Usually when I get struck with an idea for a painting I have a general mental image of what I want. Yet, when I go to paint it out generally the details start to bog down the whole and I can get very caught up in solving those issues to the detriment of the entire piece. A winning solution I came up to deal with these issues is making a rough sketch before I put brush to canvas. I will often use ball point pen on paper, colored pen on paper or gouache on paper. Some of these have evolved past rough sketch and others seem stopped halfway through because I decided it was time to move full scale.

Here are some sketches I made of recent paintings. If you compare them to the originals you can see where I changed my mind about ideas or completely repeated the sketch:

Sometimes I make sketches based on images I want to use and incorporate in the future. It’s good practice for my painting skills as well as for learning how different surfaces or places react with light or color. Here are some I have been working on while thinking about my current series “contrasts”

I put that last ‘wine glass’ in there to show how badly wrong a sketch can go, but you can still pull something from it that you might like. In this case I liked the crisscrossing light and the dark contrasting with the white. However, the glass itself looks like its been super heated and melted a bit! The first two are only two out of five sketches I did for “Over Flow” the current oil painting I am working on. It’s gone from a plastic bottle to a tea kettle and from square to a tall orientation. My next post will be about Over flow as I progress through the painting.