Just FYI, I am ALL about post-mortems, and I’ve been itching to do this since I started this whole venture! So without further ado, here are my observations from my first time participating in the “30 in 30” challenge…
Greatest benefit: Instead of only talking about painting and building up a body of work, I actually DID it! And, bonus! I learned that I could actually handle the paint pretty well. Well, most of the time…
Biggest letdown: A sense of… I don’t know if I’d call it boredom, but rather the nagging feeling that I should have been devoting my energy to making original art and not just studies. You can see that by the end of the challenge, I started to waffle and take more time with my paintings. This was less because I had become a fussbudget, and more because I frequently contemplated abandoning them altogether. I’m still not sure if I took on this challenge just as a way of putting off the more difficult task of coming up with original imagery.
The Mediums are the Message: I tried more than a few on my acrylic paintings over the last few weeks, but I’ll save that breakdown for a future post. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this: they are NOT created equal.
(F)oil paints: They took me for a ride, no question! Remember Poe Dameron in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, when he first flies the Tie-Fighter (“WHOA! This thing really MOVES!”)? Well, that was me with oils. It was a bit of a bumpy ride at first, but I’m proud of myself for giving them a go and getting to know them a little better – one more tool at my disposal!
Painting mistakes I made all the way through:
- mixed too many colours together and ended up with mud
- painted thoughtlessly and ended up with too many layers (i.e. more mud)
- didn’t take the time to establish VALUES
Things I’d like to try with my painting from here on in:
- less mud, more vibrant colour
- gestural brushwork
- non-linear imagery, i.e. don’t rely on the reference images as much
Saving the best for last: The engagement with other artists who were crazy enough to do the “30 in 30” challenge, and their support, has been one of the best takeaways from this experience – bar none! It was a welcome opportunity to connect with fellow artists, learn from each other, and see some great art. You can bet I’ll be back when the next challenge rolls around!
(More or less) One-line summaries of each painting:
- Scared and nervous, but rarin’ to go! Then I chicken out and use acrylics on PAPER.
- Convinced I can’t paint accurately so I try some faux 1920’s European look. Whatever.
- Screw it! Go fussy or go home! And, miraculously, it works!
- Matte Medium almost makes me want to chuck the whole thing but dry brushing saves the day.
- First oil painting! It’s about %300 linseed oil and is STILL not dry.
- Brazenly mix (water-soluble) oils with acrylics and nothing explodes. Yet.
- 2nd oil painting! I try blending and start to understand why people love oils.
- Try “Painting Medium” with oils and, well, let’s just forget that ever happened, ok?
- By this time, I’m feeling so “oiled”, I’m practically marinated. Back to acrylics!
- And I get fussy-fussy-fussy, AND… run out of time to finish.
- Try to keep things loose and rough. Add blue hair because why not?
- Learn that too many layers of acrylic paint is a bad thing. Love her hair, though.
- Oils again! And sweet perfection! One of my favourites!!
- Oils aren’t so bad after all, at least that’s what I think until I start with the hair.
- Starting to miss the crisp detail I can get with acrylics, so this is my last oil for now.
- Worked my butt off on this one and I LOVE it!!
- I’ve had a few successes in a row and am feeling the pressure so I choke and avoid finishing this one. Too bad…
- Feeling guilty because of my over-reliance on internet images so I cobble together a Franken-picture, but don’t have the guts/drive/self-confidence to finish.
- Feel like going out with a bang, and what could be easier than African Albino skin tones, amirite??