Online Challenges

Fast Sketch — Art Challenge #15

Sure, it’s easy to draw a model or a tree, something static. Want a real challenge? Pick a moving target. I happen to be partial to chickens, but birds, waves, dogs, people at the beach: anything’s fair game. You’ll be training your eye to get the essentials — fast.

Rules are simple:

  • Color or black & white
  • 2D or 3D
  • Any surface, any medium
  • Draw from direct observation preferred where possible.

Send your image to along with the title of the piece. Deadline for Fast Sketch is July 11.

Happy Hour, by Ken King
Too Darn Hot, by Jane Hively
Sailing Lessons, by Shelly Champion
Pounding Down the Tracks, by Jonathan Hively
1918, by Donna Caselden
Ellie in the Woods, by Matt Cegelis
Helen’s Chickens by Helen, by Helen Tory
Released, by Linda Bourke
Helen’s Chickens, by Janice Brand
Online Challenges

Faceless Self-Portrait — Art Challenge #14

Phew — glad that Mineral Challenge is over (though if you have a piece to submit, you still can). This week’s Challenge is way more fun: Create a self-portrait that does NOT include your face.

The rules are simple:

  • Color or black & white
  • 2D or 3D
  • Any surface, any medium
  • Draw from direct observation preferred where possible.

Send your image to Send in a title or I’ll come up with my own. Deadline for Faceless Self-Portrait is July 4 (July 4th?? Already??).

In Summer, by Neta Goren
Piper Jon, by Jonathan Hively
Self Portrait without a Self Portrait, by Ken King
Bubbly Jane, by Jane Hively
About Face, by Ed Mowrey
Faceless Selfie, by Matt Cegelis
Some Fingers on It, by Helen Tory

Gray Hair, by Janice Brand
Faceless Selfie, by Linda Bourke
Online Challenges

Mineral—Art Challenge #13

Figures it would be Number 13: Mineral?? According to Encyclopedia Britannica, a mineral is “a naturally occurring homogeneous solid with a definite chemical compositionand a highly ordered atomic arrangement; it is usually formed by inorganic processes.”

Got that? Me neither.

You can Google “mineral images”— get out the paint box!

If you played along with Animal and Vegetable, this Mineral should be part of that series—or not. Try your best!

  • Color (black & white if you think you can!)
  • 2D or 3D
  • Any surface, any medium
  • Draw from direct observation preferred where possible.

Send your image to Send in a title or I’ll come up with my own. Deadline for Mineral is June 28.

A Necessity for Life, by Sandy Shaw
The Gift, by Ken King
Carats & Carrots Plus Sheep, by Jon Hively
Round Stone on Rock, by Helen Tory
The Eye of the Tiger in Dreamland, by Jane Hively
Portrait of a. Rock, by Ed Mowery
Across Generations: Self-Portrait in my Grandmother’s Silver Spoon, by Bruce Shaw
Beach Rock Garden, by Claire Wyzenbeek
Mock Diamond (part of the Mock Series), by Linda Bourke
Three of My Favorites, by Christine Bobek
Himalayan Salt, by Matt Cegelis
Online Challenges

Vegetable—Art Challenge #12

Following last week’s Animal Challenge, this week it’s Vegetable’s turn. You did establish a theme for all your images, right (remember, next week it’s the trio’s conclusion with Mineral)? Yeah, I didn’t either. That shouldn’t stop you, though.

Simple rules:

  • Color or black & white
  • 2D or 3D
  • Any surface, any medium
  • Draw from direct observation preferred where possible.

Send your image to Send in a title or I’ll come up with one of my own! Deadline for Vegetable is June 21.

The Offering, by Ken King
Fennel, by Jean Fogle
Carrot Banquet, by Jonathan Hively
Peter Piper’s Peppers, by Jane Hively
Garden Sampler, by Claire Wyzenbeek
Animal + Vegetable: Cattle in a Grassy Pasture, by Bruce Shaw
A Fruit’s a Vegetable, Right?, by Helen Tory
Beets, by Ed Mowrey
Maize, by Matt Cegelis
Mock Meat, by Linda Bourke
Egyptian Onion 1, 2 and 3; by Martha Swanson
You’ll Be Missed, Asparagus; by Janice Brand
Online Challenges

First of Three: Animal— Art Challenge #11

This week it’s Animal. Guess the next two weeks’ Challenges: yep, Vegetable, Mineral. The point is to choose a theme to connect your three responses over the coming weeks. Ready to get started?

***Still time to sign up for the online Portrait Workshop given by the juror of our new RNACExhibitions website inaugural show. Only $100 for all four classes for RNAC members Details here. ***

Simple rules:

  • Color of black & white
  • 2D or 3D
  • Any surface, any medium
  • Drawing from direct observation preferred where possible.

Send your image to Deadline for Animals is June 13.

