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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Three Easy Steps to Improved Paintings

A few of my Landscape Variation Paintings  each 5x7 pastel    Bid Here $40 each
There is a learning curve in painting. When I first started painting the visions of my paintings were always so much better than what I managed to paint. It was frustrating. I wanted to paint with ease and confidence.  I realized though that it would take more than going to a weekly pastel class to improve. I needed to practice... a lot!  Over the last 7 years of painting I have tried to paint something every day even if it was just a small study.  Sometimes it was hard to fit it in and sometimes I wasn't motivated or inspired.

 It helped me to give myself small (sometimes big) challenges. The paintings I am sharing today were a part of a challenge to paint 100 5x7 variations on the same landscape. I managed to do 100 in about 3 months. It was the best thing I have ever done for my painting. I learned so much about color and pastel technique. I want to repeat this exercise now that it has been 2 years.

If you want to see your work improve faster then take up a challenge. Start small. Here are three easy steps to get you started.

'Green Variation'       5x7    pastel
  1. Make the challenge manageable. If you work and it is hard to find time start off with a small challenge. A good one is to paint three small studies a week. Set a limit of say 25 paintings to finish. If you are too ambitious it can get overwhelming and you will be more likely to quit. Write down your challenge and post it where you will see it!
  2. Prepare in advance. Set aside some time to prepare your supplies....cut enough paper, choose your photos/subjects, set up a space where you can leave your supplies out. This is so important to the success of the challenge. If you have to set up and get supplies ready every time want to paint you are eating into your painting time. You are also more likely to not want to hassle with setting it up and cleaning.
  3. Keep track of your progress. I track my progress through my daily painting blog posts. I am accountable to the blog. Find a way to be accountable. Keep a diary or write it down in your calendar. If you can see that you are being productive you are more likely to be motivated to keep it up!
Do you have any personal painting challenges to share? I am always looking for new challenge ideas!

I will be offering my landscape challenge paintings for sale through Daily Paintworks auction. These six are this week's paintings. You can see them all HERE Opening bids start at $40


Karen Johnston Daily Paintings said...

This is such a great idea Karen! I am painting for an exhibition right now but when it's over I am going to make an effort to do this...thanks for sharing. By the way I think your work is so lovely!

Karen said...

Thank you Karen! Good luck with your exhibition! Let me know if you take on a challenge!!

Lora said...

This sounds like a great exercise. I think that I will give it a shot, Thanks!