Five Painting Projects

Botanical Beach, 30x40, acrylic painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

I know that this is a silly thing to ponder, but I keep wondering how many ways there are to make a painting, or at least how many I can learn over a lifetime. While some of us strive to prefect one method, others are on a quest for multitude.

Some go deep in their learning, some go wide. There is no right and wrong in this. Each artist's journey is personal.

These days I seek to broaden my horizons and to mix things up. I examine works of masters, pore over art books, take a workshop here and there. It all goes into the knowledge bank. The possibilities fascinate me.

Things coming from the studio reflect this journey. In the past few weeks I worked on a few different projects:

1. Composition Challenge

I expanded an old favorite painting, Goat Mountain Patterns into a triptych, which was an interesting composition challenge. I wrote about this in my last blog post. This exercise altered the existing painting by opening up a wider, and more satisfying, but still harmonious scene. See the result here.

2. Texture Challenge

I completed a painting which I started a while ago with a thick and juicy layer of transparent acrylic texture gel in the foreground. The painting then grew by adding many layers of paint - glazes, veils, and dry-brush marks. This is The Botanical Beach painting featured on the top of this post. The texture of the gel helped form the rocks and plants in the foreground. BTW, this painting depicts a scene from the amazing Juan de Fuca Provincial Park on the west coast of the Vancouver Island. Well worth visiting!

3. Scale Challenge

I made a quick small sketch of a mountain trail scene, and then used that sketch as a source for a larger painting.  It's interesting to see how the initial draft, although very rough, has a pleasing freshness and vigor of brush-marks, while the larger piece has a calmer, brighter and more polished feel. You may recognize the Black Tusk, a well known mountain peak in the Garibaldi Provincial Park, in the background of the scene.


Left: 14x11 quick sketch;  Right: 30x22 acrylic painting Black Tusk by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

4. Color Challenge

I used a photo sent to me by a wonderful art lover and avid skier, to paint this piece. It was a great exercise in achieving a color harmony. The shapes in this scene are divided between cool shadows, a deep blue sky, and flaming sunlit peaks. The key of this challenge was to balance the color temperature of the contrasting areas.

Chatter Creek, 20x24, acrylic painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

5. Marks Challenge

Last but not least, this sketch was all about shapes and marks made by a specific tool - in this case a palette knife. The abstract shapes of the mountains and the directional pattern of the pines felt just right for this exercise.

Whistler Patterns, 20x20, acrylic painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

I love variety in my painting projects and I found this mix very stimulating.

Who knows what'll come next?