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Announcing: #30x30DirectWatercolor2018! Lets do 30 Paintings in 30 Days!

May 15, 2018

Where did all the #30×30 posts go?!?

I’ve moved everthing from #30x30DirectWatercolor to its own page.

Click Here – or – go to the tab #30x30DirectWatercolor on the navigation bar.


Original Post:

I’m excited to announce, a new event: The Thirty by Thirty (30×30) Direct Watercolor Marathon!

For the month of June, myself, and a group of five friends will take on a challenge to paint thirty watercolor paintings in thirty days.

The goal is simple: we all want to do more painting!

Plus, we want to share in the benefits of daily practice.

Painting, like any art, sport, or science, calls for commitment. Like a musician doing scales or an athlete in the gym, a painter needs to paint. Ideally, every day.

For this entire month of June, we’ll be posting our daily progress. Success or failure, inspiration or slog, the five of us will share the results of our experiment – and – we hope some of you will come along for the ride!

What is #30x30DirectWatercolor2018?

  • PAINT 30 watercolors in 30 days, from June 1-30 2018.
  • POST your paintings in our new Facebook group: <HERE
    We’d like to centralize the discussion around this group, to spare our usual sketching clubs all the extra traffic this might create :)
  • HASHTAG your work on any other social media (twitter, instagram) with the hashtag: #30x30DirectWatercolor2018.
    This will help people find your work in the future. Here are some FAQs on how to use hashtags: FB | IG | Twitter.
  • Any size, format or subject is ok. I personally hope to paint on location, but it’s going to depend on weather and the situation at home.
  • I plan to paint in watercolor, working as directly as possible. But if you want to tint drawings, or add in some mixed media, we’re not going to be enforcing rules. I won’t however, have a lot of advice about techniques I’m not thinking about this month.
  • Our goal is experiencing sustained daily practice. If it’s better for you to do seven paintings on the weekend instead of one a day, that’s totally ok. Same with posting progress. One a day makes a good story – but do what works for you.
  • It’s also completely normal if you fail to make 30! Or to need a few extra days. Like any marathon, just participating is the first reward. Though I’m sure any of us can catch up with some super fast, super small sketches if we have to!

In the next few days, I’ll post some introductions and advice from the other artists, and a few notes on my sketching kit for the summer. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, if you want to go back in time and read my very first posts on Direct Watercolor – here’s a little historical archive.

And of course, if you want dive a little deeper, there’s my new book Direct Watercolor <affiliate link, thx). Plus: Here’s some sample pages.



72 Comments leave one →
  1. Joanna permalink
    May 15, 2018 9:25 AM

    Oooh! I can’t wait to follow your posts all next month :D

  2. Maria permalink
    May 15, 2018 9:37 AM

    Woohoo! Everything is live on my end :) Here’s the Instagram post, too:

  3. Sunshine permalink
    May 15, 2018 12:35 PM

    I’m excited to give it a try … I’m still a novice, so it’s great motivation to practice! I may even try a ‘first’ which is finding an outdoor location to paint ;) Weather permitting … I’m Canadian, need I say more lol

  4. Michele permalink
    May 15, 2018 9:53 PM

    How do you sign up?

    • May 15, 2018 11:02 PM

      There’s no official registration, but if you’re on Facebook you can join the group where everyone can share. (CLICK HERE!). If you’re NOT on Facebook, you can use the hashtag #30x30DirectWatercolor2018 anywhere you can post. On your own blog, or on Instagram, or twitter. You can also just hang around the comments here – but there’s already 400 members in the group! So that’s going to be a happening place :)

  5. May 16, 2018 9:24 AM

    This is super-exciting! Looking forward to developing my skills over the 30 days!

  6. Rita permalink
    May 16, 2018 10:46 AM

    I’ll give this a try. I will surprise myself if I actually do 30 paintings (as right ow I have been focused on learning my new DSLR camera, so the paints and brushes have been idle…), but perhaps it will be a kick in the pants. I will post to Twitter.

  7. May 17, 2018 9:17 AM

    So just to be clear, are ink and watercolor accepted?

    • May 17, 2018 9:52 AM

      Absolutely – you do you. I’m doing Direct ‘cuz it’s what I need to practice. But everyone’s at a different place :)

      • May 17, 2018 4:22 PM

        Thanks, I think I will stat by doing less ink, thanks for organizing this

  8. May 17, 2018 12:32 PM

    Thank you for providing this motivation… Fran

  9. Ted permalink
    May 18, 2018 8:08 AM

    If I remember correctly, you are limited in your ability to travel this year. As, I’ve truly enjoyed all of your classes on Craftsy, have you considered a lesson on this newest area you are exploring? I’d love to see it!

