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View Full Version : FAST CHALLENGE: painting fast and loose


Deborah Secor
09-19-2007, 02:27 PM
I'm offering a challenge to anyone who wants to join in. I posted a paragraph in another thread mentioning that one of the best ways I've seen my students loosen up is by painting faster.

There's something about painting quickly and not allowing yourself to think too much that really works. Have you ever noticed that the early stages of a painting have a freshness that is intriguing? That's where you want to paint to, and then STOP.

Quite a few folks responded to the idea and wanted to try it, so here's your chance, if this is a good time for you!

The challenge:

I challenge you to do ten small paintings. I suggest they be about 6x9" to 8x10" in size, not too tiny but not large at all, because you'll find yourself less stressed. The point is to work very quickly so that you don't have much time to think about what you're doing, so working small will be helpful.

I suggest you find photos of something you're familar with and comfortable painting--in other words, if you paint still life don't switch to painting animals, or if you do landscapes don't try portraits. Tone your paper, and be ready to paint before you start the time. You're allowed three charcoal lines on your paper to start with, but no more. This is not about doing a nice charcoal rendering to color on top of, but about finding the location of key elements to give you a starting boost. You might mark the skyline and tree, or the circle of the face and lines for eyes and nose, whatever.

Limit the time you actually paint to 30 minutes to start with. Set a timer or you'll go way too long, trust me. At the end of that period stop and spend some time LOOKING at your painting. Let me clearly define looking: it's NOT touching the painting in any way!!! Looking doesn't involve wiping out any offending portion. It isn't correcting a line, edge or color with pastel or charcoal. In fact I suggest you move your painting away from your palette and place it in another location altogether, so that you aren't even tempted to do anything but look.

The key to LOOK for is a fresh relationship of color and value, something that seems to be intriguing your eye, thrilling you, speaking of the subject you're painting. If after 30 minutes you have so little on the paper it hasn't yet gotten to this fresh, interesting point, you may have another 30 minutes to paint on it. At the end of one hour STOP and do not place another mark on the paper. Put your painting aside and begin another one instead. You can use the same photo repeatedly or start with a different subject, if you prefer.

It shouldn't take months to get ten paintings done if you limit the time to 30 minutes! Why ten? Why not five? Well, that's up to you, but I think you'll find that you're going to figure a lot of things out as you go along and apply that knowlege to the next ones. Usually in a three-hour class my students complete at least two of these, sometimes three.

Your show:
When you have completed ten paintings I invite you to post them for us all to see. You can either post all ten in here or drop a link here so that we can go to your FAST CHALLENGE thread. Let's keep in mind that others in the future might want to see what comes of this whole thing, so post here in order to stay organized.

I also challenge you to spend some time looking at these ten paintings and analyzing what's happened, so that you can explain to us what you're seeing and figuring out. Oftentimes my students find that they are very visually interesting paintings, though not the kind of work they usually do. Think about what's working and why. Look for the strength inherent in painting loosely:

strong color relationships
the joy of accidents that work
what is suggested without working it to death


After you've put up the show, if you want to go on to finish some or all of the little paintings, that's fine. Just don't get in some rush to go on to make them perfect before you've derived the lessons from this small body of work. We'll all have fun sharing the work and discussing what we learn together, so I hope this is a challenge that will be enjoyable and educational.

It's sometimes hard to let go of making that perfectly finished work, but take a look at these painting I did to see the level of finish I'm talking about:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Sep-2007/23609-half_hour_2.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Sep-2007/23609-half_hour_3.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Sep-2007/23609-half_hour_4.jpg
*Note: most of mine were done inside of ten or fifteen minutes--but I've had a lot of practice at this! It really is fun to do!!

If there are questions, ask away. I've probably forgotten something. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do. Let me know if you plan to join in!

Deborah

Kathryn Day
09-19-2007, 05:06 PM
Hi, I'm in Deborah. I am having trouble finding time for painting. This will give me a time limit and get my creativity going again. I know that I can find 30 minutes at least a few times a week. So, the plan is to wait until all 10 are done and then post? I think this is an exciting idea. Thanks for throwing out the challenge.

Tressa
09-19-2007, 05:23 PM
Oh Gee!! What a great challenge! I had just gone thru my photos to do a series on the Blue Ridge Parkway,and Scotland, as my Panpastels got me into skies so much!! I'm in! I'm in!
Tres

Mary Brigid
09-19-2007, 05:47 PM
Oh Wow! And I have just started a painting in my usual "Way too Tight" style!!!!!! I will be all a muddle Deborah :) But I will have a go.
Is there a time limit on this challenge Deborah?
Mary Brigid

Deborah Secor
09-19-2007, 06:48 PM
Good--glad to have each of you! :D

No time limit, and yes, wait until you have all ten to show at once, if you don't mind. I think you'll find that there's a growth of information as you go through it, so log in here and share the triumphs and/or struggles as you go along, if you want to!

This should be fun... :thumbsup:

Deborah

Pat Isaac
09-19-2007, 07:10 PM
I would love to do this, but not sure about my tie constraints. I'll get there eventually.

Pat

CindyW
09-19-2007, 07:50 PM
Deborah, if people want to add their show of 10 in Oct or Nov it's ok to keep reviving the thread? If so, I'm in. Sounds fun! This will show the power of sketching and just plain having F-U-N! Thanks for starting this. :) It'll be like a most delicious dessert to see the thread updated each time with new shows.
Cindy

M Douglas
09-19-2007, 08:50 PM
I'm in too, I think this might be just what I need, some fun relaxing painting with no pressure to create a perfect piece of art. Thanks Deborah.

Melodie

CM Neidhofer
09-19-2007, 10:10 PM
Wow...this may be just what I need to get me motivated again. Thanks for a great idea, Deborah. My time is usually limited to days off, but I'll give it a go. :)

Christine

Karen Margulis
09-20-2007, 10:27 AM
Great Challenge Deborah! Count me in!! I do usually try to paint everyday..posting to a blog keeps me on my toes...but I don't usually set a time limit so this will be fun...Can't wait to get started!!!
karen

ElleZee
09-20-2007, 11:53 AM
This sounds really cool, Deborah! Thank you for the inspiration and advice. I think I am going to give it a go. See you in 10....paintings that is :D

Deborah Secor
09-20-2007, 12:03 PM
Deborah, if people want to add their show of 10 in Oct or Nov it's ok to keep reviving the thread?

Sure--I can't see why not. We can always toss things around here... How many times have you seen threads from 200 pop back up? :D

I'm glad you all see that this is a no-pressure deal! I hope you'll also push yourselves to learn something--in other words, limit the time and be willing to share what results, even if it's not the 'success' you hoped it would be.

It might be a good idea to stay a little bit organized and number the ten paintings so you can show them in order they were created. I'd also like ot know what paper you used, what size they are, and how long you gave yourself to do them.

I'm looking forward to this thread popping to the top of the charts with ten little gems to look at.

Deborah

CindyW
09-20-2007, 12:24 PM
Thanks! also for the guidelines. It'll be alot of fun to view.
Deborah, this challenge reminds me of something you brought up awhile ago.......I very much would enjoy your thread to resurface from a couple years ago, if you saw fit, about painting objects without using the color associated with it. Perhaps you could think about starting another challenge after this one, using this same 10 minute time limit criteria. The time limit is what sounds appealing to me.
Cindy :)

Deborah Secor
09-20-2007, 05:33 PM
Hmmm, I can't remember what thread you mean, Cindy...

One challenge at a time! But I do have others... like 10 colors, 10 minutes! :D

Deborah

CindyW
09-20-2007, 07:36 PM
Deborah, I found it in a couple minutes....green without green
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=292423
Yah, one challenge at a time....let's see when I get this first one completed! :) Ok, off to paint I go.
Cindy

Deborah Secor
09-20-2007, 10:38 PM
OH! That one--I'd forgotten about that thread. Yes, it's something I often do, mixing color instead of relying on my palette. Handell taught me that. I was having trouble with green in particular and he assigned me to paint nothing but green subjects for a while. Boy, did I learn how to spark up the greens using a lot of other colors!

Hope everyone is busy setting their timers and painting.........:rolleyes:

Deborah

Kathryn Day
09-20-2007, 11:16 PM
Well, I did one in 30 minutes. A landscape. I got the whole page covered in that time, and I was working fast and furious. Did not give me time to think much about the composition, etc. There are a lot of scribbles, (at least they look like that to me), that should be bushes, but I do see that I was able to get my darks and lights in and some midtones, even hints of shadows. If you look from afar, you can tell it is a landscape. lol No time for careful blending, etc., so that is a good thing for me.

