As is too often the case for me, I tend to forget how much I enjoy doing something (or the satisfaction I get from the result) after not having gotten around to it for a while. This time it was painting studies. I had no idea how long it had been since I made my last, but when I saw a photo of cut up, deliciously lit grapefruit in a bowl over on my Twitter feed, I knew I had to paint it.
Now I have to admit that I’d very much prefer to have a go at it with my acrylic paints and get a tangible thing out of it, but at the same time the hassle of preparation and mixing colours would be enough to put me off in those spontaneous moments. Especially when I’m aiming for something as short as 30 minutes to mainly train my eyes, improve my feel for colors and even more so, keep me from noodling on endlessly.
This is where digital painting is a real boon. I don’t use layers or even the undo function most of the time, but the fact that you can instantly jump into it without having to even consider a palette is just perfect for these situations.
Usually I’m not a big fan of value-adjusting statements like “this is my first try” or “it only took me x amount of time”, but as someone who generally takes ages to get anything finished, I really can’t deny that I felt rather content and satisfied I was able to create this in just about 30 minutes. So I mentioned that when showing the painting around…and after hearing “30 minutes? how?!”, I of course started to feel like I should have recorded my process to back up that claim.
Being me, there was no way around it and so I went to pick a new reference image, set up the recording software and off I went to paint another 30 minute study of this Chickadee from Jen Cross.
I’ve not really made videos of my painting process before and amusingly I started to feel a little pressure as soon as I hit that record button. Would I be able to get it done “enough” in 30 minutes again? Here’s the result, so you can judge that yourself and I put the video up on youtube, in case you’d like to follow along the creation in real time as well.
New studies will happen and I’ll definitely try to make any future videos more interesting through narration and editing, maybe try streaming. For now, I’m mostly glad I got the grapefruit rolling.