Creative Habit: the Final Stretch

Postcard paintings 4
My creative challenge!

This week I decided to start off with some Photoshop painting based on photo reference to sort of shake things up! And, as it turns out, I love it!

Above is pictured my very first Photoshop painting — the very first in my life. I found the medium to be so rewarding and uplifting that I just had to do more. So I spent the next few days painting solely in Photoshop, and almost abandoning gouache all together.

All these paintings are indeed 1 hour projects, and I worked happily for the whole 60 minutes — I even forgot I was working on this project.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Featured above are all the pieces I’ve painted thus far, and I would love to paint more!

While I think my compositions could use a bit of work, I’m satisfied, overall, with the results.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

(Featured above are my favorite pieces from my Creative Habit project)

Its a surprise to me to move from gouache to digital painting. A traditionalist like myself never expected to move in this bold new direction! But, honestly, I think I love it!

I’ve learned a lot from this, and I hope to learn more soon!


Creative Habit: Week 3, Beaches

FullSizeRender (7)
“King Lake, California” by Albert Bierstadt, 1870

Above is pictured an example of the beautiful atmospheres painted by early realist painting.

This week I decided to indulge in my own personal needs, and decided to paint beaches. The reason for this is because my family is going to Hawaii this summer! Since I come from the northeast of Indiana, and the Midwest has been my home since birth, I haven’t had much experience painting sand, waves, and the beautiful landscapes of islands. So I figured, why not try to get some beach painting under my belt before my trip.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Above are the pieces that I’ve been working on the past week.

I decided to take Tuesday as my challenge day, and invested my time in doing an open-air architecture painting, which I felt was the least successful of the group. That one, I spent around 30 minutes to 35 minutes painting, despite my desire to paint for a full hour (after I realized architecture was so challenging). But, too my dismay, it started to rain and I felt mighty disappointed. You can see from the piece, 5.3.16, that I had only reached the blocking stage of painting before I felt like the weather would not permit me from painting in any further detail.

Regarding this creative habit though, its starting to become … well, more of a drag than a desire. I realized perhaps this has to do with the event of paintint — the whole set up process, the drying process, etc. — that hinders me from actually getting started. However, I can more readily see me sketching daily, as it requires less preparation & finalization time. In regards to this creative habit I would more willingly draw out a composition for painting rather than go out and paint every day.

Photo of Bill Cunningham credited to Zeitgeist Films

Much like Bill Cunningham I wish to document my every day life through my art. Unlike Bill, rather than achieving this through photography, I would be doing this through sketching. Documenting my daily thoughts and ideas this way would help me create a world of my own I would be excited to share.

Creative Habit: Week 2, Water

From “Painting Realistic Watercolor Textures” by Micheal P. Roco

Over the course of this week I focused my attention on painting water, and all its ambiguity. I found that the abstract nature of water challenged me and I had a rough time depicting it as I would like! Instead of painting every ripple — my one hour limit prevented this — I had to settle for a less refined version of water that looked less like water and more like… nothing. The compositions I chose, I believe, had the water out of focus, so no ripples could be shown in my reference. In retrospect I would have chosen better compositions so I would not be met with frustration!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Above is my progress for this week, with varying degrees of success.

I believe I’ll have to work harder in the future to focus all my attention into painting the nuances in the texture of the painting. Furthermore, I believe in a few I have lacking senses of light and time as well, such as in paintings 4.25.16, 2.27.16 ,and 4.28.16.

I primarily realized this after I read Painting Realistic Watercolor Textures by Micheal P. Roco, who explained the process of his painting techniques as fluid, carefully planned, and carefully considered.


From “Painting Realistic Watercolor Textures” by Micheal P. Roco

With his paintings I realized how methodical and organized his paintings of water are, and how my own paintings are lacking!

But, I suppose that means I have more to learn.

Week 1: Mountain Landscapes


A lot of painting is in for me.

Over the course of the week (beginning on Thursday) I’ve painted a landscape each day for one hour — each is inspired by a photo I have on my personal computer. I shift around the colors slightly, to  accentuate the mood or atmosphere of the piece.

I’ve decided to paint four landscapes on one sheet (pictured above), so I can track the moods of each piece, the palettes, and the composition to better understand my progression. I then cut each to size, to clean up the edges. This, by far, is my favorite part.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Above is a slideshow of my paintings thus far! I find it interesting to see them lined up, where I can point out my mistakes. I’m already learning a lot so far.

Speaking of learning, in a research trip our class took, I found quite a few books I found very useful in painting textures, and one in painting landscapes. The book The Techniques of Watercolor Painting by Richmond, Leonard, and Littlejohns, J. served of great use for me in realizing a lot of my inexperienced mistakes.