Deborah Secor
09-20-2007, 11:53 PM
Sounds like a very successful first venture in limited time painting to me! Do you plan to look and then do another half-hour or leave it as-is and go on to the next one, Kathy?

Deborah

Deborah Secor
09-20-2007, 11:56 PM
Oops--double post--sorry!

Deborah

Kathryn Day
09-21-2007, 01:11 PM
I think this first one I will leave it as is after the 30 minutes. This also certainly gives you an idea if you want to continue with a painting. I am going to tape all ten to the wall until I am done, study them to see what I find strong, weak, color play, etc. From this one I learned to go from basic shape first, I started trying to put in detail too soon and lost the basic design.

Deborah Secor
09-21-2007, 01:36 PM
Ooo, good observation! :D I know what you mean.... It will be fun to see the final ten!

Deborah

nvcricket
09-22-2007, 02:05 AM
I'm in on this one! I have to go to work in the morning, and I plan on going to Hope Valley in the Sierras tomorrow afternoon. Time is very limited as I have to get back to let my dogs out! I'll be taking pictures so would be able to finish them later. I hope to get 6 done at 1/2 an hour each. The aspen are turning I think....Oh gosh I'm excited! The other four??? I'll do out my back door! I sure hope it isn't raining!

Carol

Deborah Secor
09-22-2007, 10:42 AM
Great, Carol! You'll have a blast, I bet.

Deborah

eyepaint
09-22-2007, 08:35 PM
I'm signing up for this project. I've done four so far :)

MarshaSavage
09-22-2007, 09:20 PM
Deborah,
Count me in! I've been looking for a way to jump start me sometimes when I get bogged down in the business side of art . . . and I think this will be a good one to do! Very good idea.

I also thank you for the idea and if you don't mind I will be making my two classes I teach on Tuesdays do the same thing. You already have one of my students signed up to do this challenge here -- Karen!!!!

You are a treasure to this web site!

Deborah Secor
09-22-2007, 10:24 PM
Wow--great, glad to have everyone on board with this idea.

And Marsha, I'm delighted that you'll use it for your classes, too! I hope you all take it and use it... Spread it around. :rolleyes:

I guess I better think about doing a few myself.

Deborah

nvcricket
09-23-2007, 12:28 AM
I have a question....

I was able to work only on one painting in Hope Valley today, it started drizzling, but I was able to take a bunch of great pictures.

My question is this. I worked exactly 1/2 hour, and I want to finish it. Do you want us only to post our 10 paintings at the 1/2 hr-1hr or so mark? I'm thinking this lesson isn't about the finished product.

Should we post the 1/2 mark, the ref pic, and if completed, the finished painting? Or just the 10?

From my attempt today there is just a blush of what it actually is. I did have a blast though!

Carol

Deborah Secor
09-23-2007, 08:34 AM
I'd say post the 'raw' 10, not progress shots or the photos. You're right, it's not about the success of the finished paintings but more the look you achieve after a limited amount of time. I'm delighted you had fun--this really is a blast! It will be the experience of painting ten of these that we'll be intersted in seeing and hearing about.

I'm gone all day on Sunday so keep painting--I'll check in when I can.

Deborah

eyepaint
09-23-2007, 01:03 PM
Hi everyone,

Here are my ten "Fast and Loose Paintings"

I chose to do ten oil pastel paintings/sketches of my hand. I sketched all these poses for the "Hand a Day" thread in the Artwork from Life forum. Hands 5 through 8 are supposed to be American Sign Language letters that spell a word.

There are all 6x9" on Fabriano Ingres paper. The colour is light grey to me but it might be called Celeste on the package. I'm using a limited palette of 7 colours of Senneliers (2 blue, 2 yellow, 2 red, and one purple (Bordeaux)). I used no black and no white. Here's a photo of my giant Sennies (bought only a week ago).
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Sep-2007/96240-IMGP1597.JPG

So here are the ten:

1. I used a lot of layers and smooshing and the colour of the hand changed so much that I didn't really like it. I applied a purple "cartoon" outline. This was one of the best-proportioned hands in this project. 15 min
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Sep-2007/96240-IMGP1664.JPG

2. I tried complemnentary colours - blue bg and orange hand. I like the oranges I achieved here. The width of the palm got too narrow on the pinky side. 15 min
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Sep-2007/96240-IMGP1665.JPG

3. This hand got quite technicolour quite quickly and unexpectedly. I tried not blending as many layers together and so this was the result. 15 min
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Sep-2007/96240-IMGP1668.JPG

4. I tried the super duper multi colour approach again with the complementary colours - purple bg and yellowish hands. This fist is much too fat. I like the definition of the four knuckles and the colours in the thumb and the base of the thumb. 20 min.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Sep-2007/96240-IMGP1670.JPG

5. The first ASL letter. I tried the yellow hand on purple bg again, in a bit of a monochromatic colour scheme for the main subject. This yellow is way too garish and I don't care for the green digits. Also I misjudged the size of the paper so the thumb didn't fit. 15 min
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Sep-2007/96240-IMGP1672.JPG


6. The second ASL letter. This is one of my top three favourite hands. I like the background scumbling. I was going for more of a monochromatic scheme on the hand with just some small additions of other colours. 15 min
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Sep-2007/96240-IMGP1673.JPG

7. The third ASL letter. This palm got too wide again. This was supposed to be a monochromatic red hand on the green background. I like the colours in the bg and the colours of the two upright fingers and the leftmost part of the thumb. I have yet to figure out how to define the intersection between fingers and thumb in the centre of the hand. 20 min
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Sep-2007/96240-IMGP1675.JPG

8. The fourth and final ASL letter. Wide palm strikes again. Again a monochromatic yellow hand on purple bg. I like the blue surrounding the bent thumb, and the use of blue separating the digits side by side. 15 min
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Sep-2007/96240-IMGP1677.JPG

9. Also in my top three favourite hands in this project. I like the light yellow scribbles for the bg which causes the purple-pink hand to pop forward. I like the proportions of this hand, and I like the combination of colours. It looks fairly realistic (compared to the other hands in this project), as if the hand had been banged up doing home renovation projects. 25 min
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Sep-2007/96240-IMGP1679.JPG

10. Again the complementary colour scheme and this is also in my top three favourite hands in this project. I kind of like the red to mark out shadows and form but it might be a bit too garish. To my eye the three fingers look 3D, cylindrical due to the light on the top and the shadows/darks on the edges. 20 min
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Sep-2007/96240-IMGP1681.JPG


Cheers,

Sonni
09-23-2007, 06:27 PM
I'm offering a challenge to anyone who wants to join in. I posted a paragraph in another thread mentioning that one of the best ways I've seen my students loosen up is by painting faster.



Quite a few folks responded to the idea and wanted to try it, so here's your chance, if this is a good time for you!

The challenge:

I challenge you to do ten small paintings. I suggest they be about 6x9" to 8x10" in size, not too tiny but not large at all, because you'll find yourself less stressed. Deborah

Hi Deborah,:wave:
I'm new to this forum. Is it too late to get in on this? Thanks!

Deborah Secor
09-24-2007, 09:10 AM
Not too late--come on along, Sonni.

Deborah

Deborah Secor
09-24-2007, 09:34 AM
Whoo hoo! EP is first across the finish line! I love the colorful approach you've used on hands. I did a whole series of colorful hands myself, so I can relate in many ways, and likewise I used my own hands (though I took snaps to work from.) Yours are good--in fact, I can read the sign language, if only because that's the only word I know in sign. LOVE

Tell us something, what did you learn as you went along? Did you discover a process that worked better than doing it another way? Did you feel differently about painting fast in the first one than you did in the last one?To quote what I said above:

I also challenge you to spend some time looking at these ten paintings and analyzing what's happened, so that you can explain to us what you're seeing and figuring out. Oftentimes my students find that they are very visually interesting paintings, though not the kind of work they usually do. Think about what's working and why. Look for the strength inherent in painting loosely:

strong color relationships
the joy of accidents that work
what is suggested without working it to death


Good job--I see some very interesting color relationships in this work that you might not have done otherwise. Will you now 'slow down' and do a finished painting of one of them?

Deborah

eyepaint
09-24-2007, 11:19 AM
Hi Deborah,

The paintings with blue subjects on the orangey backgrounds really excite me, followed by the purply subjects on the pale yellow background (hands 2, 10 then 9). This surprised me because I'm a big fan of red.

In the case of oil pastels, I discovered that I used the light yellow to blend layers of colour together, as well as add a "shine" highlight to tops of a few fingers as in hands 9 and 10.

Again I was reminded that it's a good idea to spend time getting the drawing correct before rushing ahead with colour. And that I'm not a detail person, so knuckles, fingernails and precise folds of skin often don't happen in my work.

