Total Art Soul - for artists

" Imagination is more important than knowledge "
Albert Einstein
Tags >> great idea

I had a fabulous idea yesterday: what if I paint one 30-minute portrait a day for a…week? I would have 7 paintings, 3.5 hours of painting practice, and possibly an unnoticeable improvement in my work. What if I do a month? 30 days x 30 minutes gives me 15 hours and 30 paintings! Tangible, eh? You can even do a show with 30 portraits.

And then I was looking for a good number of days to commit to, between a month and a year. I found the number 206 – which is the number of bones in the human body. It ties nicely to my focus on portraits and will also remind me to turn to my anatomy book more often. Here is the math (and prepare to be impressed :) : 206 days x 30 minutes x 1 painting = 6180 minutes, or 103 hours of painting, and 206 portraits to show for it!

So here is the project: I will paint 1 portrait every day for the next 206 days!

I will post the results here. I also invite you to join me in on this journey if you would like to improve your painting/drawing skills or just need something to work on. The rules are these:

1. The project will run for 206 days. I started yesterday Sep 2nd and will continue until March 27, 2011. Feel free to join at any time and continue for however long you decide to. You can do every day like me or every week, or twice a week. It’s up to you. For best results and for peer pressure, I recommend every day ;)

2. I will paint both from life and from photographs. Right now, my sources are my own photos, those of my friends and relatives, Julia Kay’s Portrait Party, WetCanvas reference library, and Flickr Creative Commons. If you would like me to paint from your photo, please email it to watercoloredhands AT

3. I can paint the same person more than once, use any technique and any size. If taking pictures is your thing, I welcome photography, too.

4. I intend to spend 30 minutes plus/minus 10 on each painting. I found that for watercolor, it makes sense to break the 30 minutes in 10-minute intervals  to let the painting dry in between – and to give me an opportunity to step away and take a look at my work from a distance. Plus, I can rarely have 30 minutes straight of uninterrupted me-time. So, the idea is to spend 30 minutes total a day.

5. Art is not about following the rules, so…take it easy :)

Depending on how it goes, I might post other people’s submissions here or include links, or maybe create a Flickr group.  I also intend to take an occasional video of the painting process and post a mini-lesson on anatomy for artists.

And so, the question is, ” Can you find 30 minutes a day to spend on something that is enjoyable, useful, and is NOT physical exercise?”  ;)




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