Tuesday, May 22, 2012

15 Minutes

I came across this neat blog by South African Neville Trickett.  He says that in order to "learn how to see again" he finds images on the internet and gives himself 15 minutes to paint them...hoping that after a year of doing this he will be a better artist. 

I was very intrigued by this idea and decided to try my own timed painting.  Instead of finding a simple picture on the internet I wanted to try to paint my favorite picture of my daughter when she was 6.  Now considering this was my first ever portrait and considering I was giving myself only 15 minutes I may have over estimated my abilities just a wee bit.  Here's how it went:

15 minutes elapsed

Another 15 minutes, 30 minutes elapsed
45 minutes later
1 hour. 
At this point I decided I was done.  Not exactly what I had envisioned in my minds eye but I was determined not to spend more than 1 hour painting.  The my daughter came home and saw her portrait.  She thought she looked like a boy and demanded I paint her with her hair down. 
1 hour, 15 minutes
 What an interesting exercise this was!  I can see that I over-paint.  I need to remind myself to put down the brush and not keep trying to "fix" things things that don't necessarily need fixing.  Being able to stay with the strict time limit should help...I can't wait to do this again! 


  1. Thanks for stopping by my sketchblog, Rita! :) This post caught my eye. I've been meaning to try something like this myself for daily practice. Fifteen minutes is a bit too strict for me for real paint, but if you get used to that time frame, having an hour to draw will feel like an eternity. It's a good way to get the most out of your drawing time.

    1. Hi Kristin, I agree that 15 minutes is too strict, I almost feel panicked! Especially with paint, just unscrewing the tube feels like "wasted time." I may try it with drawing instead. The one thing I like, though, is it actually gets me breaking out the paints more often. Instead of thinking I don't have time to paint today, I know I will only have to commit to 15 minutes. Sometimes my days are so hectic that's all the time I have.