Art+Work+Living 5 Day Challenge

I’m still loving painting alla prima, which entails painting in oils, wet paint on wet paint. It’s quite challenging, but great fun and often means a bright, fresh painting – at least that’s what the artist aims for.


To keep the momentum up I signed up to do a five day challenge with artist Mary Gilkerson. The idea was to paint a painting every day, in less than 30 mins and ideally in less than twenty. Mary suggested that it’s easier to paint in a theme, so as I’ve been working on still-life recently, that’s what I decided to concentrate on. I needed to simplify my composition though, so I focussed on painting cakes, easier to manage in a short time that a whole set-up, but great fun too.


Screen Shot 2018-01-22 at 21.09.17


The cupcakes took me longer than the other paintings. The first one was a full 30mins, the second was just under 30 and the other three were 20 mins each.

As per Mary’s advice I prepared my pallette in advance and sketched out my compostions in advance, but that is good practice for alla prima anyway.  I initally thought that painting like this would be more like a detailed sketch, but it didn’t work that way, each painting is complete in itself. My plan now is to let these dry and then see if they need any final details.

I’ve used small deep-edged canvases for these paintings, canvases that I wasn’t using otherwise. The challenge has encouraged me. I plan on continuing daily painting as often as possible over the next few months but I’ll be looking for slightly larger canvases than these ones.







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