I almost always do a thumbnail sketch in pencil to make sure my composition and values are interesting enough to do a painting. I also find that value studies in oil give me a lot of information which I can apply to a larger version of the same subject. I am still reading Richard Schmid's book "Alla Prima". He discusses the monochrome block in, and in some cases carried it a few steps further to a finished painting.
This scene is from Hunter Street in Hamilton, looking toward the TH&B Railway Station in the background.
I find that when I start to focus on details, I need to do a few value studies to help me pay attention to what is happening in a painting. In this study, I used a limited palette of black, titanium white, ultramarine blue, cadmium yellow, cadmium red. This is a study for a larger painting.
I have been away from the studio for awhile...so I thought I would get back into it by doing a small painting of our local Tim Hortons, one of my many favorite subjects. We have had cool air, some great rain showers, and the feeling of fall is in the air. A wonderful time of year.
Thanks everyone for your comments on my previous posts. I will be making the blog rounds again soon to see what everyone has been up to.