As we all know, setting aside only 15 minutes a day for creating is real nourishment for the soul. Not to mention that it will have a very good effect on your creativity if it becomes part of your daily routine. It’s pity that it doesn’t really work – not even for me, even though I use my brushes fairly often. Last year I made an attempt at painting every single day, and this year I did this one week long art challenge of repeat patterns again, coming up with super-exciting results.
How it works
Last year I only painted whatever came to my mind, the point was to get myself painting every single day. This year, however, I took the task more seriously and found a topic for every day to paint patterns. I like painting in small size, which is great help especially if I need to cover a piece paper in patterns each day, so as usual, I was working in A6 size. I couldn’t spare the same amount of time every single day, sometimes I had less energy to create, which is visible on the outcome, but after all I did manage to squeeze in some painting time day after day.
Day #1: Abstract
On the very first day of the challenge I didn’t worry about creating something very special: I painted red and blue stripes in my sketchbook. This was an important day because it was the first time for me to use my flat brush (see the pic), which I had about some 9 months before and never got round to try. I usually use round brushes and was a little suspicious with this one (I originally bought it for the illustration workshop) but for painting stripes it is the perfect tool.
Day #2: Sky
There are a lot of things you can think of when the topic is ‘sky’: stars, rockets, birds, anything that you might see if you look upwards. For me it was (red) rain clouds. It was around this time that I decided to theme this challenge red, which I more or less managed to keep up during the whole week. Currently I’m in love with the combination of red and pale blue.
Day #3: Floral
I wouldn’t really be me if I left out the ‘floral’ theme from this collection. I had a little more time that day, so I was tinkering away merrily at all the little berries, leaves and cloves. It was a challenge to keep up the reddish tone of this image (a floral pattern should obviously have green overtones) but I turned the leaves into the blue-ish range, which managed to keep this little painting part of the series.
Day #4: Food
Food illustration is something that has captured my imagination a lot recently (just check out my recipe coloumn), so I didn’t want to leave out this theme. After all, you don’t have to muse too much to think of red coloured food in summer time, so I guess I could have filled even a larger piece of paper with these goodies.
Day #5: Polygons
I was dawdling a lot over the previous days’ paintings, so I wanted to let my hair down a bit on the 5th day of this challenge. Painting small triangles didn’t seem like a big deal and I could play with the colours according to my liking.
Day #6: Summer
Summer means something different to us all, so – just like the theme of sky – and I let my imagination loose a little more than the other topics. Of course, for me summer is not summer without icecream, so I painted a couple of minute versions of these amazing desserts. I can’t say I’d taste all of them (the pink one at the bottom right corner certainly looks a little bizarre), but someone has already bitten the 4th one in the second row. :)
Day #7: Animals
I am definitely a cat-lady, so the idea was to paint a bunch of these animals on the 7th day, but that morning I suddenly thought of the amazing and unique fur of wild animals: giraffes, panthers, tigers all wear repeating patterns. So you can see the side of a salmon coloured zebra in my sketchbook – also because it took so much less time to paint it than those lazy scratching-yawning kitties that I had initially been planning.
During last year’s challenge I measured how much time I spent creating, so I could prove that you actually don’t need so much time to squeeze painting into your every-day life. This year, however, this didn’t work because for the first time in my life I recorded my working process on video. I had quite some stage-fright and my equipment needs a bit of improvement too, so I didn’t document my work every single day, but you can still get a glimpse into my painting process. If you like this video, please subscribe, I’ll try to come up with a new video soon.