Spring Landscape Challenge

I’ve been feeling very discouraged lately, with my lack of progress in my ability with alcohol ink. I know, everyone goes through this feeling at some point, sometimes many times! (I know that I keep going through it). Anyway, the cure, I’ve read, is to keep pushing through it, creating volumes of work (practice, practice, practice) and challenging yourself. So, when I saw that my local Opus art supply store is holding a challenge – I jumped at it! It’s a spring landscape challenge for this week.


Every year, Opus holds an outdoor painting challenge. Normally, everyone would get together in different communities, to paint outdoors. Well, since we all have to be separate, but want to paint together – Opus have decided to bring the outdoor challenge indoors, to us! Click HERE for the rules for the challenge on the Opus page. Basically, follow them on Instagram. Then, create painting each week, as per that week’s theme. Finally, share your theme painting on Instagram, with the hashtag #IOPCWeek1 (for week 1, which is this week).  This week’s theme challenge is to:

Create and share a landscape artwork that expresses the spring season. Share it on Instagram with a description of why it is important for you to connect to nature through your art! 

There are also awesome prizes – but I don’t expect to win anything! Remember, I’m just doing this for the challenge!


I decided to go with an  iconic spring sight, here in Vancouver – the cherry tree in bloom! We actually have an annual Cherry Blossom Festival here in Vancouver. Unfortunately this year it has been moved to a ‘virtual’ festival, like many other gatherings. We really do have some fabulous cherry tree plantings here! If you’re on Facebook, you can see some great photos HERE.  Or, you can check out their website HERE.

For my landscape, I didn’t use a photo reference – just went from memory.

Spring Landscape Challenge

Remember – I said I was doing this for the challenge – I know it’s far from ‘perfect’. I see that my pathway seems to head off into the sky…though I am happy with the sky.


Start with a 5 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ piece of Yupo. Use a pencil to sketch out the tree, path and horizon line. Start with the sky, using Cloudy Blue, Sailboat Blue and Alcohol Blending Solution. To create the illusion of clouds, I used a small brush with only 99% isopropyl alcohol to move & lift some of the ink.

Next, work on the tree trunk and branches. Use Latte ink for the overall colour, and Teakwood for the shading. The same colours are used for the path. For the grass, use a combination of Meadow and Botanical ink for shading. Add texture by flicking lines of darker green with a very thin brush.

Finally, the cherry blossoms are created by dotting Shell Pink and Gumball ink with  very fine, and fine, brushes. Be sure to add fallen petals onto the grass & path – those petals are always being blown around!

Spring Landscape Challenge

For the photo above, I have the panel laying on a piece of dark pink cardstock, with a black picture mat over that. You can see why works of art should be matted & framed! They look much better 🙂


If you’re looking for a challenge, whether for yourself or for a prize, check out the Opus Inside-Out Challenge! Today is the last day to share the Week 1 project. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next challenge will be.  I’m also looking forward to getting out of this creative ‘funk’!  Hopefully you’re feeling inspired, and know that your work doesn’t have to be ‘perfect’ for you to share. Being creative is a reward in itself.

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I've always liked to create things, but I'm not a great artist, or sculptor, or any type of 'traditional' artist - but I love to create! I love the satisfaction of a completed project. Whether a card, painting or other project - as long as it can create a smile, evoke a feeling, or some type of reaction in the recipient. I hope you will enjoy sharing my creations, and occasional ramblings; I'd enjoy having you create with me! :)

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