For the past couple of months I have re-introduced the habit of doing preliminary sketches before starting a painting. I had stopped doing them over a year ago because I was eager to get going with each painting and also because I didn't want to "over-think" a painting but rather keep it spontaneous.
I started back up again because in looking through the paintings in my studio I found too many that had to be scrapped because of fundamental design flaws which could have been prevented by studying the scene via a pencil sketch. Some of these paintings contained some beautiful paint...but if the design is bad then the painting has to go. (fortunately I found many more that did NOT have to be scrapped)
In my recent work I am finding that the sketches are helping me to avoid some of the worst problems and to focus on what each painting is about. The trick is to do this without getting too careful and "tight"...but then it wouldn't be painting without a little challenge!
So, I thought it might be interesting to show you both the painting and the sketch.