30 paintings for June

As I mentioned last post, I did a 30 oil paintings in 30 days challenge for June over in this forum thread (I’m yellow_oxide). For me it was an extra challenge because I had travel plans for this month and also my church follows the Sabbath on saturdays in which we rest from work, so in all I only actually had 18 days to do all 30 paintings. Some of the paintings may be a little rushed because most days that I painted I was doing 2 paintings, and couple of times I got behind and needed to do 3.

Most of these I painted on half of an 8″x10″ canvas board, with one painting on the top half and one on the bottom half. A few of them are on matte board scraps that I covered with gesso or on a 7″x5″ canvas board. Most are original but a few are based on paintings from either Van Gogh or Monet.

Overall I think this challenge was a lot of fun and helpful. Ideally I wouldn’t be so rushed, but because I didn’t feel like each painting had to be a masterpiece I was also more able to experiment with, ideas, paints, and mediums that I don’t normally use. If I do this again it won’t be a month with travel plans though.

Morning on the Seine

Morning on the Seine 2

Oil on canvas, 10″ x 8″

I made another painting based on Monet’s series on the Seine, such as this painting. This is yet another painting that I started a couple of months ago and then finally got around to finishing just a couple of days ago.

I don’t remember what colors I started making this with, but at the end I painted over everything transparently using lapis lazuli (natural ultramarine, Daniel Smith), lemon ochre (PY43, Williamsburg), and a lot of zinc white (PW4, Daniel Smith). Getting a good photo with accurate colors was hard, so I did some editing to this and maybe the colors are close. They’re still a bit off though.

I think that the paintings in this series by Monet are among my favorite paintings. I keep them in a folder on my computer, along with many other artworks, that I labeled ur-poems because it was the best term I could think of for them. Everything in that folder are things that, when I look at them, seem to me to be the closest representation of an ideal in my own artistic vision that I want to achieve.



Oil on canvas, 10″ x 8″

Based on Cliffs at Pourville, Rain by Monet. I wasn’t looking at his painting while I painted, or especially trying for an exact copy, so mine turned out a little different.

I don’t normally paint this thickly, but I’ve been watching some video clips of an artist named David Leffel and I’m hoping to learn some things from him so I can improve my work. I kind of like thick paint.

I had a cobalt, prussian, and cerulean blues already on my palette when I started so I was using mixtures of those with white and a little Portland Grey Light from Gamblin. Around 2/3 of the way through I decided to try a mixture of french ultramarine with my new cobalt teal (PB28) from Gamblin. I really like how that mix turned out. The reddishness, darkness, transparency, and intensity of the ultramarine was balanced by the greenishness, lightness, opacity, and relative dullness of the teal, resulting in a mellow middle blue in all regards.

Twilight on Seine

Twilight on Seine

Self-made watercolor on board, 5″x7″

Another copy of a painting by Monet, original seen here, except I changed it to be a different time of day with different colors.

I’m not 100% sure what board this it, but I think it’s a gesso board meant for oil and acrylic. I found it in a stack of boards and canvases and I thought I’d try watercolor on it because it’s been a long time since I’ve done that. This was made with two paints, hansa yellow medium and ultramarine blue, and I made both of them myself. The yellow pigment I bought from Daniel Smith and the ultramarine I bought from Blue Ridge.

Normally when I make watercolor paint I only make a small amount and keep it in small plastic containers that are meant for dipping sauces, but because I have an entire pound (453g) of ultramarine pigment I thought I’d finally try making enough paint to fill a 15ml tube that I bought from Daniel Smith. I think I used about 2.5 teaspoons of pigment (about 12.3ml), as well as some gum arabic, honey, and glycerin. I’m still experimenting with different ratios of the ingredients and I wasn’t sure how much pigment would be needed to fill a tube.

Paint Tubing 1

On the left are the two paints that I used and the plastic sauce containers I keep them in. There was a little bit of extra blue because I didn’t want to overfill the tube and have it spill out, so I put it in a plastic container too. These containers are very useful because they have lids that I can write on with a black marker things like how much of each ingredient I used in that paint.

On the right is the filled tube (it still needs a label) and an empty tube. See the highlight on the empty tube, where the light bends a little and isn’t straight? There’s a slight dent there and that’s the point the tube needs to be filled to. You don’t have to fill the tube all the way, but don’t go past that point. When filling the tube with paint you’ll put it in the open bottom of the tube while holding the open end upward. I scooped the paint up with my palette knife and poured it in. Then when it’s full enough you pinch it closed, clamp down tight with the pliers, fold it, use the pliers again, and then repeat once more.

It’s been about 5 days since I did all this. I tried squirting some paint out of it just now while typing this and everything seems to have worked perfectly with no leaks and the paint is just as moist as was when I filled the tube. Once I do this a few more times to be sure I’m doing it right I might take photos of every step of the process, although it’ll be hard to hold the camera while doing everything else at the same time.

Three Trees on the River

Three Trees on the River

Oil on linen, 5″x7″

This is a rough copy of a painting of poplar trees by Monet. I made a few changes to it because I’m not interested in making an exact copy. The blue in the background is Rembrandt King’s Blue (cobalt blue PB28 + titanium white PW6) that I added some liquin to in the lighter areas to thin it so the white of the canvas could show through. I painted the background first and waited for it to dry before doing the rest. The darker blue in the front is a mix of Daniel Smith Cerulean Blue (PB36) and Winsor & Newton Ultramarine Blue Green Shade (PB29). The yellow is straight Blue Ridge Cadmium Lemon (PY37).

Copying Monet 1

Copying Monet 1

Self-made watercolor on Strathmore 140lb cold press paper, 5.5″ x 8.5″

Here’s a rough copy of a series of paintings from Monet, which can be seen over here.

The paint I made from Rublev pigments. I mixed ultramarine blue (greenish shade) with pozzuoli red. I’m not sure how to pronounce pozzuoli, but it’s one of my favorite reds.

As for the painting, I was thinking I’d try a series of copies of various famous past art, starting with this watercolor version of Monet’s oil paintings. I’m not interested in making exact copies, by the way. Artists like Monet painted things as they saw them, and so will I. Of course, now that I’m looking at it again, I completely bungled the reflections. Shhh, maybe nobody will notice.