Monday, July 5, 2010

Challenge 6 - Baby Duck

My biggest challenge I am facing every time when I need to choose a new painting challenge is a complexity of the chosen subject. I have tons of gorgeous compositions but to paint them in 3 weeks would be a full time job, possibly without any sleep. Clearly it is "mission impossible".

To make life more colorful mother nature made every naturally arranged subject complex enough so that a new artist immediately feels frightened and runs away. Where is the middle ground? How to inspire and motivate everyone to join and pick up that pencil or brush they left many years ago?

I would like to thank to all of you who kindly informed me that current challenges are too complex to start with. The next one will be a simple still life, so be ready for it.

About the photo reference

This is a small baby duck enjoying late afternoon swim at Ontario lake. There were 8 of them together with their mother. So I tried hard to simplify.

Here I am not concerned about the fact that the duck is almost centered and there is not much of the sophisticated composition. Sometimes it is good enough to practice and simply practice ... and there is a lot to practice here. Water waves - ever challenging with all folds and sky reflections. Feathers and duck reflections - another challenging texture. Obviously this is not a simple subject, but it has a great learning potential.

Due to my plans to take the last week of July off (July 24th-Aug 02) and be away from internet, this painting challenge is extended up to August 03. Any paintings arriving within this time frame will have to wait to be posted on Aug 04. The next painting challenge will be posted on August 04.


Caroline Peña Bray said...

This looks like a great challenge and I'm really glad you're simplifying things somewhat. I pop by this blog regularly to see challenges and the submissions by other artists but so far I've found the challenges too daunting. However, this duckling looks irresistable so I hope to be able to fit in a painting of him inbetween summer travels. Thanks for all your hard work with the blog Lela and I'm looking forward to posting on it soon! Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

Lela, I think what you do via your blog is challenge us as artists. I don't think there's one of us that isn't a little intimidated and challenged by some of the "challenges" you post. I think the greatest trap we can fall into as artists -- whether a beginner or advanced artist is to paint nice safe subjects that never challenge us to push on and expand our skills and critical thinking. We also learn to interpret the subject, simplify it, look, think and try. We're all in this together, some may be a little further down the road than the rest of us, but those that are help us along the way by giving wonderful critiques, hints, suggestions and encouragement. We get to see how others handle the same subject and expand and grow in the process. If I don't subject myself to some pain and agony, I'll never grow as an artist and that's an unbelievably important goal for me. Thanks for your effort and everyone's willingness to share their experiences.

sandy said...

These versions are all great! I really enjoyed seeing them.

Nan Johnson said...

I loved all the renditions, each is unique in how it conveys the duck & the moment. I had wanted to do this challenge, but unfortunately, I just ran out of time and couldn't make the deadline. But I did enjoy seeing all the great work the artists did!