I think I will just make a deal with you readers (and, for that matter, with myself) to stop making lofty statements like, "I'm finally getting a regular schedule!" because something (like a 9 month-old cutting new teeth or reaching new milestones, for instance!) always seems to come up right afterwards. Still, I know I am fortunate to be able to do anything art-related at all, and I have finally worked out my compositional pencil sketch for the next studio painting that I thought I'd at least share. (Incidentally, I just want to say thank you to those of you who have sent me such nice, encouraging comments lately. I am glad to know that these W.I.P.s offer some interest. It's a format that works well for me in that it keeps me posting regularly here on the blog, so I will try to stick to it at least for a while.) This is again a scene of the visually dramatic area in Tuscany known as La Crete.
These little sketches are definitely not meant to be any kind of finished drawings, but with all the stops and starts in studio time nowadays, I am finding them really helpful. They help me to determine whether the composition will work , what I need to edit out and include, how I might create interest with line, light and shadow, etc. Though more detailed, they serve a similar purpose to the thumbnail sketches I have used from time to time while plein air painting.
Watercolorists know this approach well, but until recently it has typically not been my way with my studio oils. It takes a little bit more time when some days all I want to do is just dive right on into painting and get ON with it already! But with little sleep and even less free time, it's helped me to feel less disjointed and to backtrack less when I am standing in front of the easel, bleary-eyed with a cuppa jo, trying to get my brain to start.
In case you can't tell what this is to be, it's a vineyard in the fore with a small outbuilding in the middle ground and a little Tuscan hamlet in the distance. What interested me most about this scene is the movement of line from front to back. There is a lot of information in this scene, (maybe too much? We'll see...) and not much sky at all to speak of, so I feel that in order to make my present plan work I should use a canvas of at least 24x30". Well, that's a whole lot of writing for such a simple little sketch, but what can I say? Baby girl has napped well this morning. :-)