View Full Version : Different Strokes: a Forum project June 2015

Charlie's Mum
05-30-2015, 03:50 PM

If you would like to host a Different Strokes, please see the Schedule thread here (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1302516)
Please read the guidelines below carefully.

On the first of each month a reference photo (or photos) will be posted in a thread entitled "Different Strokes".

All entries must be for this challenge and in acrylics - any type of acrylic.
Join in the discussion about the project - it's friendly and fun to learn how others are coping/struggling/thriving!!! But no visual images!
Help can be gained from asking but also from looking for resource materials elsewhere - the RIL e.g.
A 'reveal' date for all is 21st of the month - that gives us 3 weeks to make the work, plus an extra week for latecomers.
Interpret the ideas any way you wish - be inventive, realistic, influenced by another style or '...ism' - it's up to you!

PLEASE DO NOT UPLOAD WORK TO THE THREAD BEFORE THE 21ST OF THE MONTH.** Much more exciting and fun to see what 'masterpieces' appear!
If work is uploaded early it will be moved to a safe place until 21st.

At the end of the month the thread /discussion will be closed and a new challenge will begin.

**Please note, the single 'reveal' date is chosen so that we do not influence each other with our individual interpretations ......
that's the whole point of it being called 'Different Strokes'!
By all means ask questions in the thread or initiate discussion about the challenge - just don't post images!!!

The challenge this month is Children Playing

It's a long time since we used figures in a Different Strokes and I know some find drawing and painting them a HUGE challenge; however, I know you will cope admirably with the topic:D

Hint if needed - plan the composition in thumbnail size sketches first to work out arrangement of shapes and tones ....... making the mistakes at this stage saves lots of time later!:lol:

You may crop, combine, zoom in and select a portion, use any part for pattern work ....... just let the imagination roam!

Remember, you do not have to do realistic figures - I mean, look at Picasso's ladies (http://www.pablopicasso.org/avignon.jsp)!!!! So if you'd like to try an 'ism'. be my guest!:lol:

Your references from the RIL - (You may, of course, choose your own image):)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-May-2015/30494-IMGP3897.JPG Playing in the Waves by catjoe
Large size (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=131968&size=big&cat=fav)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-May-2015/30494-Casting-Stones.jpg Casting stones by Lostart
Large size (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=87726&size=big&cat=fav)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-May-2015/30494-Boys_beach.JPG Boys on the beach by gaensanger
Large size (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=85795&size=big&cat=fav)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-May-2015/30494-paddlers.JPG Paddlers by Maritajill
Large size (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=83226&size=big&cat=fav)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-May-2015/30494-shells.JPG Gathering shells by valleysk
Large size (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=38197&size=big&cat=fav)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/30-May-2015/30494-sandcastles.JPG Sandcastles at the beach by Genna
Large size (http://www.wetcanvas.com/RefLib/showphoto.php?photo=30476&size=big&cat=fav)

Now - 3 weeks to play, so enjoy them!:lol:

PS - If you subscribe to this thread you will be able to keep in touch more easily:)

Imogene Thomas
06-01-2015, 04:06 PM
Interesting, now what was the formula for painting skin?? I must start digging into the info files. :)

Charlie's Mum
06-01-2015, 04:18 PM
Well, if you find it JT, that's something you can share!:)

06-01-2015, 05:58 PM
This is going to be a tough one for me I think....never painted people! I used to draw them all the time so I'll have to try and summon that in my work :)

06-02-2015, 12:00 AM
Maureen you have set us a figure challenge! Just what I need, actually as I haven't done enough by a long stretch, so this will be good exercise for my paintbrush. I like the idea of the outdoor scene because of the wonderful effect of light and shadows in these references. :thumbsup:

Mrs B
06-02-2015, 03:17 AM
Maureen - I was just saying the other day that my figure drawing leaves a lot to be desired! This will certainly be a challenge!:thumbsup:
JT- there's a formula for skin? Please let us know what it is!! :lol:

Charlie's Mum
06-02-2015, 05:33 AM
Glad we'll all be in this together!

Melly - I too did figures all the time, then stopped - I think because I couldn't draw from life! So sometimes I practice in pen or pencil - preferably pen ...... paint, not so much! So it's a challenge!

I suggest that, if we find any good ideas about painting skin, we share them! We don't need to 'give the game away', just share colours and techniques!:)

06-02-2015, 06:44 AM
Can I play pleeease :D. My recipe for skin is to throw every colour on my palette at it and hope for the best:lol: :lol: but I enjoy the process.

06-02-2015, 08:54 AM
Oh Crumbs! This will be a real challenge, I've never painted figures and have struggled when drawing them with children being the worst so goodness only knows what the result will be. :eek: Still, that's the point of a challenge I suppose and I'm sure I'll learn something along the way.

