The rules: Get a timer. Divide your canvas or canvases (I used 2 - 6x6in Raymar canvases) into 8 or so small squares (or rectangles). They should be smallish – a couple or 3 inches square or thereabouts – they don’t have to be perfect. Now choose ONE object. Just one. Set your timer for 10 minutes. Paint your object in the first square. When the timer goes off – stop! I mean it. Repeat until you are done. You can rotate your object and/or change the light for each new square.
The objective: You want to get a feel for your object in terms of brush strokes. Make sure you SQUINT and SIMPLIFY! Whatever you do, DON’T get bogged down by the details or you’ll never finish. Try to think of it NOT as an apple (or whatever you’ve chosen) but rather just shapes and colors and values. Paint what you see – not what you THINK you see. If you find yourself doing the same thing every time – experiment! You won’t learn unless you try something different. Expect the first one to be bad – you are getting a feel for just how long 10 minutes is. They will only get better.Carol Marine of Austin posted the above challenge on the Daily PaintWorks website.
Here are some of the entries for Carol's challenge:
Now YOU try it.
Here is an owl I chose to view, and then paint:
Looking for shapes? I think not...still too focused on detail!
The fourth attempt was the better one. But it still had too much detail. However, it did look a bit less like a cat and a bit more like an owl. Back to the drawing board.
The 10 Minute Challenge was a great exercise. IMHO.