Well, I would rank time in my studio right up there with chocolate when it comes to well needed therapy sessions. Just the short walk to my little cabin, and stepping through its door is a wonderful process of leaving behind the typical house hold duties that need to be done, and walking into an atmosphere of pure creativity.
We all have those mundane house related chores don't we (at least that's what my hubby keeps telling me)? Mine include laundry, cooking, folding laundry, cleaning, pairing socks (more laundry)... are you feeling the repetition? If I don't get a chance to escape, I mean work in the studio, I might start to believe I actually own a laundromat. If I am running a laundromat, the pay isn't the greatest, I can tell you that much! Painting is the therapy I need to keep me from talking to sock puppets while I fold.
Today I spent some time working out a rough sketch of the re-do of my daughter. You can read about my initial struggle here http://trishacres.weebly.com/1/post/2011/03/chocolate-makes-perfect-heres-hopin.html if you haven't already (funny, I'm reminded of the need for chocolate again in that post). I opted to start over with a different photo of her all together. I liked the first picture. She was being silly, which can be a typical teen. I like silly. But this new piece shows a softer side of her... and I like that also.
I used to begrudge the preliminary rough sketch. I just wanted to jump right into the final work... get right to the good stuff. As I paint more, I find I am enjoying the rough stage. It's a stage I use to study my subject matter. Get to know the details that I want to highlight, and realize the areas that are less significant. It's a time to experiment with colour, and contrast, and find a series of lines or shapes that make for great composition.
The following picture is done with 4 colours of soft pastel on cheap newsprint. I started with a neutral brown/green somewhat dark. I worked my way darker, with the exception of the pink/purple tone. This gives you an idea of how to take a rough pencil sketch one step further, so you can visualize your final painting better.
Do you wish you could skip right to the final painting also?
Please tell me I'm not the only one!
If so, I'm curious, what do you do in your preparation stages to help you focus, and fine tune your piece for the final painting?
Painting for therapy, with a little chocolate on the side... sounds like the perfect afternoon to me!