The other day, I working at the local co-op gallery that I am a part of, and was scheduled to demo oil painting for customers that stopped by. There was one problem – I had all of my painting supplies, but I didn’t bring anything to paint! Luckily, my lunch came with a lime garnish that then became a lovely little painting. Another day, all I had on hand were some extra tubes of paint from my kit, which then became my subject.
Alla prima sketch paintings are great for practice because they pull you out of your typical subject comfort zone. When I go in search of subjects for these small paintings, I usually don’t know what I’ll end up painting that day.
I highly recommend doing these small paintings from life as they allow you to observe objects in varying lighting conditions, with varying shadow qualities. Replicate what you see as best as you can, but feel free to put some artistic personality in these works. Because you’re not committing to a large, extensive painting, you can try out new colors or application techniques.