Artist on a Mission – Preparation


Pencil sketch for future

My son trained to run a marathon. He trained almost everyday, taking a break on Sundays. He worked up the miles from 5 to 6 to 8. He ran 10 miles and slowly built up to 12, 15, and 18 mile runs. He trained his body to endure the longer runs. The day of the marathon he met one of his buddies at the start line.  They took off running at a good pace, running stride for stride. They chatted a bit while they ran. They chatted about training. My son’s friend said, “I never ran over 10 miles in my training.” My son said, “Ooooh.” About 4 minutes later they hit the 10 mile mark. My son’s friend gave a sigh and drifted back behind my son and out of sight. He had met the level of his training and his body couldn’t keep up.

Like a race, you can prepare for paintings. Some training and some warming up of the muscles can help you get off to a good start. The years of sketching in your sketch book can help your drawing ability. In the above sketch, I’m trying to get to know my subject and becoming familiar with the angles and pose. I’m also starting to think of the finished painting. What do I want it to look like. Below is a rough value study . These get me thinking of what I want to have the finished painting look like. It’s like practicing before you begin.



I also want to think about the design of the entire painting. By doing some thumbnails, I can think about design and see in my minds eye the impact that I want to create with the design and values of my watercolor. It helps me get into my painting and prepares me so that when I start to paint, I can paint for the whole 24 miles so I can finish the marathon. So go ahead and paint and create.

1 Cor. 9:24

24 ​Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints

About Sherry Meidell

Sherry Meidell is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society Western Federation Watercolor Society and the Utah Watercolor Society. She loves to paint with watercolor whether she is painting pictures or illustrating children's picture books. She is a member of SCBWI. Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
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