mixed media

Square-a-thon challenge #1–4

squareathon-1-4

I occasionally take part in challenges. I always do the Daily Marker colouring challenge, which is a nice simple “just colour something” type of challenge. And every now and then I’ll take part in random one-off challenges if the theme interests me. But I have never participated in a challenge that has prompts. I think it’s mostly because I look at the prompts and they don’t immediately inspire me and that means it’s going to be hard work from day one. And they generally last a whole month and that’s quite a commitment when there are other things that need doing.

But when I came across “Spring Square-a-thon” on Instagram, I was curious. For a start, it only ran for sixteen days, and the only style requirement was that the creation should be square. The thing that really clinched it for me though: I looked at the prompts and I immediately had ideas for the first three.

Lots of people come up with additional restrictions for themselves: a particular theme or medium to use throughout the challenge. My running thread through all sixteen images (spoiler alert, I did actually complete the challenge) was to include a touch of metallic paint — either gold or silver — somewhere. I don’t love all of the finished pieces, but given that I rarely do any actual painting, I am surprisingly happy with a lot of them and I can see how the others could be improved…

Anyway, enough waffling and on with the first four pictures.

squareathon01

#1 City of Gold

Created with: black and gold acrylic paints

I spent a while searching Google Images for a view of the London skyline that included the river and wasn’t too fussy. I dry-brushed the background to create some interest in the sky and then blocked in the buildings. The river was done with a comb texture brush. The execution could have been a little cleaner, but this definitely belongs in the “like” pile.

squareathon02

#2 Mountain Melodies

Created with: music paper, watercolour paints, acrylic paints, charcoal pencil

As soon as I saw the prompt, I knew that I wanted to find a piece of music to form the shape of a mountain range. I painted a watercolour sky, laid down the collage paper, and then used acrylic paints to create the foreground and add detail to the mountains. Charcoal pencil added more shading and a touch of silver finished off the mountain tops. This turned out just how I wanted it to; maybe a little more contrast would have been good, but I’m happy with it.

squareathon03

#3 End of the Rainbow

Created with: acrylic paints and carbon pencil shading

The original idea for this was a simpler version with the rainbow stripes just meeting the gold circles at the bottom. Then my other half suggested the rainbow could be splashing off the coins and I was going to do that, but then I started painting the rainbow colours running down over the coins instead.

squareathon04.png

#4 Strawberry Fields Forever

Created with: watercolour paints, gold acrylic paint

I don’t hate this, it’s not awful, but it could have been better. The idea works, but I’m just not skilled enough with watercolours to be in love with the end result.

Challenges:

squareathon

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