Picasso said “I don’t paint what I see, I paint what I imagine”, or something along those lines. When you see his work, it does explain what he was at. I have to say I would also work from imagination, based on something I saw, or a thought, or idea on some subject or other. The real world never quite measures up to what is required to produce an interesting painting. Every artist has their own working method and part of my method is my concern about overworking, which I’m prone to. The finished painting always seems to have something unfinished. But the surprising thing is, on the following day, everything looks OK. So the advice is, set limits to your painting session. It can be time limits, area to be covered (eg. the sky), etc, then stop, and assess the work the following day.
Another area of overworking is in the planning of the painting. I find thumbnail sketches are the best for my method and I have included a few photos of what I mean. These sketches are so small (the full pages are A4 size) I can’t get involved with details. The details are added, or not added, during the painting process. The plan never seems to work out the way I intended, so the plan is continually adjusted based on what is already done. In the sketches above, you will see the plans for some of the recent paintings I’ve posted here. The single sketch above (about 2″x3″) is for the next painting, just completed, which I will post next time. It contains some of the elements (birds and scarecrow) I was going to include in Abandoned House, but the plan changed.
Here’s the video. For more on materials, etc. check previous post.