I’ve always done small paintings, both outside and inside and then rework the compositions in the studio to come up with a variety of possibilities. We had a similar exercise in art school where we picked a subject or story line then using outdoor sketches, drawings and photographs come up with 10 different thumbnail compositions. After deciding on one, I complete three different color studies to come up with different color schemes. The next step is a detailed charcoal value drawing and then the final painting. This process helps me to see studio painting as a process with a purpose behind each step. It also develops discipline in planning, forces the meto think more about composition rather than what is presented in a photograph or plein air sketch, and it helps me to think outside the box with color.