‘Just a Red Flower’

‘Just a Green Teapot’

‘Just an Orange Cloud’

I’m sketching some quick oil sketches in my book. Some of my expressive oil sketches this week. I’m almost done my book and have to find a new pad soon. I have been painting for over 40 days straight which is a record for me. My goal is to paint every day, and I mean e-v-e-r-y day. Why? Because of several reasons.

First, you want to keep your skills sharp. A football player practices daily for the upcoming game. An artist is an athlete, at least mentally. If you go through long periods of silent painting (no painting activity), then rust settles in, I believe.

Second, Painting quick sketches without expectation of a finished masterpiece frees you up, especially your creative and subconscious mind. Anything goes, simply put. That’s what sketching is for. It’s important to free yourself up from impressing others and just think of your sketchpad as your visual diary. It’s for you.

Last, it helps you spend some time on your art. Spending only 5 minutes painting can be used usefully or wastefully. I say make it count. It will put you in a better mood too. It has helped me set the tone for the day or help me get to sleep with a positive affirmation that what I did was worth my time.

I’m not telling you how to paint. Every artist has their own methods and practices they have learned. I have over 20 years of art logged in my life and don’t intend to stop. This is just one of my methods for better productivity and hopefully will translate into better, larger finished paintings. Oil studies are like “sneak-previews” of your upcoming talents at this particular moment in your life. So savor the moment and paint a little. So this is why I paint every day. Sometimes baby steps will lead to greater leaps of faith.

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