A couple of BobBlasts ago the theme was all about compositions - we received such a positive response of emails about this subject. I'm glad you liked it! So, I looked through the archives and found a fun "BobBlast from the Past" about practicing compositions until it is "automatic."
I hope you like this one too!
Before starting any painting, I write the 4 C's on the back of each piece.
First, I decide on the Concept - the big idea. The next letter C stands for Color - what color combination. Then, determine the Composition - there are twelve composition designs to choose. The final letter C stands for Commit to your original concept - meaning stop changing your mind. This helps me stay focused on the task hand - writing the 4 C's on the back is a constant reminder.
So, this BobBlast is all about practicing the twelve compositions in black and white. Think Franz Kline and Robert Motherwell. Practicing the black and white compositions daily helps painting - for me, it almost acts like "muscle memory" - It's automatic. Motherwell refers to this as Automatism - he did hundreds of graphic exercises daily.
This is what I do - watch the video for the demo!
Using heavy drawing paper or BFK Rives gray paper, I practice short exercises with a large or long brush, dipped into black fluid acrylic. I focus on a different composition each day. After awhile, the designs become automatic. Of course these composition designs work for all painting styles - abstract to realism.
Here are some resources:
"The Collected Writings of Robert Motherwell" Oxford University Press, 1992
Robert Motherwell - Inventions and ReInventions Series - 1975-1991
Google this: Franz Kline - Black & White Series
Practice Practice Practice!