Monday, September 15, 2008

Quick studies aren't so quick!

Before taking up painting, I had the naive impression that doing a "quick study" meant less effort. As I have tried different techniques to get to a finished picture, it has become evident that a quick study sometimes is anything but. Getting the composition and tonal values right can often be almost as much of a challenge as finishing the final picture or a bigger version of the study. In industrial parlance, a study would be the prototype from which the final (or 'production') version is derived.

The two studies here use the same compositional elements. The paint is applied thinly with a small brush. This allows a choice of finishing the painting either with thin or impasto application of paint. In the meantime, if I don't quite like the study it is but a simple matter to re-coat the canvas with gesso and start all over again.

Countryside 1 and 2, Acrylic on canvas board, 5"X7", Not for sale


  1. Pretty studies, Atul! I like the second study best but both are very nicely done.

    Like you, I am unable to do a "quick" study. I paint as slow as a turtle - said fact taking me a long time to accept.

    The main thing is that you enjoy the process.

  2. beautiful trees and love the purple. I find that the smaller the longer. I am too careful. A good size for me is between 8-10 on a study.

  3. Nice work Atul. Some folks find using a larger brush forces us to "simplfy" and "suggest" and in turn speeds up the process. Though I struggle a bit with that myself.


  4. Thanks for all of those comments. Every time I am about to pick up a brush for a certain sized canvas, I then pick up the next larger size of brush I have. This squelches the "natural" drive to pick the brush that will give the greatest precision. I think the latter must be rooted in the childhood experience of being told to color inside the lines!