Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Reflecting Fall Daily Painting #9

Today's painting is a fall scene on the Umpqua River I'm calling "Reflecting Fall"

The more I paint these, the more I realize what a powerful tool they are! I was in a bit of a block with my painting. These little studies have such momentum!

I have a real tendency to get bogged down in detail. I love detail! I love all the tiny shapes and color shifts and light patterns in nature! They can be like a rabbit hole when it comes to painting! And there is nothing wrong with a beautifully detailed painting! But if they aren't built on a solid foundation, you will always feel there is just something off about them. It's so easy to fall in love with one passage in your painting, and then realize that you created this little gem in the wrong place, wrong value, wrong perspective.... so many ways to go wrong! :)

So these little paintings give you the chance to start many times, build the foundation many times, without bogging down for days or weeks or months in detail. I have a lot of reference photos that touch me, but I wasn't sure I could make a painting of them. This is giving me the chance to try them out, work with them, explore their possibilities. Without pressure or a huge time commitment.

Haha, sorry, didn't mean to get on a soapbox! :) I'm just excited about these!

I think the title "Daily Painting" is not the right one. Quick Study is probably better, but I want to emphasize that doing them often, preferable daily is what creates the momentum, loosens up the fear of failure, gives you confidence. 

So, for today's painting "Reflecting Fall" I did a real time (meaning not sped up) video of the process, showing you how I'm doing these little paintings.

I started with a canvas toned with a mixture of Quinacridone Gold and Hansa Yellow Medium with regular acrylics. Once that dried, I painted the rest in Open Acrylics.

Click here for the video


  1. Hi Karen,
    A lot of artists seem to be doing the daily painting theme, and another resident of Portland, pastel artist Marla Bragetta does them, and speaks very highly of it on her website. I am getting my acrylics out to have a break from my current study, which is a botanical diploma in watercolour. It is great and I really love it and I am about half way through, but it is so intense!
    I am going to have a go.
    Take care Karen,

    1. Hi David,
      Yes they are really a great exercise. The daily part is great, and for me the limited time is even better. I have a tendency to get bogged down and go for too much detail too soon, so knowing I have limited time has really helped me. Not that details aren't great too! It's just sometimes hard to keep the whole picture in mind when I am distracted by the detail...
      Glad you are having fun!
      Take Care,