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I'm going back to basics and working on quick studies. I remember reading in one of Kevin MacPherson's books that an artist should do "100 starts" - to learn the habits of composition and value, without spending the time on a finished painting.
Of course I'm not that energetic, so I cut it in half to 50 Starts. I've got 50 pieces of heavy sketch paper cut into 5"x5" pieces, and am working my way through. To keep myself from becoming too detailed, I'm working in three stages: 1) the sketch, just a loose positioning of the scene; 2) a blocking in of value and temperature; 3) color adjustment and a few details.
Here's the first one I did - I used acrylic for the drying time, which had its good and bad points. My stock of acrylic paints is limited, so it took too much effort to mix the color I wanted. On the other hand, good practice in working from a limited palette.
Initial sketch in magenta using a round brush. Very loose.
Blocking in. I'm attempting a sort of modified Cape Cod School approach that I learned from Mike Rooney's workshops. Still struggling with that, but as you'll see when I post more of the Starts, I'm slowly making progress.
Color correction and just a little more detail. Have to practically tie my hand down to keep myself from futzing with it and adding little branches and stones and such.