January 5, 2016

Traitor – Day 1 Challenge Painting

30 Days 30 Paintings is a painting challenge set out to encourage artists to be more creative on a daily basis. I know this challenge happens at least twice per year and I think up to four times. It costs nothing to join, and the rewards can be stunning.

The challenge began January 1st and I have been painting daily since then but I am behind in my posting. This week will be catch up week as I recover from a nasty holiday bug. Being sick has never stopped me from painting though.

I started with the current movie de jour: Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I finally saw it on New Year’s Day and while I enjoyed it, I definitely need a second viewing. So I reserve judgement on it other than to say it was clearly made with love and respect to the original franchise. The people behind the film deserve our thanks for taking a cultural icon and adding to it.

A few characters stood out even from the trailer and the one I decided to paint was Finn. The actor has such an expressive face that choosing a moment was difficult. Like trying to choose one candy from a mountain of candy.


I started with the white layer, probably a first for me, because the piece required intense whites and bright colours. Chalking out my lines makes my canvas slightly grimy so it was important to clean it up early on.

I hate pencil on canvas. The feeling of it. The look of it. The semi-permanence of it. I’ll use it when necessary, but it’s not my tool of choice. Chalk is forgiving. And it keeps me from spending too much time on the drawing, focusing on details. Chalk doesn’t allow for detail. 

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I love how this painting came together. It stayed in balance nearly the whole time as I added colours. While it isn’t clear in the photos, the white was a very dominant colour, so adding the blue worked well.

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The only time the painting shifted was when I added in the face colours. And suddenly there was a face hanging there in the middle of an unfinished painting. But it looked cool. Rather surreal.


This painting was one of those delicious pieces with no real struggle to pull together. It felt like I was in the zone the whole time, from start to finish. I was there for the whole thing but there’s still an incredible magic when all the colours are in place and suddenly there’s a real person right there. A moment caught between one breath and the next. So awesome.

sm_20160101_220733-1 “Traitor”

Acrylic on canvas

Original and prints are for sale.

Message me for details.



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.