagram curates the best visual talent on Instagram, helping bring a little more art into your daily feed.​


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