Watercolour New Zealand Five Day Painting Challenge

Next dates to be announced

This event, held in July, challenged members to paint for 30 minutes daily for 5 days and share their work on Instagram. The idea was to motivate people to paint when winter days might easily be leaving their brushes dry.

We were delighted with the response. 77 paintings were posted, the work of 22 artists, while others painted and shared with friends, rather than online. An exciting aspect was ‘connecting’ members. Catriona from near Manapouri enjoyed seeing paintings by Judy in Rotorua, Jan in St. Arnaud and others across New Zealand. We even had three members participating from the south of France, Ali painting the English summer and Charlotte contributing from China. The technology was testing and many took pride in mastering it. Others hauled in the grandchildren as tech assistants and found they became interested in their grandparents art!

Rob James describes his experience: “First of all, thanks Sue and anyone else who was involved in getting this organised. It was one of the best things I have done all year and very motivational. I can sometimes procrastinate and experience “white fright”, thinking it’s going to be a huge effort to get everything out and get started. This made me grab my basic travelling kit and just do it, whether it was in spare time, lunch break or evening.

The biggest advantage for me is that having a set time limit gives you permission to just start and work naturally, leave mistakes alone and know that anyone who views the painting is aware that you worked quickly. It made you focus on the essential information to convey, rather than fussing over minor details. For me, getting the lights and darks right, using pure unmuddied colours, and having the confidence to be bold and take risks, were what helped produce a painting that wasn’t overly played around with.

Working like this teaches you more than having lots of time to cogitate. In just 5 days my painting
has become less hesitant, more experimental and instinctive. Indirectly, it has also created an interest in painting within my work colleagues, as I did my last painting sitting at my desk while eating my lunch and they have said they would like to give this a try. Thanks, yes, please to doing something similar again.”

The event will certainly be repeated!

Here’s an easy way to keep your brushes wet and colour flowing during a winter week.
The rules are simple:
  • Do a watercolour painting a day for five days
  • Time yourself: 30 minutes maximum for each painting
  • Photograph or scan and share your painting with others on Instagram
The 30 minutes is for paint application. You can draw and mix colours before starting the timer. Stop on time! You’ll get another chance tomorrow.
Paint fast and loose!

How to photograph your painting:
Find a place where there is light, but no strong sun rays or shadows. Lay your painting flat. Take a stable stance so you can look directly down on the painting. Locate the lense on the back of the phone and position it above the middle of the painting. Zoom in. Ensure the edges of the paper line up with the edges of the screen. Hold the phone/camera still while you ‘click’.

See Sunday 1st July to Thursday 5th July 2018 5-day painting challenge on Instagram.

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