Here’s another ugly painting for you, Rick.  Believe, me, it’s bad.  The scan looks far better than the original.

Another Christmas Cactus Sketch .... gone wrong

I’m sure I’m not the only artist who starts the day with a quick warm-up sketch, often too anxious to get to more important paintings.  As a result, my attention is not always focused on the warm-up sketch.  It begins well, then does a nose-dive due to poor color choices and reckless decisions when mixing values.  A thirty minute sketch turns into a four hour struggle to bring the initial energy back into the painting.  The battle is lost, but lessons learned.  When a drawing becomes a disaster the choice is to throw it away or to experiment and learn at least something from the failure.

What did I learn?

1.  One minute of lost attention can cost me four precious hours of my day.

2. Forget reality and choose values based on strong design of shapes working with one another instead.

Sketch: drawn first with fountain pen filled with black ink.  Followed by too many layers of watercolor, sometimes mixed with white gouache when things became really desperate.

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