Sketching before Painting

I don’t usually sketch before I paint. I don’t consider sketching with a brush on the painting panel the same thing as an elaborate pencil sketch, because that is just to get the image and approximate locations onto the panel. I’m referring to a completely separate sketch with pencil to help decide exactly how the painting is going to look. I regularly paint from photographs but sometimes I just don’t have a photograph that suits me. That is what is happening with this latest painting. I have an idea and apparently it’s a pretty completely formed one because I can’t find a photograph that is close. So I’m going to start sketching.

The sketches are very rough and quick, something that I can do faster than painting and toss away afterwards. I’ve completed several of them and ‘completed’ is a misleading term. I’ve gotten just far enough on each one to answer some issue. Clearly the idea I have is not complete enough, so much so that when I went to the store to buy a new panel I selected a square rather than a rectangular format. The biggest problem I faced was placing the subject vertically in the sketch. I’m hoping that a square format will simplify this problem; some might describe it as avoidance. I will see how sketching with a brush goes on the square panel. I think the next problem will be where to put the horizon line.

If I’m standing in the public house looking down on the subject, then the horizon line should be placed lower than vertical centre. I’ve got to be careful not to place it too low because I think that will skew the perspective on the furniture and the items on the table.