I know I am but what are you, by Joyce Roessler
Sheep May Safely Graze, by Jon Hively
The Challenge, by Ken King
Panda and Friend, by Candace Stella
Sunlit Slumber, by Katherine Coakley
Lula, by Bruce Shaw
Claudius—Tiger Enthroned, by Jane Hively
Mixed Media: Global Warming, by Donna Caselden
Great Blue Heron, by Ed Mowrey
Night, by Barbara Moody
A Threefer: Animal, Vegetable, Mineral; by Ken King
El Toro (after Elaine de Kooning), by Ed Mowrey
Wolf Hollow Resident, by Matt Cegelis
Mock Moo, by Linda Bourke
Wild Boar (not your next dinner guest), by Janice Brand
Online Challenges

A Spot of Color — Art Challenge #10

Wow: We made it to 10 Challenges!

This week we tackle Isolated Color. Adding a second color to a monotone image creates immediate and often dramatic focus. Have fun using this simple visual strategy.

Simple rules:

  • Monotones except for that isolated color
  • 2D or 3D
  • Any surface, any medium
  • Drawing from direct observation preferred where possible.

Send your images to Include a title. Deadline is June 6.

Catch Me if You Can, by Ed Mowrey
Dinosaur Lookout, by Jonathan Hively
Annisquam Light, by Janice Brand
Sunset Sail, by Katherine Coakley
Ro, by Christine Bobek
Goldfinch in the Catmint, by Helen Tory
Robin’s Egg, by Jane Hively
Back Door, by Paul Trefry
One in Ten, by Linda Bourke
Man with Red Brush, by Paul Trefry
Falling Water, by Ken King
Envelope with Blue Tape, by Matt Cegelis
Mantis Swan Song, by Linda Bourke
Upcoming Workshops 2020

Upcoming Workshops

Last Licks for Outside Painting Class: October 18

Main Street (sold), by Ron Krouk

Teacher Ron Krouk returns to round out the summer outdoors with a 5-hour painting class. If you took Ron’s first workshop, you’ll know we covered a lot of ground. This class will go over some of those basics and dive a little deeper. You don’t need to have taken the first workshop to be able to jump right in here.

We’ll begin with an intro/demo about using a viewfinder, doing thumbnails, transferring the thumbnail to the canvas and blocking in an underpainting in thin dark paint (Notan).  We will paint for a couple hours then take a break for a bit to see what people are doing and give group feedback as requested.


Date: October 18 (rain date October 25), 10 to 4:30 (half-hour lunch break)

Location: On Cape Ann (address given to registrants)

Cost: $100 for RNAC members; $125 for non-RNAC members

MINIMUM of 6 students; MAXIMUM of 10 students

Go here to register

The Poetic Landscape: September 19

Autumn Marsh, by Loren Doucette

In this one-day workshop, artist Loren Doucette will lead you in an exploration of landscape drawing and painting where freedom of color, line, brushstrokes and mark making is encouraged. We will focus on the connection between realism, abstraction and the imagination. Participants will work outdoors, socially distanced, in watercolor, pastel or acrylic. There will be a morning session, a short lunch break and an afternoon session to conclude the day.

Instructor is Loren Doucette, renowned Cape Ann artist, teacher and art mentor. She received a BFA in Drawing and Painting in 2013 from Montserrat College of Art, where she was the recipient of two scholarship awards from the college. See more of Loren’s work at


Date: Saturday, September 19, 2020

Time: 10-3, 5 hours

Location: TBD, on Cape Ann, outdoors, with room for safe social distancing

Number of students: minimum of 6; maximum of 8

Cost: $100 for RNAC members; $125 for nonmembers

To register, go to

Drawing and Painting the Figure: August 26 & 27

Figure, by Ron Krouk

Instructor Ron Krouk ( leads a two-day workshop on Zoom and in person. 

Day 1 is class instruction over Zoom with a live model on video as well as photographic resources. Day 2 is live, a plein-air, socially distant painting segment building on the previous day’s instruction.

Participants will practice three time-honored approaches to improving figure drawing: gesture, contour and seeing with straight lines. These can be introduced and practiced separately.   They are brought together by each of us in our own ways as we do the underlying drawing for a painting.

Practice will help you temper your instincts with accurate measurement and integrate your sense of the whole with your perception of details and relationships.

In looking at the group’s work together, we’ll enlarge our understanding of the exercises and open possibilities for seeing you may not have considered.


Day 1: 4-hour Zoom class, instruction with live model on video and photographic material

Day 2: 3-hour live class, with model (the group will be broken into a morning and an afternoon session of five people each to assure distancing). One-hour Zoom class at end of day to review everyone’s work together.

Dates: August 26 & 27

Day 1: 10-2 on Zoom

Day 2: 10-1 or 2-5 plein air on Cape Ann; wrap-up for 1 hour on Zoom at 6 pm.

Cost: $200 for RNAC members; $225 for non-RNAC members for both days, and includes some written material, photos and Zoom video from Day 1 and images from Day 2 wrap-up

Materials: Oils or acrylics (specific list to be sent later)

All levels welcome.

MINIMUM of 8 students; MAXIMUM of 10 students

To enroll, go here.