06-02-2015, 09:06 AM
Hello :wave:

I've been lurking in this forum for a while, admiring the posts and the challenges, but not taken part in any over here (mostly due to time constraints)... this one is really tempting me though! I have a photo of my son playing in the sea that I took in April, which I've been wanting to paint but been afraid to because I've never really done portraits, or landscapes (and certainly never with any great success) so this would be combining my two biggest weaknesses :lol:

I hope I'll find time - and courage - to actually take part in this one, either way I'll definitely be following and looking forward to seeing how everyone tackles this challenge :) Great theme Maureen :thumbsup:

Charlie's Mum
06-02-2015, 12:21 PM
Christine - you know you're always welcome here - and I can see the blue, purple and yellow skin already!!! :lol:

Pips - if all else fails, trace the figure(s) - we'll never know!:lol:

Jess - a warm welcome and please, please do find the time - will look forward to seeing your son playing (we won't know if it looks like him or not!):D

I'll add this next note to the first post -

Remember, you do not have to do realistic figures - I mean, look at Picasso's ladies (http://www.pablopicasso.org/avignon.jsp)!!!! So if you'd like to try an 'ism'. be my guest!:lol:

Charlie's Mum
06-02-2015, 12:24 PM
In addition - if anyone has a lovely reference of their own children, which would be nice to share for the challenge, please post it:)

06-02-2015, 03:53 PM
Hi! I'm new here (and new in painting). I may take the try this month. Doubting if I use the "Casting Stones" image or this photo I take a few months ago, very colorful (I put it as public domain in the page):



Charlie's Mum
06-02-2015, 05:14 PM
Welcome yupanqui - and that's a lovely image you share!
Glad you will be joining us.

Do you have a shorter name we can use for you -- we like to be friendly here!:lol:

06-02-2015, 05:31 PM
Hi Maureen, I add a signature to be easier. You can call me Fede (short form of Frederick in spanish).

Thank you!

06-02-2015, 07:50 PM
Remember, you do not have to do realistic figures - I mean, look at Picasso's ladies (http://www.pablopicasso.org/avignon.jsp)!!!! So if you'd like to try an 'ism'. be my guest!:lol:
Stick figures it is then Maureen! :lol: :thumbsup:

a warm welcome and please, please do find the time - will look forward to seeing your son playing (we won't know if it looks like him or not!):D
Thank you for the welcome, and I will definitely try to make time to do this - although unfortunately my son will know whether it looks like him or not, so I've got my work cut out for me here. He is not one of those kids who thinks everything mummy paints is perfect - he can be my harshest critic, I'm not too sure he believes in artistic license :lol: :heart:

06-02-2015, 09:36 PM
Found a foto and I am in.

Charlie's Mum
06-03-2015, 12:12 PM
Excellent Cliff :thumbsup:

Jess - guess it's time to please the boyo and try your best!:lol:

Hi Fede :wave: :)

Mrs B
06-05-2015, 10:11 AM
I've started! :D
Not a massive canvas, which helps, but have put brush to canvas at least!!
Guess it helps when you look after your subject matter all day everyday!:lol:
How's everyone else doing?

Charlie's Mum
06-05-2015, 12:17 PM
Certainly does Gemma, and with such a wealth of material, we'll expect at least a month's worth of paintings!!!:lol:

06-05-2015, 12:43 PM
How's everyone else doing?

It's only the 5th. I haven't even started deciding let alone doing. :lol:

My process of "9 Indispensable Ds to a Done Painting:

1. Decide reference
2. Doodle values
3. Draw composition
4. Do undercoat
5. Develop values
6. Dabble paint
7. Deal with disappointment
8. Destroy; and
9. Do over. :lol:

06-05-2015, 03:07 PM
:lol: :lol: :lol: Think I'll have to adopt this process Colin - the later stages I already do but I definitely need to work on steps 2 - 5 a bit more.

I've a picture in my head and a couple of refs that may or may not help me get there - so it's down to doodling the composition next.

Impressed that you've already got paint on Gemma - way to go :thumbsup:

06-05-2015, 03:34 PM
Yes we are all born doing the later stages. :lol:

Hey Pips it must be light til eleven pm these days up where you are.

06-05-2015, 06:35 PM
Getting close to that Colin and light again by 4 ish in the morning- all we need now is the weather to go with the lovely long days. It's been ridiculously wet and cold this Spring even by Orkney standards with 3 times the usual rainfall in May - but we live in hope. :crossfingers:

06-05-2015, 10:08 PM
Well Pips the weather is pushing boundaries all over. We had our driest May on record. The California drought has extended its tentacles North to Washington and British Columbia. It's nice to see the sun, but worrisome to get week after week of no rain. On the edge of a rainforest....:confused:

We'll be needing a bit of your rain before long.

Charlie's Mum
06-06-2015, 12:08 PM
Good list Colin! I haven't even got to first post yet!!?

Pips, are you experiencing these horrendous gale-force winds today? Here in Yorkshire this weekend and I'm concerned about trees falling on us, it's that bad! EEK!!!

06-06-2015, 01:49 PM
Not quite gales yet Maureen - just very wet and a 'strong breeze blowing' as they say up here. It was a beautiful blue and sunny sky at 5 am but that soon disappeared along with the few poppies that had the temerity to try and bloom :( :(

Stay safe - we don't have so many trees in Orkney and those there are tend to be small and wind sculpted so don't succumb but I moved up from Yorkshire so I can imagine what it's like.

