Friday, January 31, 2014

Looking back - 30 paintings in 30 days Challenge Jan 2014

Looking back at the month of Jan - first can't believe that the month is over!! I started the year very excited about doing this challenge a second time. The last I did was in September and had really finished 30 paintings. This is what I expected from myself this time too. But guess what... turned out that I had not anticipated that this month will be so busy. Sometimes feel like saying "the damn life came in the way". But on the other hand, I learnt that there are other things that can take priority and had to let go of the painting for that day. Also learnt that I had to catch up with some good sleep to get some fresh painting ideas and to be able to enjoy my painting process. I could not finish 30 paintings, but I still accomplished 17 paintings which I consider still a SUCCESS!! All of them are oil paintings except 2 are watercolor florals. My aim in doing this challenge was to paint something new that I have not done before - different subjects like the pomogranate and pear that I had not painted before; different materials - like cloth, glass, ceramic, silver, gold (couldn't get to few others that I had thought). To think about it... it was very interesting to start off with a blank canvas and come up with a finished painting. Here is a collage of all 17 paintings I finished this month.
The best I liked are pomogranate, onions, carrots, peppermint candy, the watercolor floral (floribunda), and the grand finale - Peanut M & Ms.
Which ones did you like the best?

All in all I had a WONDERFUL experience - will repeat the challenge once again..
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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Day 30 - 30 Paintings in 30 days Jan 2014 - M & M Peanuts

Today is the final day of this 30 painting in 30 days challenge. I am calling this last painting as my day 30 although I finished it over a period of 4 days - little by little as time permitted. I am so glad that today is the last day and tomorrow I get to showcase all the paintings done in this month! Now I will be starting some bigger paintings and although I will be painting everyday, I will not be able to complete each one in week or 10 days! I will try to post the stages for the next ones so that I can review my own progress later on...
HURRAY!! here is the last one -
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M & M Peanuts, 6 x 6 inches, Oil on Canvas, using palette knife
 As I was painting the M & M peanuts, I remembered the exercise I had done couple months ago in my basic shapes sketching class. This was an exercise in rendering spherical objects that appear as 3 Dimensional. There are 5 elements that make a sphere look as 3D - Core Shadow, Cast Shadow, Midtone, Reflected light and Highlight. Take a look in in the picture below to see them labeled - you will have to click on image to view larger. You an take a look at any object sphere or not, under light, and observe these 5 elements. When you color or sketch with this observation in mind, you will be able to get excellent results in your paintings.
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M & M Peanuts, detail - click on image to view the writing...

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Day 25 - 30 Paintings in 30 days Jan 2014 - Peppermint Candy for You

The other day I went with my daughter to an Alterations shop to get one of her dress altered. The lady there had bunch of these peppermint candies nicely kept in an attractive container. I had seen few paintings of candies in the 30 in 30 challenge, and I found a different subject to paint! The candy itself would not be a different surface for me, but the interesting part would be to paint the "wrapped" candy. Hope I am able to capture the effects of wrapper... What do you think?
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Peppermint Candy for You - 4 x 8 inches, Oil on Canvas

Day 24 - 30 Paintings in 30 days Jan 2014 - My Favorite Scarf

Here's an experiment in painting fabric - it is my scarf and it reflects double colors - purple and green under light. I hung it over a cardboard box and got quite interesting folds. Hope you like it!
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My Favorite Scarf - 6 x 6 inches, Oil on Canvas

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Day 22 - 30 Paintings in 30 days Jan 2014 - Scentimental Floribunda

My favorite flower - Rose!! This rose is from my front yard, I had clicked a picture of it some time back and bookmarked it for painting. Finally, I got to it this morning... after painting a flower yesterday, I was in a mood of Roses and that too in watercolor. This type of Rose is called Scentimental Floribunda. Although it is called "Scentimental" it has very mild fragrance, at least compared to the roses in India. But the color is just phenomenal!! A newly blossomed flower has very strong Red and Yellow color. But as it grows, the yellow and Red fade away - it is wonderful to watch different phases of its growth. The flower I have painted is middle aged - the color has faded a little bit, but still is in full glory. The roses grow in bunches of 5 or 7 on one single branch - probably that's the reason it is categorized as Floribunda.
Looking at the petals it feels like the flower is doing a Flamenco Dance!!
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Scentimental Floribunda - 6 x 8 inches, Watercolor on Arches Paper

