Challenge 89 – Flamingo Dance Rhododendron

Dear artists,

It has been a while since I posted our previous PADT challenge and many of you wrote and asked if I am Ok. Thank you so much for your kindness. It really means a lot to me. And thank you for being there and contributing to PADT so that all of us can help each other to enjoy art and be together, especially in those times when we need our  artist community and support the most.

I am well and I sincerely pray that all of you and your families are healthy and well, loving each other and taking great care of each other. We will get through this troublesome times and I am positive the joy  we get from creating art will help us greatly along that journey.

To say that my summer was very time demanding is big understatement, and after weeks passed by struggling to fit everything in, I decided to make a short break from PADT posts till I have more time to fully focus. Now, the winter is here and I am happy to be back. I feel very enthusiastic about our upcoming and I am hoping very inspiring new PADT challenges.

Yesterday I took out my art supplies after a quite long time for me and spent 4 hours painting without even noticing that a single second has passed. It was a true magic. Time has stopped and all my thoughts about anything else than the background I was painting have instantly disappeared. Those 4 hours simply vanished. This experience once again reminded me that art has a true healing power. Did you ever experienced that time has stopped, all worries have disappeared, and that piece of art in front of you opened a secret door to a totally new magical place? if you have such story you would like to share I am sure all of us would love to read it in the comments.

And now we go straight to our new painting challenge.

About the composition

I know it is winter, and there is a lot of snow, at least where I am, and I could have chosen one of the winter scenes, but not for this challenge. I promise the next one will be a winter subject 😊

Our subject for this challenge is a gorgeous rhododendron flower blooming in a very early morning with lush, green foliage behind it. This early morning light is very special for artists. It creates so wonderful long shadows and the most dramatic dance of light. It gives an impression as if everything in the scene is dancing with joy and happiness, and  celebrating the beginning of a new promising day. And my wish for you is that you would feel the same way while painting this subject.

Celebrating the light. You will ask “How do we do that?”. By observing and painting all shadows we can possibly find, all reflected lights hiding among shadows, all dull and neutral shadow and background tones so that the most vibrant colors in the light areas can truly glow.

In a painting, I would digress to say as in life, the contrasts greatly emphasize each other. Even more so if one side of the contrast is present in a significantly smaller percentage than the other side. Imagine a painting where only the most vibrant color hues in their purest form are present. Likely every bit of it would scream for attention and the viewer will have a very hard time to visually navigate through the painting. In contrast, imagine a painting where 95% of the colors are muted and toned down and only 5% left as vibrant as they can possibly be. This 5% of the painting will glow like light bulb in the darkness, far beyond its real appearance, hue or saturation.

For this challenge I would like us to focus on making this flower glow and dance as much as it possibly can while the rest of the composition gently disappears in the space behind it. And don’t forget to give yourself permission to, for a moment, forget about everything worrisome and fully indulge in the magic of art and creativity.

Please submit a photo of your painting the latest by January 24 when we will have our next challenge.

Best wishes and happy painting.


How to Participate in this Art Challenge #89

  1. Use the composition photo posted above to create a painting or drawing – in any chosen 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:

Dos and Don’ts

Please post only such paintings or drawings which are based on the composition above.

Please don’t upload pictures unrelated to this challenge 🙂

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  1. Thanks, Lela. I am so glad to see you back and know that you are okay. This is a great new challenge. Thank you.

  2. Gracias Lela por tus palabras tan reales, hemos pasado un año muy difícil en todo el mundo, y gracias a poder expresar nuestros sentimientos con las pinturas, se nos va endulzando el corazón. Estoy pasando momentos delicados por la frágil salud de mi esposo, pero me daré tiempo para poder enviar el hermoso desafío. Saludos cálidos desde Argentina

    • Thank you so much Mercedes. I am grateful that you took the time to comment and I shall look forward to your painting. Wishing you all the best and good health and peace.

  3. Very beautiful flower, it will be really enjoyable to paint. Thank you very much! I wish you a happy new year!

  4. I visit this site about twice a month but nothing has changed so I imagine Lela has decided that she can’t continue running it at the moment.
    Stay safe everone and keep on painting!

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