I recently started a series of small (8x10") acrylic paintings based on these hands. I hadn't considered doing a slowed down oil pastel painting version. I should give that a try :)

Cheers,

Deborah Secor
09-24-2007, 12:05 PM
In case you're interested, here's a link to a thread called hands (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=175908) that has some pix of my hand paintings...

I'd love to see a 'finished' one, if you do it!

I suspect everyone else is painting away with the timer on........<tick>...........<tick>...........<tick>...........

Deborah

scall0way
09-25-2007, 12:44 PM
Woo hoo, this looks like my sort of thread. Fun to do, though the limit on charcoal lines will be tough. I usually do fairly minimal initial drawings anyway, but more detailed than that. Hmm, gotta find some good photos I can use as refs, though wonder how long it will take me to do ten?

Deborah Secor
09-25-2007, 07:55 PM
Glad to have you along, Debbie!

Deborah

Tressa
09-27-2007, 07:22 AM
I have four of mine done!
Tres

Deborah Secor
09-27-2007, 10:38 AM
........<tick>...........<tick>...........<tick> ...........

Keep painting. Stop thinking too much....

........<tick>...........<tick>...........<tick> ...........

Tressa
10-01-2007, 02:53 PM
HAd a bug since Friday, and have not been able to paint. feel yucky!! Hope to soon,
Tres

Deborah Secor
10-01-2007, 03:26 PM
Well, no pressure on this, but I hope some of you have some work to share sometime soon!

Take care, Tres.

Deborah

nvcricket
10-03-2007, 09:54 PM
I have 7 completed, I'm doing some on my lunch hour. Almost there.

Carol

Deborah Secor
10-03-2007, 11:55 PM
Keep going!

Deborah

Tressa
10-05-2007, 09:59 AM
Well, I'm finished, but can't upload yet, so will wait until this afternoon and try again.. Hope they get fixed soon...
Tres

Deborah Secor
10-05-2007, 12:19 PM
Yup--ASAP! Emphasis on Possible...

Deborah

Tressa
10-05-2007, 04:37 PM
Here is the link for my 10 in 30 'loose'paintings!! Tres
Fast and Loose Challenge Finished! 10 in 30 (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=449146)

CindyW
10-05-2007, 08:14 PM
Tres, absolute beauties!

Cindy :)

Deborah Secor
10-06-2007, 12:21 AM
Tres, you have totally blown me away with these paintings. They're wonderful, fresh, lively and colorful. They have your signature touch, and truly say more with less. Thanks for sharing them with us. Wow....

Deborah

Tressa
10-06-2007, 09:01 AM
Thanks Cindy,
And Deborah, thanks so much.. I did have that block of sickness in between, but this was an eye opening experience for me. Blown you away huh??? That's so cool:cool: :D
Tres

mikiwilla
10-06-2007, 02:39 PM
Aloha. Is it too late to participate in this challenge? I just found it and it sounds like a fantastic way to help me loosen up. If it is not too late, I will get started right away.

Deborah Secor
10-06-2007, 04:25 PM
Not too late at all! C'mon along, Miki. I'd love to see what you do...

Aloha.

Deborah

Deborah Secor
10-06-2007, 05:16 PM
Here's one I did in my class on Thursday in 20 minutes as a demo for my students. We did a slightly different challenge: limited to a half hour, 10 colors and small size. This is on a 6x9" sheet of reclaimed Wallis.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Oct-2007/23609-DSCN7357.JPG

Deborah

Tressa
10-06-2007, 08:41 PM
Beautiful Deborah, but as you know I am quite partial to skies:D
Tres

nvcricket
10-07-2007, 04:56 PM
I passed the finish line!!!

I completed mine and posted them as Tress did. Here is the link
http://wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?p=6108038&posted=1#post6108038

Tress, I love all of yours!

I had a lot of fun doing these.

Thanks Deborah for this fantastic challenge.

Carol

mikiwilla
10-10-2007, 02:10 PM
Aloha. I just wanted to say that I have three done now. So little time in each day. I have really learned so much from the first three. What a great learning challenge for me.
I am in awe of the finished projects so far.

Deborah Secor
10-10-2007, 03:44 PM
I replied to Carol in the other thread, but if you haven't gone to take a look, be sure and do it!

Hmmmm, don't we have Karen's thread linked here? I don't see it...Karen's Fast & Loose Challenge Finished! (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=449860) Okay, now look at this one, as well!

Miki, keep going, keep going.... :D

Deborah

ANGHWAR
10-14-2007, 10:09 PM
Geez lost my post now I have to type again.

First my apologies for lurking but I didn't think I could get to this, this month. Then I thought hey I don't have time so this is an excellent way of participating in the Pastel Strokes and Classical forum for this month AND do fast and loose. So that is where most of the reference material came from, I even used a reference from last month's classical forum and then I went to the reference library for a couple.

1 Carrotts 16 mins
2 Pumpkin 19 mins
3 Cropped veggies 16 mins
4 Peppers 29 mins
5 Gourds 19 mins
6 Daffodil 28 mins
7 Kitty Close up 31 mins
8 Jelly Fish 09 mins
9 Blue Vase 23 mins
10 Blue Lake 23 mins

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Oct-2007/109760-carrot.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Oct-2007/109760-pumpkin.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Oct-2007/109760-three_halves.jpg
Sorry cracked the paper forgive the shadows

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Oct-2007/109760-Pepper.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Oct-2007/109760-gourds2.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Oct-2007/109760-daffodil.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Oct-2007/109760-kitkat.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Oct-2007/109760-jelly_fish.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Oct-2007/109760-Blue_vase.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/14-Oct-2007/109760-Sept_Classical.jpg

I apologise for the last two photos, they were taken while still pasted to my drafters board and the background is showing through, I forgot to say they were done on vellum- real tuff stuff to work with but great for fast and loose. I also noticed I have not rotated some of my photos :mad: .

I think I spent a lot of time preparing myself before picking up a color, looking or staring at the reference to really get to know it and also to make decisions about the color palette, then when I went for it, it flowed as if I am travelling a well known path.

Deborah thank you so much for starting this and challenging us, I think we will all walk away with something from this experience.

Happy painting
Anghwar

nvcricket
10-15-2007, 12:14 AM
Anghwar,

I know just what you mean! It's hard to get 10 done to a point where you can feel a bit of satisfaction within 30 minutes. You have stumbled onto a great idea for me. I think my next 10 will be simple studies. I tried to go for the whole enchilada, maybe if I seperate the elements I would be able to focus and get to that stage faster?.! Do one of the olives, of a brick of cheese, of a stack of tortillas, tomatoe...then for the finale the enchilada!

With the carrots, I think you achieved the loose feeling.
:lol: I liked the veggies, especially the cracked paper effect!
Your green pepper is great!
I love the flowers and the blue vase. I like the loose feeling you achieved in the flowers and the leaves.

:clap::clap:Great Job!
Carol

Are all of these on Vellum?

nvcricket
10-15-2007, 12:19 AM
Eyepaint,

I want to congratulate you for being the first to complete this challenge. I love how you just dove in with all the different colors. Hands are about the hardest thing I know of to draw and make believable. It is so cool how you were able to draw these within 15-20 minutes, and loose they are!
Bravo!

Carol

ANGHWAR
10-15-2007, 12:31 AM
Carol, thank you for your encouraging words.

Yes, all were done on vellum, exact off cut from another project I am doing, 10 perfect 5 x 7's, how lucky can one get. However I will not use this for pastel again, you can't lift anything and there is very little tooth.

Anghwar

nvcricket
10-15-2007, 12:41 AM
Anghwar,
Are these in soft pastels? They almost look like oil pastels. For not having much tooth, you did even greater job!

Carol

ANGHWAR
10-15-2007, 12:55 AM
Carol they are soft pastels, but you are right it seems the vellum rasps (if that is the correct term) the pastel and the coverage is actually pretty good. Surprisingly the pastel actually stuck. I think in fact because there is no tooth it make the pastel glide over the previous layer giving the oilies effect.

ANGHWAR
10-15-2007, 03:08 AM
Deborah your sky is magnificent.

Deborah Secor
10-15-2007, 01:16 PM
Sorry not to be in here sooner! Wow--love seeing your newest efforts here, Anghwar. Thanks so much for taking part. I tried painting once on vellum and found it impossible. It's like painting on frosted glass. One stroke and the tooth is totally used up. I couldn't get any subtlety at all.

I've seen another artist who uses it successfully, but he does a very delicate pencil drawing and then adds pastel pencils, very slowly building up teensy strokes, then gently blending things together. (I cannot remember his name--sorry!) I've only seen his clouds and skies. His style wouldn't be suited to a half-hour painting, that's for sure.

