WASHTOBER 2020 CHALLENGE

January 13, 2021 — Wes Monceaux

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I decided to participate in a watercolor painting-a-day challenge in October 2020. It was organized by Liron Yankonsky and called "Washtober 2020". For those not into watercolor painting, a "wash" is basically a layer of transparent watercolor paint. A painting is typically made by layering these washes.

"Wash" + "October" = "Washtober"

Even though many of the topics (or prompts) were out of my comfort zone to paint, I found it fun. It definitely gave me a feeling of improvement.

Here are each of the paintings.


This one is a collage of all the paintings.

Collage of all paintings


Leaf

I was not sure I wanted to commit to the challenge at first. But after painting this leaf, I felt like I would give it a try.

Leaf


Ridge

I went with the ridge of a roof and tried to paint folks working on putting tarps on damaged homes. It did not turn out how I wanted it to. It strikes me as a bit too cartoonish.

But it was practice.

Ridge


Study

This is one of my favorites. I was going for a loose feel where all the shadows and shapes merged together. This one is Study, which I chose a person studying in a coffee shop. I went with the monochromatic scheme. Prussian blue is a very nice color.

Study


Tube

I struggled to find something for Tube. I settled on a subway scene, since I believe they refer to the subway in London as "The Tube". I went monochromatic again, except with a red.

Tube


Smile

Smile was challenging since I find painting people so difficult to do well. So someone smiling was not my first choice. I went with some pumpkins smiling instead. I was trying to make them glow, but it did not work out the way I had envisioned. It ended up getting a bit overworked.

Smile


Zoom

I chose a roller coaster for Zoom. This is one of my least favorites. It came out looking way too illustrated, which was not my goal. I likely should have chosen an easier reference. But I learned some things not to do, at least.

Zoom


Ripple

I went with a literal ripple for this one. It turned out pretty close to what I had tried for.

Ripple


Instinct

I had to think pretty long to find something for Instinct. I thought of birds instinctively building nests. So that is how I ended up with a bird. I really like this one. I consider it one of the best paintings I have done so far.

Instinct


Sun

Lots of ways to paint Sun. Considered a sunrise or a sunset. Opted for a person making a heart with the sun in it.

Sun


Palm

I could not find a reference I liked for the palm of a hand. I used a hand reaching towards light instead. It turned out better than I thought.

Palm


Communication

Lots of choices for Communication. I opted for something you don't see often anymore...a payphone.

Communication


Car

I considered painting a car, but went with train cars.

Car


Persistence

This one was also a head-scratcher. Found a photo of someone helping another person climb up a hill. Not sure it is an exact fit, but that's what I went with.

Persistence


Smell

I may consider this one my least favorite. I was trying to go for the smell of freshly cut grass. But it just did not work out. Looks entirely too cartoonish.

Smell


Mailbox

Another monochromatic painting. This might be my favorite. The line of mailboxes turned out great (in my opinion). Even the subtle wood grain of the post came out exactly as I wanted. Savor the small wins!

Mailbox


Dart

I went literal with this one. Painted a dart on a dart board. Also monochromatic.

Dart


Phone

I had already painted a phone for Communication. So I had to find another phone to paint. I like this one.

Phone


Nostalgic

As a parent, I never stop thinking about what our daughter was like when she was little. So I went with a photo of her when she was about two years old. I actually drew this one by hand. I did not trace or anything. I was impressed with myself. One of my goals is to be able to do a decent job of drawing faces freehand. It isn't perfect, but I was pleased with it.

Nostalgic


Letter

Considered an envelope, a note, and a stack of mail. But went with scrabble tiles instead for Letter.

Letter


Focus

Could not come up with anything for this one. Went with Focus in terms of meditation. Searching for meditation images pulled up these cool stacked rocks. These turned out well. One of my favorites.

Focus


Jeans

Blue jeans came to mind, of course. So I found jeans draped over a chair. This one turned out pretty well. A little more illustrative than I was going for.

Jeans


Vase

Literal again. A vase casting a shadow. I liked the colors in this one.

Vase


Mystical

Took a long time to find something for this one. I went with some dream catchers.

Mystical


Plan

Also challenging to come up with something. Went with chess pieces. I don't play chess, but I understand that having a plan is important. This one came out a bit too dark. Makes it difficult to see all of the shapes well.

Plan


Card

Lots of options for Card. I went with a magician levitating a playing card. Used different colors for this one.

Card


Delivery

Went with a pizza delivery truck. Turned out pretty well.

Delivery


Machine

I chose a tractor for my Machine. This is one of the ones I am most happy with. It even got featured by Liron on his YouTube channel.

Machine


Bike

I went with a tricycle for Bike. Came out a little darker than I wanted.

Bike


Log

I went with an ax stuck in a log. Not sure what I was trying with the crazy people in the background.

Log


Coin

Not really happy with this one. Was supposed to be a coin flipping through the air. The background competes too much with the foreground to me.

Coin


Status

And lastly, Status. This one was hard to come up with something. So I went with the AOL Instant Messenger application from years ago. It allowed you to set your current "status" so people knew if you were available or away.

Status

Tags: watercolor

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