06-06-2015, 08:44 PM
Decided, doodled, drew, did, developed and dabbled.

Dreading disappointment. ;)

06-07-2015, 11:50 AM
:evil: panicked, puzzled, pondered, planned, postponed - procrastination pending

06-07-2015, 02:24 PM
I started but think I have changed my mind ... typical. I've reached the disappointed stage already:(

06-07-2015, 09:22 PM
I really like the choices this month! It'll be fun to do children. I really enjoy painting people though.
First I have to paint bookshelves for my mother (she lives in an apartment at my house) Anyway ..after that I can paint the children!

Mrs B
06-08-2015, 04:56 PM
Certainly does Gemma, and with such a wealth of material, we'll expect at least a month's worth of paintings!!!:lol:

Ha ha! Lets see how much time off he gives me to paint!! Will definitely try a second if I finish the first one in good time:crossfingers:

Mrs B
06-08-2015, 04:59 PM

It's only the 5th. I haven't even started deciding let alone doing. :lol:

My process of "9 Indispensable Ds to a Done Painting:

1. Decide reference
2. Doodle values
3. Draw composition
4. Do undercoat
5. Develop values
6. Dabble paint
7. Deal with disappointment
8. Destroy; and
9. Do over. :lol:

Oh dear! I only seem to do steps 1,3,6 and 7!!!:lol:

06-09-2015, 02:16 AM
Somebody pour me a drink?! :eek: :lol:

I've been doing all of Pips' P's and some of Colin's D's... and today, just now, I ripped the plastic wrap off a 20" x 30" canvas, and started my sketch.

I am now feeling traumatised, terrified and troubled. And a little, teeny, tiny bit excited - so I suppose I should continue with this thing.

But really, feeling very out of my depth... relying on you guys for advice at the end to fix whatever catastrophe I manage to create :D :lol:

06-09-2015, 07:38 AM
Jess..I think I'll join you for that drink! Maybe 2??

Also..don't know if anyone really needs it but my basic color mix for skin tones are white, cadmium red and yellow ochre.. I then use curelean blues, earth greens and alizarin red if I need it in shadows and to cool the skin etc...

I haven't painted children in a while so this will be a great exersize..and then there's the background to deal with...that's more my fearsome thing!:)

06-09-2015, 08:49 AM
Well having gone through the panic stage I've got a rough sketch done and have blocked in some background shapes - Maureen saying stick figures sparked something in my mind that may or not work so I'll see how it turns out, if not it's back to the planning stage :wink2:

06-10-2015, 10:08 PM
Cindy - 2 bottles, or 2 cases? :lol: Thank you for sharing your colour mix - I hadn't a clue where to start for that so it's always good to know what works for other people.

Pips - great to hear you've made a start too :)

I did a photo shoot yesterday morning, it was something I'd kind of dreaded doing as my confidence seems to run away whenever people ask me to do this sort of thing... but the response I got from people seeing the the resulting photos was a huge confidence boost. It felt really great and I used that "high" to muster up the courage to slap some paint on my canvas :lol: So I now have the pencil sketch of my son, and the base colour for the water behind him has been painted in around him. Hoping to make some more progress on it today.

Charlie's Mum
06-11-2015, 03:45 PM
Well done all you well-intentioned Peeps!:D

'White' skin colour is basically any variation of orange and white! ... then add the cooling colours for shadows (as Cinders has said above).
Start light and gradually go darker - I think! I seldom paint people and the last one I tried was using Atelier Interactives and the slow drying made layers/glazes really difficult:( ...... I'll be using my regular stuff this time! ........ it's also much easier to paint figures/faces large-scale :)

Keep the alliterations coming Peeps, love reading them!:lol:

06-12-2015, 07:23 AM
Aaarrrgh! This painting is taking on a life of it's own and I fear the background/setting is going to predominate - hoping when I finally get to add children playing it will redress the balance - but what will be, will be I guess.

May yet need to join Jess and Cindy for that drink or two and hope for a rose tinted view of it :lol:

06-12-2015, 07:46 AM
The schmore tha schmerrier Pips *hiccup* :lol:

Charlie's Mum
06-13-2015, 11:43 AM
The schmore tha schmerrier Pips *hiccup* :lol:

I'm joining in too - will roll up to the bar very soon!:lol: ...... once I've started and got frustrated with the doodling, designing .......... and the deadly disappointment ...... at the moment, my head's still clear :lol:

06-14-2015, 06:58 AM
wow, time flies..I need to get to work on this painting! I've been having too many days laying out in the pool with a drink and thinking about what I am going to paint instead of painting ...Its going to be another hot, sunny day here in the Georgia foothills though...maybe I need to think a little bit more...hmmm

chammi kaiser
06-15-2015, 08:43 AM
Maureen, lovely images and certainly not the easiest but pushing the boundaries is always fun. I will be away but certainly am looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with for this interesting challenge.

