I’m in the middle of a 30 Days 30 Paintings challenge. It’s a fun and free challenge to encourage artists to be more creative. Having some kind of accountability really makes all the difference.
Creativity is an interesting thing. The more a person creates, the more creativity flows. It’s like a faucet and you can turn it on high and keep it there. But turning it off is way too easy and turning it on can feel daunting. But when it’s on, man, it’s really fucking on.
The challenge gives me an excuse to go nuts. To just be creative in any direction, with no expectations and all the hope.
Day 4, which was last night for me, was fucking beyond awesome. I’m currently working my way through my queue of paintings I’ve had going for a while now. A lot of the reference material was set up for a different style than what I’ve been doing of late, so I kept setting them aside to do “later.” It’s later right damn now and I’m allowing no more excuses.
Like a problem with limitations, I’m working with what I’ve got and this time it paid back in dividends.
Working on black canvas again, but this time the painting was going to be limited to white, unbleached titanium white (the beige colour) and Prussion blue. My very favourite blue.
Fun fact: you can’t use Prussion blue in encaustic because, when heated, the pigment generates cyanide. So, I had to leave the colour out when I was doing all my encaustic mixed media work. So sad.
It was odd to work backwards. Felt backwards to me, anyway. From lightest to darkest and back again. The mid tone blue really lay flat and for a few moments I was worried.
But I was riding on a high of love for this piece even in the early stages. There’s something freeing about working in a near-monotone that just removes a level of thinking. It’s no longer about colour, but about lights and darks.
Adding in the darkest blue really pulled everything together even though the painting was so unfinished. Even as I write about this, I feel that surge of zone or high that came when I was painting this. This man, this is my Doctor. All the new Whos were incredible, but Matt Smith was just that twitchy bit beyond.
His character really shines through and makes him a pure joy to paint. Even though I left the eyes for the end, something I don’t usually do, his personality was incredibly present.
It very quickly became a time for details. Refining shapes and shadows. Punching up the lights. Evening out the tones. I didn’t want this one to end.