Save your underpaintings and sketches if you paint in a series!

“Blue Leaves”, study for Heart of Old Town, acrylic, Karen Gillis Taylor

I often save sketches and photos of a painting in progress, especially if I’m working in a series. Now I’m thinking this “Blue Leaves” study  should be made into a whole new painting, with some variations in building and tree shapes. I like its colors and the simplicity. It’s been several months since I looked hard at “Blue Leaves” and now I’m SO interested in painting something with developing a whole new adaptation.

Here are some reasons to save your original studies and drawings of favorite themes in your art creations:

Series work helps a person hone their particular vision.

Beginning studies have a natural freshness that should be preserved so the artist can avoid overworking a painting.

Compare all studies, quick sketches and paintings of your series work. Choose your favorites and why you think they are strong.

There will be changes in technique among all the works and studies. Sometimes the images are loosely defined, other times a certain focal point is most interesting and worth tightening up or emphasizing in a new piece.

Ask yourself why you like your theme. I like painting cities at night (or at daybreak, sunset, etc.) because the light is fascinating and magical, and colors are infinitely exciting. I picture who might be living in a certain building or behind a certain window and why they are lucky enough to live in an interesting place. My theme sustains my imagination and encourages me to keep going to the next painting.

Underpaintings and sketches are like little nuggets of gold for me, when I rediscover one that ignites my interest once again, but in a whole new way. If the former study tells me to grab a new canvas and start painting, it’s going to be all worth it.

What is your favorite theme to paint, draw or photograph? Do you have more than one? Let me know, I would love to hear your thoughts.


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2 Responses to “Save your underpaintings and sketches if you paint in a series!”

  1. meta Says:

    Thanks for your thoughts on how you work.


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