Did you work on the slightly textured side of the vellum? I know there's a slick and toothy side to it.

I think I spent a lot of time preparing myself before picking up a color, looking or staring at the reference to really get to know it and also to make decisions about the color palette, then when I went for it, it flowed as if I am travelling a well known path.
Good observation! I suspect on this paper your means of finding color was a necessity.

I like the close-up effect you used on most of these. The cat face is quite effective and the color work and stokes are good. I love the expressiveness of the one sunflower in the blue pot that's leaning over, too! And the composition of the third one pleases me, along with the color and contrasts there...

I'm certainly glad you enjoyed this exercise!

Deborah

mikiwilla
10-15-2007, 02:17 PM
Anghwar. Congratulations on completing the challenge. I am impressed that you tried this on vellum. I really like the colorful palette you have for all your paintings. I really like the effect of the cracked vellum on number three. It adds an almost abstract quality.
I just completed the eighth in my series. Like Carol, I tended to try to do too much in each painting. So far, I have really increased my ability to see what really needs to be in the picture to make it work. Usually didn't figure it out until the 30 minutes was up, however. LOL

E-J
10-15-2007, 04:39 PM
I'm in, Deborah!! Can't wait to get my soft pastels out ... it's been too long.

Elain
10-15-2007, 05:17 PM
Well what a good kick start. I've been thinking about doing a series of paintings on one subject and what a good way to prepare. Plus learn what does and doesn't work.

I've been trying to work looser. Just hard to grasp the faster bit unless challenged. Thank you Deborah. I'll be back - probably in a couple of weeks.

Deborah Secor
10-15-2007, 09:43 PM
Oh good! So glad to have you along, EJ! We haven't seen you around the dusties much.

And Elain, happy to have you, too.

Keep going, Miki! Almost there...

Deborah

ANGHWAR
10-15-2007, 10:11 PM
Deborah

Thank you so much for your comments, and here comes my last apology. I am sorry I didn't deem this project worthy of at least a low grade pastel paper. I wanted to keep my commitments to the forums I regularly participate in but truly didn't have time, my thinking was give it a go and hit 3 birds with one stone.

The thought of doing a 30 min painting had me petrified and I felt it certainly would not be any good so I didn't want to waste precious paper :o . The staring and working everything out in my head before starting was very much born in the fear :D of the time limit and not really the paper's fault. :lol: I noticed of course that the pastel dust stayed on the top of the paper when trying to cover a large area on the first painting but didn't stop to think that tooth would hold me back (inexperience I am sure). With the Kitty I noticed the blending of the colors happened as I stroked which was quite neat. Perhaps I was just extremely lucky in not having to place too many layers due to the time contsraint.

I am doing my first project painting on vellum and don't know it well enough to even know there are 2 sides to it, I guess maybe some were done on the one side and others on the other side. I used to use vellum in advertising for effect but it was purely as a cover page to something spectacular.

I have an afinity for macro when I do pastel, don't really know why, I only have one sunset in pastel and last month I started on a landscape with aspens but of course it is on hold at the moment. Perhaps I should do this challenge again with more drive, before attempting to do landscapes, and this time take it more serious.

I think that this exercise confirmed my belief in thumbnails, as one can do a quick sketch and get the composition and other aspects down and move on to repeat it as a successful painting in larger scale.

Gosh I am so verbose! :D

Miki thank you for your kind words, I still have to produce something for the Landscape Project which you are hosting, lol I haven't forgotten :D .

Happy Painting
Anghwar

Cindy234
10-16-2007, 11:17 PM
Nice, loose pictures! I've just done my first, and I love how it forced me to be loose! I was a little stressed over it until that 30 min. timer went off, then was pleasantly surprised when I stepped back and took a look at it. This was fun! I'm starting on the next 9...

Deborah Secor
10-17-2007, 03:45 PM
Great, Cindy....I know the time limit stresses you, but in time you do see it for what it's worth. Looking forward to your finish...

I want to remind everyone to post a link here, too, so three years from now anyone reading the thread can see the results, too!

Deborah

Elain
10-17-2007, 07:00 PM
This is fun. I've done five and really getting into it.

mikiwilla
10-17-2007, 09:57 PM
Aloha.
I finished my 10 paintings this morning, but I am unable to post the images here today for some reason. I will try later.
Miki

mikiwilla
10-17-2007, 10:36 PM
Aloha. I finally figured out what I was doing wrong.
Here are the ten images. I worked for 30 minutes on each using a time and stopping when it went of. I worked on paper I wasn't used to, and finally went back to my old favorite Art Spectrum Colorfix. Each is 8x10 and painted with soft pastels (Nupastel, Terry Ludwig, Great American).

Window Box (RIL reference photo - couldn't find it today to get name)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Oct-2007/110592-F-and-F-1.jpg

Gum Tree (Reference photo by Susan Borgas from Arts and Stuff Blog)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Oct-2007/110592-f-and-f-2.jpg

Birch Grove (reference photo RIL unknown)
I really fought with the surface on this one. I like the layout and will probably redo it on colorfix.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Oct-2007/110592-f-and-f-3.jpg
White Plains Guard Shack (reference photo by Tom Willa, my husband)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Oct-2007/110592-f-and-f-4.jpg

River Bend Farm (reference photo RIL unknown)
This proved to be way to much to do in 30 minutes. Live and learn.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Oct-2007/110592-f-and-f-5.jpg

Private Beach (reference photo by Miki Willa)
This turned out to be my favorite.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Oct-2007/110592-f-and-f-6.jpg

Kalaupapa Overlook (reference photo by Miki Willa)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Oct-2007/110592-f-and-f-7.jpg

Ko'olau Storm (reference photo by Miki Willa)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Oct-2007/110592-f-and-f-8.jpg

Hidden Pines (reference photo by Miki Willa)
I would like to finish this one. It has been on my list to do for a while now.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Oct-2007/110592-f-and-f-9.jpg

Sunset at Mokulaea (reference photo by Miki Willa)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Oct-2007/110592-f-and-f-10.jpg

Thank you for looking. Any ideas for completing any of these will be appreciated.
I really enjoyed doing this challenge. I will post my reflections tomorrow when I have really looked at what I have done.

Elain
10-18-2007, 01:32 AM
HI Miki,

I liked your folilage in the gum tree one and the buildings and trees in River Bend Farm.
The private beach is great. I can see why you like it, not only a lovely scene but you have great sand and inviting water. Once again I like your foliage.

Love the magnificent sky in the last one and the way the could recede.

mikiwilla
10-18-2007, 01:35 AM
Thank you Elain. I have been working on foliage and trees for a few months. I appreciate your encouraging words.

Elain
10-18-2007, 01:49 AM
Well, I have several photos I hadbeen wanting to do paintings of but not sure if I would muck them up. What a great way to get into it without worrying about finishing and getting past the point of no return.

All paintings on Colour Fix and about 10x6”.



http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Oct-2007/74891-10x30.1.JPG
1. On cream. This has the feel of spaciousness and lots of light between the trees and I loved doing the tree trunks. Apart from the trunks the colours are not right so it doesn’t have the right feel for me. I guess I should pick a less complicated view.
I think it is foliage I need to work on and leaf litter. Maybe I am too hard on myself and expect too much when I was conscious of the time. Next one – free up more.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Oct-2007/74891-10x302.JPG
2. On soft umber. This is more what I wanted to capture but let me try to be freer. What would happen if I just use soft pastels? I liked doing this on the soft umber ground. I liked the soft effect of the background with colours blended.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Oct-2007/74891-10.30.3.JPG
3. I felt I captured the feel of the scene but the cream background shows through and I do not like that. This is the first time I have used this colour paper for bush scenes and will make a note to use it only for animals including the human variety .
I have not freed up on colour, using the usual ones.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Oct-2007/74891-10.30.4.JPG
4. Ha. Cream paper can work. This is a very useful exercise. I haven’t done a lot of pastels and I’m finding this a useful way to get to know my colours and what works, or doesn’t, without the fear of ruining a picture. You can’t really fail because by finding what doesn’t work, you are (hopefully) not going to do that in a painting when you have more time to think.
The greyish green (Verona green Schmincke) works well on the dark base of the trees.
Some of my greens are not olive enough for summer foliage. What a pity. I will have to buy more pastels :)


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Oct-2007/74891-10.30.5.JPG
5. On Umber Colour-Fix. I didn’t use the colours from my reference here and loved the Art Spectrum Bordeaux red against the cream. I liked the effect of the purple and almost emerald green in the background.
I didn’t like the trees, but I think more purple/red and zingy green would fit in with the rest of the picture.
I learnt – if you change one colour from nature, change the rest of them too.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Oct-2007/74891-10.30.6.JPG
6. Yes!
Not really the dull, overcast winter wood in England that is in my photo.
I love the orange, blue, purple together. On dark umber.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Oct-2007/74891-10.30.8.JPG


