Drawing Challenge

Photo Sep 07, 7 29 08 PM
Photo Sep 07, 8 49 02 PM Photo Sep 07, 9 59 14 PM
I am starting a drawing challenge with a fellow artist I met online. We are going to each do 3 drawings or sketches every day. Whoever can keep going the longest will win the challenge. What I found out right away is I have to do even more than 3 a day because some don’t turn out very well. This should be fun and well…challenging! I will post my best efforts here.

Color Charts


Photo Oct 04, 10 02 42 AM - Copy

My first color chart.

Photo Sep 30, 7 31 27 AM - Copy   Photo Sep 30, 7 41 42 AM - Copy   Photo Sep 30, 7 44 11 AM - Copy

I just got Richard Schmid’s book “Alla Prima: Everything I Know About Painting.”  Richard Schmid is a master oil painter still working at almost 80 years old. I learned a lot reading this book. One big decision I have made is to use his color pallet and follow his advice and do a color chart for each color on the pallet. I finished my first one the other day.

This chart shows each color mixed with white. I mix all 5 shades of a color at the same time on my pallet so I can make adjustments. I apply the paint to the canvas with a pallet knife instead of a brush. This is the way Mr. Schmid did it as a student many years ago. It is good to get the practice using a pallet knife and it makes it easier to keep the colors pure as a pallet knife can be cleaned more thoroughly than a brush. Masking tape makes it easier to keep the squares tidy although I am an incredibly messy painter. On my first chart I was constantly smearing or fingerprinting the completed squares. Hopefully I will get better with practice.

It is going to take me many weeks to complete all the charts.  His basic pallet has 11 colors plus white. I am adding one color (a second green) so there will be 13 charts altogether for me because each color has its own chart. The columns on each color’s chart will show that color mixed with each one of the other colors on the pallet. This will help me learn all about how the colors interact with each other. The completed charts are then used as a reference for matching colors while working on paintings.



How I Work

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I start my day out painting on my portraits. I’m working on 3 right now. I paint in thin layers so each painting has to dry for a day or 2 between layers. Often I can work on one of them every day though just on different parts. Portrait painting is very difficult and tiring. I make abstract pictures too because that is a chance to play and relax.  I found out that I also like to work in layers with these paintings so I always have at least 3 of them going at a time as well. I an very thrifty so I use the extra paint that I mixed for my portraits in the abstract pictures. These two used the same colors as the portrait with the addition of purple so all three kind of harmonize with each other.

I wanted to paint this portrait because I really like the chiaroscuro effect of strong light and shadow. It is lit in a similar way to the Bouguereau girl I did for my class. However this picture was a much greater challenge. I think it’s because I had to make all the decisions myself instead of having the choices already made by the original artist. With this painting of course the original artist is me!

You can open each picture in a new tab or just tap on it to see it bigger.

I can’t believe I got 3 pictures done within a week. I hope it doesn’t take as long to get the next ones finished.


Abstract Art


Last week Rick and I got a sheet of 1/4″ untempered hardboard because I want to use it for my next class assignment instead of painting on unstretched canvas as I have been doing. We cut up a few pieces to the sizes I want and I made this little painting from one of the scraps. I have 3 more little scraps that I am going to paint as a set with this one and mount them together. I now got the bug to keep doing more stuff like this in addition to the portraits I am working on. It’s fun and relaxing for me and I figure all the miles I put on my brush count. I love exploring the effects I can get and of course I can’t play around with paint that way while working on a meticulously executed portrait. I think I will probably be painting on hardboard from now on. I really like the smoother texture and it’s so easy to do my preliminary sketch right on the board itself.

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Signing My Work

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This picture is going to a new home soon so that meant I had to sign it. Signing my work is stressful because I never feel like I can get it to look just right. At least if my oil painting is nice and dry I can wipe it off and do it over as many times as needed. It was quite a problem with watercolor where I got just one try. I signed a watercolor with pencil today- That turned out to be a good solution for me. I envy people who can casually throw off a negligent cool illegible signature. I can only make mine look plain and legible- like signing my homework in grade school. I did practice to figure out what looks the best to me and believe me it looks better than it would if I had not practiced it! I decided to sign my first and last name always because I’m proud to be a woman artist- historically women have had a tough time in the field of painting like in so many areas of endeavor where they have not been taken seriously.


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Drawing Lots.



I have been putting in the hours drawing and working on my painting.  I told Rick I had planned to post my sketchbook drawings every day but didn’t because they aren’t turning out that well yet. He said, “Post them any way.” So here’s a couple. One of them is a spaghetti squash (I couldn’t work on it that long because I had to get it cooked.) The other is a seashell which I am going to do several drawings of at different angles. I also have 4 practice portrait drawings going and my daily skull drawings which would make you laugh if you saw them. (front view and side view skulls are not that hard for me but 3/4 view seems tricky so I am focusing on that right now with amusing results.)  OK back to work.

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Studio Lights


Rick made me these cool light stands so I can put lighting right where I want it. I have 2 in my studio and this one in my bedroom. The top arm can be adjusted and lights can be clamped on the pole or arm at any level. I am still doing research on the best lights to use.

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