Collage from the 30 in 30


Well we actually have 12 in 30 as I faded badly in the last two weeks.    However I’d like to thank Leslie Saeta for running this challenge – I always look forward to it even if I don’t deliver.  Also many thanks for people who’ve visited and commented.  It means a lot to have contact with others going along the same path.

Now the challenge is officially over I thought I’d compare to previous efforts to see how things are changing.

This is last years collection.   Frankly not as impressive at the 2015 lot although I still like one of the Venice ones (2nd row, 3rd from left) and the plane and bus ones.

So sadly I think I have to say I’m not really getting any better.   The first time I did this challenge in 2015 I came on by leaps and bounds.   Looking at the first and last from that month (the first two tiger pictures) there is a big change in execution and composition.  I also made strides with the city pictures.    

But then I really knuckled down to it in 2015.  Up at 6am painting before work and making sure I had the time to get a painting done every day.     This isn’t rocket science.

Day 19 – Old Fire Truck


Old fire truck.jpg

Something a little different today from a suggestion by James.   No initial washes and not a lot of lost edges.  Lots of thick paint in cadmium red, cadmium orange, yellow ochre, and burnt sienna.   Darks are mostly ultra and burnt sienna with the odd splash of cerulean blue for interest.

No initial measuring done for the drawing.  Just straight in – start one side and continue with angles, inner shapes and cross referencing up and along the drawing to make sure everything’s lining up well.  Concentrating on the negative shapes helps to get things fitting together.

Painting progressed pretty much the same way.  No initial washes this time as I wanted to keep the reds bright and to emphasize them using flecks of exposed white paper.    

Here he is done.  I love painting red things.

Stockbridge Fire Station take 2 – Day 17


I was a little dissatisfied this morning after reviewing yesterday’s post so decided to have another go with a slightly different view.   A definite improvement and there are many things I like about this.  Not perfect but then what is?

First I went over most of the paper with light diffuse washes.  This gives a hint of color but is mostly a kind of walkthrough to rehearse where the darks will go.   I started the final coat with the tower keeping some variation in color in the darks and letting some edges bleed so things didn’t get too rigid.  In particular I painted the spindles and then washed over them with a clean damp brush so they are more diffuse and don’t leap out at you. 

The final thing.   The red garage door had a lot of wash through it which I decided against tidying up.  I like the visual disconnect you get between something looking like an object and the wateriness of the medium.    Pretty happy with this but often tomorrow morning I have different opinions.

Sheep and Collie – Day 14 of 30 in 30


Something a little different today.  I wanted to do another dog to increase my chops and James suggested a collie with some sheep.  Pretty happy with this one.  The background is a little scrappy but has a certain charm.

I started off with a couple of thumbnail sketches. I still quite like the first one as it fills the paper a little better but in the end I went for something like the second one.   I liked the pose of the dog and the way the sheep were all bunched together into one big shape.

I started with the dog to get some darks in .   He’s rather fine I think.  I left the whites completely white at this point intending to go back at the end to put in some very subtle shading.   The dark parts of the coat came out well. Just a little variation in the value and added in some color to liven things up.

Now onto the sheep.  A lot of yellow ochre and again leaving the whites completely white until the end to put in some shadow.

Portrait – Day 13 of 30 in 30


It was the end of the work day and I put down the keyboard and quickly dashed this one off.    I had some decent paper but only a waterbrush and my small portable watercolor pans.   Even so it had to be done.

The first washes.  I was very glad of the good Arches paper I had as this made it much easier.

The final thing.   Not too bad given the circumstances.