06-15-2015, 10:23 AM
wow, time flies..I need to get to work on this painting! I've been having too many days laying out in the pool with a drink and thinking about what I am going to paint instead of painting ...Its going to be another hot, sunny day here in the Georgia foothills though...maybe I need to think a little bit more...hmmm

I've been having the same predicament....too lovely outside so I've been taking my books and reading in the sun in the backyard...thinking about the huge list of paintings I want to work on....but not actually getting around to painting.:lol: But today is very gloomy, chilly, and pouring rain out so I have plenty of quality time with my paints!

Charlie's Mum
06-15-2015, 11:15 AM
I'm afraid outdoors and gardening have claimed my time too - how I'd have liked to sit and read!!!!!!!!!! :lol:
Tomorrow we're off to our holiday home again and I've told DH I really must PAINT!:lol:

Chammi - I'm expecting great images from your holiday - ready for your next hosting - hint-hint!!!!!!!! :heart:

06-16-2015, 05:05 PM
So I have actually got my drawing done for the painting I am doing..DH goes to barbershop singing rehearsal tonight...maybe I'll paint ! I really do love to paint but the sun and the garden call loudly....

06-16-2015, 08:07 PM
I started mine last week but have not touched it since. It is drizzling and miserable here so I might just cheer myself up by slapping some paint around. Only a few days to go till the reveal so I need to get cracking:D

Mrs B
06-18-2015, 06:53 AM
Oh my goodness I am finding this hard!!! Have mixed and painted and over painted - every colour from purple to yellow and in-between!!!
Has anyone finished yet?

06-18-2015, 10:31 AM
Haven't had as much time to paint as I would like. Have relatives coming in from out of town tomorrow so I've been trying to get the house ready. I have one about finished and another about a third done. Hope to finish them both before the invasion.

06-18-2015, 11:15 AM
I've found my victims (subjects). I need to find the time to paint the critters but life is getting in the way once again.

Charlie's Mum
06-18-2015, 11:28 AM
I know what I'm doing - or going to do - just can't find the time :eek: - looks like I'll be late:(

06-18-2015, 04:48 PM
Mix paint, apply paint, grumble, mix paint apply paint, grumble, mix paint, apply paint, grumble, discover paint hardened up on palette, clean up.

Mix paint, apply paint, grumble, mix paint apply paint, grumble, mix paint, apply paint, grumble, discover paint hardened up on palette, clean up.

Mix paint, apply paint, grumble, mix paint apply paint, grumble, mix paint, apply paint, grumble, discover paint hardened up on palette, clean up.

Mix paint, apply paint, grumble, mix paint apply paint, grumble, mix paint, apply paint, grumble, discover paint hardened up on palette, clean up.

Mix paint, apply paint, grumble, mix paint apply paint, grumble, mix paint, apply paint, grumble, discover paint hardened up on palette, clean up.

And so on.

06-18-2015, 05:41 PM
Board prepared - check
Background - cheçk
Blocking in - check
Buildings - check

Hmmm - something missing -

Bairns playing - nope, no sign of them yet and time is flying :eek:

Charlie's Mum
06-19-2015, 10:56 AM
No bairns here either Pips! ..... also, no board/canvas/paper prepped
No b/g
No blocking i
No buildings or other /scenery' .......... should not check in here, should just go directly to studio,
do not stop in study,
do not make lunch/dinner.:(

Cliff, you do repeat yourself - take some peptac!!!!!!!!! :lol::lol:

06-19-2015, 11:06 AM
Actually have BG painted... No kiddies yet. Don't know if I'll make it but gonna give it my best shot! Sun is shining, temps in the 90's , pool and margarita calling loudly...louder than the studio I think...maybe it'll cloud up and rain TOMORROW!

Charlie's Mum
06-19-2015, 11:19 AM
We have cold, cloud, wind and some rain - def. no pool, sun or margaritas :(

Must bypass this study!!!!!!

06-19-2015, 11:34 AM
Still haven't decided on a reference photo :confused: ....I think I'll be late on this one too

Charlie's Mum
06-19-2015, 04:34 PM
Have actually started - blocked in - yippee ......... will still be late though, there's an awful lot of canvas to be covered :(

Mrs B
06-19-2015, 05:01 PM
ARGH!! Me and this painting are having a falling out at the moment. :o Everything's painted, but it should be titled 'Pastel nightmare' - I've been so careful to get the skin tones right and the background lighter than the skin tones, that everything looks washed out like an over-developed photo!:mad:
Does anyone have any last minute rescue tips for combating blandness?
Everytime I try to make something in the picture a bit bolder, it looks so out of place that I have to wash over it again to tone it down, resulting in more pastel nightmare!!!:crying:

06-19-2015, 08:20 PM
ARGH!! Me and this painting are having a falling out at the moment. :o Everything's painted, but it should be titled 'Pastel nightmare' - I've been so careful to get the skin tones right and the background lighter than the skin tones, that everything looks washed out like an over-developed photo!:mad:
Does anyone have any last minute rescue tips for combating blandness?