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Day 21 - 30 Paintings in 30 days Jan 2014 - From a Bee's Eye View

It had been long time since I worked with watercolors and I was tempted to paint my favorite subject - flowers. This time it is a view I presume bees or butterflies would be able to see through their eyes as they fly for honey towards the center of the flower. It turned out to be very soft colors, I like it!
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From a Bee's Eye View - 6 x 8 inches, Watercolor on Arches paper

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Day 18 - 30 Paintings in 30 days Jan 2014 - Egg Shells

I see lot of artists painting eggs and eggshells etc. I got tempted and I thought I should try it too. So I saved these egg shells after I made omelette for kids and set it up under light for painting. Don't know if my thoughts were colorful or what.. but my eggshells turned out to be really COLORFUL!!
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Egg Shells - 8 x 8 inches, Oil on Canvas Panel
I first blocked in colors as follows:
Egg Shells - Stage 1 
Next trying to get the "real" colors, I got following:
Egg Shells - Stage 2
 Now adding more variations in each color area:
Egg Shells - Stage 3
Finally adding finishing touches, I got the final painting as shown in the very first picture.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Day 17 - 30 Paintings in 30 days Jan 2014 - Toy Turtle

Here is another ceramic surface - this ceramic toy was made by my daughter as an activity when she was in girl scouts and elementary school. I loved how she had painted different greens on the turtle. It was fun to paint and brought back memories of that time with her.
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Toy Turtle - 8 x 8 inches, Oil on Canvas Panel
I have been quite behind this time in my challenge, I have 6 paintings in backlog as of today. But on the positive side, I have finished 11 paintings in 17 days so far, which is far more than I would have done normally. So still good results and I am happy to be able to try painting different textures and materials - ceramic, silver, gold, glass...etc so far. I am eager to try out steel, bronze and more...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Day 15 - 30 Paintings in 30 days Jan 2014 - Fragrance Diffuser

Another interesting subject I always wanted to practice more was Glass. I found a neat little Fragrance Diffuser at home that exactly fit my canvas.
After I set it up, I thought I could paint it in a breeze. But the most challenging part for me was to draw it on canvas. The painting part was fun though, I loved how the background cloth showed through at different spots through the glass.
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Fragrance Diffuser - 8 x 8 inches, Oil on Canvas Panel
 Here's a picture from my setup:
Fragrance Diffuser - setup

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Day 10 - 30 Paintings in 30 days Jan 2014 - Micky Mouse Penholder

This turned out to be very interesting experience! It is a glazed ceramic surface and a cute pen holder design and on top of it BLACK!! I don't use black color tube at all in my paintings, in fact I don't have one... Due to the glazed shiny surface, there were lot of reflections too on this black surface. This is how it turned out to be painted:
Micky Mouse Penholder - 8 x 8 inches, Oil on Canvas Panel
Here is the picture of my setup. Now looking at the original picture, I think I might have to tweak the base a bit and make it darker. But otherwise I like the painted one and happy with creating blacks!
Micky Mouse Penholder Setup

Friday, January 10, 2014

Day 9 - 30 Paintings in 30 days Jan 2014 - Carrots with Ranch

It was early in the morning, time to start another painting for the challenge. Previous night, it was tiring, so I had not thought about what to paint... After contemplating in bed for sometime, I got up and decided to do the chores anyways... I went to the refrigerator to grab my palette. There was the bottle of Ranch right in front, and got an idea of what to paint... yes!!.. Baby Carrots with Ranch, then looked around, found a green plate. Good enough! new subject and different texture!
Also the New Year is about eating healthy... Here it is:
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Carrots with Ranch - 8 x 8 inches, Oil on Canvas Panel
 As I painted, I took couple pictures of my work in progress. Below is how the painting started - the very first color notes and the bottom most layer of paints.
Carrots with Ranch, first color notes
 Next I tried to put in actual color of the carrots and ranch and plate itself, see below:
Carrots with Ranch - local color of Carrots and Ranch
Eventually each color area seen above needs to be further elaborated by observing and painting variations in it. Eg: in the dark green shadow area, it is darker towards the carrot and gradually becomes lighter towards the outer area. Sometimes, reflections and light bouncing at different angles give a nice twist to shading!! You can see now how the the final painting develops..

