The 100 Day Project 2017: Painting Tiny Canvases (Days 1-25)

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This year, I’m participating in The 100 Day Project. It’s a challenge where you choose a theme and commit to doing something creative every day. I highly recommend checking out the Instagram feed of the hashtag #the100dayproject – I do it daily for inspiration!

My theme is painting 3×3″ canvases. I’ve never painted before, apart from some paint-by-numbers and one wine-and-paint night with some colleagues. My topic was picked on impulse. I had previously assembled an “acrylic paint set” for my boyfriend for his birthday. It was used once… so I figured this was a perfect opportunity not to let the paints and little canvases go to waste.

A quarter way through my challenge, here are the paintings so far. To learn more about each individual painting or to follow my progress, see my Instagram: @Robohoot.

What I like about this project:

The variety of topics! Long challenges are fun because they often evolve over the course of the project. You never know where you’ll end up and what will happen along the way. I decided to do mini-sets for my painting topics. Days 1-16 were a free association: each day’s painting was related in some way to the one before. Days 17-25 were a daily art journal: I painted something that had happened to me that day or the day previous. To keep myself from completely abandoning themes, I’m requiring that I keep a theme for a “perfect square” number of days – 1, 4, 9, 16, 25…

I also think a few of my paintings are surprisingly great.

What have been my biggest challenges:

My absolute lack of drawing skill. I am finding it so difficult to look at something and successfully recreate it. I mess up the proportions, the perspective, the shading, the colors, and so much more. It’s a struggle against my brain to not draw what I think I should be seeing and instead to draw what my eyes actually see. A wheel might be a circle in theory, but in real life, you’re looking at it from an angle so it’s a weird oval-y shape and it does have dimension, but maybe you can only see the thickness on some of the sides.

My lack of knowledge about how to use paint. Applying the paint, layering, waiting for things to dry, texture – so much I’ve had to learn.

The best parts of the 100 day challenge:

The reaction from others about my paintings! I’ve had some surprisingly cool things happen to me.

  • I painted my favorite cupcake in the world: Rubicon Bakery’s Chocolate Cream cupcakes. They are heaven – a grown-up version of the Hostess cupcakes I ate as a child. I tagged the bakery in it and they were so excited! They reposted my picture and gave me some cupcakes and I’m gifting them the painting as the end of the project. It seriously made my month. Check out their website and try their cupcakes – they have a great social mission too.
  • In my first week, I painted a mannequin from SCRAP in San Francisco (see their website). Today I woke up to see my painting featured in their newsletter, along with a nice write up about my project. So cool!

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