The “30 paintings in 30 days” challenge

30 Paintings in 30 Days, artistic journey, Blog
30paintings-no-1

Face Study no.1 – acrylic on paper.

I swear to you that I am not crazy – I’m just at a serious stand-still when it comes to my art!  I need a decisive kick in the pants, so against my better judgement, I’ve decided to participate in Leslie Saeta’s “30 Paintings in 30 Days” challenge!

I’m just kidding – cranking out a painting a day is actually a really good idea.  I did that for a week last winter and I ended up learning so much (and bonus! I had 5 beautiful landscape paintings by the end of it).  I talk a big talk about how I want to be a serious artist, but that’s never going to happen if I can’t even decide on what I want to paint, or if I lack the skills to get those paintings onto canvas.  Thirty days of face studies should not only bring my skill level up to something acceptable, but also help me to determine if painting the figure is what I want to focus on at all.

Here we go….!

Artistic Output of 2016… so far!

artistic journey, Digital Art, Landscape, personal, Portraits
Best of 6 months 2016 part1 small
Starting at the top, left: Face Study (pencil on paper); Face Study (digital); Face Study of Nita Naldi (digital); commission of G.I.Joe’s Duke “Long Day at the Office” (digital); 5 Daily Paintings of New Zealand landscapes (acrylic on panel)

As we approach the halfway point of 2016, I thought it would be cool to assemble all (or most of) the artwork I’ve produced so far this year and get a better sense of where I want to go next.

My Daily Painting Experiment

acrylic, artistic journey, Landscape

Back in January, I started listening to a lot of art-related podcasts while I set up my studio.  One of the subjects that kept coming up was the value of daily painting.  The idea is that by painting small canvasses every day (or nearly every day), you could not only increase your productivity (obviously), but also give a serious boost to your skills.  That sounded like a win-win situation to me, so one week in February, I armed myself with a bunch of 8″ x 10″ panels and went to town (or rather, to work).  Behold the results:

Landscape1
©2016, Emma Pittson, “Lake Wanaka in Blue”. Acrylic on panel, 10″ x 8″.

I always knew that I wanted to focus on the figure in my artwork, but seeing as I didn’t have a posse of models at my disposal, I decided to try landscapes instead.  I suppose I could have simply painted images from fashion magazines, but I kinda have a problem with straight reproductions.  If you didn’t have an actual hand in composing the original image, I think that merely copying it is a bit of a rip-off (unless you specify that it’s just a study).

Landscape2
©2016, Emma Pittson, “Lake Wanaka in Orange”. Acrylic on panel, 8″ x 10″.

@2016, Emma Pittson, “South Island”. Acrylic on panel, 8″ x 10″.

All of these paintings were done from my own photos of our Best. Trip. EVER – a 2-week Xmas camping vacation through the South Island of New Zealand about 10 years ago.  We were living in Wellington at the time and decided to stay in the Antipodes over Xmas instead of hemorrhaging money on a trip back to Canada (my family’s in Montreal, his is in St. John’s, so, yeah… complicated).

Landscape3
©2016, Emma Pittson, “Lake Hawea”. Acrylic on panel, 8″ x 10″.

So what did I learn from this little experiment?  A few things:

  1. producing a finished product every day makes you feel AWESOME
  2. every painting is a chance to try something new
  3. every painting is a chance to fail, and that is a-ok
  4. landscapes, while I do enjoy them, are not something I want to do for the rest of my art career

Have you ever experimented with daily painting?  Did you love it or hate it?  And most importantly: what did you learn from it?

Landscape5
©2016, Emma Pittson, “Marble Hill”. Acrylic on panel, 8″ x 10″.