Painting challenges - 30 in 30?

I really enjoy the DPW challenges and contests, and I heard that Leslie Saeta might offer a 30 paintings in 30 days challenge again this September. If not. I might just do it anyway for myself and invite others to join in with any kind of 30 - in 30 they would like. Have any of you tried this really challenging challenge? How was it for you?

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I tired! I was unable to get more than 5 or 6 done. It was because life became very busy. I would love to paint as an occupation but it hasn’t worked out that way. The trying though only for a week made me make quicker decisions with what I was going to paint and not lean so heavily on my mood. A little more discipline can’t hurt!

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Thanks for sharing that, Sunny. I think it’s great that you tried it and figured out some stuff for yourself from it. I don’t know that I will get much farther myself. I tend to paint in layers- at least 2, but have completed work in 2 hours or less. I plan to pick out about 40 photos and schedule 4 plein air sessions with spots prechosen, otherwise I will just waste time getting a subject. I will have difficulties on weekends because I work, but am hoping to cultivate the ability to do two in one day? Yikes. But that may work if I start two or three and let them set and finish in a kind of rota.That can work with plein air stuff too. Crazy undertaking!

It was a because of a challenge that I joined Daily Paintworks. A favourite teacher of mine, Matthew Mancini, challenged me to take 100 small boards and just get in there and 'wreck ‘em’! This was to help me overcome my tendency to over think and analyze as well as help me to loosen up. I decided not to make it 100 paintings in as many days because it would be like the New Year’s resolutions that end up being abandoned–too much pressure. Instead, I just try to plan another idea while finishing up the present project and then take the next steps of planning, sketching, set up , separately in small ‘bites’ of time. This has been working well. When the day comes for painting, I go for it. Don’t know when I’ll reach 100 but I’m improving in my painting and enjoying the journey!

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I’ll have to try one of these challenges soon but not 30 in 30! I’ll have to start with a smaller goal - my personality and painting style would make it difficult to finish one every day - I’d look at day1 painting on day2 and want to do something maybe, by the end of the 30 days I might have 10 done and 20 I don’t like. But I’ll try a shorter challenge. I think it’s a good learning tool but I don’t want to paint fast just for the sake of it and end up with low quality work. With this challenge you end up with rules (paint 1 in a day) and it locks you in. I want to create a fine work of art. I don’t care if it takes me 3 years. BUT, I will do a challenge for the learning esp. and the fun, and maybe I’ll end up with a few finished pieces! I’m a slow painter. This might help me to decide quicker. Thanks!

I’m planning to try it - again. For me, stumbling upon Leslie Saeta’s Artists Helping Artists podcast and Carol Marine and Daily Paintworks around the same time has been life changing. I tried the challenge last Sept., and painted 6 paintings. BUT that was 5 more than I had painted the entire year before! I tried again in Jan., after figuring out that I had to paint small and simple and I did it! And I even liked about 1/3 of them. So now I’m going to start a blog, maybe get brave enough to join DPW and put myself out there with the big kids. In short - it helped my painting.

I’m wrapping up 100 portraits in 100 (or so) days… it has been a LONG HAUL. It’s part of the 100 Day Project, a design movement started by Elle Lunna

The amazing thing is the discipline that develops from being a daily painter. I actually did form a “habit” and a huge urge to paint on days that I couldn’t. And I love learning and developing a process.

Good luck! It’s been exceptionally fun and challenging. But I think iterating in public and learning more about the process has been illuminating. Sleep-depriving at times, but very helpful as I learn to paint faces and continue my journey to be a better painter.


Sorry not sure why it dumped my face in the middle of that… you can see the paintings on my instagram.

Hi, Marjie - boy, I really hope you do join DPW- on DPW we all get to be big kids- at least I’ve always been treated that way, I love being a part of it. I struggled with the big do it yourself learning curve with a blog and have returned to my Fine Art Studio on Line website/ blog where they do so much if the work for you. I think there are other sites like that too - one is Art Span. But I’ve sold and blogged a bit right on my DP W page too. I’m so impressed that you did the 30 in 30! If we both do that in September may I check in with you from time to time?

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Well Steven, I think I sent my reply to Marjie to you too - sorry about that.mi really should stop using my IPad to do this instead of my computer! I’m really impressed that you did a 100 in 100. Especially portraits! I will get on and look at your work. I love to see other people’ s art.

Awesome paintings steven

Steve - great expressive faces!

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I have joined in two of Leslie’s challenges and the progress I made was amazing. I would encourage any artist to do the same. This January when I took up the challenge again I set my own challenge - to paint each day plein air. This I managed to do in spite of the frosts and rain. The idea being - if I can do this then I have no excuses. What happened? I slid back into the studio and had days of not painting so - bring on the next challenge, I’m up for it. Plus, committing yourself publicly gives you more incentive.
here is a link to my results

Thank you, Elisabeth. I’ve been very humbled by the experience.

Thanks for your reply, Betsy. You’ve given me a helping hand re the whole blog thing: DIY or… FASO? I’m all for making my life easier, but I wasn’t sure if it was OK to use both FASO and DPW. Anyway, I would love it if we checked in with each other during the 30 in 30!

I did daily paintings during February…the shortest month of the year. It was a really good experience. If someone issues a September challenge, I would probably try it again.

Yes, it’s ON for 2015. I tried it in Jan of 2014 and made it to #20. It’s still worth trying as you learn a lot about yourself, and if you focus on one thing to improve on, it’s worth it. You don’t have to produce sell-able art. It’s a self-challenge, not a winner’s contest. I think I’m going to try again. Last year I was neck deep in a pet portrait fundraiser in September so could not do it. who’s in?

I will try it again! I made it only to 5 or 6 I think on my last go. :blush:

I’m in, regardless of whether Leslie Saeta does an organized 30- in-30, have challenged my church to join in with a 30-in-30 of their own sept 1-30 just for fun.

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I tried the 30 in 30 last January. Going into it, I was a bit worried that I would run out of subjects to paint…but I found it was really easy to set up a little still life from stuff gathered around the house…spools of thread, toast and jam, flowers, toothbrush caddy by the sink (okay, I cheated there and took a photo to work from), eggs on a plate, fruit, a tube of hand cream, artist brushes in a container and so on. I did use photos for about 5 paintings in all, so the 30 did include a few landscapes. I worked in small sizes, from 3" x 5" up to 8" x 8". I worked a minimum of an hour on each piece and the longest was about 2 - 2 1/2 hours. I finished most in one shot. When a busy day loomed, on a couple of occasions I painted 2 in one day (I was posting them daily to my blog / facebook and wanted to keep up the rhythm). It was a great experience and I highly recommend it. You will see a lot of growth in your work. I kept a journal in which I commented on different aspects of each piece, problems I had, questions and so on. I confess that I am now retired so I do have the luxury of time, but for anyone, it is an amazing motivator, especially if you post daily…a big incentive! It was also very gratifying to hear people’s feedback…so encouraging! I chose January because it seemed like a good way to focus and pick up my spirits in what is a very cold and dark time of year where I live, with not too much going on. You will not regret this whenever you start …best of luck to you!

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