January 31, 2014

30 in 30 challenge - My experience

The 30 in 30 day challenge run on Leslie's blog officially ended yesterday. So many artists I believe completed the entire 30 paintings, that's 1 full painting every single day. Hats off to them really! 

I did not even imagine that I would do 30. What with me getting back to the easel after nearly 2 years and feeling so rusty to start with. I could complete only 11 paintings but I am really happy with the progress that I made over this month. 

30 in 30 days challenge
Paintings in January 2014
Though I did not complete 30 paintings, I painted all the 30 days. That was my biggest success. With an hour or so in the studio everyday, I could complete a new painting every 3 days. And in order to start my day with an hour long painting session, I now get up at an ungodly hour, paint in blissful silence before the morning chaos begins. My days have never felt better in a long time! 

I am able to see a huge difference in the execution between the initial paintings and the last couple of ones. That gives me the confidence that the rustiness is a thing of the past. I feel much better now, compared to the first week of Jan when I felt I had forgotten to hold a brush. 

I also took the time out to sort out my gazillion references, put them into separate albums, manipulate them enough and kept them "canvas ready". So when I just pick out a reference, just start sketching right away without much time wasted. 

Though not 30, 11 is not bad at all for me. And that's more than the number of paintings I did in the last two years. Combined. That's what matters most to me. I really really hope that Leslie does this once again later during the year and I hope to do better then. 

Click here to see the collections by so many artists. They are all so awesome! 

January 30, 2014

A better view - Original Oil Painting of Children

This reference has been sitting in my library for ages, nearly 3 years. Somehow everytime I wanted to get to it, it felt too complex, not right for the size of canvas at hand and so on. I wanted to include the child and an adult in the composition and my smaller canvasses were probably too small. As crazy as that sounds, till today, it never occurred to me even once that I could omit the adult altogether.:-) 

When I was in the middle of another painting yesterday and very frustrated by how it was turning out, this little girl popped out and just pushed me to paint her. Started this yesterday and could complete it today, and I am reasonably happy with the outcome. I hope you are too! Thanks for looking.

A better view
Oil on board, 5 by 7 inches
Click here to bid
So that marks the end of the 30 in 30 challenge. I have not completed 30, not even half of it. But it has been awesome. I shall write a detailed review tomorrow about my experience.

January 25, 2014

Road to Nowhere - SOLD

This week has been very tough for us as my younger one wasn't well for most of the week. Since she was sick, she could not go to the day care and that meant there was no way I could paint during her waking hours. I did get about an hour of painting in everyday, in the early mornings, but far from completing anything. Anyway, she is fine and back to her hyperactive self now, and I got my studio time today :-)

Road to Nowhere
Oil on board, 6 by 6 inches

January 18, 2014

November Greys - Original Cityscape painting in oils

This reference was taken somewhere in my neighbourhood towards the end of the fall season. There were some hints of the fall leaves here and there, though the trees were predominantly bare. I had a real tough time sketching this one out. With my initial sketch, I drew out the big house *really* big. It occupied nearly half of the canvas. So big that it threw everything else off balance. I had to redo the sketch quite a few times till I was satisfied. 
November greys
Oil on board, 6 by 6 inches
Click here to bid
I might paint this one again on a larger size, probably a 10 by 10. 

January 16, 2014

From my window - Original Cityscape in Oils

I was working yesterday and was stuck at some issue. It was a rather dull day with grey skies and me working all alone at home, as boring as things can get. I hate the endless grey days with gloomy skies. And when it drizzles, it only makes things worse. So while I was engrossed in thought blankly staring at the window wishing for some sunshine, something lovely happened. For a good couple of minutes, the sun played peekaboo and shone bright and beautiful. All for a fleeting moment though, it was quick to go back into hiding and was never to be seen the whole day. 

It was really an a-ha moment for me! Something that I stare at everyday and thought was decidedly boring, suddenly begged to be painted.:-) So this is just outside my window, the view that I look at while working. These houses and roofs are quintessentially German and this could very well be a view from anywhere in this country I guess.:)

From my window
Oil on board, 6 by 6 inches
Click here to bid
This is my painting #8 in the 30 in 30 days challenge. I am painting only at the rate of one every two days, but I am cool with that. I might complete a couple more over the weekend, I will try. 

January 13, 2014

Tufted Coquette - SOLD

Recently, I came across this group called "Paint colorful birds for fun" on Facebook. A new bird is selected every week and artists have a go at painting it. When you are stuck on deciding what to paint, something like this is a great time saver. It helps me dive right in instead of wasting hours looking at all my references and trying to come up with something "perfect". 

Tufted Coquette
Oil on Board, 6 by 6 inches

January 12, 2014

Buddies - Original Figurative Oil Painting - SOLD

Just as I had mentioned last week, my vacation ended and painting was the first one to take a hit. It is tough to do an entire painting in a day if I have not done any ground work already. And since work began after a two week break, it was hard to devote time for art. I hope that isn't the case the coming week, as I have some sketches done. Let's see. 

