Up for a challenge from Carolyn Emerson? 

Challenge #1

This somewhat bland, black and white photo is an all-medium challenge with many possibilities for interpretation - create mood in the large sky area through color, clouds, atmosphere;  determine time of day through lights, darks, and shadows; change the location by dropping in hills or mountains in the background, change the time of year through the foliage color or lack thereof; add grazing animals, and so on. See the gallery below.

Barns from Upsplash MAA Challenge #1

Challenge #2

This beautiful still life photo needs very little alteration. Once printed, turn the photo to find your favorite position.  The challenge comes in the execution. Every cherry is different, the subtle shadings are important, and painting the folds in the ragged dish towel can make or break the painting. Still life lets one focus in on details and is excellent practice in observational skills. Zero in and have fun with this. See the gallery below.

Cherries from Upsplash Challenge MAA challenge #2

Challenge #3

This inviting little landscape would be pretty in any season. It appears to be late spring or summer. It’s a good exercise to paint the same photo in different seasons. Let’s see what you can envision.

From Upsplash MAA challenge #3

Challenge #4


There is no sun, so no strong shadows. You can add your own light or paint it as is. If you decide to blue up the sky, the water must follow. Much of the beach rose leaves can be accomplished with negative painting. The different textures are interesting.

From UpSplash Challenge #4 MAA

Challenge #5


This one is good practice for painting glass, and light and shadow on cylindrical shapes. Additionally, it’s an engaging little still life.

thread from Upsplash MAA challenge #5

Challenge #6


Mallards in marsh waters.


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