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In December I went to a Carol Marine workshop, like everyone I was mesmerized by her teaching and painting. Like most of her students I tried to paint like Carol,but it is hard to change old ways, and I don't think she meant to. I learned a lot, and how to organize my work habits.
I have used a viewfinder for years, but never been comfortable with it. It looks different every time I look through it. What works "best for me" is to do a number of thumb nail line sketches, no detail, no shading, till I get a workable composition.
When I start the painting, I don't draw the image, I lay in the large color and or value masses referring to my thumb nail sketch and using the largest brushes I can,about a 3/4 inch on 6x6 panel, and I use them as long as I can only using smaller brushes in the final steps of the painting.
I learned a lot from Carol's workshop and I still am her ArtByte Tutorials are GREAT.
But in the end how you use what you learn is up to you.
This is what I painted the one day I got to paint last week, using my old approach.