Oil on Canvas, 12 by 6 inches
It was a glorious summer afternoon when I took this reference. I loved the lighting and just had to paint it. This is also the first time I think a dog features in my work. I am not very fond of animals in the first place let alone painting them. Really liked this little one though, loved how he was leading the pack :-)

After a really long time, I have painted this one without reaching out to my set of knives. It is done entirely with my brushes and not a stroke anywhere with the knife. It did feel very different, but great fun. And I am going to do this a lot more. 

January 6, 2014

Go after it - original oil painting of children

The little boy chasing his football again. I painted this one as a companion piece to my earlier painting "Kick off". The colours are a bit more muted in this one I think. I don't think I'll ever get enough of painting kids, one of my absolute favourite subjects to paint. 

Go after it
Oil on board, 7 by 5 inches
Click here to bid
This is my 5th painting in the 30 in 30 days challenge. Unfortunately, my vacation ends today and I hope I can get some painting done even amidst my work week starting tomorrow. Oh well! 

January 5, 2014

"Say cheese" - 30 in 30, #4

I happened to spot these kids at a popular tourist attraction a couple of years ago. While I wanted to capture the girl taking a picture of one of the boys, I was pleasantly surprised to find the onlooker boy also in my reference. I have used a mix of the brush and the palette knife for this painting. The girl is one using the palette knife, and I have also used the knife for the foreground. The farther steps and the two boys are all done with the brush. They were two tricky for the knife and I could not risk messing up the painting. 

Say Cheese
Oil on board, 7 by 5 inches
Click here to bid
If you like my work, make sure to "like" my page on Facebook and subscribe to my blog by mail so that you don't miss a post. Have a good Sunday!

January 4, 2014

My cozy corner - 30 in 30, #3

Took on another larger one today, this one too is a 12 by 6 inch piece. And managed to complete it from sketching to signing all in about 4 hours. Looks like all isn't lost yet.:-) 

Long ago, I got one of Carol Marine's short art tutorials on DPW, one where she explains about color mixing and saturation. Though I got the tutorial quite a while back, I did not get to do a full fledged painting from what I learnt. I tried to make use of it here, this piece does not use any tube of green paint. All the green is mixed from the primaries. This whole piece uses 2 types of yellow, 2 types of blue and 1 red. That's all about it. 

As a self taught artist who has not yet had the opportunity to attend a workshop with anyone, the tutorial was so informative and useful. It is of course common knowledge that one can paint only with the primaries, but Carol's demo videos get the point across very well. I loved it. There is still a long way to go for me with respect to handling edges and stuff, but I am immensely enjoying the process and learning a lot. 

My cozy corner
Oil on Canvas, 12 by 6 inches
Click here to bid
This piece is from a reference I caught at one of the city parks. They are one of my favourite places to watch people. A perfect sunny summer day, lost in a book. Such ideal settings are stuff that I can only dream of right now, considering my 1 year old just doesn't give me the time. So dream I do, and paint my dreams.:) 

I have also painted it entirely with the palette knife. I find the knife my ideal tool for trees and foliage. Had a lot of fun with this one.

January 3, 2014

Checking directions - 30 in 30 days, #2

This is my second painting in the 30 in 30 challenge. I was over ambitious and started a larger one yesterday, but could complete it only today. I will try to make up for it in the coming days. I happened to spot these two women very intently peering into a mobile phone. It looked like they were probably searching for an address, reconfirming directions or some such. I am still fighting my rustiness and trying to get back into the groove. Feels good as of now and certainly feels great to be actually painting something. 

Checking directions
Oil on Canvas, 6 by 12 inches

January 1, 2014

Kick off - Happy New Year!

Firstly, wish you all a very happy new year 2014. Hope the new year brings in a lot of happiness, good health and peace to you.
I have been away from the easel for way too long, almost 2 years. We had our second baby in Nov 2012, and I was enjoying my time with the little one during my maternity break that I did not get to paint at all. Not even sketch, zilch. Just when she started with her daycare and I was bracing myself to resume, life took a nasty turn. I lost my mom four months ago, and that has kept me away from everything. Gone too young, too sudden, before even we could grapple with what was happening. I kind of lost interest in everything, including art. However, I am glad that 2013 is over and think that I am now in the frame of mind to start painting again.
I am now picking up my brushes and knives after an eternity, feeling very rusty, enjoying myself nevertheless. I am now turning to art to help me cope with grief, and to give me the strength to move on. I signed up for Leslie Saeta's 30 paintings in 30 days challenge, just to give myself that motivation. When I finished this painting today and signed it, the high that I got was unimaginable. Made me realise what exactly was missing in life all these days.:-) I hope I get to finish 30 paintings this month and that gives me the push to paint more through the year.
Kick off
Oil on Board, 5 by 7 inches

My website is a work in progress too, as I could not spend time on it. I am looking to fix things in the coming days. Stay tuned.
Wish you a blessed new year once again! Happy painting!

If you like it, share it!