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It’s a GAME, not a challenge

#15daysofpainting starts 2 weeks from today!!!!!  JULY 15-29.  It’s an Instagram art game!  Read on for the Simple Rules, and Beginner Tips and Supply Suggestions……..


I hope you’ll join us!!!  We had so much fun doing the #31days in May, and most of the players wanted to do it again.  So I thought an easy breezy shortened summer version would be just the ticket.  This is for anyone and everyone who wants to paint every day, alongside a worldwide group of other supportive players, for total newbies and seasoned artists alike!

Let’s be clear:  this is NOT a “challenge”.  It’s a GAME! 

Why do I make that all-important distinction?  Because “challenge” feels like work, like competition, something hard, something stressful.  To me it feels divisive, not inclusive.  Isolating, and setting yourself up for failure.  And my intent with hosting these games is for them to be anything but those things!  I want everyone to play together.  You could say one of my life’s missions is to encourage people to HAVE FUN WITH THEIR CREATIVITY.  Having FUN with painting is not about comparisons or worthiness or “talent” or any of the other lies we tell ourselves, that prevent us from experiencing the pure joy of our creative souls.  It’s all about a forming a community based on sharing the fun of creative play and discovery.  So, are you in???


  1. Starting July 15, paint every day ON THE SAME PIECE, something, anything, for seconds or for hours, just do something to change your piece.
  2. Post a photo of your piece every day on Instagram, using the hashtag#15daysofpainting
  3. Follow me on Instagram @lisapalmerart, for updates and more tips for success!
  4. No comparing our efforts to anyone else — this is most important — everyone is on a different path and I hope we’ll genuinely celebrate ourselves and others.  And no self-deprecating comments on your own work, because that’s no fun!
  5. Because “life” happens, there are up to 2 days of grace during the 15 days.
  6. Search the hashtag #15daysofpainting every day to like/comment/encourage all the other players, and revel in the diversity of art that unfolds over the 15 days.  You’re gonna make some new artsy friends!  It’s quite amazing!!!


I hear from a lot of folks who are intrigued and want to try their hand at painting, but either don’t know where or how to start OR have convinced themselves that they are just not “creative” or “talented.”  Well, that’s just plain not true!  Everyone is creative, they may just not have used those muscles lately, thinking they have to come out of the gate creating perfect masterpieces (whatever those are!), like all the “artists” they see.  Guess what?  YOU are an ARTIST!  Yes, I speak truth.  It’s all in your mindset.  Every young child is playful, will dive into paint and making things, without every thinking they are not good enough or talented enough — they just believe that they are.  In fact, it doesn’t even really enter their minds that they aren’t capable, because they live in the moment and they just do it, BECAUSE IT’S FUN!  So the secret is to go back to that time when you were a playful child and did fun things just because they were fun!  You didn’t care how your creations stacked up against anyone else’s.  You were completely enjoying life in the moment —  I know we can all get back to that place again.

And here’s another secret about “talented artists” — they didn’t start out that way!  Yes, even Picasso!!  They put in the hours, the months, the years, the decades of practice, practice, practice in order to become proficient in their art.  You wouldn’t expect to be a concert violinist the first time you picked up a violin, would you?  It’s the same for athletes, dancers, doctors, heck, ANY KIND OF PRACTICE — it takes lots of practice to become good, and the more we practice the better we get.  So stop stopping yourself and just start with us!!!


(note:  these are my personal preferences, to help get you started.  Every artist eventually figures out what they like best, there are a myriad of choices out there!)