Is the scene in strong sunlight? If so, can you deepen the shadows and shaded or dark areas a bit to provide some grounding and drama? Then, lighten the highlights for a fuller range of contrast.

Here's a painting by Sorolla that illustrates what I'm thinkin'. Pastel colours on the dresses, with light and colour in the water for drama. But it might not suit your scene.


If that won't work, paint in a dinosaur! :D

Every Time I try to make something in the picture a bit bolder, it looks so out of place that I have to wash over it again to tone it down, resulting in more pastel nightmare!!!:crying:

Mrs B
06-20-2015, 04:38 AM
Hi Colin,
Thanks for the suggestion - I think the problem is that it's indoors, not particularly dramatic lighting with beige carpet, light walls, light skin tones....
Dinosaurs are looking very appealing right now!:lol:

I think I might just have to be super brave and paint some really strong colours on it and keep going past the 'this looks yucky' phase until it starts to come together more....
I think I'll take a photo of it in the current state though, for comparison and perhaps I can post the before and after and get some more feedback for improvement?:)

Charlie's Mum
06-20-2015, 06:14 AM
Gem - yes be super-brave!
Squint at the ref - try to see the very dark areas and the very lightest and place emphasis on them - be dramatic!!!
Failing that, if you're happy with the figure(s) leave them and just darken the b/g until they stand out and are the focus.

Colin - nice illustration - when I opened the thread I thought it was your painting:):lol:

Hoping to get back to mine today - my problem is b/g ..... old photo, colour and detail lost in shadow! ..... the type of b/g is also my bete noir, so not eager to do it!:lol:

06-20-2015, 09:43 AM
Had intended to tackle the bairns today but weather was better than expected this morning so I tackled a very overgrown patch in the garden and dug everything out to start over. The rain has now arrived but my shoulders and hands are so sore the thought of lifting a paint brush has sent me to the couch to watch tennis :evil: The forecast for tomorrow is not good though so I'm hoping to get it finished - or very nearly anyway.

This is certainly proving a challenge to lots of us - looking forward to seeing them.

Maureen - I could host August if that is ok - will be hospitalised for some of next month but should be in recuperation mode by then and with more 'sitting about' time to fill than I usually have, :D

Charlie's Mum
06-20-2015, 10:42 AM
Best of luck with the hosp. stay and recuperation Pips - and many thanks for the offer:0
Will put you down for August but if thee are any probs and you feel it's too much, just shout!:)

Garden demanding attention but it's so drizzly here I'm working on this instead:smug:

06-20-2015, 01:56 PM
Ha ha Maureen, I am not yet in Sorolla's league!

Gemma, your suggestion to give the painting another whirl sounds good. It's only paintM

As for me I think my bairns are done.

Charlie's Mum
06-20-2015, 04:23 PM
I've worked on my nightmare part and reasonably happy with that - now got the bairns blocked in - on the finishing straight, but although it's still very light here (9.20pm) I'm tired so will finish tomorrow.
I'm rather glad others seem to be finding time short - won't make me seem so late!:lol:

Must look up Sorolla - ashamed to say I'm not familiar with his work.

06-20-2015, 06:41 PM
Well being at least 10 hours ahead of everyone else gives me a bit of a head start and I will be out for most of the day so I thought I would get this posted before I left.
Thank you for hosting Maureen and the great challenge. I have just started using a new brand of paints and they just seemed to flow across the canvas. They are so easy to use and I really enjoy using them.
I am not sure if this is finished, I have taken a few days to contemplate if I should go back in to put some more definition in the hands and work on the sea a bit more. I quite like it and am frightened of killing what I think are the good bits.
Acrylic on canvas 12 x 16 inches


06-20-2015, 08:16 PM
Christine - I love your painting. That is gorgeous work! :clap: :clap: :clap: fabulous work on the figures and terrific colour in the water.

Still 7 hours to go before midnight here, so I shall wait my turn.

Maureen I only discovered Sorolla after joining WC! Someone mentioned an artist's website (Charles Sovek) who discussed Sorolla's work. I was immediately taken with his use of light and colour and our trip to Spain two years ago included visiting a lot of museums to see his paintings and visiting his home and garden was the highlight of our short time in Madrid.

06-21-2015, 02:30 AM
Couldn't sleep so thought I would post early.

Christine....I agree with Colin. Beautifully done! Love your use of colors!

I tried 2. Both 12x15 wc paper. I struggle with figures but I think these turned out "okay". The hand holding the hat got done and redone several times. "Lexi and the beach ball" by Susanbythebay.826247


Mrs B
06-21-2015, 03:50 AM
Christine - your image is so good - please don't tweak it and work on the hands more! The colours are so vibrant:clap:
Cindy - well done on doing 2 this month! They are lovely and it doesn't look like you struggled with the figures to me:D

Mrs B
06-21-2015, 04:02 AM
Ok - here's my struggle for this month. It's on 10" x 8" canvas board, and it's the baby playing with his shape sorter.
I would really appreciate any advice that you can give for this one on how to improve it, or where you think I went wrong - I have a thick skin so please don't be afraid to say what you think - I won't be offended.
Personally, I think that the drawing and composition are fine, but it's the colour mixing that I really struggled with.

