Terry Miura • Studio Notes

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sketch It Out!

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.


  1. Hello Terry. Nice sketches. Your previous sketches are nice too! Did you use a pallet knife? I also like the colors you've used. Good work!

  2. I really really enjoy your blog, Terry! You're so articulate about your process and remind me so well of everything I so often forget as I work. I was so pleased to see your spread in Art Collector. Your commentary there was great as well. Congratulations!

  3. Thanks Renate!

    My paintings are 99% brush. I use a palette knife mainly to scrape bad passages, and sometimes I use it when I need a really sharp edge. But for the most part, I rely on the brush.

  4. Thanks Lorraine! I appreciate that. It's nice to know that people are reading my ramblings, and actually like what I say~ In this profession, it's easy to feel like you're in a vacuum. (Facebook and Twitter not withstanding!)

  5. Hey Philippe~ Whashappenin' brotha!