First Painting of 2021

acrylic, Landscape
©2021, Emma Pittson, “Laurentian Lake”. Acrylic on canvas, 8″ x 10″ x 0.5″.

I have made some New Year’s resolutions – although not many because, let’s face it, 2020 was an abysmal year, and I think that, on a certain level, it’s enough just to keep going every day. So with that in mind, and with the bar at a very low and comfortable level, I have vowed to devote 15 minutes a day to making art! And it can be anything: digital art, painting on canvas, serious studies, doodles, original work, fanart, commissions, prepping a painting surface, or gathering inspirational images for a future piece. As long as I’ve done something, I can check that day off my calendar. The goal is to have an unbroken line of check marks for the entire month. And so far, so good!

Thanks to the pandemic, I have been permanently ensconced in my dining room since March while my husband has taken over the office/studio. I really hesitated to break out the paints because the only space left in the house for artmaking was, well, right back in the dining room, and I felt that I was already spending enough of my waking hours there – not to mention the slow and insidious breaking down of the boundary between work and home that is a feature of Life these days. Mentally, how would I make the separation? If I’m sitting down at my easel, would I feel guilty and be unable to work if I heard that tell-tale “ping” from the computer letting me know that a Teams message has just arrived? If I crack open the water-soluble oils, will the smell of linseed oil (which I’m not a fan of) linger long after I’d done a final clean-up and make it harder for me to concentrate on my job the next day?

Thankfully, none of this has turned out to be a problem! Windows can be opened to clear out the smell of the linseed oil, and computer speakers can be turned off to ensure a peaceful studio (it helps that my co-workers also want to reclaim their lives outside of work, so the threat of urgent e-mails at 9pm isn’t really a thing after all). If anything, I find myself turning away from the computer every now and then throughout the day and looking longingly at my easel! (If any of my co-workers are reading this, you now know why I occasionally turn my head screen right and gaze wistfully into the middle-distance…)

Here are some progress pics…

Values
Colour Blocking

Progress!

Painting for January 23: Where did the time go?

30 Paintings in 30 Days, acrylic, Portraits
january-23
©2017, Emma Pittson, “Hair Study no. 5“. Acrylic on canvas, 6″ x 8″ x 0.5”.

I think we can dispense with all pretense that I’m in any way keeping up with the “30 Paintings in 30 Days” challenge.  So now that that’s out of the way, let me just say that this is my favourite “hair painting” so far.  Not only did I let myself get carried away with details (so much for “daily” painting), but bonus!  I also took the reference photo myself, so, FINALLY, I can claim to have created an original painting.  Many thanks to my lovely and patient model, S-A, who’s probably convinced by now that she works with weirdos.

Painting for January 12: This painting is cooler than me

30 Paintings in 30 Days, Portraits
Hair Study no.5 undershave purple hair mohawk
©2017, Emma Pittson, “Hair Study no. 5″. Acrylic on canvas, 6″ x 8″ x 0.5”.

I regret that I made it all the way through my teens and twenties without ever getting an undershave, gutless wimp that I was (am).  This painting is about as close as I’ll ever come to having that hairstyle myself…

Painting for January 10: my new bff

30 Paintings in 30 Days, my art
january-10
©2017, Emma Pittson, “Hair Study no.4″. Acrylic on canvas, 6″ x 8″ x 0.5”.

Have you met my new best friend?  It’s Liquitex’s Airbrush Medium, and by gum, this just might be the answer to my prayers: a medium that makes acrylics just slick and blendable enough to make your life easier while still drying within a reasonable amount of time.

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New year – new challenge!

30 Paintings in 30 Days, my art

january-1

“January 1, 2017″ – acrylic on canvas, 6″ x 8”.

I have survived both the Xmas season AND my first few weeks back at a full-time job, so obviously, I’m going to push my luck and attempt another “30 Paintings in 30 Days” challenge!  Nothing to it, amirite?

(In all seriousness, I really doubt I’ll be able to crank out all 30 paintings, but if I can produce maybe half of that, I’ll consider myself successful.)

My choice of theme this time around is a slight variation on the last one: instead of face studies, I’ll be doing hair studies.  Painting or drawing hair has always been a weakness of mine and is usually where I cut corners.  I’m hoping that this self-imposed hair-painting bootcamp will be just the thing to either cure me of my particular aversion or make me avoid it forevermore!

So here’s the first one out the gate!  I had a lot less time to work on it than my face studies from the previous challenge so I went for a more simplified style.  I miss my persnickety ways, but there’s a boldness to it that I like.

What I learned with this painting:

  • Cadmium Orange is a take-no-prisoners colour.  Proceed with caution (unless, y’know, you actually WANT that elusive “Cheez Whiz” tint to your background).  See reference to “boldness” above.

What I’ve learned with this theme so far (yes! already!):

  • finding good images of the back of people’s heads isn’t NEARLY as easy as finding good images of people’s faces.  This could be tricky…

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