Blues and Browns Only

While Johnny Thomas’ sky challenge is still ongoing – I dip in and out occasionally – over the last six weeks he set the limited Blues & Browns Only challenge (#bluesandbrownsonly), painting a series of six reference photos using only shades of blue and earth tones.

I was eager to take on this challenge to stretch myself to see the chromaticity in earth tones. Historically I’ve preferred brighter colors, but my appreciation for more subtle colors has been trending slowly upward. Could this challenge convince me to finally become an earth color person?

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Monthly Retrospective: January 2024

I got started on some long term goals this month! TOTAL: 17 (16 WC, 1 gouache) Supplies notes: Unless otherwise noted, I used Arches 140lb/300gsm natural white cold-press paper. After doing a lot of experimenting, I think this is my default “good paper.” The Paintings

Nature Spot Challenge, January 2024

Lisa Spangler (@sideoats) ran the Nature Spot Challenge a second time in January 2024, and I participated again! I really enjoyed the first Nature Spot Challenge last year, so I was pleased to do it again. I managed to do one every day for the first two weeks of the month, but in the back … Read more

What’s in my recycle bin?

I post most of my paintings here on the blog and my instagram. I regard very few as “not good enough.” I wouldn’t have nearly a painting a day if I exerted rigorous quality control. Posting nearly everything helps me to be less precious and critical of my own work.

However, there are some paintings that I decide to bin without posting (and sometimes without finishing), for various reasons. Today, paradoxically, I’ll post some of the paintings I decided not to post. Let’s take a trip through my December recycle bin.

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Monthly Retrospective: December 2023

I’ll do an annual retrospective in another post, but here’s my look at just the month of December. Having finished my National Parks project in November, I took the month of December officially off challenges to do whatever. That said, I still ended up doing some challenges, as a treat – including finishing Magrish’s 3-week … Read more

2023 Annual Retrospective

I started painting in 2021, painted a lot more in 2022, and painted still more in 2023! This year, I’m especially grateful for the art friendships I’ve made – thanks to everyone who hangs out in my Discord for keeping me company, challenging and reassuring me! (Comment or DM me – @billyidyll on Instagram – if you want to be included!)

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#magrish_challenge_sky 2023 (+2022!)

For the last three years, one of my favorite sky painters, Maria Smirnova (@magrish on Instagram), has posted a three-week challenge at the end of November (#magrish_challenge_sky). Each week, she posts a black-and-white sky photo, and you’re invited to paint it in any colors you wish. I joined for the first time last year, and I participated this year as well.

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