Flowers and Teapot, 20 x 16
If this setup looks familiar, you probably saw it on the blog of one of my classmates in Laurel's alla prima class. In fact, Trish Siegel was nice enough to forward me her iphone reference photos, since the angle I had to work from in class didn't offer a very interesting composition.
The class is exploring different techniques of blocking in a canvas. This one entails using a big brush to apply dark neutrals in very rough and dry form, then using a paper towel to wipe out lighter areas. Repeating these steps as necessary, you end up with a fairly accurate value study and block-in to paint into. I enjoyed this technique because it seems to help me to both loosen up and to work more quickly and spontaneously.