March marks the end of the first quarter of my 52 in ’22 Art Challenge. See my March paintings, all my art so far, and find out how to join – it’s not too late!
In February, I wrote about how I struggled with my attitude during my weekly painting sessions for the 52 in ’22 Art Challenge, and how it affected my feelings about the art I created. And although I’ve been extremely busy and a bit stressed in March while preparing to release my first quilt pattern, I looked forward to my time to paint every time.
Because I was a fair bit mentally worn out though, I kept things pretty simple in March and chose perhaps easier prompts from the prompt sheet. Only in the final week of March did I purposely try to challenge myself more with the duck.
I am aware that harder challenge prompts will be coming in the months ahead, but hopefully I will have more time and energy to take them on at some point.
And finally, all four paintings this month were done using personal photographs as inspiration, which has been a bit of a change.
Let’s take a look at my March art. (I’m going to continue numbering them in a continuous fashion, carrying on from February).
10. Boats – From a trip photo to Nova Scotia
Originally, I planned to complete a “long horizontal piece of art” and I cut the canvas pad to fit a skinny and long vintage frame I have. But after completing the painting, I decided to check off the “boats” prompt instead.
The original photo I found is from Pictou, NS, on a summer vacation. I cropped it to fit the longer shape I needed.
I’m relatively happy with how my painting turned out. The little details of the boats are hard to do on such tiny paintings (this one is just smaller than 4 x 8″). And I made an attempt at getting the movement of the water.
But I quite like the softness of the painting with just some bright red buoys for contrast.
11. Value Sketch Beforehand – From a trip photo to Nova Scotia
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I found this beautiful photograph from a trip to Halifax, NS of the Halifax Public Gardens, and I knew I wanted to attempt the sunlit patches among all the shade.
I decided to try the prompt to make a value sketch beforehand. This is the first value sketch I’ve done and I think there’s room for improvement. As well, I should probably be doing them before all of my paintings as a good practice. I used my little sketchbook for the first time.
I’m not sure I did a great job of capturing the sunlit patches, but it was really fun to play with shadows, highlights, and the brighter yellows and greens. It would be a great painting to attempt again when I feel my skills have improved, but I do quite like this imperfect version.
12. Sunset – From a trip photo to Quebec City
For this painting, I chose a beautiful sunset photo of the Quebec City skyline, lit up at night. We were there for the Tall Ship Festival, hence the tall ship that’s covered in lights on the right. One night, we took a ferry ride across the river to Levis to coincide with the sunset, and it was so beautiful!
When I chose the photo, I wasn’t sure which prompt I would check off. I considered using it for “Night Scene”, “City Scene”, or “Sunset”. Night scenes and city scenes intimidate me, so I decided to leave those to try properly and checked off sunset instead.
Since it’s very tiny, it was tricky to get details such as the silhouettes of the roofs, the lights, and the tiny lit-up ship. But I feel I captured the idea fairly well. And though it’s a bit paler than the photograph, I like how my sunset and the reflection on the water turned out. Those are always fun to play with.
13. Animal of Your Choice – Duck, from a personal photograph
For my final painting of the month, I felt I need to challenge myself beyond a landscape. I found an old photograph that my husband took of a duck in the water and decided to use it as the animal of my choice.
It was challenging to draw the duck with anatomical accuracy. As well, the texture and reflections on the water were very tricky to do! My painting is ultimately very simplified from the photograph, but that’s ok. I’m not going for photo-realism. I’m mostly thrilled that you can tell it’s a duck 🙂
First Quarter of the Art Challenge Completed – 13/52!
With the end of March, it was so exciting to know that I’ve finished the first three months and 13/52 weeks/prompts of my art challenge. Again, the art challenge is flexible, so I know that I can be flexible about completing the prompts as I have time.
However, I’m really enjoying setting aside time to paint every weekend, no matter how busy I feel. It’s far too easy to get into the habit of thinking, “My to-do list is too long, and I can’t possibly take this time for myself.” But now that I’ve started a habit of painting every week for 13 weeks in a row, I don’t want to break that habit.
To reflect on my progress, I found each painting from January to March and laid them out together. While I haven’t tackled many of the more intimidating prompts on the Art Challenge prompt sheet, I can see by looking at my art that I have been experimenting with subjects, canvas sizes, colour palettes, etc.
There’s a wide variety of paintings in the first 13 I completed for this challenge. And I have a hard time picking favourites as I like them all. But there are a couple that stick out to me from this group as ones I’m really pleased with.
I absolutely love the painting of Oliver in the shallow water at the beach. It’s such a sentimental memory, and I really like how the rocks turned out.
A second painting that stands out is the bird in the bird bath. Though it’s not an amazing match to the original photo, I think it’s cute and quirky.
And finally, my other favourite is the landscape that was a second attempt at my very first oil painting. I think it’s such an obvious improvement, and I love how much brighter it is.
Which painting do you like best from the first quarter of the year/challenge?
You can keep going to see my April paintings here.
Join the 52 in ’22 Art Challenge!
Remember, it’s never too late to join the 52 in ’22 Art Challenge. It’s a super flexible art challenge with a free printable prompt sheet. You can get your copy right here:
I want to hear from you! Do you have a favourite painting I’ve done from March – or from the whole first quarter? I’d also love to hear about the kinds of art you’re working on! Leave me a comment below.
All the best,