50 Skulls Project Intro

If you’re following me on social media, you may have noticed that I’ve been posting slightly less often (particularly for the last few days) and I’ve been creating more small artworks and haven’t posted a timelapse video in a while.  This is because I’ve been gearing up for a new project that I’ll call the “50 Skulls” that I’ll be officially starting on September 10th (tomorrow!).

I wanted to give a little background information about why I started this project for any who might be curious.  “50 Skulls” was inspired by a number of things, but my main goal is always to improve my artwork – to “level up” my abilities – and I felt that a project like this was just the thing I needed.

Last year, I participated in the “Inktober” challenge started by Jake Parker, and even though I completed the challenge by making 31 inked drawings, I didn’t feel proud… I felt like I failed, somehow. I thought it was a great idea and would help get my creativity flowing, but it mostly felt like a burden, I was glad for it to be over, and sad that I didn’t feel like I saw any improvement or got any ideas that would help my work. I was so disappointed, because I really appreciate the message and attitude (do some work every day! make it a habit!), but I couldn’t “make it work” for me.

Around the same time, I also started painting miniature spacescapes for Art-o-Mat. Since then, I’ve made over 500 mini-spacescapes, I keep getting more ideas, I keep getting better and trying new things, and I still love making them.  I took the “design 100 somethings” idea (also thanks to Jake Parker) and had fun! I realized that I needed to try the Inktober challenge in “my” medium – the one I really want to grow in (at least at the moment!) – oils.  Not only that, but at the same time, I was gaining confidence AND making a little money with my little Art-o-mat blocks!

This year, I wanted to step it up.  My plan is to paint 50 full paintings in 50 days, culminating in an auction on Halloween. Fifty paintings… of skulls!  I admit I’ve started a little early so I have a few done just in case I get sick or a painting takes more than a day to complete, but I’m confident and growing more excited with each painting.

Now you may be asking, why skulls? Not only do I love spooky stuff and Halloween, but I’m also not happy with (and a little scared of) painting portraits, and I think that starting with the very basics – structure – would be a great place to start. It’s also a subject that is relatively simple, so I can practice and improve my composition, color, and design! After taking some online classes at SVS, watching videos from artists like Will Terry, Marco Bucci, and many others, on top of reading tons of books about oil painting and sketching, I’ve been looking for a project where I can focus on improving some of the basics and try new things (new to me, old to professionals, perhaps!).

While I will be painting a LOT of skulls in the next month and a half, I don’t plan on transitioning to “the skull painter” or anything like that; I still love landscapes and spacescapes plus I still have a lot of things that I want to try. I think that the lessons I learn throughout this project will help improve those subjects, too, though, so even if you don’t like skulls and spooky things, I think that if you like my work then you’ll be interested to see what I come up with after this project is over. I might seem overconfident, but I’m already learning things – and figuring out how to apply these new ideas to my other work has just been churning in my head since the start!

I’d be delighted if you’d like to follow along in my journey, give me advice or tips or ideas for my next painting, or even paint (or draw!) with me! I’ll be posting daily on various social media and my website with my progress, the daily painting, some timelapse videos of the paintings, and maybe even videos of what I’m learning (or live videos!? tell me what you’d like to see!). At the end of it all, I plan to auction them all off on October 31st (ending at midnight, of course!) here on my website so you can fight for your favorite if you would like to own one of the originals.  (I’ll link the auction page once I’m sure it works.)

I also want to mention that I do have a full-time job and that I do art in my “free time” – but the sacrifice of more free time is worth it so that I can learn, grow, and work toward my long-term goal of making art full-time.  Because of this, I GREATLY appreciate any advice, criticism, and encouragement, so don’t be shy about leaving a comment (here or on social media) or sending me a message.

Thank you so much for taking a little look into my artistic growth and I wish everyone luck in all of your challenges too 😀

Stay tuned for the first skull painting tomorrow!


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