  10. May 19, 2018 5:01 PM


    That’s sounds like a wonderful Challenge for June. I write a post on my blog about the challenge (in german). I hope it is ok, that I use your banner. I named you and your blog.

    I’m very excited about all the wonderful picture and hope that I’ll also paint a lot.


  11. mlaiuppa permalink
    May 20, 2018 4:33 PM

    I am going to try to do this this year. I’ve never participated in such a challenge on anything. I do need more practice. I won’t be posting on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram as I do not subscribe to any of those things. But I do have a blog and will title each post with 30 x 30 and make it public. Best I can do.

    Not only do I plan to do a painting a day but I plan to explore other palettes. I have several. I have my standard one based on suggestions from Jane Blundell using Daniel Smith. I have a palette of artist made watercolors from Greenleaf and Blueberry with a few substitutions from Jazper Stardust. I am going to try a few paintings using nothing but Daniel Smith Primateks. I am going to try your suggested palette. And I am going to try a few using nothing but the “original” primary colors as stated on Handprint, there being four; New Gamboge (PY153), Quin Rose (PV19), Phthalo blue, GS (PB 15:3) and Phthalo green, YS (PG36). I think that will give me plenty to practice on in 30 days. I’ll probably start with journaling, to try out my new Noodler’s bullet proof inks and new Neponset pen and work my way up in size. I hope by the end of the month to be doing larger paintings than I am currently doing. I need to work at working larger than 12 x 16.

  12. Carmela Sunnyvale permalink
    May 24, 2018 12:17 PM

    Hi Marc–thanks for giving us motivation to keep us going and learning. I’ll be participating, although I’ll not be posting to social media. Your followup posts have offered some excellent suggestions, as have other artist-sponsors of the event. Thank you all!

  13. May 27, 2018 12:01 AM

    I posted this comment on the wrong post so I’ll post again here. Looking forward to participating Marc. My name is Steve Mitchell and I run a YouTube channel called The Mind of Watercolor. I found out about the challenge through Anne-Laure’s YT channel. I very much want to have some daily loosening up practice. I have and enjoy your Direct Watercolor Book and have only just discovered your excellent blog. If you don’t mind I would like to give this challenge a plug in my next video. This is going to be fun!

    • May 27, 2018 12:03 AM

      By all means Steve! Spread the word :) Thanks – and I’ll go check out your channel as well!

  14. May 27, 2018 4:06 PM

    WOW! Just ordered your Direct Watercolor Palette. Until it arrives, will do some warmups with what I have. The 30×30 sounds like fun & an inspiration!

  15. Judith Canole permalink
    June 2, 2018 10:10 AM

    I’m excited to begin. Wonderful fun.

  16. June 6, 2018 3:17 PM

    Would like to join!

  17. June 6, 2018 3:19 PM

    Looks like fun! A friend sent me the link.

  18. Jo Morton permalink
    June 3, 2019 12:36 AM

    Thanks for the link, Suhita Shirodkar!


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  7. 30×30 Direct Watercolor: Are you in? | Sketch Away: Travels with my sketchbook
  8. New watercolour challenge for June - Liz Steel : Liz Steel
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  11. More Sketching With My Lamy Safari | madebyfay
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  18. Aquarell Challenge im Juni – goldcrestblog
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  31. Direct watercolour | Aquarellieren ohne Vorskizze – Antje Gilland's Light Stories
  32. 30×30 direct watercolour challenge – week one | Periwinkle playground
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  36. Day 22 : #30x30DirectWatercolor2018 | Citizen Sketcher
  37. 30×30 direct watercolour challenge – week three | Periwinkle playground
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  39. #30x30DirectWatercolor2018… Part One | Dana Burrell… Art
  40. Direct Watercolor, it’s almost over! | Sketch Away: Travels with my sketchbook
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  44. What I learnt in June | Sketch Away: Travels with my sketchbook
  45. What Doing a 30 Day Challenge Taught Me - PrettyKitty Commissions
  46. 3 Simple Ways to Improve Your Illustrations - PrettyKitty Commissions
  47. Big Impact in a Pocket Palette – UMA KELKAR
  48. INFO LETTRE DE JUIN 2019 | Jocelyne Filion
  49. 30×30 direct watercolour challenge – week two – The Common Periwinkle

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