I was invited by a friend to take up a popular challenge online to produce works within 20 minutes and post them online. “The Twenty Minute Challenge” was to produce a piece of artwork within twenty minutes and I failed doing that. My topic was not something I was used to doing. I thought it would help me quickly improve that particular topic.
I love the shape of the human body, all it’s curves and subtle shapes and wanted to try to express that. Of course, trying to do a nude in 20 minutes is near impossible, there were many difficult moments of frustration. Maybe I should have done more research like reading more books on how to accomplish this and hopefully gain some tips and tricks. This one might have been good. Drawing the Female Nude (Art of Drawing) No excuses! Throwing caution to the wind and being as brave as I could I dove in. None of these pieces were done in 20 minutes!!! Ughhhh!
My 5 minute sketches came out okay and this was good, but that left me 15 minutes to throw some paint on there. A crazy thing for sure. It was interesting to see what happened. I liked the way her hair turned out.
While the form works for me I absolutely am not keen on the color. In my opinion this one turned out the best out of 5. I may try some glazing over him to tone it down a bit.
I did this digitally enhanced work with my painting and I am pleased with this one. Lots of fun playing around with it.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with working on these after the challenge period is over. These are studies and there really is not too much of a story in them, alternatively I found it interesting doing this.
I would take on a Twenty Minute Challenge again. While it was difficult, it was also freeing, as it allowed me to mess up, it was invaluable. In addition It was good to be more free with the brushwork and paint. While I did complete the challenge it was not always successful, but the takeaways are very useful.
Always exploring, experimenting and learning.
To purchase my art on a variety of cool things visit my other art stores.
My year in review is not really a year, it is more like 6 months since I have started my website. I have had an online presence on various social media sites and others like Redbubble and zazzle. therefore it will be interesting to look at this post in another 6 months. Maybe I should do a review every 6 months instead.
I continue to learn and experience new things at every corner, never getting bored. Making new friends in the art circle is absolutely essential to me and this helps a lot to avoid feeling alone. Sometimes being an artist can be isolating. It is great to have the help of peers to review my work. Old friends and new always seem to come up with great ideas and suggestions. Of course trying to get and keep a thick skin can be tough sometimes, but true friends help. They don’t tear me down, but bring me up, elevating my work in the process. Friends help teach me and I hope to discover more friends continuously.
I am happy with my progress although I wish it was faster and further along. Some progress is better than none. I certainly look forward to the future. This is partly due to the constant instant gratification we get from perusing the internet, but it is also due in part to the amount of finished pieces I have. In the future I wish to actually finish more of my pieces.
I did start the year being fairly organized and still make progress organizing more. I am hoping to make my online presence more noticeable, get more followers and learn how to wield that weapon. Making more posts on the various social platforms makes me realize I need to have more material to post.
My year in review causes me to post a picture here of an old transistor cabinet remade into an organizational tool for my tubes of paint and other odds and ends. It was exciting to be able to do this and I think it will be very useful. I can find out at a glance where each color is and what I may need to replace.
Going forward, I hope to have a larger online presence and maybe travel more. I do think travel is very good for an artist.
My favorite place to create in is the great outdoors. I love to hike when I can and it can be difficult to have enough supplies when doing that. It is quite a challenge but very exciting.
I also love my mini studio at home because it has very close proximity to my kitchen and there is great light with lots of windows. Washing brushes and cleanup is made easier because of this location. Although the family and guests can see my progress and comment on my good or not so good works. It is a lesson for them all on how a painting moves from one point through what may be considered finished. As Leonardo Da Vinci said, “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” Knowing when to quit is half of my struggle. Everyone seems to have an opinion and I try to listen to my inner voice to decipher good advice from advice I maybe shouldn’t listen to. I think the best advice can come from fellow artists, so you should get yourself out there and network.
