“Painting a Day” Blogs (Round 4)

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post about the challenges and rewards of taking on the practice of doing “a painting a day”, the hardest thing about doing one small painting every day and then posting it to a blog is, of course, making the time.

All of us are pulled in various directions and maintaining a schedule that allows that kind of dedication is no small thing. The commitment, however, is part of the reward. Like exercising physical muscles, exercising our self-discipline gives us more control and, ironically, more freedom. There also seems to be no surer cure for “painters’ block” and the hesitiation that sometimes comes from confronting a blank canvas.

I’ll follow up on this topic in the coming weeks and look at some artists who are trying to pursue this course in smaller doses, perhaps reaping fewer benefits, but still adopting a regimen that requires dedication and commitment to a schedule. Some are doing paintings on a less frequent schedule, some are committing themselves to daily drawings or sketchbook entries, and sometimes a mix of the two.

Today, here are four more of the intrepid painters who have gone the “full monty” and embarked on the course of doing a painting a day.

Justin ClaytonJustin Clayton is a painter from California who studied at the California Art Institute and the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Arts. He started his Daily Paintings website (not arranged as a blog) on January 1st of this year. He paints in oil on masonite panels of 5×5 or 5×7 inches. His site includes a time-lapse video of the process of creating one of his small paintings (requires Quicktime 7, which you should have anyway if you like high-quality web video).


John ConkeyNew Mexico painter John Conkey has created a fascinating variation on the painting a day process. His painting blog, Themeworks, is a journal of daily paintings that are based on 12 monthly themes, chosen on the first day of each month. His stated goal is to pursue this for one year. Conkey’s primary website emphasizes landscapes and portraits and he differs from most of the other artists working in the painting a day framework by showing a much wider variety of subject, from plein air landscapes, birds, butterflies and other wildlife as well as small household objects, and is one of the few to include small portraits.


Paul HutchinsonNew Zealand artist Paul Hutchinson has been pursuing his Postcard form Puniho painting a day project for several months. Initially his paintings were only offered for sale to other New Zealand residents through a local online auction site, however he has started to offer the ability for people from other countries to buy them directly through the site. His work often exhibits distinctive brushstroke textures that form an integral part of the overall composition. Hutchinson’s main website has galleries of self-portraits, nudes, landscapes, hands, still life, portraits and works in pastel and encaustic wax as well as silkscreen prints.


Sarah WimperisSarah Wimperis has worked as a muralist, set designer and teacher. She has also done illustrations for publishers like Collins, Penguin, Random House and MacMillan. She has a main website Sarah Wimperis Illustration, personal blog Muddy Red Shoes and painting a day blog called The Red Shoes. In the latter, she posts her small daily paintings that are often of the countryside, farms and villages of her adopted home of Brittany, France. Unlike most of the other painting a day painters, Wimperis paints in watercolor rather than oil. Also unusual is the scale of some of her paintings. Many are the more or less characteristic size of 6×4″ (15×10.5cm) or so, but some are 3×2″ (7.5x6cm) or smaller. The very small ones are sometimes painted on ivorine, a synthetic material made to replace ivory, which was a traditional surface for the painting of miniatures. The Image shown here is 3×2 1/2″ (7.5c6.5cm) on ivorine. Her clear, fresh watercolor technique features nice contrast of dark to light and strong use of textures created from paint strokes.


11 Replies to ““Painting a Day” Blogs (Round 4)”

  1. Another great article on the state of “Painting A Day”. I have saved all of these painters sites and hope to join them soon by painting once a day. Great for all concerned. Gordon from vanVlietArt.blogspot.com

  2. It’s fun to see ideas spread! I see John Conkey has taken up my 12 themes a year idea. I started in January and I’m happy to report that I’m still alive after 7 months, though, sometimes, that state of affairs feels questionable ;D. Thanks for alerting us to these interesting websites.

  3. It’s catchy isn’t it! After reading about the “daily painters” I became inspired to sell my paintings online again. I also plan to start painting daily.
    “There also seems to be no surer cure for “painters’ block” ” – I agree totally. This is the push I needed since I’ve been in that blocked/fear state for months.

  4. Thanks, all for your comments.

    I love the way these ideas seem to be spreading and encouraging other artists to fire up their cretive engines.

    I’m going to try to post more about artists who paint and post regularly, but on a less than daily basis.

  5. Every time I look, I find even more wonderful daily painters online! I thought I had made a pretty complete list, and yet here are a couple more I hadn’t seen before!

    I’ve recently started a new blog, http://dailypainters.blogspot.com to showcase the work of all the talented daily painters. Every day you’ll see lots of cool new work by some talented artists.

    P.S. for any daily painters who aren’t already on my list, please let me know and I’ll add you to the list

  6. Good read, I was just trolling around looking for any articles about painting a day blogs and have found a variety of intersting conversations. The detail people say it not very good art, the impressionists say we’re all realists, painting still lifes of uninteresting subject matter, the abstact painters are basically yawning and calling it a fad, I think their all jealous because they didn’t or couldn’t do it.

  7. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and those of other painting a day artists. I’m close to being ready to take the plunge, but I have some questions.
    How do I get started blogging?
    I’ll need to take my own photos to post. I have a digital camera. Whenever I try to use it to photograph my artwork, I get a gray haze from light reflections off the brush strokes. I need help taking pictures of my paintings. Any suggestions? Good books to suggest?

  8. Linda,

    The easiest way to start blogging might be an online service like Blogger. They have a step-by-step intro that will walk you through the process of starting a free blog and uploading your photos.

    When photographing your paintings, don’t use your camera’s flash, use a strong external light that you can aim in a way that gives the best lighting without glare.

    I don’t know of many resources for photographic paintings offhand, but you might take a look at Jeff Hayes’ post on how he has set up a holder to allow him to easily take photos of his small paintings.

  9. Photographing work………..word of caution. If you like the look of varnish on your finished paintings……….varnish after you photograph the piece. A gloss varnish will cause hot spots in the photo from the lights.

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