Starting a Painting Challenge!

 It's my birthday week and for me, that's really the start of my new year.  I wanted to get back to oil painting this year, and wanted to do a monthlong challenge to get me going.  But I wasn't ready to do so on January 1st when most of the challenges start.  So I decided to do my own, starting now!  

I was hugely inspired by @michellewoodersonart and her limited palette on kraft paper challenge.  She was getting amazing results with her unusual palette of Transparent Yellow Oxide, Rose Madder, and Cerulean Blue, so I wanted to try using something similar.   Michelle is uses Michael Harding Oil Paints, but I work only in Winsor & Newton Artisan Water Mixable Paints, so I had to change the colors to suit that.  I ended up with Raw Sienna, Permanent Rose, Cerulean Blue, and Titanium White.  I'm also trying to limit my supplies to just 2 or 3 brushes, a palette knife, a mechanical pencil, a Micron Pen, a jar of water, and a stack of kraft-paper card stock cut to 5 ½" x 8 ½".  Plus either baby wipes and/or paper towel.   My plan is to paint daily January 18 through February 18 for just 30 minutes a day!  

Here is my pre-challenge trial of the palette.  You can see that I also tried using a cadmium yellow pale, but it was brighter than I wanted, so I ended up using the Raw Sienna, which though technically a "red", actually reads as a dark transparent yellow, very similar to the yellow oxide that Michelle used.  

Day 1!  I painted my special bunny sitting on the windowsill!  After our house fire in 1999, I reached out to "The Herb Farm" in Washington State (no longer in business) as I had previously purchased one of their Sleep Bunnies with an herb pouch to facilitate sleep.  They also had experienced a fire and lost their main building.  I wanted bunnies for me and my kids to help us overcome the trauma of our fire.  They had already stopped making these, but graciously were able to find 4 of them to send to us.  They really helped us, and have been among our favorites ever since.  Mine now lives in my office on the shelf near my desk.   So happy with how this little portrait sketch turned out!  

Day 2 - I painted the pot of faux snowdrops that had been my Mom's.  I've always loved spring flowers and tried to plant snowdrops so many times.  I've only ever gotten one of them to grow and bloom.  I keep this pot in my office where it brings me joy!  I find I really struggle painting flowers, which is so frustrating as they are what I'd love to paint more than anything!  I get bogged down in all the detail and how to translate it.  It makes me miss obvious things, like getting the shape of the pot correct.  Oh well!  I had fun and am reasonable happy with the result, though it did take me nearly an hour!  

Little Finn (not so little anymore, but I still call him "Little") loves keeping me company in the office, though usually he is on the desk in my arms while I'm at the computer.  But thankfully he was content in the nest while I painted! 

Other happenings this week included painting gold edges on a big box of inches that I'm going to use to make cards with!  

I also finally got all the Christmas decor packed up and ready to go up to my middle son's shed once the weather clears.  I had placed all the little trees I had around the house on top of the china cabinet to get them out of the way until I could figure out how to package them up.  I really loved this little forest and was a bit sad to pack them away in a big box.  I suspect this little forest will make an appearance in my Christmas decor next season! 

I finished the mug mat!  Watch for a video coming this weekend on how I made it!  

So glad to have this done and so pleased with how it turned out!  It goes perfectly in my sewing corner! 

If you are interested in owning any of my paintings, follow me on instagram.  I'll be posting a number of my small works for sale in a week or so!  


Happy, albeit now most likely belated, Birth Day! Your paintings look like fun; something I wish I had the ability to do.
As for your wee trees, I would have wanted to keep them on display all winter!!
Thompson Robin said…
Beautiful work, you are very talented. Love your forest of trees…..I’d leave it up until spring.
Libby Chang said…
The picture of your bunny is so lovely! You really have an eye for the lighting and I love the texture you have created for the fur. I love the sketch of the paint tube on your practice palette. Again, great lighting and brush strokes. What an interesting challenge. You have done so much with these few colors!
Libby Chang said…
The painting of your bunny is so lovely! You really have an eye for the light and I love the texture you created for the fur. What an interesting challenge! You did so much with the few colors. I also love the sketch of the paint tube on your practice pallet. Again, the lighting and the brush strokes are beautiful.

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