Friday, April 19, 2013

30 day watercolor challenge // reflection

I did it! I completed my 30 day watercolor challenge. I have to say though, it was not as easy as I thought! But, now I have some art pieces that I love, and some that I basically detest :) hehe. If you are thinking of doing the watercolor challenge or some other challenge, here are some of the things I learned along the way:


I initially thought I would try to do each painting as quickly as possible, or only spend a few minutes to do each one. Well, it took a lot longer than a few minutes. On average, they took about 30 min. total, which is still not a lot of time! :) Some of them did take a lot longer than that, but it really was dependent on the subject I chose. So, take time and think about the amount of time you would (realistically) like to devote to your project and adjust your own rules accordingly.


It was harder to pick a subject to paint than I thought it would be! Even with the topics/subjects already pre-determined, I struggled with following the schedule. I found myself jumping all around the challenge topics. I initially wanted to do all random/found objects from around my apartment, but I was constantly doubting my available choices. For the most part, I had in my mind the image I wanted to paint before I began and often those items were not available to me. So, for some of the days I "cheated" and googled images for the subject I had in my mind. Keep in mind the subjects you want to paint and be flexible if it doesn't work out the way you planned.


Towards day 15, I started to get very behind! I decided that I would not extend the 30 days, but rather catch-up on not-so-busy days. One day, I drew about 7 pictures and painted 7/8 the next day! After my catch-up marathon I vowed not to get THAT behind again. I still struggled a bit, but towards the end was able to get back into a schedule. I think I struggled so much with this because I allowed myself to only post my paintings once a week. If I were to post the paintings daily, then maybe I would have felt more accountable. Also, a lot of my struggle with this had to do with how I was feeling personally, so I had to cut myself some slack! Discipline is key to accomplishing this, I suggest setting aside time each day and cut yourself some slack if something comes up and you fall behind.


I have to say that I learned a lot about accepting the "not-so-awesome" paintings! Those days where I was catching-up, and even some of the other days, I was really disappointed with the results. Instead of focusing on these "bad" paintings, I tried to focus more on the paintings that I love! In the end, be proud of what you accomplish, it will bring you more happiness than the individual paintings themselves!


I hoped that by doing the watercolor challenge I would develop more of a personal style when it comes to painting. I am disappointed to say that I don't think I found what I was looking for, but I think that is because I relied a lot on my illustration first rather than solely on painting. By focusing on the challenge specifically, you will be forced to truly challenge yourself and come up with something better than you ever imagined!


I think some of my best paintings came from the ones where I relaxed and went crazy a bit, so I would love to do a more flexible style challenge where I try to paint everyday and practice different techniques and styles. In the end, I found myself wanting to paint after the challenge was over! So, relax and have fun!

If you try your own watercolor challenge, I would love to hear about it!
Good luck & have fun!

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