10 minute apples
In workshops I offer students opportunities to expand their knowledge, improve their painting techniques and learn new ways of seeing what is in front of them.
I use a 10 minute exercise which cuts down on "fiddling" time. Seeking detail at the beginning of a painting is a common trait in beginners, but is never successful. They end up painting the same thing over and over and over as they adjust and readjust their work. Seeing larger shapes and making quick decisions without thinking about detail helps the brain/eye/hand think like a painter. Everything starts with the largest and most basic shape, then detail slowly emerges as you refine the drawing or painting.
Divide a small canvas into four (or six or more) squares. Using an apple (in this instance), paint it for 10 minutes then stop. Rearrange the apple's position and paint it again for 10 minutes. Keep doing this for as many times as you have squares on your canvas. The first painting will be...different...and that's ok. The last one and you'll be getting the hang of making quick decisions on colour, placement and value.
Try it and let me know your thoughts on the exercise.