What I Learned from Doing “A Painting a Day”

It was a great opportunity as an American Artist to be apart of an evolving national movement started by Duane Kiser.  I wanted to learn something by participating in this event and promoting and selling my paintings online.  The idea was to paint a painting a day for the month of May and auction them on my website www.DarylUrig.com .

My 10 steps of implementation

1.    Painting should be your number one focus. Be committed. Some days you may find you are too busy, but you have made a commitment, so paint.  I believe purchasers want to see a high caliber piece of work and will accept a smaller format.

2.    Be prepared for painting content. I chose to work from photos. So I had 31 images prepared and printed out in advance, although I added and subtracted photos as I progressed.

3.    Be prepared online. Some may want to use eBay to sell their work.  I created an auction interface on my website www.DarylUrig.com. I did not need to share my profits with eBay, but still used PayPal as a payment option. PayPal accounts need to be set up in advance. You will also need a blog, mine is www.DarylUrig.com/blog.

4.    Have Canvases or panels ready to go. I chose 6” w x 4” h 1/8” panels that I gessoed and sanded with 4 coats. I prepared 45 panels.

5.    Be prepared for scale change. That first painting was a little scary because I was setting the tone for the series. I wanted to make a good impression. I never worked this small before, so this was a big change. I eventually learned to simplify. I went bolder and stronger with color and favored the pallet knife. I just liked the knife.

6.    Have a good digital camera. Once each painting is accomplished you will need to post it to your website.  I found wet oil paint could not be scanned on a scanner bed, so photography was the only way to go.

7.    Give yourself time to post images and content. I had a website, a blog, an auction interface, and even did email blast to my subscriber list. This all takes time and energy. You will also need to be familiar with PhotoShop and Dreamweaver to edit images and prepare content for the website.

8.    Blogging & Blasting I chose to blog and email blast my subscribers every 7 days, not everyday as some do. Everyday seemed a little much. I would see my website & website blog statistics jump in user visits on these days.

9.    Tweeted on my Twitter account. I tweeted profusely. I tried to keep it to meaningful content. The kinds of things I would like to read. I even tweeted my blog posts.

10.    Visit other daily painter websites.

So what did I learn as a Painting a Day Oil Painting artist?

In the middle of the project I designed my own Paint Box Easel. It is compact and suitable for having everything at hand while doing smaller paintings. I also changed my physical pallet to have black under the glass that made mixing colors more accurate for me. Making them bolder and deeper. I simplified my marks; scale forced me to do this. I also favored the use of the pallet knife, a personal preference.

I had good days and better days. It was difficult to predict what would receive a bid and what would not. What people like is personal to them. Don’t feel bad if people do not bid like crazy, you are on learning and growing path.

What did I get out of it?

1.    A number of sales
2.    Growing interest amongst collectors
3.    Front page story in a local newspaper. This was a very nice surprise. I posted it to my website if you want to read the pdf here.
4.    Personal direction on types of images I like to paint.
5.    Simplified work
6.    Momentum to publicize work.
7.    An artist website wants to represent my artwork along with 10,000 of other artists for a small fee. Hmmm.
8.    I feel as an American Artist I have added to our economy. I am not sitting idly by waiting for someone else to turn on the switch.
9.    I feel more confident about my work.

Next Step

It is time to evolve a concept and keep the momentum going. I believe the notion of finishing a painting in a day is limiting. But working daily on painting is inspirational. So I will continue to paint daily but enlarge my work to larger paintings with the intention of completing one painting per week. My personal challenge. Starting in June, “A Daily Painter”, A Painting a Week. Let’s see if what I learned from doing the daily painting of simplifying my work can transform my larger new weekly paintings into astonishing works. Check here in June: http://darylurig.com

Still time to visit my daily paintings and bid on a painting here.

Subscribe to Daryl Urig’s “The Adventure of an American Oil Painter” Blog by Email

Add to Technorati Favorites

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *