Chillin', 16 x 12 inches, oil on linen
From last week's figure session. If I'm painting from a model, I usually do a couple of sketches in my sketchbook first. Though I'm not picky about materials when it comes to sketchbook stuff, I find I use a regular ol' ball point pen a lot.
When I start the painting, I need to have a concept, otherwise I end up with a painting with no impact. So the pen sketch helps me to be clear about my intent, find a direction and a specific idea that I want to focus on.
Sometimes I don't have a clear idea when I just look at the model. But when I start drawing, the ideas start forming. It has something to do with the fact that I'm doing these sketches quickly, which forces me to just visually jot down the essentials and edit away the unnecessary detail stuff.
Once I know which direction to take it, I can start the painting with a certain amount of confidence and intent. And you know, confidence, whether warranted or not, shows in the brushwork. And brushwork communicates intent. And communicating my intent, is the bottom line.