Portraits II: July 27 – August 10

You don’t need to have taken the first Portraits class, but some drawing experience is helpful. This is a class aimed at all levels. Instructor Amy Sudarsky (juror of the Beyond Likeness portrait show, helps us look at the human head as a solid volume consisting of planes,  light and shadow, and cross contour. We’ll see examples of Old and contemporary Masters in this context and, through group critiques, receive feedback on homework assignments.

The workshop consists of five, one-hour Zoom classes on Mondays and Thursdays, 10-11 (each session might run an extra half-hour, as questions and discussion demand). Each class is recorded and available to enrolled students for review or in case you have to miss a class or part of one.

  • Dates: July 27, July 30, August 3, August 6, August 10
  • 10-11 AM
  • $125 for all five classes for RNAC members
  • $150 for all five classes for non-members
  • Includes video recordings of each class
  • Click here to enroll

Portraits I with Amy Sudarsky June 15-25

In conjunction with Beyond Likeness , Rocky Neck Art Colony’s inaugural virtual art gallery, the show’s juror Amy Sudarsky is teaching a special online Portrait Drawing Workshop. In four one-hour sessions, she’ll cover subjects from a review of famous portraits to nailing likeness and expression. Classes are via Zoom from 10 to 11 AM on June 15, June 18, June 22 and June 25 (Mondays and Thursdays). Click the link below to register today! (To be clear: It’s only $100 for all four classes for members.)

And because these are delivered via Zoom, they’ll be recorded. Have to miss a class? No problem, watch the taped version at your leisure.

  • $100 for members of Rocky Neck Art Colony
  • $125 for non members (become a member here!)
  • Click here for sign up and payment information ON THIS PAGE
Portrait by Amy Sudarsky
Online Challenges

Congratulations: It’s Analogous!—Art Challenge #9

We’ve reached Number 9 (“number 9, number 9” for those who remember the White Album). This week, explore colors that are side-by-side on the color wheel (see chart below).

or Color Wheel

These colors are considered analogous, and create calmer energy than complements. Use analogous colors for this week’s Art Challenge.

  • Colors that are analogous
  • 2D or 3D
  • Any surface, any medium
  • Drawing from direct observation preferred where possible

Send your images to Include a title unless you want me to make one up for you. Deadline is May 30.

Quarry Painting #1, by Joyce Roessler
Dutton, by Jonathan Hively
Orchid, by Randolph Kelts
Summer Meadow, by Ed Mowrey
Sunset, by Ken King
Mirror Mirror, by Jane Hively
Lilac Love, by Janice Brand
Analogous Swooshes, by Matt Cegelis
Oriole with Oranges and Azalea, by Helen Tory
Lost City, by Anna Stewart
The Reappearance of Ms. Mantis, by Linda Bourke
Online Challenges

Complements—Art Challenge #8

The underlying energy of an image is often determined by deliberate color choice. Complementary Colors are those that are opposite each other on the color wheel (Red and Green, Yellow and Purple, Orange and Blue).  When used together, these combinations create a certain vibration or resonance within the image. For this challenge, make an image that employs this principle of color theory.

  • Complementary colors, please
  • 2d or 3D
  • Any surface, any medium
  • Drawing from direct observation preferred where possible.

One-week deadline: You have until May 24, so get drawing! Send your images to

Twin Lights, by Leslie Heffron
Doodling in Contrasts, by Cynthia Roth
Wild Columbine, by Helen Tory
Growth, by Joyce Roessler
Praying Mantis, by Linda Bourke
Storm Warning, by Jonathan Hively
Not My Favorite Colors Together, by Candace Stella
Abstract Construction, by Len Burgess
Red Umbrella, by Jane Hively
Complements, by Donna Caselden
Recon 5132, by Matt Cegelis
Looking at You, by Randolph Kelts
Red-Haired Girl Napping, by Claire Wyzenbeek
En Guard, by Kathleen G. Archer
Weavings, by Ken King
Old Friend, by Claire Wyzenbeek
Complements, by Kat Masella
Meadow, by Ken King
Lure, by Linda Bourke
Online Challenges

Going for the Green — Art Challenge #7


Olive, pea, forest, parrot, spring, grass, lime. This is the moment of the year when green calls to us with limitless variety. Make an image in which green dominates.

Simple rules:

  • Color (well, mostly green)
  • 2D or 3D
  • Any surface, any medium
  • Drawing from direct observation preferred where possible.

Send your images to Deadline is May 17.

Green Hair in Motion, by Matt Cegelis
Green Marine, by Judy Robinson-Cox
In Progress, by Joyce Roessler
A Time for Tea, Green or Otherwise, by Jane Hively
Day Three, by Len Burgess
Green, by Ed Mowrey
Wet Green, by Matt Cegelis
Spring is Here, by Mary Barker
Cogswell’s Grant, by Ken King
Folly Cove, by Claire Wyzenbeek
Summer Swiss Chard, by Ray Magnan
Dandylions, by Helen Tory
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet on a Lime, by Janice Brand
Olive Ash Tray, by Linda Bourke
Cox Landscape, by Linda Bourke