Color Sketches: A Handy Tool for Designing a Painting

Rose Color Sketch

In this example I first experimented with different value patterns. Each sketch built on the previous one culminating in a full color sketch.

When painting short-lived flowers or fleeting landscapes, I am tempted to forego planning the composition of a painting. Yet the time spent designing a painting often saves me time overall and improves the odds of the painting being a success.  I find color sketches to be a handy way to test out and capture the concept of the painting. During the process, opportunities to play up edges become clear. I can also spot needed changes in the setup or view.  A color sketch guides me throughout the development of the painting, resulting in fewer missteps and purer color.

#1 Color SketchesColor sketches are the first topic featured in my new Old Garden Arts free painting video series–short YouTube videos demonstrating painting techniques and tips–published every other Wednesday. Click here to view the Color Sketches video.

I look forward to painting with you!

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