A wispy little sketch on my wood panel, ready to be buried under lots of paint and varnish. I think of the sketches as the bones of the painting, the structure holding everything up from underneath.
So many times in art school, one of us would turn to a painting professor and say, forlornly "What's wrong with this? Why isn't it working?" And they would say "There might've just been something wrong with the drawing to begin with." And this is the most heartbreaking thing, when you realize that something was just structurally un-sound from the beginning.
The way I work, I almost always have a pretty well-realized sketch underpinning each painting surface, and since I have my little working methods down, I can usually tell how things are going to go. But once in a blue, blue moon I don't, and sometimes the result is thrilling and sometimes it's awful (and that is the price of playing it fast and loose.)
Right now I'm working on my Sea show and my next picture book at the same time.
Iiieee! So much to do!
PS: Thank you for all the nice words about my dress-sewing!