Thursday, January 31, 2013

Day Thirty of Thirty

watercolor 9" x 12"

Wow.  I did it!  I painted thirty paintings in thirty days.  Thank you Leslie Saeta for challenging me to paint everyday for a month.  It has given me a new sense of purpose.  I am inspired and humbled by my fellow painters in this 30 in 30 Challenge.  And I can't wait to start again tomorrow...
Going forward, I intent to try to still paint every day, but to work on larger more involved works.  I felt a little rushed with some of these, but in starting and finishing 30 paintings I learned that it often has more to do with the planning stage than the execution.  Some of my favorite ones actually took less time to paint than some of my least favorite ones.  The difference was in the choices that I made before paint ever hit paper.  

Day Twenty-Nine of Thirty

watercolor 11" x 15"

I tried playing around with wet into wet for the background on this one. I like the contrast with the sharper edges of the figure but I realize now that I cold have gone a lot more saturated for the ground.  Painting every day has made it easier to try different techniques and not worry about the outcome of some precious's about the process, not the product.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Day Twenty-Eight of Thirty

watercolor 11" x 15"

I was fighting with the materials on this one.  Every layer I put on lifted the one below it, so I was constantly  repainting everything. That worked for fixing the drawing but not for just modifying a color, which I still need a lot of help with!  I need to learn to mix the right color the first time.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Day Twenty-Seven of Thirty

watercolor 4" x 6"

I think I could have pushed the darks more to get that sense of light coming in the window...

Day Twenty-Six of Thirty

watercolor 11" x 15"

Not happy with this one but I'm two behind in the challenge so here it is!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Day Twenty-Five of Thirty

watercolor 11" x 15"

I tried a different approach today after reading Al Stine's book Painting Watercolor Portraits.  He had a example where he worked on smooth illustration board and went back into the painting to wipe out highlights and soften edges.  This would be similar to how I work in charcoal so I thought I'd try it.  My colors are muddier than his but I like the technique and would like to try it again, keeping the colors cleaner, and trying not to overwork.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Day Twenty-Four of Thirty

watercolor 4" x 6"

It's funny how when I see the paintings on the monitor I always want to go back and fix things... but I'm movin' on! 

Day Twenty-Three of Thirty

watercolor 4" x 6"

Only one week left and I'm hoping to finish out strong.  I am learning so much by sticking with the same subject matter, medium and format.  I'm dying to work larger, but for these quick dailies I think small allows me to just focus on the color which is what I really need to work on.  I feel cramped with the brushstrokes but at least I'm trying not to get caught up in the details.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Day Twenty-Two of Thirty

watercolor 8" x 8"

This is actually a painting from last year that I tried to go back into.  After doing the last horse picture I wanted to try another and this one was half-started so I thought I'd give it a go.  The values are off because I went way too dark with the black helmet and navy clothes.  Maybe I'll try again...

Day Twenty One of Thirty

watercolor 4" x 6"

Well, even if I'm not liking the finished product, I'm enjoying the process and learning along the way.  Starting something new everyday is great for forcing yourself to try something new and to let go of mistakes and move on.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Day Twenty of Thirty

watercolor 4" x 6"

I tried to save this one with watercolor pencil.  I like the combination but I sort of feel like it's cheating.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Day Nineteen of Thirty

watercolor 4" x 6"

Slipping a little bit, but I'll be back on track tomorrow...

Friday, January 18, 2013

Day Eighteen of Thirty


watercolor 4" x 6"

Still try to use more color,  and not overwork...

Day Seventeen of Thirty

watercolor 4" x 6"
A nice reminder of a warmer time on a 20 degree day...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Day Sixteen of Thirty

watercolor 8" x 10"

This is a second stab at the portrait I did on Day Six.  I am trying to work more loosely and I thought it might help to use a reference that I am very familiar with so that I don't get caught up in the drawing part of it.  I liked how it was coming together early on, but then I think I killed it.  The color got muddy and the edges got crumbly, and now I think I should just go to sleep!  Let's try, try  again, again.

I like the look of the untouched wash on the right side and the fresh colors.  I need to try to leave well enough alone...

