25 paintings in 30 days

4th of October already? The 30 paintings in 30 days challenge is finished and I’m glad to get to the end of it. I didn’t manage to paint 30 paintings as I forgot to plan for the school holidays and didn’t have the energy to paint every evening at the end of the fun filled days. However, 25 paintings feels like good enough result for me. Here they all are, grouped by theme instead of chronological order:
Collage of 25 paintings done in 30 days
The challenge was a great reminder that regular painting brings with it the improvement in skills and allows to explore the same subject in numerous works gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation of the beauty and complexity of nature.

The challenge also helped me to gain a realistic view on how many hours I can dedicate to painting. During school term I get about 3 hrs two mornings a week for painting while the youngest is in childcare. In the evenings I get between 1 and 2.5 hrs to myself, but I need at least one evening for planning/admin/letter-writing/etc and another evening for chilling out. This is a tiny amount of time as even simple small paintings take me at least an hour (and often two) to paint. I need to think hard about the way to divide this time in the most beneficial way to achieve a healthy mix of learning, targeted to improve specific skills; working on more intricate paintings (I’m bursting with ideas!) and painting for the pure fun of it. I also want to get back into daily sketching/visual journal keeping as it creates lovely record of my everyday life and allows to tackle some of the subjects I wouldn’t paint otherwise; but maybe I can fit it into my daily routine with kids.


No, I didn’t paint during the trip to Melbourne. Looks like I still need to have my daily routines around me to keep me painting every day. Last night and today I added another cactus and two succulents to this page.
Watercolour sketch of succulents

Winsor & Newton watercolour in Strathmore 400 Series sketchbook (21.6 x 27.9 cm)

I have a big succulent collection (they are easy to propagate, easy to look after and the kids love them), so there are still plenty to paint. I may be able to fit another two to this page.

Away for few days

This is all I managed to do yesterday.
Pen sketch of few suburban houses

Lamy Safari pen with DeAtramentis Archive Ink in Fabriano Venezia sketchbook.

I was hoping to paint in the evening after everyone is in bed, but the youngest, who was sleeping beautifully lately, just wouldn’t fall asleep.
I’m off to Melbourne with the family for few days. I’ll bring some art materials with me and will try to find time to paint, but won’t be able to blog until Monday. I may post an occasional photo in my Instagram account.

Outside vs Inside

Every time I sketch outside I get surprised by how many distractions there are and how much harder it is to create something. While I was painting these pansies in the garden the sun was glaring down affecting my perception of the colours; the wind kept on trying to blow away my paper (and was successful once, smudging green and purple paint); my son kept on bringing me leaves to sketch and knocked over my pens and brushes (I’m just grateful that it wasn’t the water jar).
Watercolour of pansies

Winsor & Newton watercolours on Archers medium watercolour paper (10.5 x 15 cm)

It is so much easier to paint inside in the evening at the comfortable desk; with some nice music thanks to ABC Jazz FM and no demands for attention.
Watercolour of eucalyptus leaves

Winsor & Newton watercolours on Archers medium watercolour paper (10.5 x 15 cm)

Sky or no sky?

Another eucalyptus branch. I wish I’ve made the flowers bigger. I also thought I’ll experiment with leaving the background white – I guess the daily painting is great for trying out different things. I’m not sure if I like it, seems a bit stark. Maybe I’ll add a light wash of the cerulean blue. I’ll leave the decision making until morning, when my mind and eyes are fresher.
Watercolour of eucalyptus leaves and flowers

Winsor & Newton watercolours on Archers medium watercolour paper (10.5 x 15 cm)

All sort of leaves

Yesterday I sketched some of the changes happening in the garden. (Both spinach and peas are growing well thanks to the warmer days). Today I planted few more things.
Garden sketches

Lamy Safari pen with DeAtramentis Archive Ink and Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolour in Strathmore 400 Series sketchbook

I also collected some flowering eucalyptus branches and painted one of them quickly, before the flowers die & leaves dry.
Watercolour of Eucalyptus Leaves

Winsor & Newton Cotman watercolours on Archers medium watercolour paper (10.5 x 15 cm)

When I started doing 30 paintings in 30 days challenge, I completely forgot about the school holidays, which started on Friday. I love spending time with my kids, but after a full day of fun I sometimes feel exhausted and ready to go to bed even before the kids. So next 10 days will be interesting. I’m still planning to paint everyday, but I’m not sure if I’ll be posting my paintings every day.