Art Challenge #87: Mar 3 – Apr 20, Sunshine Orchid

I want to thank all of us who participated in the previous art challenge #86 (Cherry Tomato) and shared such beautiful paintings. I hope you enjoyed creating the artworks as well as viewing other artists create their own interpretation of the challenge composition. I also want to give special thanks to those who commented on the posts as your comments encourage the participating artists. I am sure as artists yourself, you know how much your comments mean to the artists and to the whole community. Thank You!

Your participation means a lot to me personally as it motivates me to find the best reference photo for every art challenge. I also feel that through these challenges bring us together as a very nice and friendly art community in which we all encourage each other through comments and by sharing our own works.


About this photo – Sunshine Orchid

Here’s a new photo which you are welcome to use as a composition for your painting or drawing for the ‘Paint and Draw Together’ art challenge #87 – “Sunshine Orchid”.

In this challenge I would like to ask you to pay a special attention to two important painting concepts:

First, the colour values, which is a degree of lightness or darkness each colour has. Second, the edges of each shape, which can be soft, semi-sharp, or sharp.

There is an infinite number of effects and impressions which can be obtained just by playing with these two concepts. For example, in this photo reference we have a  full range of colour values from almost black to almost white. However, the percentage of dark values, likely 80%, is much larger that small area of light values, likely 20%. If we use this rule, we could always create a drama and theatrics effect in our paintings. That is how Old Masters created such exquisite theatrics paintings. In addition to that, we artist have another invaluable tool in our toolbox – the edges. If we learn how to to use soft edges and barely noticeable soft shadows, we can creates a magical effect of a misty, hazy, fairy tale appearance where the main subject emerges from the “airy” darkness in the background surrounded by a veil of mystical unknowns . We can intentionally invite the viewer to look behind the main subject, imagine and find more.

Please try to recreate this effect. You will be amazed how much your art will improve and become more telling and enjoyable for the viewers.

How to Participate in this Paint and Draw Together art challenge: Participate in 3 Easy Steps!

(1) Use this latest reference challenge photo (Sunshine Orchid) in this post to create a paining or drawing in any medium.

(2) When finished painting: Sign-in to your account or register free:

(3) Once you are signed in – Upload an image of your work here: Submit Painting:

This challenge ends on April 20, 2020. After that, we will be having a new art challenge.

How can you help?

Many artists have asked me how they can help PADT (Paint and Draw Together). One big way you can support is by helping to spread the news about this site to other artists so more people can join our art community and take advantage of the art challenges. If you use social media please share your own artwork you create for the challenges and use the hashtag #paintanddrawtogether.

I also encourage you to share your thoughts and critiques via comments on the paintings posted by other artists.

Above all, the art challenges are meant for you to enjoy and learn from each other, so I invite you to have fun creating a painting or drawing based on this reference photo.

Happy Painting!

Thank You

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  1. Dear Lela,

    Many thanks for thinking of me and hosting this challenge. This month I’ll try to participate and give the Sunshine Orchid a chance to grow at my studio again.

    Sincerely yours,


  2. I just uploaded my art! Thanks!

  3. Thank you so much GenEsson for sharing your lovely painting!

  4. I love this idea! Thanks for inviting me!

  5. Thank you Lela, great challenge!

  6. Hello everyone… just found this amazing site. Have had ‘artist’ block and this came up… going to get stuck into the challenge and see how it all goes. What a fantastic site this is! I live in Tasmania and am 72 and been drawing on and off for about 8 years in all sorts of mediums and at the moment am trying my hand at watercolour!

  7. Hi everyone! I am new also and just stopped in to check the due date on the challenge and relieved to see it on 4/20! I have most of it finished, but have been pulled into other activities. Now I am stuck on trying to figure out which colors to use on the flowers and feeling intimidated. I am so close and it looks pretty good so far I think.. I have only been learning watercolors for a couple of months seriously.. off and on before then. Love it tho!!

    • Dear DMayne! I used to say practice makes perfect! I’m also just an amateur painter, too, and I paint as a pet. The nice thing is that I enjoy what I do, while during my exercises the paintings smooth out, change. So, come on!

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