Right - now off to prepare for next month's challenge!:lol:

06-21-2015, 05:17 AM
Cindy, I love them both, The colours are beautiful and vibrant in the first and the second is so delicately done. Her hair is especially gorgeous.

Gemma I agree, your drawing is excellent. I think your tones need a little tweaking to give it some oomph. Much stronger darks and lights would make a big difference I think.

Thank you Colin Cindy and Gemma for your encouraging comments.

06-21-2015, 07:41 AM
Well it looks like lots of chose the same painting! After seeing the others I want to go change mine and make the water turquoise and soften the shadows and outcomes, etc, etc... All of the paintings prior to mine, great job! http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Jun-2015/1181973-image.jpg

06-21-2015, 07:44 AM
Oops, it's 11 x 14 canvas panel.

06-21-2015, 10:19 AM
Cindy - Your paintings are both really stunning, and I especially like how you did that first one with the brilliant red hat.

Gemma - Your baby is well drawn and rounded solidly. The head is really nicely shaped for the lookaway.

Cindy G - Another stunning take on the reference. I actually like the drama created by your dark water. Looks like a cold windy northern seaside!

06-21-2015, 10:24 AM
Here is mine. I have called it Father's Day because I finished it this morning. 16" x 20" gallery wrapped canvas (I think that's what the deep ones are called). Now that I look at it I can see that the younger one's head is too "tall" and will have to tweak that. From my own photo reference of my sons when they were small:


Charlie's Mum
06-21-2015, 10:28 AM
Oh boy! What delights for me:)
Christine - don't change a thing! Super colour, a truly lovely feel of kids on a windswept beach - I'd say frame it!:)

Cindy - two beauties and no signs of struggle at all! Lovely crop to the first and then such a delicate piece of the young girl and ball. Shower yourself with praise!

Cinders - I'd say 'don't touch'! ... your colouring gives this painting it's own 'place' and it's a lovely work. Our beach will look like this today!:)

Gemma - an adorable pose! - so typical of babies who play side-on instead of turning:lol: I think Christine is right - the drawing and comp. are excellent and it's only the form that needs modelling ...... I understand your reluctance to work on it too much, it's so easy to make babies look old!

Thank you so much for giving my eyes pleasure ladies!:)

I'd planned to finish mine today but we got visitors unexpectedly ...... I'll go do some now, tho' it's 3.30pm:eek:

06-21-2015, 11:15 AM
Cinders, don't change a thing. It is very dramatic and well done!

Gemma, great choice for your subject! I agree with the others, well drawn, just needs a little tweaking....light, shadow, values.

Colin, love the bright, cheerful colors! What is the older boy holding?

Thanks for the nice comments on my entries all.

Thank you, Maureen, for another fun month. Looking forward to seeing your finish. The relatives that were due here 2 days ago never showed up/called. Guess they changed their minds. So your situation is opposite from mine.

06-21-2015, 11:43 AM
Thanks Cindy. It's a kite. We were down at the waterfront where people used to go to fly kites as there were no nearby telephone or electric wires.

06-21-2015, 12:22 PM
That's what I thought it was but wasn't sure. The Oregon coast is a favorite for kite flyers! They even have a kite museum which I didn't get to go in because they were closed for the day:( Saw some amazing kites being flown on the beaches.

Charlie's Mum
06-21-2015, 01:24 PM
Sorry Colin, we obviously x-posted earlier:(

What a sweet picture of the boys - I like that#1 son's jumper matches the kite! ... and just make #2's head smaller and it'll be great! Lovely memory.

Have tried photo'ing mine but I have 2 mins to timer going off for dinner, so will be back later!:)

Charlie's Mum
06-21-2015, 02:59 PM
Here's mine - difficult to get a good photo though, I usually scan but this is 20x16" ........ done over a previous D/S work.
Took the photo I used for ref 30 yrs ago - it's of my niece and nephew at our local beach, playing in rock pools.
Rocks are my least favourite things to paint and these rocks are a porous limestone, full of holes .. the 100ft cliffs are typical layered magnesian limestone, but the rocks look like sponges!


... and yes, their hair was bright ginger curls!
Their Mum saw this today and commented the hair was just right ... so that's OK then!:lol:

06-21-2015, 04:04 PM
Thanks Maureen.

Great painting of your niece and nephew. The boy had a very studious expression. It is funny how serious children can be even at "play". Very red curls on those two "bairns". :) I think you did well with the rocks. Great colour and texture. :thumbsup:

Imogene Thomas
06-21-2015, 06:02 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Jun-2015/157219-Children_at_Play_2_002.JPGI had to research the process of painting skin, so I used a book by Lee Hammond. Both done in acrylic. Young boy is on 11 x 14 canvas panel. Young girl is done on 9 x 12 140 lb Canson paper. I used several light layers to create the skin tones. Good experience! C & C always welcome:clap: http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Jun-2015/157219-Children_at_Play_2_001.JPG

Imogene Thomas
06-21-2015, 06:21 PM
Maureen- Little redheads are beautiful.
Stumble Fingers - Sounds like me while attempting skin tones...
Colin - Love the scene with the boys near the water...typical of boys.
Christine - The beach scene is lovely. A+ on the hats!
Cindy - Wow on both beach scenes!