I remember seeing my Mother’s paintings take shape and I was taught by more absorption than actual formality. Things I just know were handed down to me without my actual knowledge. Her way of teaching me as I grew up reminds me of her “studio” in our dining room. This was just off the kitchen also. I’m sure many artists struggle with space and light, I am very lucky to have my little corner.
My Dream Studio
But just imagining a big real studio is great fun. I wonder how it would affect my art and maybe how thrilling it would be. How much more prolific I could be. How much more space would be helpful for storage of works in progress and supplies. It is wonderful to dream. Who knows maybe my dream will come true one day.
N.C. Wyeth’s studio in Pennsylvania. It is just beautiful.
Another part of N.C. Wyeth’s studio with its walls of windows. This a very short walk from his main house. This is a very special place and I can only imagine the freedom he must have had to create here.
This is something I think more creatives need. How much farther along would they be?
Why do you work in the medium you do? I was originally taught how to do oil paintings when I was young and I continue to learn. I found oils great for my lifestyle, I can come back to them after a day or more and they will be still workable. Studying a piece over days helps me to form an idea of what I want to do next changing the colors, lines and composition. Change is more easily accomplished. The medium allows for slower or faster drying times depending on the mix or additives put into it. Oils generally have deep rich colors and you can usually tell an oil from an acrylic. I really enjoy the creamy consistency and they way I can blend colors either on the palette or the canvas. Layering colors after they dry has a wonderful effect.
Painting Techniques and Styles
There are almost as many techniques as there are styles. Wet on wet or alla prima, palette knife, imprimatura, plein air, sfregazzi, sfumato, impasto or scumbling. Alla prima is a lot of fun and lends itself to plein air painting because it is usually completed in one session. Sgraffito is a technique where you can scratch through layers of paint exposing different colors underneath and adding texture at the same time. Sfumato is a technique of using very soft gradual transitions from light to dark. Leonardo Da Vinci has good examples of this. Impasto is thick paint applied that helps to catch light and shadows, sometimes built up for effect and usually done on stronger supports. Scumbling is speckled, broken color applied so color underneath shows through. This gives a painting a sense of depth and color variation.
This is an example of impasto.
This is an example of the scumbling technique.
I have also always loved pastel chalks because of the light airy effects I can achieve. The colors can be bright and cheerful. Blending this powdery medium is a lot of fun as is layering. Softness is easily achieved and hard edges or lines are too. They are a bit messy though.
I have recently been exploring acrylics because of their fast drying times. I am hoping it will be a great new way for me to travel without wet oil painting when I do plein air. Oils have a habit of getting onto everything if you aren’t careful. It seems to travel where you don’t want it sometimes. Acrylic is more easily cleaned and water is safer and readily available. Other additives can be put into acrylics to affect the drying times and blending too.
Experimenting with oil pastels sounds like a lot of fun. I am excited that there is so much to learn and experience with my art questing.
To purchase my art on a variety of cool things visit my other art stores.
One piece I have done that garnered a lot of attention was “The Eye of God”. This artwork was based on photos from NASA. I have done several paintings based on what we can see out in the universe, but this is my favorite piece. I find those sights beautiful and otherworldly. Sometimes I feel like there is hope and a God when I look at some of these pictures. It makes me feel Small and filled with wonder. I realize there is more to what we see around us.
There is a similar inspiration from the Eye of Sauron that was a symbol of the Dark Lord. It was featured in The Lord of the Rings and is known around the world. It is ironic that these two symbols, one representing good and one bad, are both are so similar. Like good and evil, they are juxtaposed against each other and yet sometimes have the same reason for their execution.
I have a lot of fun painting clouds and they seem to come out pretty good. That just naturally lends itself to star dust formations. There is a freedom to these as well.
I remember when painting these, there was a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. It is great to get lost in them and feel peace because I think this a good thing. Even though I cannot actually go and see these formations in person I think they are beautiful. I can only imagine how it would feel to see them in real life. These formations are absolutely awe inspiring.