How did the Oil Painting Challenge go? Well…

Hi friends! Today is December 1st and I thought it would be fun to look back at my November art challenge of oil painting. You can see the paintings I did in today’s video.

Was the challenge a success? Well, define Success. I challenged myself to paint 20 paintings and I only got 12 done so in that respect I failed. That said These paintings were in addition to my normal workload and I really enjoyed my painting time so that was a success. If I hadn’t challenged myself I would not have done any so I’m calling it a win. I wanted to do 45 minute paintings and many of my paintings took twice that long so I probably spent the amount of time I had expected to paint but with less output than I hoped. I’m still calling it a win.

I’m not doing a challenge in December. I want to slow down and enjoy the holiday’s with my family. The kids are sophomores and junior in high school so I know I don’t have too many more Christmases with them at home so I want to make the most of it. I will be ready for a challenge in January, maybe I’ll revisit oils or (gasp) give acrylics a whirl. I am honestly kinda excited to use those Golden Open acrylics I just bought. I’ll keep you posted.

I think challenges are important. I had struggled with burnout the past couple of years and having personal goals seems to be an antidote. Getting better at something, learning and improving is security that you will have these skills in the future no matter what happens in your current situation. Education is not something that just happens when you are in school. If you always push yourself to learn more and be better you can stay in the atmosphere of growth.

I think we can stagnate as we get older and that was definitely part of the burnout and funk I was in earlier this years so I’m gonna fight like heck to stay out of it from now on. How do you stay inspired in your art? Let us know in the comments below and we can cheer each other on! Happy creating!

Catching up!

Hi friends! I am catching up all right! I totally forgot to post this on Sunday when I uploaded it to YouTube and I am trying to catch up on my oil painting challenge to paint 20 oil paintings in the month of November and I am only up to 12! I’ll post a recap at the end of the month. I am not sure I’ll get 20 done.

This was a fun painting and came together pretty quickly. You can see the timelapse below:

Supplies: (affiliate links used) *Affiliate links to Arteza, use coupon code PROMO10 for 10% off.

  • Oil paint colors- Yellow ochre, burnt umber, Alizarin Crimson, Pthalo Blue, Ultramarine, Titanium white
  • Brushes: Assorted smallish brushes ranging from 1/2″ wide and smaller (flats, filberts and small rounds)
  • 5″x7″ canvas panel (Arteza)
  • Optional: oil pens
  • Reference photo

Just a Reminder…

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My watercolor Handpainted Holiday Class is on special for 50% off through 12/1/19 with coupon code XMASTREAT or by clicking this discount link.

I have a new watercolor up on YouTube tonight and I will post that here tomorrow. I hope you all have a safe and happy Thanksgiving and til next time happy crafting!



Sketchbook Sunday: A Lesson in Values

Hi friends! I get the opportunity to view and critique student work every day and the most common issue I see is weak values. Today I am going to give you some tips to help assign values for depth, volume and clarity. I hope you find it useful in whatever medium you paint in!

I will have a 2 hour narrated tutorial of this painting in Critique Club in a couple of days but for a rundown of the concepts you can watch the time lapse below.

Supplies available at sponsor Jerry’s Artarama! Use coupon code: frugal20FS49 for 20% off $49 + Free Shipping (Excludes: Sale, Super Sale, Egift Cards, Buy It Try It’s and Vendor restricted items. Look for the green coupon eligible icon on the product listing.

Supplies:

I hope you had a good weekend! My oil painting challenge is going well but I am going to need to buckle down if I am going to get my 20 done by the end of the month. I think this painting is #7 or #8. I am enjoying it! Til next time happy painting!

The Antidote to Feeling Bad About All of Your Art Supplies…

Hi friends! I love it when I set a personal goal and it ends up having positive side effects I didn’t anticipate. When I decided to paint 20 mini oil paintings in November it was more of a way to beat the “winter blues” and ride the high of having an art goal like I experienced during Inktober. I had really missed painting in oils so I thought hat would be a nice medium to focus on. I didn’t expect the other positives…

I had A LOT of oil paints back from when I had a downtown studio and taught two oil classes each week. I bought my oils in large economy tubes and had jars of mediums and brushes galore. Luckily oil paints hold up well and I haven’t found any spoiled paint in my stash. With each completed painting I felt lighter, any guilt over having so much paint dissipated with every canvas panel I used up. Knowing that I was putting the stuff I had (and my time) to good use while I worked on improving my skills was the shot in the arm my creativity needed. I loved that I didn’t have to run out and buy something new to improve myself.

I would wager that many of us have an excess of some supply we bought years ago when we were really excited about a project. The more those supplies sit around we either feel bad about them or become blind to them. Neither is a great solution. I think many of us think if we use up our supplies on a project that doesn’t turn out well it is a waste but think of the waste of space the supplies take up if they are not getting used regularly. Or the waste of supplies if they dry up or go bad in the package. Even if you paint an canvas and it is “bad” you have created something. You may have failed at the idea you had in your mind but you succeeded in finding out what didn’t work. Often the painting looks different the next day and you can always try scraping back or adding more paint. You can even cut the canvas off the stretcher bars and staple on some fresh canvas and try again if you feel bad about wasting a canvas.

Nobody creates a masterpiece every time, especially if they haven’t done it in a while so why do we think we need to produce a winner every time we sit down to paint? I’d go as far to say that if you do create a great painting every time you sit down to paint that you are not challenging yourself and trying new things. With failure comes growth. Life if made in the mistakes and so is art.

I hope this post helps you lighten up your expectations a bit in your art journey. Take care and happy creating!

