Painting a day—March 2016

For the past couple of years, I’ve challenged myself to a month of painting a day challenges. Normally I do this during the month of February since my schedule seems to slow down a bit during that month. This year was an exception. Life was busy and a bit messy and I fell behind. The next thing I knew, I was shaking my head and a week and a half into the month of February and I hadn’t done one painting. Rather than continue to be frustrated with myself, I decided to postpone the challenge for a month. Well, here it is…. it’s March…. How’d that happen?

I have to say, February went out with a bang, I ended it with a two day painting workshop followed up with a new nephew born on leap day…..I guess life really hasn’t slowed much, but, I’m determined so, here it is, the start of my painting a day challenge.

For the first painting, I got up a couple hours before I had to get ready for my “day job” and decided to go to my easel and do a quick study. I decided to start where the workshop I had just taken, left off. One of the main concepts of the workshop was, “paint what you know”. We worked on sketching multiple thumbnail sketches, all from our memory… photos….no “en plein air” work. It was all based on scenes we’d studied, maybe painted before, or were just familiar to us. As we built up several sketches, we chose one to build upon. We sketched it in greater detail and made detailed studies of key parts of the sketch. Later, we worked on a color study of one of the thumbnails. This was meant to be a quick study but, I had trouble working out the colors that I had in my mind. We were given a two hour period to do a “final” painting based on the reference material and study we’d made previously. I didn’t feel like my color study was quite where I wanted it to be so, I spent an hour on it. With the last hour, I felt I needed to get something done on my “final” painting so, I started blocking in color and shape. My “final” painting wasn’t done by the time our time was up and it wasn’t quite meeting my vision. I say all of this to introduce my first painting for March…a quick, 30 minute study on background for my “final” painting. It is nothing fancy but it is a building block. Building blocks and the benefit of structured, repetitive practice are my goals for my painting a day challenge. I hope you’ll come along for the ride and maybe gain a bit of insight as to my process…..or just stop by to see what I felt like painting that day.


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