  • Painting Surface:  for this #15daysofpainting game, you’re going to need a sturdy surface to paint on.  I recommend using a stretched canvas, of at least 18″x24″.  (I’m probably going to use a huge 36″x48″ canvas myself!)  Yes, even if you’ve never painted before, even if this is just an experiment for you, painting on the best kind of surface will set you up for success.  And help you feel like an artist 🙂  I don’t recommend canvas boards because they warp if they get too wet, and since you’ll be painting on this piece a lot of days, you’ll want a surface that will stay sturdy.  You can get stretched canvasses pretty cheaply at Michael’s, or Dick Blick or Hobby Lobby, etc., but my personal preference is to support my local art store — they need our support to stay in business!
  • Paints!  Well, I could write a book on this, but don’t worry, I won’t!  LOL!  The more pigment in the paint, the richer, deeper, more beautiful the colors.  So how do you know which paints have lots of pigment?  Well, the price is your first clue.  Those little 2 oz. craft paints are cheap because they have very little pigment.  I don’t recommend them for painting on canvas.  If you’re just starting out, try Liquitex’s Basics line, or Blick’s Studio Acrylics, good quality in tubes, rich colors.  Get yourself about 6 colors that you love, plus black and white.  Available at the same places as the canvasses above.
  • Paints, a step up:  Better quality would be the pigment-rich heavy body paints by Blick, Liquitex or Golden.  These can get pricy, but worth every penny if you want to produce truly beautiful art.  If you saw a side by side comparison of a painting painted with craft paints next to one painted with heavy body acrylics, you’d understand.
  • Paints, my personal favorite:  NovaColor paints, hands down.  Dreamy, creamy, rich and much less costly than the heavy body acrylics mentioned above.  Favored by professional mural artists, so you know they are highest quality in order to be seriously vivid and withstand the elements.  They come in jars and are the consistency of pancake batter, so not heavy and not fluid, somewhere in between.  You probably haven’t heard of them, and that’s why they’re less expensive.  They are made by and sold direct by a single small factory in Los Angeles, with none of the advertising/promotion/retail markups those other brands have.  I think they are far superior to those other brands.  My faves are their Transparent Yellow Oxide, Fluorescent Red, Blue Green, Quinacridone Magenta, and well, all of them really!  And no, I am not affiliated with them, I just love them and once I discovered them my painting game really improved.  They will send you a terrific handmade color chart if you ask via their email.  Here’s a link to order: NovaColor Paints
  • Brushes:   If you’re starting out, Michael’s has some good inexpensive assortment sets, like these:  Brushes Assortment .  Collecting great paintbrushes can quickly become a new shopping addiction, LOL, and besides my local art store’s selection, I like to buy my brushes from Rosemary & Co.  They are beautifully made tools, very reasonably priced, considering that they are handmade in England.  They are packaged so nicely too!  And c’mon, receiving a little box from England is pretty cool!!!
  • Everything else:   Again, it depends how you paint, but at the very least you’ll need a small bucket or two of water (put your brushes in water, don’t let them dry with paint on them!).  I use old plastic quart salsa containers.  And you’ll want to have a palette to squeeze out your globs of paint, with room to blend some of them.  Old cookie sheets work great for that, and you can usually find those at most thrift stores.  I also like to use paper palettes like these  for ease of clean-up.  Remember, you can reuse palettes over and over as the paint dries, just plop new paint over the dried stuff.  And you’ll need some paper towels or old rags (cut up old washcloths and t-shirts work great), not just to clean up spills and wipe your brushes on, but you can also wad them up and use them to paint/blend/texture on your canvas.  Depending on where you paint, you’ll probably want to protect your table with a plastic drop cloth or trash bags.  Having a dedicated painting space makes life so much easier, so you can leave out all your tools and supplies and not have to spend time cleaning up and setting up every day.

OK!!!  That’s it for now!!  Make sure and sign up for my newsletter for more tips and updates to come!  And invite your family and friends to join in on this #15daysofpainting game!  Kids tooooooooooooooo!!!!!

xoxo Lisa

2 thoughts on “It’s a GAME, not a challenge

  1. So excited to try this! Love that it is a game! Great idea on the kids. Just ordered from Nova Paints 😉

    1. Oh I’m so glad to hear this, Robin!!! I thought of you and your girls when I wrote that! I hope you love the novacolor paints as much as I do. It’s going to be so fun!!! xoxo

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