06-21-2015, 10:49 PM
Very nice work JT. Nice expressing you caught on the faces.

Charlie's Mum
06-22-2015, 07:48 AM
Bubbles! Nice choices JT and nicely done.

Thank you both for your comments on mine.:)

I really struggled with the skin tones too - maybe I need that book! ...... or maybe I can find info in the portrait forum her?:)

06-22-2015, 08:33 AM
Maureen, your figures are so well done! Love that curly red hair. Love the way you did the texture of the white sweater(?). Rocks really are tough for some of us but you did well with them.
JT, what fun bubbles are. They have always been a staple in my house!

06-22-2015, 12:51 PM
Loving seeing all the interpretations here, finished mine today but having to recharge camera batteries so will post it presently.

Christine – A lovely gentle scene and you’ve really captured the movement of the sea and the girls
Cindy. I like both of these but particularly the delicacy of the second one.
Gemma – an adorable baby pose and well captured
Cindy G – this looks like our beaches and water – cold and dramatic – good colours and shaping on the girls.
Colin – A really happy painting of your boys
Maureen – Love this, the children are so cute and the setting is super
JT – the children look so engrossed, I particularly like the crop on the one of the little girl – and great bubbles

06-22-2015, 03:09 PM
Hi Everyone!

Very good works posted this month, i liked especially the one of Cindy G and the work of Maureen.

Here's mine, based on the photo postd earlier in this thread. The face has some serious problem, maybe the angle of the mouth, but i really have fun doing it.



06-22-2015, 03:34 PM
When Maureen mentioned stick figures I immediately thought of L S Lowry …… and as I didn’t get one done last month this is Children playing, inspired by a nursery rhyme, in the style of Lowry

The rhyme refers to when children worked from an early age so the only time they had to play was at night

Girls and boys, come out to play,
The moon doth shine as bright as day;
Leave your supper, and leave your sleep,
And come with your playfellows into the street.
Come with a whoop, come with a call,
Come with a good will or not at all

"After Work - "15” x 10” on board. I can see a lot that needs work still but I’m trying to stop myself fiddling and being obsessed by detail so I’m calling it finished. I’ve realised that I have a problem with ‘right leaning’ verticals so that’s obviously something I’m going to have to work on a lot. C & C very welcome


Charlie's Mum
06-22-2015, 04:18 PM
Fede - I liked this ref you posted and the painting is lovely too, well done! - you're right about the angle of the mouth! Working from small photos, I found, was so difficult when looking at faces and features - so little info in a 5" photo!

You see the angle of the boy's head, slightly downwards? - think of the eyes being on a 'circle' around the head - how it would tilt ......similarly with the line for the mouth.

Pips - See what you mean about your right-leaning verrticals!:lol:
The perspective is awry - maybe intentionally so though? Love the children playing - leaning out of windows, handstands, climbing lamp posts - and they're so colourful - fun!

Mrs B
06-22-2015, 05:10 PM
Hi Folks, thanks for the feedback - I think I must have used tons of white in this painting, so need to find a way to make the painting shine a bit more and up the contrast. One of the things that really causes me problems is how different the colours dry to how they look when mixed - two colours on the palette looked almost identical but one dried quite purple compared to the other - will leave it for now though and chalk it up to experience.
It's been lovely seeing everyone's paintings this month and that beach scene does seem popular!

Cindy G - I love the colour of your sea - reminds me of home and it's a very british looking colour!

Colin - love the bold brush strokes in the background behind the children - really adds to the sense of a windy day with grasses moving in the background.

Maureen - the colours in your painting are wonderful - I love the fact that you've not used any blue in the water at all and the sunlight catching the hair is beautiful

JT - Bubbles! An absolute favourite of the baby's and a love the way you've painted them here. It might be my screen, but they do look as though they have a slight purple/blue-ish tint to them - or is that the photo?

Fede - Maureen has given you good advice about the facial features, but I just love the shadows you've painted on the boy - they really are great!

Pips - combining two challenges? - now you're just showing off!!:lol: I really like this - even though the buildings in the distance are seriously leaning, it has a lot of energy and the colourful children really stand out from the buildings.

06-22-2015, 09:40 PM
Nice rendition of the reference Fede. Excellent use of light and shadow.

Pips how great to fit this month's challenge as well as catching up on last month's! A fun scene.

06-23-2015, 05:32 PM
Great stuff! Mine is sitting half-finished, where, unfortunately it will sit until I get back to my easel in the garage after July 4th weekend. As I said, sometimes life (or in this case work a continent away) gets priority over hobby.

06-23-2015, 11:09 PM
Oops! For some reason I stopped getting the email updates for this thread... I just assumed it had gone quiet because everyone was so busy working on their paintings, and popped back to check when the reveal date is - only to find I'd missed it and everyone's still here posting :lol:

I'm still working / struggling with mine - technically the whole canvas now has paint on it with everything painted in but I'm not finished and struggling with the facial features and with getting definition into the hands / feet. It's my son, so I want to get it right (i.e. looking like him, as opposed to just looking like a child).

Really enjoyed having a look through everyone's painting so far, I will pop back later to comment properly :thumbsup:

Charlie's Mum
06-24-2015, 05:48 AM
Jim, too bad when life gets in the way!:lol: ...... we'll wait patiently:)

Jess - no worries, we have (theoretically) until the end of the month - with a little more leeway for JIm!:)
I understand totally about getting those features right!:)

06-24-2015, 06:01 AM
Cindy - I love your version, it looks like a cloudy blustery day and those pretty lacy frocks are beautifully captured.

Colin - I have been trying to think what artist your painting puts me in mind of and it has just come to me, it is Sydney Nolan, one of Australia's iconic artists.
Lovely work.

Maureen - This is wonderful, those gorgeous red gold curls really draw you in and the children are beautifully portrayed. The texture of the rocks and the pattern on the childrens jumpers is very convincing I bet your sister is pleased with it.

JT - You captured the children at play theme beautifully in both of your contributions.

Fede - I love your charming painting and would not change a thing.

Pips - Your painting is so full of the joy of play that your right leaning verticals go unnoticed. I agree with you, stop fiddling and enjoy the magic you have created.

06-29-2015, 02:06 AM
Well, the month is almost up and I'm still working on mine, but in the interests of getting something posted, here is where I'm at currently...

20" x 30" acrylic on canvas

And below, the reference photo I'm working from, my son collecting shells at the beach.


Any and all C&C very much appreciated.

I'd like to keep working on this one and get it right - I can see already from looking again at the full size / better quality photograph on my computer some areas where I could improve (and up those values!), but I'm still really struggling with the facial features. That all said - first portrait, biggest painting I've ever attempted... all up I'm pretty pleased with it :lol: Just really want to make it my little boy and get it as close to him as I can :rolleyes:

06-29-2015, 03:50 AM
Christine - Great sense of movement in your painting, can almost feel the breeze and the waves gently rolling in on that ocean.

Cindy - Well done for completing two! I love the colours in both but especially love the second one (with the beach ball), the little girl looks so care free, it’s such a lovely scene.

Gemma - I like this, I agree with others comments re: tonal values but I think you’ve done a great job, I think babies must be really hard to paint (something about their plumpness, getting all those extra creases in but retaining the youthfulness, you’ve done it well!)

Cindy G - Beautiful take on this, I also like the more dramatic use of colour in the ocean.

Colin - Love the colours and the interaction between your two sons.

Maureen - I really like all of this but I just absolutely LOVE the orange / red tones in the water.

JT - Love the concept, bubbles are such awesome fun and I like the expressions on the kids faces. I like Lee Hammond’s books, I have one and have to admit I haven’t actually read it but the progress photos help me a great deal when I’m stuck on something (one day I will actually properly read my art books!)

Fede - Very lively painting, love it, I agree perhaps with the mouth though - not so much about the angle I actually like the expression that creates, but the distance between the nose and the mouth looks a little large.

Pips - What fun! So many children, such lovely colours. As Maureen said, perhaps the leaning verticals are symbolic :)

06-29-2015, 07:25 AM
Jess, your painting is really beautifully done. I think a little more modeling on the nose and shadow on the cheek toward his ear and the likeness will be there! For never doing a portrait this is certainly an excellent start!

06-29-2015, 03:16 PM
All of your paintings are beautiful and inspiring! I just joined this site again today. I was on it years ago and appreciated the feedback I got from artists and being inspired by different types of art. After a dry spell of 2-3 years (I kept looking at the canvas and being intimidated, my inner critic got too strong), I am finally back to painting. I am looking forward to the Different Strokes challenge next month! -Lynne

Charlie's Mum
06-29-2015, 05:05 PM
Jess - that's really gorgeous, even unfinished and I can see why you want to keep working on it (I'm doing more to mine too, after staring as I pass!!!!!)
So glad you joined us - super work!

Lynne - welcome (back) and we lok forward to you joining us next month too:)

06-29-2015, 09:21 PM
Jess - really nice painting.

Thanks everyone for the kind comments. Christine I am not familiar with Nolan. I will have to look him up.

Thanks for hosting Maureen. Great challenge idea.

07-01-2015, 08:13 AM
Thanks for the kind comments everyone :) This challenge gave me the extra push I needed to get started on this painting so really glad for that, even feeling brave enough that I might attempt another portrait after this one - always wanted to be able to do portraits / figures and always thought I was hopeless at them, but I was pleased with how this one went and enjoyed seeing others interpretations on the subject :)

07-01-2015, 01:01 PM
I wasn't even tempted this time. :lol: Good work everyone!

Charlie's Mum
07-01-2015, 03:24 PM
I'll leave this thread stuck until Jim can post his work:)