Over on the Painting Friends forum there is a challenge running - a Year of Painting (YOP). Each month a reference photo is supplied which we all paint and then share on or after the 20th of the month. Along with the painting, we are encouraged to share our thought processes, sketches, studies and goals, the idea being that having this kind of focus really will make you think about your painting approach.
The theme for the first month was landscapes - my absolute bugbear. And the two refs provided didn't fill me with joy either! However, I gave it some thought and went and researched some landscape painters, including Bruce Docker, one of my favourites. My first effort was very much in his style.
I then thought I'd try something a bit more 'painterly', while trying to keep the energy of my first effort, so this is what ensued:
Both are acrylic, 8" by 12" on acrylic board.
I actually quite like both of these, but the first is my favourite. I think I'd like to be able to paint something that sits between the two styles - I love the energy and almost abstract shapes that come out of the first approach, but it looks a bit 'cartoony' for my liking. I am going to persevere with this approach for landscapes, and I might even venture outside and try a bit of plein aire painting, if I can work out a system for outdoors acrylics. Watch this space, as they say!