Zach LeBar

Personal ramblings on a wide array of topics. "But, you know,
I could be wrong."

30x30 Days 6, 7, 8, and 9

My painting habits fell apart a bit. Life happened, time slipped by, and before I realized it I was 4 paintings behind schedule.

So, I loosened up a bit on my personal rules. Instead of only using aerial satellite imagery, I went back to landscapes scavanged from various places on the web (mostly Reddit). Instead of my large square blocks, I went for a smaller block with panorama proportions. Instead of a large round brush, I went back to a flat angled brush that I was really enjoying before starting this challenge.

Going back to all these familiar touchstones helped me make up the missing ground.

Day 6


Here’s “Day 6”. I’m quite happy with how this turned out. I preserved the whites like I wanted to, while also adding in enough contrasting shadows to properly depict the undulations in the cliff. There’s nothing I’d really change here.

This was the reference I used, sourced from Reddit:


I find it funny that the photographer took this shot to highlight the lenticular cloud formation…which I left out completely in my painting. It was the interesting cliff face that captured my eye. Same subject, different artists, different end results.

Day 7


I’m really happy with how “Day 7” turned out. A definite departure for me in both subject matter and color palette. I don’t usually go for red-heavy pieces. Especially up til now, everything has leaned green and blue. But I’m just so happy with how I was able to retain the whites as well as execute on the shadows exactly like I wanted to.

After painting the 3 structures, I was unsure what else to add. The blue streaks in the distance, implying hazy mountains and/or the sky were straightforward, but I was worried I’d add too much detail in the foreground. In the end I think I added enough to keep the piece grounded, but not so much that it detracts from the focal pieces.

This was the reference I used, also sourced from Reddit:


Day 8


I don’t love “Day 8” as much as “Day 7”, but there’s still a lot here that I’m proud of, most notably the shadow shapes. They turned out dark and rich, and they give shape and definition to the rolling hillsides here, as well as indicate a road or trail which is neat.

I also like how the two brighter foothills turned out. They look even more yellow in-person and I love that pop of color here.

I don’t love how dark the background hill turned out. I wish I’d kept it lighter, but the initial wash was greener than I wanted, so I came back in with blue, and it ended up darker. I just feel like if it was lighter there’d be more depth to the piece and it would’ve better defined the front, focal mountain.

Another Reddit image was used for reference here:


I had no idea Bosnia was so beautiful.

Day 9


I’m happy with “Day 9”. In particular, I like how the complex first wash went down on the far peninsula, giving it the rounded shape I wanted. I successfully went back over that section with a light yellow wash to knock down the preserved whites which we looking a bit too garish. In the past, that technique usually leads to me overworking the piece, but it didn’t here.

It did in the foreground section. You can probably tell. The section right below the dark shadow area was an attempted second pass which wasn’t as successful.

I also wish I’d angled the road a bit differently. The perspective is a bit off, but then again, this is direct watercolor after all! Mistakes like that are just part of the fun. I also wish I’d knocked down the bright paper white of the road, but I was 1 for 2 in the “adding another wash” category, so I figured I’d quit while I was (sort of) ahead and keep it the way it was.

You guessed it, found this one on Reddit too:


Final Estimate

I loved changing up the format, going back to these smaller-scale paintings, and different subject matter. I’ll probably keep with the looser restrictions and see if I can get back my daily momentum through the rest of this week.