7. Another late autumn. English New Forrest. I liked the Bordeau again. This one on Storm Blue colour fix which made the colours stand out. Didn’t get the mud on the ground. I was just playing with colours.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Oct-2007/74891-10.30.7.3.JPG

8. On storm blue again. Nice effect putting soft down for the sky, Schmincke dark blue, a grey and blending with a harder grey, finishing with fingers.
The distant hills were smudged into the sky. As were distant trees, drawing the side of a small piece of hard dark blue up from the base. Like I did on the trees in the hayfields but different colours.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Oct-2007/74891-10.30.9.JPG
9. I felt like some sunshine after all that storm coming. Only about 15 minutes on this one.
I liked the effect of smudging to get the smooth sand , blending a grey and a brown together as I didn’t have the right colour.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Oct-2007/74891-10.30.10.JPG
10. I redid the first bush picture with different colours. Still on cream.
I think a touch of light purple on those purply trunks would have helped but I liked the light and dark blue-green. A happy accident at the end was using the light blue green to blend the bottom of the green foliage into the ground . I still can’t get the right colour for the light on the ground.

Overall, this is a great exercise to loosen up. It was fun and trying different colours was great.

I am so lucky I have had a flu and laryngitis and couldn't go to work so I was able to do these quicker than I thought I would. Once i got into it , it was easier to keep going. Or maybe I was getting rid of the virus.

nvcricket
10-18-2007, 03:37 AM
Elain,

It's late and I'm tired, but I wanted to drop a comment before I hit the sack. I had some of the same experiences. It's all still alot experimental to me too. It's funny how that creamy background works in the second painting and not in the others. I like the trial and errors you mentioned. It also helps to stay in your comfort zone like Deborah suggested. You seem very comfortable with landscapes. These are all great renderings, and I can see you getting loose in the final ones.
Bravo! Great job(s)!

Carol

nvcricket
10-18-2007, 03:47 AM
Mikki,

Yours slipped in on the fifth page, almost didn't catch these! Great job. I like the river bend. What lessons did you learn from this experience? How did it feel with the time constraint. Was it hard to stop and not go back in to tweek this or that? Have you ever done stuff fast and loose like this before? Do you have any words of wisdom that would help a new artist such as myself? I'm really interested.
Thanks for joining in on this fun excersize!

Are there any portrait, or still life artists out there that feel the itch to do this challange???? I sure would like to learn from them too!

Carol

mikiwilla
10-18-2007, 12:12 PM
Aloha, Elaine. I really like what you have done. My favorites are No 2 and No4. I really like the blended background in no 2. It is a look I have been trying to achieve. Currently, I am partial to trees so I am really drawn to your work. No 4 captures a mood that is very pleasant and inviting. The subtle colors work very well. Congratulations on a job well done.

Tressa
10-18-2007, 01:52 PM
Elain and Mikki, GREAT PAINTINGS from both of you!! Hope to hear more of what you thought of this project!!
Tres

Imagenetic
10-18-2007, 02:00 PM
I just read about your fast and loose project - what a great idea. I feel like my muse has rusted shut because I have become so bogged down with laborius slow paintings.
Last night I painted fast and loose and oily for the first time in a long time and immediately felt much better. There really is something to breaking out of the fussy slow-moving way of working.

Elain
10-18-2007, 02:24 PM
It Is great, isn't it Imagenetic? I had the same feeling. Instead of forcing myself to keep going on a painting, I had to stop before I was ready to which made me want to start another. And you feel like you have achieved something because your goal is no longer 'a finished painting'.

Thank you Miki and Tres.
Miki- I'm partial to trees too. Their trunks especially. That is where the character of a tree is. This was a great chance to play and try some diferent things.

Deborah Secor
10-18-2007, 07:01 PM
GOOD GRIEF! I can't seem to keep up with this thread. Forgive me, Miki, for not checking in here sooner. I saw someone refer to your paintings in another thread and still didn't think to come in! And then I get here and both you and Elain have posted! <smacking head> :lol:

Thanks for taking part, both of you! I've put a few comments in below...

Aloha. I finally figured out what I was doing wrong.
Here are the ten images. I worked for 30 minutes on each using a time and stopping when it went of. I worked on paper I wasn't used to, and finally went back to my old favorite Art Spectrum Colorfix. Each is 8x10 and painted with soft pastels (Nupastel, Terry Ludwig, Great American).

Window Box (RIL reference photo - couldn't find it today to get name)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Oct-2007/110592-F-and-F-1.jpg
Charming! I really likd the darks framing the window and accenting the flowers.


Gum Tree (Reference photo by Susan Borgas from Arts and Stuff Blog)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Oct-2007/110592-f-and-f-2.jpg
Nice light here! Maybe some stronger darks would serve.


Birch Grove (reference photo RIL unknown)
I really fought with the surface on this one. I like the layout and will probably redo it on colorfix.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Oct-2007/110592-f-and-f-3.jpg
What paper were you using on this one?


White Plains Guard Shack (reference photo by Tom Willa, my husband)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Oct-2007/110592-f-and-f-4.jpg
The water is effective in this one, and I like the loose trees.


River Bend Farm (reference photo RIL unknown)
This proved to be way to much to do in 30 minutes. Live and learn.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Oct-2007/110592-f-and-f-5.jpg
I hope you take the time to do this one, although my feeling is you did more than you think you did in a half hour. The top half expresses the place very well, don't you think?

Private Beach (reference photo by Miki Willa)
This turned out to be my favorite.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Oct-2007/110592-f-and-f-6.jpg
Very nice! I'm curious why this one is your favorite? What does it have that pleases you???

Kalaupapa Overlook (reference photo by Miki Willa)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Oct-2007/110592-f-and-f-7.jpg
I like the broken color in the fore on this one. Nice and juicy!

Ko'olau Storm (reference photo by Miki Willa)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Oct-2007/110592-f-and-f-8.jpg
I don't know, Miki, this one is in the running for my favorite, too!

Hidden Pines (reference photo by Miki Willa)
I would like to finish this one. It has been on my list to do for a while now.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Oct-2007/110592-f-and-f-9.jpg
This is such an interesting palette! I like the neutrals you developed. Nice sense of depth.


Sunset at Mokulaea (reference photo by Miki Willa)
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Oct-2007/110592-f-and-f-10.jpg
Love the sky, but I wonder if it wouldn't influence the water's color more than it has. It works on the chairs and grass... Yummy spot.


Thank you for looking. Any ideas for completing any of these will be appreciated.
I really enjoyed doing this challenge. I will post my reflections tomorrow when I have really looked at what I have done.

Deborah Secor
10-18-2007, 07:18 PM
Wow--love the progression I see here, Elain!

Well, I have several photos I hadbeen wanting to do paintings of but not sure if I would muck them up. What a great way to get into it without worrying about finishing and getting past the point of no return.

All paintings on Colour Fix and about 10x6Ē.



http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Oct-2007/74891-10x30.1.JPG
1. On cream. This has the feel of spaciousness and lots of light between the trees and I loved doing the tree trunks. Apart from the trunks the colours are not right so it doesnít have the right feel for me. I guess I should pick a less complicated view.
I think it is foliage I need to work on and leaf litter. Maybe I am too hard on myself and expect too much when I was conscious of the time. Next one Ė free up more.
Great observations. You dont need me! :lol: I like the right-hand side of this one, the gray tree and its companions. Add a few darks into the distance and see what happens.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Oct-2007/74891-10x302.JPG
2. On soft umber. This is more what I wanted to capture but let me try to be freer. What would happen if I just use soft pastels? I liked doing this on the soft umber ground. I liked the soft effect of the background with colours blended.
Mmmm, love the left-hand tree and its knothole. Also the leaf shapes are very expressive. There's a nice light to this, too.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Oct-2007/74891-10.30.3.JPG
3. I felt I captured the feel of the scene but the cream background shows through and I do not like that. This is the first time I have used this colour paper for bush scenes and will make a note to use it only for animals including the human variety .
I have not freed up on colour, using the usual ones.
For color, think VALUE! You can use any color if it's in the family of values in the local area, right? I think the bottom right hand quadrant is working in this one.



