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2020 January Art Dare


Create an imaginary landscape in any art media!
Watch our Imaginary Backgrounds tutorial for tips

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Digital Painting, Claire Lin


Claire Lin
Forest of Spirits
8.5” x 11”


“Whenever I create a piece, I always chase after capturing a certain mood. When I heard ‘imaginary landscapes,’ I initially thought of the imaginary and surreal feeling of being in fog; a mood that I wanted to capture.

There is a soothing yet mysterious aspect about fog, and I tried to capture this using a scene and objects that are tangible, like forests and fish, but presented in an unfamiliar way. I used unfamiliar colors and floating, glowing spirits to snapshot a ghostly, misty landscape.”


Anna Shen
Collection Day
Copic markers & colored pencils
10″ x 13.5″


“I was inspired by Junji Ito’s comic ‘The Hanging Balloons,’ which evokes visual horror through combining balloons, heads, and nooses. This weird combination resonated with me and I wanted to put my own spin on combining balloons and heads.

I explored various settings while developing ‘Collection Day.’ There wasn’t any specific ‘deep’ meaning when developing the piece. Instead, I simply wanted to focus on creating an interesting narrative and evoking an uncanny atmosphere. It started off as weird balloons distributed at a carnival, but later became a representation for lingering souls in a graveyard.

I went with the final concept because it provided a weird, but fascinating narrative of a grim reaper collecting souls in the shape of balloons, while re-imagining the typical graveyard landscape.”

Sophie Legay
The Barn
Posca Pens
7.5″ x 7.5″


“I’m really obsessed with circles lately so this Art Dare was really fun. The execution wasn’t great; this was my first attempt with Posca pen. I used them on my sketchbook, which didn’t like that at all. The paper was disintegrating under the paint so I couldn’t spend time correcting mistakes. Newbie error.

I’m not sure the shadows of the clouds was a good idea. They seem just weird to me now. Now, I think the whole piece could have benefit from triangular mountains. I may redo it (better) on a canvas, and larger.”

Joan Savitt
Open Concept
pen, ink, & watercolor on paper
11″ x 11″


“I returned to my rust belt roots for this piece. I wanted to show the split in this country between those who are comfortable economically, and those who are hurting because of job loss and a depressed manufacturing sector.

This piece was challenging to execute, because I was combining two different landscapes in one composition. I had to decide on what I wanted people to look at, and how to keep all the many visual elements controlled so that the piece was not visually confusing. I spent a lot of time working out the perspective of both the background and foreground elements.

Initially I wanted to include more and different types of buildings in the background, but decided that the piece would become way too complicated and confusing.”

Day And Night

8.3″ x 11.7″

Marina Marinopoulos
Yellow Landscape, Pink landscape
collage & watercolor
65 cm x 50 cm


“Sometimes it’s nice to allow one’s imagination the freedom to create, without reference to something in particular. I loved using a brighter palette than usual, and tearing bits out of magazine pages to make the collage. I got quite lost in my landscapes, like an alien landing on a new planet!”

Sandy Coleman
Open Concept
collage, acrylic paint, sharpie
8.75 “x 6.75”


“I like trying new things as an artist. I particularly enjoy using unexpected materials to create art. This month’s prompt provided the perfect opportunity for looking at photos in a food magazine in a different way.

Hannah Kelly
Sunny Mountains
collage & watercolor pen
7″ x 9″

A Cold Winter’s Eve
soft pastels on sanded paper, acrylic w/ texture gel & modeling gel
5.2″ x 3.2″


“Since this month’s Art Dare was imaginary landscapes I decided to experiment with different materials I had never used before to see what sort of abstract outcomes I could come up with.

The first piece, ‘Sunny Mountains,’ was created using a blue watercolor brush pen and paint swatches of different colors. I used these materials to create geometric shapes to make the picture more simplistic, so that I could focus on the composition and layering of different paint shades.

The second piece, ‘A Cold Winter’s Eve,’ is inspired by the weather we have been having recently with cold evenings and beautiful sunsets. I used pastels on sanded paper for the background so I could layer different shades to create a contrasting sky, and then added trees out of black acrylic mixed with modeling gel and texture gel to make the trees stand out and look more life like.”

Robert Hencke
Imaginary Landscape
acrylic on canvas
31.5″ x 39.4″


“Painting is my meditation, the picture is inspired by a chess game. The figures move in the perception of the viewer in an imaginary landscape.”

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