I’ve been a lurker at the Willowing & Friends artist community for quite a while now and have always wanted to try some the art challenges there. The Willowing community is owned and maintained by Tamara Laporte whose mixed media artwork and kind spirit I’ve always admired. Last weekend she set herself a challenge, which was to try and create a portrait painting using only muted/pastel colours instead of lots of colour. Since I’ve wanted to do something slightly similar before for the same sort of reasons, I thought that this would be a great challenge for me to participate in.
And guess what? Rather than being scary or uncomfortable, I found this challenge to be really enjoyable! Tamara asked us to only use: Black, White, Grey, a salmon or flesh tint (but not on the face), Titanium Buff and a bit of Pink. It was a lot of fun and I created the painting below using mainly watercolur paint on Khadi paper:
I usually mix my own black paint so it was easy to use variations of grey throughout the painting and just add a little peachy, salmon colour to enhance it. So I didn’t use all the colours exactly but I think I still stayed true to the essence of the challenge. I also tried something I’ve never tried before which was to include stamped images in the painting. The swirly florals in the corners were created using a stamp and also the word ‘dream’.
For me this challenge was a huge success and has really allowed me to venture further outside my comfort zone. And I wasn’t the only one! Here is the Willowing forum thread so that you can see how other members did on the challenge and to read more about it.