Early wrap to this years challenge

Although this challenge is still on-going, I am quite done for this year. I managed to complete 17 paintings since it began, but you see a surprise early arrival had me packing up my bags and flying off to Calgary!  My beautiful new grandson Henry was born a few weeks early!  And so I said to heck with the challenge and hopped on the first available flight. 

And I do have a few more on the easel waiting for my return.

2018 painting challenge by Shideler.jpg

This is the fifth time that I have participated in a 30 Day Challenge.  You can see my previous efforts here. With each challenge I like  to have a goal, something to learn - that I work towards. I feel pretty good about what I accomplished with my approach this year. I had decided to only work in oil.  It is a medium that I have been exploring for awhile now and think I have come to an understanding how to work with it. At least how I think that I want to work with it.

Grisaille how cool a word is that?

What I know to be true, at least for me, is that I do like to plan my work and have a grisaille underpainting prior to adding colour.  Not all subjects require this step.  But for me with the way my mind works, it makes the colour application make more sense.  You see I like to work with thin, transparent glazes.  Slowly building up the colours before I add in strategically placed thicker juicy paint.  Oh, did I just expose the watercolourist in me?  This is funny now that I have said it!  Old habits die hard.

And then there is Alla Prima

Painting alla prima (in one session) made sense for a few of the paintings - working really well with the mussel shells.  In fairness, I have painted so many mussel shells over the years that I could probably paint them in my sleep - they are a subject that I know so well. 

Honestly, I would have approached he painting with the sweet little sparrow differently knowing what I think I know now.  I think I would have felt better painting this one if I had taken the time to do an underpainting.  Because the bird was included as part of the landscape and not painted as a central subject, the background and leaves felt like busy work.  I was not as satisfied with the end result as I would like to have been.  It works, but I had a different vision of it in mind.

Helpful hint 

You have to get over your, um my... need to go back in and add in more detail.  In one sitting means just that. It is so hard to resist. But, in my mind - there really is no rules.  Rules are self imposed and made to be modified and ignored when convenient. 

Lessons learned

The other, perhaps the most important thing to remember is that applying many layers of paint over each other, without a few days dry time will create muddy colours.  I learned a new use for my pallet knife. Scraping.  Yep.  I had to remove areas on a few of the painting in order to re-apply the right colour intensity.

Until next time, cheers





Week 3 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Time marches on - only one week left of the challenge

Day 15 – Striking a Pose

This painting took a serious long time to complete. And I had a real challenging time to title it.

Then, when we stood back and looked at it - well, my daughter and I see a large doggies face and a cat lite "Cats" face on it's back. Then we stopped trying to come up with a clever name. The resolution has been lowers for the posting so the colours are not showing as rich as they really are and the unintentional other critters not as obvious.

Day 16 – Out  for a Paddle

I always come back to ducks. They make me so happy with their perpetual smiles, cheeky cheeks  and happy attitude (I think). We have mallards that visit the bird feeders outside my studio window daily. And every time I see them I pause and watch them.

Day 17 – Twin Beaks

Once upon a time, quite recently actually, I think I mentioned that I may be done painting chickadees. Well I was wrong.  And now they are multiplying.  So much fun.

Day 18 – Breath Taking

Cardinals are daily visitors to our garden feeders. And no matter how many times I see them, I stop in awe. They absolutely take my breath away - overtime. They are very shy and skittish. If you so much as make eye contact they are gone so fast. Even trying to take photograph them requires a quiet camera and stealth like precision shooting.

Day 19 – opps

I skipped this day!  Decided to be a rebel.  My husband and I went out for supper instead.  I really needed a break.

Day 20 – On a Mission

On a Mission as this gull is looking pretty determined to get somewhere fast.  
The one in the bin was another gull (uncooperative sky)

Day 21 - Trying to Hide

I am always amazed at how shy cardinals are. They are so self aware- they see you before you see them and quite often you see them leave. But when they hesitate - they always have at least one eye on you, Being so red I guess you have to try to hide as best you can.

These paintings are available on my website www.helenshideler.com