Sunday, January 05, 2014

Daily Painting Practice - Day 5 of 30 day challenge - Maine Seascapes

Day 5 - Observing bad habits

I continue to be surprised at how much I am learning from this exercise of the Leslie Saeta 30 day painting challenge. I paint everyday anyway but to  go through this as an exercise and share the results with  over 200 other artists brings something more to the experience.

Before getting into the process, here is today's painting. A scene near one of my plein air painting days last summer. The location was Acadia National Park, Schoodic Point.

Schoodic Morning
5"x7"  o/cb

Some mornings I jump right into the painting, already knowing what I am going to paint. In previous posts, I talked about the thinking process I use in evaluating my paintings before doing a larger version; narrative, composition and color.  But as I was mentioning, I was surprised when I became aware of a bad habit I have developed in the studio...(one of many I should say).
step 1
I grabbed a brush  and started blocking in the composition. Nothing wrong with that except...
Here is my dirty laundry... rather my dirty palette. Yesterday's paints, turps and brushes.  I just start using what's there. It's like eating leftovers because you are too lazy to cook then wondering why everything always tastes the same.
This is my lazy studio habit. I often just start painting and don't take the time to begin fresh and organized.
Here is my fresh start. 
 My new rule is to make sure I have my palette ready and to try to mix my colors in an organized manner.
step 2

This organized approach actually allows me to see much more clearly the color choices I make and put on canvas. That may be obvious to those neat-niks out there who do this automatically, but this is new for us who are palette pigs and suffer through our muddy color selections.  
So if you are a palette pig like me, I recommend you try to develop a new habit of keeping the palette neat and organized. I find it actually adds to the fun of painting  because it increases the thrill of discovery.

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