All finished! Thirty portraits in acrylics on paper – one for each day of the month. This is the first daily challenge I have ever completed and I am so over the moon to see them all together.

(You can read more about the journey of this project here, here and here)

This project began as a way to get me to the easel and out of that rut that I had felt myself dwelling in for a little while and boy, did it work. There is a whole list of thoughts milling round in my head as to what I learned along the way, how it helped me, how it felt … but I want to have a proper think about it all and form it into a coherent post so for now I will just show you the results all together.

collage 2

Of course first of all I have to show you the final nine that were completed for the month and it was in these last few that I really felt I had taken a bit of a leap forward.

collage 1

Clearly I have developed a bit of an obsession with dark locks piled on top of heads – which is very much a change from my recent years of painting figures with closely fitting caps.

collage 3

There is also very much a pattern in terms of colour and dark and light – I have always had a love of deep shadows and dark backgrounds but it becomes even more apparent here.

I took a lot of photographs of myself pulling weird and expressive faces and worked from life and the photos – really seeking to tackle expressions that I have not normally painted and I can see a huge development in my ability to capture that – as always a long way to go but steps forward, certainly.

And so here we have the whole months portraits together – quite a collection – and certainly more painting that I have managed in a while. I feel excited to see where these will take me in my artwork.

square 1

Whilst many of them are quite rough and unfinished I do love them for that. These tiles are the cropped versions but you can see the full images in previous posts.

square 2

I have put around half of these in my on-line store, (a few have sold already) whilst the other half I am keeping for now to use as  a springboard into future work as I am feeling very inspired at the moment – which of course is a world away from how I was feeling a month or so ago.

So if you are interested in purchasing any of them you can find them here in my store. Most of them are around 5.5 x 8 inches or so and would make a great affordable, original art purchase.

So now, to keep the momentum going I am setting myself a new challenge for the month of July – Thirty-one portraits in Thirty- one days and I am thinking of working in conte for this whole month. I want to keep painting of course but now work some of the above portraits up into larger pieces so need a challenge that I can work along side the new paintings that does not take up quite so much time in the day but still gives me something concrete to work on each and every day. So conte (perhaps with some charcoal) it is. I am a bit nervous as I don’t really think I have worked in conte since school-days but I am hoping that working in one simple (although not necessarily easy) medium will help me focus on and bring something new to my practice and it will be interesting to blog about that again as I go along.

I have started a pinboard to inspire me which you can see here. 

So I hope you don’t mind continuing along on this journey with me – It is actually really helping me have something concrete to blog about rather than just wittering on about nothing – if you have any questions or suggestions or feedback then I would love to hear it!