10 Minute Challenge

10 Minute Challenge


For Christmas I received Carol Marine’s book Daily Painting and immediately read it cover to cover. I really enjoyed the book and fell in love with the idea of doing 10 minute challenges.

The idea is to divide a canvas or paper into 6 to 8 small sections and paint the same subject in each square. You can only spend 10 minutes on each square, stopping the moment the timer goes off, no matter how far you got. By painting the same subject over and over, you gain both speed and accuracy.

As you can see by my first attempt at this exercise, I definitely improved from the first painting to the last. After I finished the third square, I almost didn’t want to continue because all three were so bad. Luckily, I stuck with it and I’m really happy with the final square. I think I could easily do this every week and see dramatic results.

I didn’t want to waste a canvas on this exercise so I dug out some old watercolor paper and it was definitely interesting to paint on. The paper absorbed the paint in a weird way and I didn’t like the texture. Investing in some paper specifically for oil paint once I run out of watercolor paper may be a good idea. The tape I used was no good and ended up damaging the paper when I tried to remove it so I’m really glad I took a picture before I tried to remove it. Next time I’ll just draw some guidelines with pencil before I start and skip the tape.

4 thoughts on “10 Minute Challenge”

  • I too tried this challenge. Oddly enough my first was the most successful. I think the panic of not knowing how long 10 minutes was forced me to really break it down fast. I should’ve painted an apple or a pear, but I picked a sea shell and I’m not sure anyone but me can tell what it is. For me it was and epic fail. I will try again but with simpler subject for sure.

    • I don’t think mine was entirely successful either, but it was a good start. I probably should’ve picked a simpler subject too. I spent so much time mixing several different colors that I didn’t have time to finish any of the squares.

  • I’m glad you mentioned that book. I’ve seen it and wasn’t sure about it but now I’ll get it. Since I tend to only get two to three days out of the week to really sit down and paint, these exercises will keep me in the “painting mode” on the other days when time is limited.

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