P.S. I’ll have a new real time watercolor tutorial for you on YouTube this evening and tomorrow here on the blog:)

Sketchbook Sunday & My November Art Goal!

Hi friends! I really enjoyed participating in, and finishing, Inktober this year even tho some days I didn’t feel that motivated to do my daily drawing. That said I always felt better once I started drawing. I thought I would be relieved once I drew my last Inktober drawing but instead I felt a bit of a let down. I took November 1st off to rest and reflect on October and then it hit me! I really love having a goal to work toward and I love completing things I set my mind to. During this eureka moment I had another idea to do my own November challenge. I have a stack of small canvas panels and enough oil paints to choke a horse! I used to love to paint in oils so I decided to paint 20 mini oil paintings this month! Here is the one I did yesterday:

It was fun! I am keeping the size small, I have nineteen 5″x7″ canvas panels and a few other oddball small sizes kicking around so I am set there. I was hoping for each painting to take about 45 minutes which I think I will get to once I knock the rust off LOL! The avocado took about 2 hours to paint but I loved it! The Iris took me 1 hour 20 minutes so I am moving in the right direction. I waste a lot of time fussing and overworking an area and then having to rescue it and I attribute that to being out of practice. Both of the paintings were painted from my own reference photos and I liked that. I am going to try and work from my own photos as much as possible this month as I rely on stock photos more that I want to. You can see a timelapse if the iris painting below. You might remember we painted this in watercolor a couple months ago, I really liked this flower! I took the photo in my sisters garden. I’ll take a proper photo of this painting in the morning once the shine dulls and post it on Instagram.

Supplies (I am using a variety of brands, I don’t notice as much of a difference in oil paint qualities as long as you go with a recognizable brand you should be all set) *Affiliate links used

  • Oil paint in colors: Titanium White, Yellow Ocher, Alizarin. Crimson, Sap Green, Ultramarine blue, Burnt Umber (I listed a couple under $20 sets if you want to try oils) Water mixable option with colors needed (rinse brushes in water while painting and clean with soap and water after, good if you don’t want to use solvents) or Traditional oil paint with all colors needed (clean up with paint thinner, then soap and water)
  • 5″x7″ canvas (affordable multi-pack of different sizes)
  • Pentel oil pastels for sketching
  • Assorted brushes (smaller ones, 1/2″ flat and #8 round are the largest ones I am using) I am not very picky about the majority of my oil brushes but for details I like the Royal & Langnickle Fusion line.

I hope you liked the time-lapse, the real-time version will be in Critique Club in a day or two. Critique Club is a membership group where artists can upload 2 paintings a month for detailed feedback from me and also get access to 2 new real time tutorials per month as well as all past Critique Club tutorials. There is also a monthly prompt design to stretch you out of your comfort zone and inspire you to create but you can work on whatever you like even if it doesn’t fit the theme of the prompt. I meet you where you are. Cost is $5 a month. If you want to level up your skills as an artist please have a look and see if it would benefit you. Thanks!

Fun with Water Mixable Oils (Sketchbook Sunday)

Hi friends! I had a hankering to paint with oils today. Often oils seem like “a big ordeal” because I have to open tubes, squeeze out paint and then clean up afterward. If you have been on an art journey with me for any length of time you know how lazy I am and I just like to open a palette and go hence watercolor and gouache are my go to paints (and I did think quite hard about painting this is gouache which would be totally suitable) but in the end I wanted the smooth buttery consistency of oil under my brush and you just gotta do what feel right!

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I used an 11″x14″ cotton canvas painting panel but you can use a stretched canvas, hard board panel of whatever you like. I chose a panel because they are thin to store and easy to frame if I want to later. I really don’t have much of  a preference between non paper surfaces, I just choose one that has the tooth I want for a particular subject. Watch the video to see the process. The painting took just under an hour. It was a  ton of fun to paint! Let me know if you would like any real-time oil painting tutorials. I have plans to paint more in oils but I am not sure if I will record them, I will if there is interest tho.

Supplies available at sponsor Jerry’s Artarama! Use coupon code: frugal20FS49 for 20% off $49 + Free Shipping (Excludes: Sale, Super Sale, Egift Cards, Buy It Try It’s and Vendor restricted items. Look for the green coupon eligible icon on the product listing.

Keep in mind you can use traditional oils, there really is no difference in the working aspects of the paint or the drying time. For that matter you can use acrylics with a slow drying medium if you prefer. The big advantage of the watermixable oils in the clean up as you don’t need solvents. Honestly I don’t mind using traditional oils and solvents but with my wintertime painting area being right off my kitchen I really don’t want the fumes. And to be honest I get a bit panicky about solvent soaked paper towels. My old studio that I used to rent downtown used to be a bank and so I would store solvents and cans of oily rags in the old bank vault until trash day in case they combusted LOL! Since I taught two oil painting classes a week there were always solvent soaked paper towels about. I think it’s a good idea to be cautious when you use these products at home and I am glad that watermixible oils exist and now rival the traditional ones.  That’s all for today, thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Easy Beginner Sunset in Oils

Hi friends! I am away today so I am unable to live stream but I recorded a video for you instead. It is a beginner oil sunset painting!

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Feel free to paint it in acrylic or gouache if you prefer! This is a real-time tutorial so relax and enjoy!

Supplies available at sponsor Jerry’s Artarama! Use coupon code: frugal20FS49 for 20% off $49 + Free Shipping (Excludes: Sale, Super Sale, Egift Cards, Buy It Try It’s and Vendor restricted items. Look for the green coupon eligible icon on the product listing.

Supplies:

Don’t forget you can get 45% off any class in my online school with coupon code OFFLINE45 through Labor day! Have a great weekend and til next time happy crafting!

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