After completing my most recent painting, the ever changing backyard, I came to several conclusions. In efforts to work larger, the backyard piece is 30" x 24" (and I want to make another 4'x3' painting), I realized the need for more preparation. Working out the composition and lighting becomes much more problematic when the paintings grow in scale. This conclusion, is due in part to an effort not to waste the entire $30 37ml tube of Cadmium Yellow in a green that will get covered up the next day! However, it also comes from always wanting to get to the fun part by habitually skipping the necessary preliminary steps to painting (cleaning brushes, cleaning the palette, etc). With all of this said, I am stepping back in order to step forward. Yesterday I spent several hours working on a small sketch for a future painting (hopefully it will come to life on the 4' x3' canvas sitting in my living room). I am trying to work out the big picture prior to applying the paint, and I will let you know if this is actually helpful. I know that at times lots of planning in art-making gets thrown out the window once the process starts.