Today’s Challenge

for me was three-fold.  I painted something using only black and white, when I very rarely use black at all in my paintings.  This became a tonal study for me which, I have to admit, is my greatest challenge in my artwork. And finally, it was a portrait which I haven’t painted often.

Cinnamon, the Art Sherpa, had a tutorial during the Art Quest which I skipped.  I make my own chromatic blacks for my work and really didn’t care to learn about different blacks.  There is a painting tutorial at the end of the video, in which Cinnamon uses her own mix of chromatic black.  So I did the opposite.  Since I normally use a chromatic black, I thought I’d paint it with an actual black.  Or in this case, one of three blacks I had on my palette.  Carbon black, Mars black and Ivory black.

I used three brushes:  a number 12 Flat, a number 8 bright and a number 10 bristle brush, normally found in one of the children’s cheap packages of brushes, for scrumbling.  Yes, this one lets off bristles, but hey-it was practically free and I need brushes I can really scrub into the canvas board.  I used a 16 x 20″ canvas board from Walmart.

Here’s the painting:


While I doubt black will creep into my paintings very often, it was fun to use it for a change.  I have several tubes of it going to waste, so I might as well make an effort to do something with them.  This painting took about an hour, which is not a huge investment in time, and took me out of my comfort zone.  It was a good practice piece and I enjoyed doing it.




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