Three Bags Full: Speed painting with a citrus flavour.

Soccer season started this term and for the first time ever, I was prepared with a big bag of oranges for half-time refreshments.

Less than a week later, I took my boys to the supermarket and while I was having a brain fade, the helpful souls went and checked out another big bag of oranges.

Unfortunately, my husband chose this very week to display a talent for forethought when, on a whim, he too bought a big bag of oranges in preparation for weekend soccer. 

Occurring hot on the heels of previous shopping mishaps, this one barely had me in a sweat. The way out of this was clear: We were sorted for morning tea snacks for the next three weeks; we were sorted for afternoon tea snacks for the next three weeks, and I didn’t have to look far for my next still-life subject either.

In my last post, I showed a painting exercise I did from out of Carol Marine’s Daily Painting book. I decided I’d try doing that again, but paint the same orange multiple times, giving myself 10 minutes from start to finish.

These were painted in two sessions: The first six, with one prop change at the No. 5 mark, and the last four on another day. Can you see a growth in confidence as the exercise went on?

The aim of these 10 minute exercises is to encourage me to keep looking at the ‘big picture’ without getting bogged down in details. The guidelines also stated that no matter how tempting, it was brushes down when the timer went, and no touch-ups afterwards. That way I could truly see improvements as I went along (assuming there were any), as well as points to improve upon in the next 10 minute stint.

I chose not to include mixing my paint in those 10 minutes, because I didn’t need to punish myself any further for over-stocking my pantry with citrus. Instead, I took a long hard look at the orange and pre-mixed 8-10 small piles of colour that I thought I’d need (turns out oranges take more colours than just orange).

When I hit start on my timer, I actually got a small adrenalin surge, which made brush control more difficult (yes, it has occurred to me that I need to get out more!)


I found this quite an intensive little exercise. Also a bit tiring (all that adrenalin). I guess it’s like the difference between doing six x 400-metre sprints or jogging 2.4km at a leisurely pace and stopping for refreshments along the way.

I can certainly see the improvements as I went along, but I guess the real test will be how such exercises affect my work when I’m painting without a timer and stopping for refreshments along the way… Orange anyone?


Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. If you’d like to see where this painting experiment leads me, consider clicking the Follow button in the side menu on the right: You’ll receive new posts direct to your inbox.


8 thoughts on “Three Bags Full: Speed painting with a citrus flavour.

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