The past six days of Leslie Saeta’s 30 in 30 painting challenge, were all about High Heels Still Life Paintings. It was another messy week, but unlike with Abstract Painting, where I got to go crazy throwing paint all over the place, this was a much more focused and thoughtful painting experience :)

Like last week though, I’ve learnt quite a few things … but first, here’s the six High Heels Still Life Paintings I produced :)

DAYS 7 TO 12


DAY 7 • BEIGE HIGH HEELS [Size: 20x20cm]
It felt so odd starting this one, I didn’t know what to do lol I didn’t use a pencil to sketch out the heels, instead I painted the whole canvas brown, than used a cream colour to sketch in the heels :) These are the tallest heels I own, I actually fell over wearing these the first time I tried them on and ripped them lol

DAY 8 • BLACK HIGH HEELS [Size: 20x20cm]
These black beauties are my most worn heels when taking photos, I love these :) I really enjoyed painting them, but feel I could have made the high lights pop a bit more.

DAY 9 • HOT PINK HIGH HEELS [Size: 20x20cm]I like how this one turned out, one of those happy little accident type things, I didn’t colour the canvas first, so instead did the blue last and didn’t fill in the gaps next to the heels as I wasn’t sure if it would mess up the pink or not, but I kind of like the effect of the white edge around the heels :)

DAY 10 • RED HIGH HEELS [Size: 20x20cm]
I wanted to try and challenge myself to paint some straps … it’s really hard to do fine details, but I enjoyed doing this one, due to the shapes of the straps, which, little secret, but I sellotaped one of them in place under the heel :)

DAY 11 • NAVY BLUE HIGH HEELS [Size: 20x20cm]
This was the hardest one to colour match, I just couldn’t get the blue right :( I also thought I was going to have to bin this one lol It looked hideous till right near the end, than I added the tones and was able to bring it back a bit, but I found this one the hardest to do.

DAY 12 • BABY PINK HIGH HEELS [Size: 20x20cm]
Like the last one, I struggled to match the colours on this one. The heels are not too bad, but that chain is too yellowy; I couldn’t figure out how to create a more shiny looking gold colour.


Still Lifes are a lot more fun that I expected; I’ve not really done them before. Even with my pencils, I usually draw from photos or models at Life Drawing Class, but not still life. I enjoyed setting them up though, composing a scene and digging through my high heels and dresses, finding a combination of colours I thought would look good.

The actual painting was totally different to the feelings I got from abstract painting. Abstract painting I found so liberating; it was really fun just throwing paint all over the place and seeing what would happen. With these High Heels Still life Paintings, I was forced to focus more, which I actually really enjoyed for totally different reasons.

It was more like drawing, yet with colours … and a lot less control. So it still had some of the randomness of abstract painting, but mixed in with the structure of drawing. It’s telling that for these six days I painted at my easel sitting down, whereas with the abstract paintings I stood the whole time.  Sitting down I could get much closer to the canvas and make much slower, careful brush strokes.

Here’s some of the main things I learnt this pas six days:

  • Painting is So Satisfying
  • Paintings are a lot Quicker to produce Than Drawings
  • You don’t have to clean the brush as much as I expected
  • You can do Colour Mixing on the Canvas, inside the painting :)
  • When adding a dark tone, I found it good to pick a shade Darker than I wanted, as it was blending in with the colour already on the canvas and coming out lighter
  • It’s really hard to Match a Colour
  • Painting on a wet background is challenging
  • Sharp Edges are difficult to create
  • I keep Wasting too much Paint
  • Oil Paintings take Ages to Dry
Pink and Blue Oil Paint All Over My Hands, Still Life Painting with Transgender Artist Sophie Lawson


I do love the mess :) I started doing this ting though, where instead of washing the brush, I would just wipe the brush on my hand before changing colours … as you can see in the image above, on day 9 my hand got covered in paint :) I didn’t know till the end because I was kind of wiping the brush all over my hand without looking lol

Storage is a bit nuts too, oil paintings take ages to dry. I have paintings drying all over the place, resting on top of my photo frames, on top of my drawing board … any flat surface I can find, there is a painting on it drying :)


I did plan to do figure painting, using some of My Photos as reference, after still life, but at the last minute decided to do six paintings of Robins instead :) The Robin is my spirit animal … I love Robins. I don’t really know where this idea came from, but I’ve printed out some photos of Robins already, so the next six days will be all about Oil painting from photographs.

You can play along with this challenge by visiting Leslie Saeta’s 30 in 30 Painting Challenge and signing up :)


Bob Ross