Day Fifteen on Thirty

watercolor 6" x 6"

Half-way there!  Today I expanded my pallet a little to include a warm and a cool red.  The pumpkins and the tutu were so bright I needed them to stand out.  However, I made the mistake again of "retouching".  The beauty of watercolor lies in its own unique nature and I' m finding that I need to let it do its own thing, and not go back into it.... Oh well, I'm learning.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Day Fourteen of Thirty

watercolor 6" x 6"

Color is a little overwhelming... I'm still only using three colors and even that is stressing me out!  And then there is the whole watercolor technique thing that still completely eludes me.  I feel like I have no control over the paint, but maybe that's the fun part.  Either way, right now watercolor seems like a better choice for me than acrylics because the three different acrylic paintings that I started all got wiped.  Hopefully I will learn something in my class on Saturday!
Still painting everyday... Thank you Leslie Saeta!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Day Thirteen of Thirty

watercolor 6" x 6"

Today I tried a three color palette, with a little wet-on-wet color mixing instead of glazing one on top of the other once it's dry, as I had been doing.  Not sure how I feel about it, but... I need to keep trying.  I went back to it, but I didn't like it as much.  The lighting  was different when I took the second photo and I think I overworked the face. Oh well, there's always tomorrow!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Day Twelve of Thirty

watercolor 4" x 6"

The backlighting was a challenge for this one.  Looking at it now there are things I
would change/fix, but I need to move on.  Right now, painting daily is more important to me than producing perfect pieces.  I just need to keep working to refresh my skills, and find my path.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Day Eleven of Thirty

watercolor 4" x 6"

My main goal with this little piece was to stay loose.  (It was helpful that my reference photo did not have too much information, as she is behind a window screen.)  I sketched it in quickly, used a big brush, and did not go back into it....too much. 
This 30 paintings in 30 days challenge with Leslie Saeta has been so motivating.  I have so many things I want to work on.  I am enjoying the challenge of watercolors but I am also dying to get going with acrylics.  On Saturday I start a 5 week class, Expressive Acrylic Painting with Lisa Daria Kennedy,  Can't wait!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Day Ten of Thirty

watercolor 4" x 6"

I've been trying to loosen up today.  I started three other paintings in the hopes of doing just that, and ended up going back to this one.  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Day Nine of Thirty

watercolor 4"x 6"

This is just a little quickie I did while working on other paintings.  With watercolors, I have been starting 2 or 3 paintings at the same time and move between all three while I'm waiting for each one to dry.  Then yesterday I pulled out the acrylics and started two acrylic paintings as well.  So, I have a lot in the works but not much to show!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Day Eight of Thirty

watercolor 4" x 6"

More color is creeping into my painting today, in the form of a touch of cadmium red.  I'm feeling a little more comfortable and will try to venture into an expanded palette tomorrow...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Day Seven of Thirty

watercolor 4" x 6"

It has been liberating to work in only two colors, a warm and a cool, glazing one over the other to create a neutral.  It streamlines the painting process for me so that I can focus on tone, value and controlling the edges (which is the most difficult thing for me with watercolor).  If I had to think about color I would be stalled.  But now I'm itching to add more color!  On this one I'd love to add a little cadmium red to those cheeks.  I think I'll have to go back and do another full color version of her.  Also, I could work on this for another day but with watercolor you really lose the freshness the more you noodle with it.  Which makes me want to break out the oils (or acrylics) and noodle.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Day Six of Thirty

watercolor 4" x 6"

Really having fun with this now... why haven't I been paining every day all along? Thank you Leslie Saeta for creating the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge! This is yet another two color painting and I think I will continue this little series for a while.  I would like to try acrylics this week, but I think I'll continue with these also.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Day Five of Thirty

watercolor 4" x 6"

Continuing on with the two color paintings and I feel like it is helping me.  There is so much to juggle in a painting: value, edges, drawing, etc. that keeping the palette limited simplifies at least the color aspect of it, for now...

Day Four of Thirty

watercolor 5" x 7"

I'm sticking with the two color paintings for now... It really helps to simplify the process and help me keep up the whole one a day commitment.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Day Three of Thirty

Today I tried a two color painting, just ultramarine blue and light red...

                                                                   8" x 8" watercolor

Friday, January 4, 2013

Day Two of Thirty

Day two of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge and I'm realizing I need to work more quickly.  I could spend four more days on this and still not have it how I'd like it.  I either need to start with a clearer plan or simplify my subject, or both... But that is why I'm doing this!
                                                                 watercolor 7.5" x 8.5"

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Day One of Thirty

Day One of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days...


watercolor 9"x12"

I'n not thrilled with this one but I have to move on.  I love the reference photo and intend to try it  again in a different media, maybe acrylic.  Too many issues with this one to discuss, but here it is regardless. One day, one painting.  They can only get better right?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

For 2013, I made a resolution to do a painting/drawing a day for the whole year.  I started out strong last year but fizzled as the year went on...

So this year I am going to start with thirty paintings in thirty days! I am going to participate in Leslie Saeta's 30 Paintings In 30 Days Challenge at I am very excited to start and plan to use portrait/figures as my theme.  I have been sketching from some photos I took of the kids and plan to develope them into paintings.  The question is what media...

I had been playing around with watercolor but I really like the look of oils. I'm not comfortable with having oils (read: turpentine) out with a curious two year old in the house so that brings me to acrylics... I will have to get some and try them out. But for today, watercolor it is.