Day 8 - 30 Paintings in 30 days Jan 2014 - Piggy Bank

Since I started doing this challenge, I am surprised at how the things in my house are being "documented" as paintings!! This Piggy Bank was bought on our trip to Niagara Falls a good ~12 years ago. It was fun to paint since it brought back memories of our trip along with my brother and my older daughter as a toddler that time! I had loved the Heliocpter ride.
This is a white ceramic piggy bank and with the light on left hand side, there were lot of reflections bouncing on the piggy bank. Notice how the whites from the piggy bank are bouncing reflection in the shadow area. Which is why the shadow area looked lighter in the center mass, when normally it would be darker to lighter from closer to piggy bank towards outside.
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Piggy Bank - 8 x 8 inches, Oil on Canvas Panel

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Day 7 - 30 Paintings in 30 days Jan 2014 - Colorful Mask

While I was completing the Day 6 painting at night, my daughter called me in her room to say good night and to switch off the light. I briefly sat with her and was looking around and found this mask that she had made in 4th Grade I think. I picked it up right away thinking that it will be my next object for painting. It turned out to be COLORFUL!! 
Colorful Mask - 8 x 8 inches, Oil on Canvas Panel
Here is the picture of my set up:
As you can see the original mask had few beads around the eyes and the feathers - all black. But as I was painting, I wanted to spice up the feathers, background and even the face. So I added yellows to background and face. Made the feathers multicolors. Now was the time to add extra beads, but the mask in my painting looked so interesting already that I decided not to paint those. 
Colorful Mask Setup

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Day 6 - 30 Paintings in 30 days Jan 2014 - Yellow, Red And White Huddled

Once again here is something that I have never painted before... Its a challenge to decide what to paint. But in the time that I have for this creative endeavor, I have to be fairly quick otherwise I will miss the bus :)
So I just pick whatever.. and this time I picked up three different kinds of Onions to amuse myself. Next challenge is to set up the 3 onions in an interesting way..I did it and then started sketching. When I was almost done, I didn't think the onions were looking good the way I set them up. Ended up erasing the sketch and doing the setup + sketch all over. Finally when I started painting, I felt better and actually I am quite happy with the outcome!
Hope you like it!
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Yellow, Red and White Huddled - 8 x 8 inches, Oil on Canvas Panel

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Day 4 - 30 Paintings in 30 days Jan 2014 - Winner

Here's an experiment with Gold. I had this trophy for a while and in my children's class I helped them sketch and shade it with pencil. Once again I was tempted to use this as a reference and this time for oil painting. This is my first object in gold, hope it looks like gold to you. I will be happy to hear your comments and suggestions!
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Winner - 10 x 8 inches, Oil on canvas panel

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Day 3 - 30 Paintings in 30 days Jan 2014 - Pomegranate on Silver

The goal of these paintings is to do something different that I haven't painted before. So I chose a pomegranate, which I haven't painted earlier. Used a silver dish under it - this was a complete adventure - how do you paint silver using oils? The cloth under it was dark color. So most of the Silver became dark, specially underside of the dish. Does it look like a silver dish to you? I will do something with the same dish in one of these paintings.
Only thing I am in catch-up mode right from day one. Just sketched day 4 painting in the evening. Hoping that I will catch up by tomorrow! Also it is taking me little longer to paint 8x10 size, so maybe I will try smaller size as I had done in the September 2013 challenge.
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Pomegranate on Silver - 8 x 10 inches, Oil on Canvas Panel

Friday, January 3, 2014

Day 2 - 30 Paintings in 30 days Jan 2014 - Together

It is just Day 2 and I am wondering what to paint. Once again started painting fruits - that's the most easily available subject to paint, and I haven't done Pears before. So here is a pair of Pears... Together.
This is painted from live set up right next to my easel.
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Together - 8 x 10 inches, Oil on Canvas Panel

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