http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Oct-2007/74891-10.30.4.JPG
4. Ha. Cream paper can work. This is a very useful exercise. I havenít done a lot of pastels and Iím finding this a useful way to get to know my colours and what works, or doesnít, without the fear of ruining a picture. You canít really fail because by finding what doesnít work, you are (hopefully) not going to do that in a painting when you have more time to think.
The greyish green (Verona green Schmincke) works well on the dark base of the trees.
Some of my greens are not olive enough for summer foliage. What a pity. I will have to buy more pastels :)
Love this one! The movement of the land planes works so nicely. That loose strokes work expresses the trees beautifully. Try layering yellow or blue or orange or gold into and over the greens you have for more summery greens.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Oct-2007/74891-10.30.5.JPG
5. On Umber Colour-Fix. I didnít use the colours from my reference here and loved the Art Spectrum Bordeaux red against the cream. I liked the effect of the purple and almost emerald green in the background.
I didnít like the trees, but I think more purple/red and zingy green would fit in with the rest of the picture.
I learnt Ė if you change one colour from nature, change the rest of them too.
Bold and expressive!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Oct-2007/74891-10.30.6.JPG
6. Yes!
Not really the dull, overcast winter wood in England that is in my photo.
I love the orange, blue, purple together. On dark umber.
Even more so! Wow! This is fun color!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Oct-2007/74891-10.30.8.JPG
7. Another late autumn. English New Forrest. I liked the Bordeau again. This one on Storm Blue colour fix which made the colours stand out. Didnít get the mud on the ground. I was just playing with colours.
This one is definitely in the running for my favorite! Can't see why you couldn't frame this one. Love the warm to cool, the orange over red-violet.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Oct-2007/74891-10.30.7.3.JPG
8. On storm blue again. Nice effect putting soft down for the sky, Schmincke dark blue, a grey and blending with a harder grey, finishing with fingers.
The distant hills were smudged into the sky. As were distant trees, drawing the side of a small piece of hard dark blue up from the base. Like I did on the trees in the hayfields but different colours.
I agree, this sky is effective. Another one to frame!


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Oct-2007/74891-10.30.9.JPG
9. I felt like some sunshine after all that storm coming. Only about 15 minutes on this one.
I liked the effect of smudging to get the smooth sand , blending a grey and a brown together as I didnít have the right colour.
Nice light here... and the blending worked out well.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Oct-2007/74891-10.30.10.JPG
10. I redid the first bush picture with different colours. Still on cream.
I think a touch of light purple on those purply trunks would have helped but I liked the light and dark blue-green. A happy accident at the end was using the light blue green to blend the bottom of the green foliage into the ground . I still canít get the right colour for the light on the ground.
Very nice color work and a huge diffference from the first one, don't you think?

Overall, this is a great exercise to loosen up. It was fun and trying different colours was great.

I am so lucky I have had a flu and laryngitis and couldn't go to work so I was able to do these quicker than I thought I would. Once i got into it , it was easier to keep going. Or maybe I was getting rid of the virus.

How nice to think it 'lucky' to have been sick... :rolleyes: I'm glad there was a chance for them to come together cohesively. Virus or no, you did a lot with this exercise!

I'm so looking forward to what everyone else does too. Glad it's turning out to be a fun one for you all!

Deborah

Elain
10-18-2007, 09:37 PM
Thank you for the comments Deborah.
I agree about the last one. It is a lot bolder and compared to the first, much stronger.

I have just read on older article in the pastel library about working with broken colour and think that is something I will try right now. See your comment on number 3 - values, not colour. Things are starting to gel.

Also, with the multiple chances in this exercise, you have time to try again the things that worked so you don't forget things.

So many art books, so many workshops, in one ear and out the other. it is only by using the techniques they become a tool we keep in our heads.

Thank you again for posting this challenge.

mikiwilla
10-19-2007, 06:21 PM
Thank you, Deborah, for your helpful comments. Now that I have had some time to look at this small body of work, I think I am ready to share some of my refelctions.
First, to answer you question about the Private Beach painting, I think I like it because it just came together the way I visualized it without my fussing at it in any way. I also like that it seems to have a focal area that just happened to end up in a good place.
One of the things I noticed after finishing was that I seem to really work a lot in the same color groups. Perhaps it is because of the places I choose to paint combined with my reluctance to add non-local color. I think I will work on another series focusing on values and not colors, giving myself permission to use colors I wouldn't otherwise use.
The second thing I noticed is that I really like to work dark. I always think I am adding enough lights until I step back. I like the accidental splash of light on the Stormy Koolau painting. I think I will finish that painting and work on adding more light to make it really dramatic. In looking at other finished works, the ones I like the most use light against dark very effectively.
The third thing I want to work on is establishing a clear focal area. I have been taught many of the tricks of making this happen, but I still have trouble applying them. Part of it is I don't establish it in my mind before I begin painting. Usually, I do a pretty detalied value sketch in a small sketch pad, but I am foculed on creating interesting paths of lights and darks. (If I could only translate that into my paintings.) When I work on my new value series, I am going to begin my work with a clear focal area in mind.
This was a very valuable process for me. I have a limited amount of time to paint in the mornings before I begin my day job, so having a timer set was not that intimidating. Letting go of detailed finishes was more so. More than anything, I feel much more comfortable now with a looser stroke. For that, I am grateful.
Thank you for this challenge. I have been painting part time for five years, and this is the best learning I have done so far. A chance to put the class and book learning into action in a safe space. I recommend this to any artist, no matter their level of expertise.

Deborah Secor
10-19-2007, 07:32 PM
Great, Elain. Love it when things start to gel, as you said. It seems like you're into that practical application stuff now, using the knowledge you've gleaned from various spots.

I really appreciate that you thought things through and have such a good plan now, Miki...

Both of you seem to be at that spot I call 'jumping off the cliff', where you're not so attached to the outcome and far more interested in the learning. It's a good place to be! I've found myself there several times in my career. I can step off and just see how far down it is without really fearing what comes. I need to get to that spot with my portrait paintings, too... but you can't 'make' it happen, can you?

Have fun!

Deborah

SandyRGA
10-20-2007, 05:41 PM
This challenge has been really useful for me, and Iím going to make it a regular exercise. Iím a newbie and so far have been working very slowly, even on simple pictures. But I was surprised at what I was able to do in 30 minutes, and Iíve been able to try lots of experiments, and therefore learn lots, in just a couple of weeks. In fact I've actually done more than these 10.

All of these are done with Inscribe and Boldmere soft pastels, on smallish paper (about 6Ē by 8Ē or 7Ē by 9Ē).

The first three are scenes from Switzerland.


Lake Thun at dusk on a clear day. I feel I put some pink in here and that it looked pinker once, but itís either disappeared or I imagined it. I will add it back later. Watercolour paper.
Near Wengen. Trying to portray clouds (not mist) hanging down around villages and houses on the mountains, and the unexpected appearance of visible mountain tops further above. Watercolour paper.
Davos, looking down on the lake. On a turquoise foam sheet.
The next three are 2:00 to 2:30 in the afternoon, in three different seasons. The trees, light, and shadows are from my back yard, but to concentrate on these I left out the other things in my back yard.


July/ August. Watercolour paper, underpainted yellow (watercolour paint).
October. Hmm, looks like Iíve smudged some green into the sky while handling it to scan it. Watercolour paper, underpainted gold. (Not the reason for the green in the sky though, that only appeared after handling.)
Dec/Jan. Watercolour paper, underpainted pinkish.
The next two are of a spectacular sunset that took over half the sky the other week while I was on my way home from work. Perhaps the most amazing thing, though, was that of all the hundreds of other people I saw on the overground parts of my journey, not one ever glanced at it. They preferred to look at the train interior or free tabloid newspapers.


Sunset at its peak, from about 5:45 to 6:45. Watercolour paper.
Sunset ending, about 7:00 to 7:30. Watercolour paper, underpainted with dark pink acrylic.
And finally, a change from landscapes.


A leaf. Brown pastel paper.
ďDuckyís HumiliationĒ, my daughterís soft toy duck, who for the past week has been forced to wear doll underpants. Brown kidsí paper.
I only seem to be able to upload 5 at a time, so the rest of the pictures will be in the next post.
Sandy

SandyRGA
10-20-2007, 05:45 PM
My next 5.

Sandy

Deborah Secor
10-20-2007, 06:39 PM
Sandy, so glad you did this exercise!
I was surprised at what I was able to do in 30 minutes, and I’ve been able to try lots of experiments, and therefore learn lots, in just a couple of weeks.
That's really wonderful. I often hear my students say the same thing. In a half-hour you establish the composition and often the color, but until you stop at that point you don't ever realize it. Experimentation teaches so much, doesn't it? :D

Are you working mostly on watercolor paper? I wonder if you've tried any of the other varieties, such as sandpaper. I know there are less to choose from in the UK than here, but you might want to explore that too.

I like your first three--the blue series... To me, the second one shows some really adventurous color work. I like the blue treetops poking out of the cloud. You also caught the distant sky behind the nearby clouds well.

