Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Acrylic on Panel.

In rescuing files on my computer I found this image of a painting I did in my first year in University for a project called "Autobiography".

I've been reading on a couple of blogs about studies and it has echoed what I have been reading in books lately. Without exception they all emphasise the value of doing studies, both value (tonal) studies and colour studies before starting on the painting proper. Personally I find it hard to do a study before I start painting. i just can't wait to get in and paint. I might make a quick pencil sketch to work out composition but that will be it. I would be interested to know how many people do any kind of study before they start painting - particularly plein air.


Mary said...

Anita, before working with Plein Air I always went staight to the bear canvas without a study, maybe just a conceived idea but I was used to letting the painting take me. This I still do with abstracts. With Plein Air I do just a priliminary sketch so I won't go out of the format.

Interesting work!

Billie Crain said...

since i began working from imagination i always do studies. i have to! it's absolutely necessary to work out a fairly believable and eye pleasing piece. before that i was like you...i just wanted to get painting! prep work sounded so dull but i often found i was floundering and second guessing myself during the painting process. studies have taken a lot of the guess work out of my painting and made it a much more pleasurable experience.

Lisa Lorenz said...

wow thats a have patience...incredible!

Lisa Lorenz said...

HI anita, I also do just quick sketches just for comp..i am too anxious to dive into the painting.

Jeanette said...

Anita, I don't think I would have the patience to paint that. Good for you and wonderful that you kept it too.

Sometimes I do sketches or thumbnails but those tend to be when I'm sketching on site and don't have time to do a painting on the spot. Or its doodles of ideas that I get and make some thumbnail sketches to block out composition and light. But most of the time, I just jump right in too.

Anita said...

Mary - I can see that with abstract just going with the flow would work better, letting the materials and mood dictate what you do.

Billie - and working from imagination I can see you would need to plan what you are going to do to some degree.

Lisa - I have seen your preparatory work and how you work out your compositions. You are very dedicated in your approach.

Jeanette - I am going to try and be more disciplined in my approach to a painting for a while and see if it changes the outcome!

harrybell said...

I always used to do at least a preparatory charcoal drawing before launching into paint, but over the years that's fallen by the wayside. However, I'm beginning to think I've lost something by letting that happen.

all artwork is copyright of Anita Murphy 2006/2007/2008/2009