I thought this month would be great for an art challenge because not much happens in February, at least for me. And it has less days than other months. However, it turns out there was a lot going on, I was tired, and I didn’t make as much art as I wanted to. I had planned to do a ‘limited supply’ challenge, but deciding what that meant was challenging in itself. Should it be choosing only one palette, one brand, my most used (or least used) paints, or what I would buy if I had to start all over again, or what I recommend on a less than $100 budget….

Some Steves © Jennifer Quadri 2022

Then I saw a lesson by Lindsay Weirich in her Critique Club for February. Her prompt was create what you love for this month. It made so much sense and her point was comforting and encouraging, as usual. So I got out my brand new set of Cotman watercolors with the updated color selection that I received last Christmas and tried to paint my beloved cat Steve.

Unfortunately I discovered what the internet has been saying is true: the formula of the paints has changed since the last time I bought Cotman paints and I was very disappointed. I still have a stash of the old paints to use up and I also invested in professional Winsor and Newton paints so it shouldn’t be a big deal. But it is still sad that something I loved and relied on no longer exists.

I also realized how hard it is to paint a gray cat. I’ve sketched her lots of times; graphite is perfect for her soft silvery fur. I ended up make a quick chart of gray mixes from multiple pigments and I’m definitely going to keep trying. And I think this chart shows I have plenty of paint and really don’t need any new sets.

Mixed Grays © Jennifer Quadri 2022

Next month I’d like to call Make More March — as in spend more time making art and less time shopping and worrying about supplies. If you are like me, remember that we have enough.

January 2022

The first of my New Year’s Art Goals is to push through the mood. Art takes a certain concentration, even if working in a sketchbook for fun, that sometimes feels like the most difficult obstacle. I know that the solution is to sit down and just start drawing. This is what I want to practice. […]

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