The three seasons of your yard are quite intriguing! I enjoy the similar compositions and your varying colors--very expressive. Interesting to note the height of the horizon line in each one. It really changes the sense of distance, doesn't it? Were these painted on location?

The two sunset paintings are quite jazzy. I like the first one--the dark purple accentuates the reds nicely, and it benefits from the blue of the sky, I think. I wonder if you could add a few more strokes of clear, light blue near the bottom, to establish the sense of light coming from over the horizon... The second one is definitely later in time. Using smaller shapes near the ground adds a sense of the bowl of the sky, as the clouds diminish in scale there.

Wow! The leaf is smashing!! It has such lively colors, and I enjoy the contrasts in the shadow. Nice use of texture in the paper for this one. Very well done. This one you should frame!

Poor ducky! :lol: It's a very fun and expressive painting. It might benefit from a distant 'table ege' horizon line behind him, or shadows on the ground below.

Thanks so much for playing with us, Sandy. I hope we see more of you around the forum...

Deborah

Dancinlucy
10-20-2007, 07:26 PM
Hi Deborah,This is my first day on this site so I don't know how to navigate much of it, much less set up a profile or upload images.The challenge sounds great and would be good for me if I can find the time outside of my fulltime teaching job. Time in my studio is minimal :-(
Lucy

SandyRGA
10-21-2007, 04:40 PM
Deborah,

Thanks very much for your feedback. Iíll answer your questions, starting with the one about the horizons and viewpoint in the backyard pictures. These were all done on site from my back patio window. The backyard is actually crowded with trees and things, and I really had no idea where the horizon would be, if all those things were removed. The horizon in the first one I did, autumn, was what felt right to me, but after I did it I realised Iíd put it in the middle of the page which is a big no-no, so I moved it down in the next pictures. Since I didnít really know where the right place was, I figured I might as well try some variations.

Looking again the trees in the winter one look a lot closer. I think I was sitting in a different place Ė right at the window on the floor instead of halfway back in the room in a chair Ė but the difference in picture viewpoint is probably random rather than a result of this.

Winter was the hardest anyway, as the memory is furthest back. I look forward to drawing and painting this winter and trying to capture the fascinating light and shadows. Last winter I was only thinking I wish I could do that, I hadnít actually started trying to draw or paint yet.

Your comment on liking the blue tree tops was interesting, as I admit these would have been toned down a lot and made greener if Iíd had more time. I was tempted to cheat and play with the colour some more even though Iíd run out of time, but I resisted and left it where it was at 30 minutes.

Re: the paper, I use pastel paper too but generally for more detailed work. I tend to prefer watercolour for experimenting with/ layering colours, especially if the composition is simple, which is why I mostly used watercolour for this project. Also I wanted to experiment with underpainting. I havenít seen much else in the shops but to be honest I wouldnít feel comfortable using anything expensive yet anyway.

Iíve been unsure of all the references to sanded paper/ sand paper and have been wondering if you can really use sandpaper. I actually had already dug out a piece of very fine sandpaper that I was planning to try as my next experiment.

I will give ducky a table top or something to sit on. Heís having a hard enough time without having to dangle in mid-air too ÖJ

Thanks again for setting up this thread, and taking the time to give detailed feedback. It's been really helpful.

Sandy

nvcricket
10-21-2007, 09:00 PM
Hi Sandy,

Your ducky is to die for! Precious! I like the color plays you did with the three back yard scenes. Each one does definitely feels like the season it is portraying.

I like the clouds encroaching into the mountain on the second one. Nice!

You mentioned about using sandpaper. Well the sanded papers most people are using are specially made for pastels (Wallis, and Colorfix are two) For experimentation only, go ahead and use a 200 grit sandpaper, or even 400. Just know that the sandpaper you buy at the home improvement stores is not acid free, or museum quality. Before the two above mentioned products were available many pastel artists, including Deborah, actually used sand paper. "back in the days..." The Wallis isn't cheap, but I selected it to use in a few of mine, as I plan on reusing them again and again for just this challenge. If you want your art to be around for a few years, and if you find you like to use the sanded surface then you may want to invest in these papers. Using the right paper enhances your art. It can be very frustrating using a paper that doesn't have enough "tooth" There are tons of threads devoted to pastel papers.

I have to agree with you about the sunsets in the past few weeks. Over here in Nevada they have been awesome. Now that your doing art, pastels, you tend to appreciate mother nature more than the everyday pedestrian!

Welcome to WC, and welcome to the dusty side of things!:wave:

Carol

Deborah Secor
10-25-2007, 11:04 AM
I'm hoping there are a few more who are working on this challenge! It's not closed and anyone who wants to can chime in here. Have fun, play around a little and see what comes of it. Just keep your timer on and stop after a half-hour!

Looking forward to seeing more............

Deborah

SandyRGA
11-01-2007, 11:02 AM
I'm hoping there are a few more who are working on this challenge! It's not closed and anyone who wants to can chime in here. Have fun, play around a little and see what comes of it. Just keep your timer on and stop after a half-hour!

Looking forward to seeing more............

Deborah

Maybe this thread could be stuck to the top? It's getting kind of lost down here now.

For any lurkers or newbies out there, I'd urge you to give this a try and don't feel intimidated about posting your work here.

Sandy

Dougwas
11-01-2007, 12:13 PM
Maybe it would be a good idea to rate this thread. If enough people rate it then they might sticky this thread. Just a thought.

Doug

Kathryn Wilson
11-01-2007, 12:30 PM
I stickied it - we are going to suspend Pastel Strokes through the holidays, so there is room up there to sticky this thread.

But please, rate this thread and it will go into the Pastel Library.

I am also wondering if this should now be moved over to the soft pastel studio, rather than be here in Pastel Talk.

RooGal
11-01-2007, 05:01 PM
I stickied it - we are going to suspend Pastel Strokes through the holidays, so there is room up there to sticky this thread.

Ah! now I know why I can't find November's Pastel Strokes.

Deborah Secor
11-01-2007, 05:37 PM
Thanks for stickying it, Kat.

I am also wondering if this should now be moved over to the soft pastel studio, rather than be here in Pastel Talk.
I guess a move would depend on what Pastel Talk is meant to be, compared to the Soft Pastel Studio. Hmmmm, one way we could decide is to ask 'if this was a class, where would we hold it?' We'd paint in a studio; we'd talk in the living room, over the dining room table, or in a coffee shop or restaurant. Right? So I guess this one would be held in the studio, since we're getting our fingers dirty. The ultimate decision-maker: carpeting! :lol: If there was carpeting we'd have to move this group!

I'm still hoping a few folks will submit some more half-hour paintings for us all to view! C'mon and join the fun...

Deborah

monarch
11-03-2007, 05:00 PM
Hi, is it too late to start? This seems like a great way to loosen up, which is what I need...sometimes I get bogged down and noodle around way too much. Although I can hardly imagine what stage I might be at in only 30 minutes of painting...eek!

I have been trying to paint only from life whenever possible...landscape, still life or portrait...so I am wondering if the 30 minutes includes setting up the still life or portrait, and planning the composition? Because sometimes that alone can take me quite a while!LOL

*oops, just realized this is a pastel thread...I had been flipping around in the forums and forgot myself since this sounded so fun...(red face here)...I paint oils usually, although sometimes acrylics...sorry for the intrusion--although this challenge does sound fun!

pequan
11-03-2007, 07:53 PM
ohhh so that is why we don't have a November pastel strokes...I was so looking forward to it....I am going to miss my OP friends....but look forward to January's pastel strokes for us softies!

Deborah Secor
11-04-2007, 11:37 PM
I did some fast paintings over the weekend. I worked with Duane Wakeham (Pastel Society of America Honoree) and he had all of us doing--get this--5 and 10 minute paintings! In color. On location. FUN!!! I'll share when I can. I probably won't have time to get pix until Tuesday, but I'll show them.

Deborah

Pannet
11-06-2007, 06:36 PM
Deborah, I'd like to work on the challenge - I just saw the post tonight and am in the process of attempting to teach myself how to use pastels!! So I think this may be a great way to "jump in". I'm not great at moving about the site when ready to post the paintings I'll ask what to do. Thanks
Phyllis

Deborah Secor
11-06-2007, 08:53 PM
Sounds good, Phyllis, and welcome aboard! We'll all lend a hand getting around here, when you need it.

Deborah

Deborah Secor
11-17-2007, 11:06 AM
<tick, tick, tick> Just wondering if anyone is still doing this exercise or if it's time to 'unsticky' the thread and let her float away! Are you still thinking about this or beginning to work on any quick half-hour sketches?

