January 10, 2016

Companion – Day 8 Challenge Painting

I’m in the middle of a 30 Days, 30 Paintings challenge. The idea is to encourage artists to be creative every single day. There’s no cost to the challenge but there is some accountability, which works in my favour. Participating with hundreds of other artists makes this feel like a group project even though we never meet or talk.

My last 30 days challenge ended up completely changing my life. You can read the challenge wrap up here.  I ended up with a new painting style, a slightly larger following and the need to show. Amazingly, opportunities to show then came up out of the blue and now I’m working on a career as a con artist.

Want to see me in person? Odds are, I’ll be at a convention near you! Check out my events page for the latest.

My goal is to eventually paint the whole Firefly cast. I’ll be doing that over the course of the year as time and inspiration allows. But I really, really wanted to paint Inara. She moves with such grace and has an ethereal beauty about her.


I decided to try a new palette, focusing on the warms but in a limited way.  The whole point of the challenge is to be creative. I feel like it gives me license to try new things and if they don’t work, they don’t work. No worries. It’s a heady feeling, that freedom to just paint.


I knew, when I got to this point, that the painting was going to fight me, unlike the Amy Pond painting, which I had actually just finished moments before starting this one. Sometimes paintings come together, sometimes they don’t. And when they don’t, it’s a real struggle.

But art isn’t all unicorns and rainbows. Unless your art consists of unicorns and rainbows. Mine, oddly enough, doesn’t.

But struggle makes for better art, right? Of course right! And every successful artist has murdered a few hundred paintings to get there. Once you come to terms with that, and release expectations, it makes everything easier.

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I have actually never worked in a warm-only palette like this one before. NEVER. And reds are a real bitch to work with because the colours are translucent at best. I have never come across a good red that was opaque. Yellows and some browns are the same. Fucking annoying at times and then other times, I’m happy to work with the translucent paints. Go figure.

This painting had a bit of both. I needed coverage at times, and other times I needed a light touch on the layers.


At this point, above, I had a likeness but the painting felt flat. So I did what I usually do in these cases and said, “fuck it” and added yellow. Sometimes a limited palette is too limited and this one wasn’t quite working. I had nothing to lose since the painting wasn’t yet working. And yellow was followed by purple BECAUSE REASONS. And then suddenly everything started working.

Colour is funny like that. Should place nicely with others. Doesn’t always. And then throwing in unexpected colours should fuck the whole thing up and doesn’t.

My only regret with this series of photos is that they aren’t the best representation. There’s way too much glare on the black from the lights in my studio space. I’ve knocked it back with photoshop but the final photos, done properly, should be a better representation. I’ll have those done this week.




Acrylic on canvas

Original and prints are for sale. 





Want to see my work in person? I’ll be in Kitchener for Tri Con on January 16th and 17th. Check out my events page for more details!

Plus, follow along as I paint my way through this month. 30 Days 30 Paintings is a fun challenge which can yield some surprising results. I’m currently painting my way through my backlog of pieces I had planned over the last couple of years. And some new ones.  Follow along here and on Facebook where I paint live nearly every night.