Eileen McKenna Art & Design

Watercolor Art | Creative Inspiration to help you be creative on a regular basis


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It’s hard to commit to a daily painting challenge

Daily Painting Challenge | Regular Creativity Creative Practice
It’s hard to commit to a daily painting challenge but every time I do, and stick with it, I’m always happy with the results. The first few times I did my Christmas countdown (daily watercolor illustrations counting down to Christmas) I followed prompts. Last year and this year, I’ve allowed myself the freedom to paint whatever fits into the Christmas/winter/holiday theme. I love the flexibility to explore.

The first few days of a daily challenge can feel a little awkward, or stiff. But after that you open up to the inspiration around you. Flipping through a skiing catalog I saw a Telluride ad that I thought would be so cool to paint. It was totally outside of the normal thing I would do. I enjoyed the process and was pleased with the results. The thing I get most excited about are the ideas. Last year I painted a girl with a record player in front of a tinsel covered tree – me as a kid, playing a favorite gift.

Daily painting or drawing is hard, especially during the busy holiday season. But the break from the busyness and the interesting creative process of coming up with new ideas is so worth it!

Want to be creative on a regular basis and experience the joy that creativity brings? Explore mediums and subjects, in search of your thing? Learn about my new book Creative Exploration: A Six Week Process for Introducing Regular Creativity into your Life by clicking here. Creativity is for EVERYONE! Talent is just a starting point.

Creative Exploration book -


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It’s cold out there


It’s hard to get out there and run in the Winter – too cold, too windy, too icy. I think of a million excuses. Even when I decide, “I’m going,” I procrastinate. I sketch my sneakers, I catch up on other blogs. Finally I get going. When I’m done, no matter how good or bad it felt, I’m always glad I did it.


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The Winter Sky and Bare Trees

baretrees
I’m somewhat obsessed with the Winter sky – the different colors at sunrise, sunset, the clouds throughout the day. All of this shown through the bare branches of the trees. I love how the bare brown trees have a bluish tint to them.

A sunset from my window:
sunsetsky
Another pretty sky.
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The start of the painting – watercolor.
thestart
Letting it drip.
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Adding the ink to the trees. I was hesitant to even do it, but the painting didn’t look complete without it and I wanted to follow through on my vision.
inkingtrees baretrees2


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Where I’ve been inspired lately.

snowyboards1
The beach on a snowy day. Long Island, New York. I’ve been sharing my “Where I’m inspired” photos on Instagram. Come visit me @mycreativeresolution
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The Catskill Mountains, Upstate New York.
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Passing the Manhattan Skyline on a beautiful day.
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The Winter sky. Bare trees up against so much color. It’s so pretty! (This picture doesn’t do it justice.) I’m working on a painting inspired by this.wintersky


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Winter

skitrail
I’m really happy with how the sky turned out – although the salt wasn’t working as well as last time. I had to try it several times – I think the painting wasn’t wet enough. Some of the salt is stuck on there for good. It adds a bit of sparkle! Maybe I let it dry too long?

My Steps:
The underpainting.
skitrail1
Adding ink.
skitrail3

One of the attempts with the salt.
skitrail4


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Winter Wonderland (watercolor with salt)

winterwonderland
I’m not sure what made me start this Winter scene the day after Halloween. I guess I was thinking about the weather to come! I was inspired by my “ready to fall” painting, which started out as an ink drawing of a tree.

My steps:
I drew a few simple tree shapes. Then I painted the sky and ground around them. On a whim, I salted the sky section to give it that frosted look. (If you’ve never used salt before it is a cool technique. Salt your painting when it is still wet. The salt absorbs some of the paint. Wait until it is completely dry and then brush off the salt.) I was happy with the effect. It reminds me of frost on a window. I added white to the trees and a few splatters of white for snow.
winter1 winter2
salt
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