Just to let you know, in case you missed my other thread, I did show the 5- and 10-minute paintings I did in Duane Wakeham's workshop (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=456179)... Wow, that was fun and very helpful. He suggested that we would all benefit more from doing a 5-day workshop, in which we did NOTHING but 10-minute sketches, than we would if we did a finished painting every day!

This is truly a powerful challenge and exercise in so many ways, if you really decide to work at it. So, let me know if it's still lurking in your mind or in your studio! If you only have five, share five...no one is holding you to anything, just encouraging you to try this!!

Deborah

Kathryn Wilson
11-17-2007, 11:28 AM
I will move this to the Library whenever you say Deborah.

Deborah Secor
11-17-2007, 12:03 PM
Thanks, Kat. Of course, anyone can still take part any time!

Deborah

sendaglue
11-18-2007, 07:19 AM
I'm still trying! I've been really busy working, and getting ready to move. I anticipate more of them finished in December, although it could be after Christmas. :( I have 4 done so far, but I haven't given up yet. We are moving back up north in December, where I will get to have a studio in my house! Then I will be able to paint more regularly, I can't wait.

However, I will be able to find this thread, so don't hold it for me, painting time will come again for me.

Suzy

Tressa
11-18-2007, 09:05 AM
Suzy, go ahead and post your four!! You can always add the rest later when you are less pressed for time!! We would love to see them!!

Deborah Secor
11-19-2007, 12:11 PM
We'd love to see your four paintings, Suzy. Post here any time you want, of course. If it just seems better to wait till you have the ten done, that's fine too.

I think for now I'll ask our Mods to move this one on to the Library.

:wave:
Deborah

ElsieH
11-20-2007, 08:39 AM
:wave: Hi, there,
I just subscribed to this thread. This sounds exactly what I need to back up and stop overworking my paintings!
However, I'm traveling on the road for the next week or so, maybe longer.
So I may have to put my 10 paintings on hold and do them later. Or...I may be able to squeeze them in what on the go!:rolleyes:
I will be able to log in and I'll be looking forward to seeing other's results.
Thanks Deborah, for the challenge.

Corbasienne
11-24-2007, 06:38 AM
Anghwar,
I am new to this forum, pastel etc.
You did a great job. The cat is my favorite. It seems to jump out of the paper. Very well done.
Greetings from France.
Meinhild (Corbasienne)
http://meinhild.wordpress.com/

Corbasienne
11-28-2007, 03:24 PM
Hello Deborah,
I just got started on this challenge. One question though: do doodles count? After two paintings I was up to just play with the colors and did a doodle. Is that acceptable for the challenge or does it have to be "real" stuff?
Thanks for taking time to answer.
Greetings
Meinhild (Corbasienne)

Deborah Secor
12-05-2007, 04:43 PM
Hi Meinhild--I just saw this post--sorry it took so long!

Doodles count if you want to consider them part of this. I think anything can be a part of it, really, it's just that I find making ten of them makes a difference in the long run. It shouldn't have to be a chore, though, to make ten, and if that's a problem for any of you just firget the number and paint 'a few' until you feel like you've done enough to get ht efeel for what is fun and fresh in your work.

Usually I find that if I plan a painting, taking time to look at a photo and think about what I ike and why I want to do this one, then maybe doing a very quick one-minute sketch the size of a credit card, and then I set up my smaller sheet of paper and go at it quickly, taking mo more than thirty minutes, there's a nice fresh flow to it. Planning a bit makes it all seem to come together. In fact, the fastness of these isn't meant to be careless, just challenging you to see and move more quickly.

Let me give you an example of what a student of mine found out. He had a photo of some of our adobe pueblo-style houses, which have flat roofs, but of course his photo showed a steep angle because it was in perspective. In a one-minute sketch he did that sharp angle perfectly. But when he began to paint on his paper he made th eline of the roof perfectly level...totally unlike anything he'd drawn. I pointed it out and he slapped his head when he saw it. Like that, when you move fast (having planned, if that helps you, of course) you don't have time to think it through too clearly--you just paint what you see, with a flow that comes out of the fun of painting. I suspect that it's a combination of different kinds of thinking: the slow left-brain looking that uses language to describe things like the flat roof at an angle...clouds in big circular shapes...triangular trees...whatever. Then the right-brain reliance on color, relationships, shapes, without too much analysis.

Here are a couple of paintings that I've shown in other threads that illustrate this kind of thinking in my own work. I'm painting clouds from videos seen on the internet:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Dec-2007/23609-DSCN7562.jpg


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Dec-2007/23609-DSCN7608.JPG


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/05-Dec-2007/23609-DSCN7566.JPG
These are all 8x10" and done in less than a half-hour each (some much less!) You can look at the whole thread here (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=461806).

I hope to see some work from more folks here!

Deborah

Continental
12-05-2007, 04:50 PM
Your pastels are extremely good. I love the center image with the rocks. The strokes of the pastel beautifully define the form.:thumbsup:

I am amazed to see what some can do with pastels:thumbsup:

Baffin Crowberry
01-30-2008, 08:44 PM
I finally got around to finishing my 10-in-30 challenge! I did numbers 1 to 8 over the christmas break, and finished up the last two tonight, so there was some loss of continuity. I found this to be a fun exercise because: I didn't worry about messing up a picture, I felt I could find 1/2 hour to draw, and I could experiment with different ideas (different colours of paper, different subjects, etc).

I am a newbie to pastels - these are approx pastels numbers 6 to 16 (of all time :). All are on Canson, with a mix of Mungyo and Maimeri pastels.

The next 5 will be in the next post.

Sophie

Baffin Crowberry
01-30-2008, 08:55 PM
Here are the last 5.

I found out a couple of things. It was much easier to draw landscapes that I know well, rather than ones I've only visited briefly. It was easier to gauge values when drawing from life rather than from pictures (too bad it's -40 outside and I don't have that much WHITE in my pastel collection :). I think I need to work on establishing a focal point (not sure how to do that!), and use stronger contrasts. My favourite is the banana/pomegranate.

Thanks for looking!

Sophie

Deborah Secor
01-31-2008, 07:55 PM
Wow, Sophie, this has been a very successful experiment for you, judging by the wonderful observations you shared with us here!

Let's start with #1 the Bolivian Girl. This one clearly has an area of focus. The strong darks of the shadow on her face and the dark water behind do it. I like the energy of the colors too!

#2, the sunset, has great strength and focus, too, and those three yellow streaks draw my eye the most. You certainly caught the light in this one.

#3, Algonquin Sunset, is a bit harder to see because of the angle, but I love the colors in the sky and those fast and loose strokes there work very well. I'm not sure that the blues to the right of the tree work quite as well, but that's hard to see. Looks like the reflection worked very well.

The Deep Creek painting is fun! In a half hour you really saw the shapes there, not to mention the colors. I particularly like the deep blue sky and reflections. You might add some darker peachy color to the reflection of the rock.

#5 is also strong! The massing of the deep blue water against the strong reddish ground plane and the warm and cool greens really works. I might expect to see some of the sky colors in the water, too, especially at the point of it... And I like your flowers. Very spontaneous and expressive.


I see you did another interpretation of that image, and it really has a nice change of mood coming from the color shift. I think the whitish edges of the water are too light, and maybe instead you could scumble the sky colors into the water. I assume the photo you used had very dark water.

#7 is beautiful! I love the sense of space you gave it. The cool colors of water and trees makes the pale yellow and gold really shine.

The pomegranate and banana is a WONDERFUL and fun study! I wouldn't change a thing. I love this one... :wink2:

As for your self-portrait, I don't know what you look like (except your avatar pic), but I like the expressiveness of this one. The light really works here, sculpting the face nicely. I like the use of the warm paper, too.

And #10, Fuller Ridge, is a really nice piece, too. The light on the hills and grass, and the shadows of the hills, work beautifully. The gray-blue shape above the clouds isn't quite reading... Maybe you could just make that sky instead.

Now, having said all that, I know that you may or may not tweak any of these, but no matter what you've derived some really good stuff, clearly getting what these speedy paintings are meant to do! I think you have less problem with focal area than you think. You're doing very well! I'm so glad you took on this challenge. Now, get yourself some better paper and some pro-grade pastels and we'll see you go to town, I'm sure! :thumbsup:

Thanks for showing these and bringing this thread back up.

Deborah

Baffin Crowberry
02-01-2008, 11:19 AM
Thank you so much Deborah for your comments - encouragement AND suggestions. I read them and thought "d'oh, of COURSE the shoreline is too white in #6, and of COURSE the grey mountain shape isn't working in #10" - the best kind of suggestions.

I'm not sure if I'll tweak these, or try a different subject, but I can't wait to try again. :)

Sophie