Artist Aquil Virani creates live painting at restaurant launch.


This is an acrylic painting I created live at The Nest (cafe)’s grand opening event in Montreal. I learned that using the same colors as the venue in your painting can really pay off.

The artwork itself is 30 x 40 inches (about 2.5 x 3.5 feet), featuring the brand’s colors of brown, blue and green. The top portion features a “mandala” – a repetitive circular design used in Hindu and Buddhist imagery – with geometric forms and the words “student-run; the nest; le nid” hidden inside. The bottom portion features doodles created by dozens of event participants who contributed a doodle related to their vision of The Nest in the future.

Featured in several places, the prominent “n” is borrowed from The Nest’s logo.

I aimed from the outset to keep the composition simple. The circular mandala is quite impactful in my opinion, drawing in the eyes of cafe visitors effectively. On top of that, I am happy with the balance I’ve achieved between detailed, busy areas and empty resting spots. The manager was thoroughly satisfied with the result and so was I.