I lived in Arizona for a few years. One thing I miss about it is the ability to drive a half an hour in any direction and be in beautiful landscapes such as these. I took these pictures during one of my many travels to Superstition Mountain and Canyon Lake.


Trying to get better at laying doing these quick tonal studies. I used to not do that many of these, but I have recently found how much taking the extra step can inform the rest of the process. When I first began getting serious about making art, my impatience never allowed me to start with learning to draw. I eagerly wanted to get right into painting and my work suffered.
 There is a certain freedom that goes with sketching these little thumbnails. Starting with a blank canvas, page, monitor carries with it a weird kind of uncertainty and intimidation. This uncertainty can be really exciting sometimes but it can also give way to a weak start. Now, I always warm up with a sketch or two, so going into a painting I am confident and loose.
Here are some sketches from a recent sketchbook.