I have been quite impressed by the efforts of some of the 'painting-a-day' artists in producing small works quickly with very free loose strokes, such as Karen Margulis, Carole Marine and others.
This week, since I had just finished another bigger painting, I thought it might be a useful exercise to try doing a few small paintings in a similar quick loose style during my lunch breaks. I felt I could focus on portraits of native animals. I don't usually do portraits, since I like to show animals with some elements of their environment around them. I don't know of any Australian artists focusing on our wildlife amongst the painting-a-day crowd.
Well it turned out to be more difficult than I had expected, and in four days of lunch breaks I have only managed to produce one little painting - and I can't claim that it is a great work of art that will stun viewers with my great talent!
This little firetail posed appealingly and I took photos of it in the Myall Creek campground, during our recent trip to Nowendoc National Park in NSW.
Producing the painting has been a very useful exercise, requiring skills akin to sketching which better artists do as a routine thing, but which I neglect doing because I paint from photos.
Will I do more of these? Well I don't want to just focus on mini-portraits, and usually I use my lunch breaks to finish off larger pictures, so I guess that it depends on how much time I have. That is one of the advantages of being retired and working from home!
I think it might be interesting to produce a series of small portraits of birds showing some of the funny things that they do that you couldn't really use as a basis for a larger painting.