For instance, their advice on painting skies made such perfect sense, and yet, I was not applying it in my paintings.


Richmond, et. al010 (wash)
An example of Plate 1 in The Techniques of Watercolor Painting, regarding the use of a light wash as the sky.

Furthermore, the advice of Richmond et al led me to explore the vibrancy and pigmentation of gouache paints.


Richmond, et. al013 (with gouache for vibrancy)
An example of Plate 1 in The Techniques of Watercolor Painting, regarding the use of a light wash as the sky.

In regards to how I’ll paint in the future, I hope to use these tools to advance my painting style!

And that’s all for now. Until next week, where I’ll be painting water!

Creative Habit: The Beginnings

My first landscape painting this year — painted on February 21st, 2016.

I paint almost daily. I fell in love with gouache paints a little bit ago, since they seemed to satisfy my art style better and more fully than pencil, colored pencil, and watercolor paints.

Although it’s was new media for me to explore, my perfectionist attitude told me all my paintings needed to be good, and needed to be perfect. When a painting didn’t work the way I dreamed it would, I would toss it in the trash and wallow in an artistic rut for days.

This is partially why I’ve chosen painting as my medium for a new established  creative habit: to gain experience with gouache paints and to discard that nasty perfectionism that comes with my paintings.

Although I painted daily, and still do, I avoided one subject like the plague: landscapes. I hated painting landscapes because I spent so much time painting people, animals, and things. My environmental painting took the backseat.

I realized, however, that my art could benefit tremendously with backgrounds and environments to display mood, emotion, and even tell a story.

Daily Paint 016 by Nicholas Bono Kennedy

I was inspired for this creative habit by Nicholas Kennedy, a visual development artist at Disney Interactive, who paints an environment daily. Before I discovered him for myself, he was painting daily digitally, as pictured above. However, When I found his YouTube channel, he was displaying his daily gouache paintings.

The fun atmosphere to all his paintings were fascinating and full of life!

I discovered his Instagram, where he posts his daily paintings; and his DeviantArt, where he posts his more refined ones. I, quite honestly, fell in love with his fun, witty compositions.

Nick Kennedy.PNG
Paintings by Nick Bono Kennedy

So I’ve decided to paint an enviroment everyday for 60 minutes, focusing on color and light, and how atmosphere can be displayed through those means. I attempted my first gouache landscape for this project last night, and I’ve decided each painting will be postcard sized, approximately 3 1/2 inches by 5 1/2 inches.

I would like to do a week of outdoor mountainous landscapes to start (since they seem to be new and abstract to me), then move onto forests, interiors, and the like.

My first landscape painting this year — painted on February 21st, 2016.

Hopefully, this experience will bring nothing but good things!

Project #2: Final!

Our completed parklet!

Its been a long, long, hectic journey with so many trips back to Home Depot and Lowe’s, long days building and painting, and planting. But our parklet is officially complete.

In the last week, we had to organize building days out side of class which had unexpectedly low turnouts, so we ran into issues constructing. (More hands, the better!) But we had just the right amount of people to get the rest of the building done in 8 hours — we finished the construction of the back “living wall” and the planter boxes and rails. While our living wall isn’t so much up to snuff with what we would have liked, it’s sturdy and standing, and pretty beautiful.

On the last class before presentations, we painted and planted the rest of the plants, and got all of it done and over with! Our opening event was this morning, during which it rained (yuck!), but we had a great turnout for the bad weather. I think moving forward, the parklet will be used often and used well.

That being said, its nice to have accomplished this gigantic piece with such success. With a fantastic team and wonderful donors, our project is now complete and fully visualized.

Pipeline Project: Week #4

Photo credited to Jenna Feldman

Thanks to the fantastic work of my group members during spring break, we have construction almost halfway done! We’ve decided to build with the help of “professionals”(read: Bethany’s dad and neighbor), and so our next building day is on this upcoming Saturday. We’re hoping to get everything done that day!

Over the course of the week, however, we’ve been focusing on our advertizing for our unveiling event. We’re both making and printing fliers, posters, and building a web banner for our social media channels.

With the extra money from the GoFundMe account I set up before spring break, that documented what our goals and aspirations for this project (whilst asking for much needed donations), we can focusing on fine-tuning out project to really knock it out of the ballpark!

This Thursday, we aim to focus on catering for the event, and who’s to offer that to us, and the documentary.

The documentary is also coming along, with the graphic style set and enough footage to last a lifetime.

Overall, we’re ahead of schedule now!